Even Better Makeup SPF 15
Category:Makeup > Foundations With Sunscreen > Liquid Foundation w/ Sunscreen
Last Updated:11.26.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Any foundation claiming to make skin look "even better" without makeup is going to garner some amount of attention, as this one certainly has. The one thing this beautifully silky liquid foundation has going for it in terms of reducing skin discolorations is its brilliant blend of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide along with a synthetic sunscreen agent. Combined, they provide reliable broad-spectrum protection (assuming you apply this foundation liberally and evenly).

As for the other ingredients in this foundation, none of them are known to have a dramatic effect on skin's tone or clarity. However, going back to the sunscreen, it's true that keeping skin protected from sun exposure will enhance its clarity and improve skin tone. That's because you're shielding skin from a major causative source of these complexion detractors. But that capability is hardly unique to this foundation, so the selling point becomes less persuasive.

What you'll get with this foundation is a smooth application that blends readily and sets to a soft matte finish that looks very skin-like. It's surprising that something whose finish is so lovely offers fairly significant coverage, especially for minor redness. The only drawback this foundation has it a small amount of grapefruit peel extract. This has the potential to cause irritation, but we doubt the amount used would be much of a problem.

Shade-wise, the expansive palette tends to fall to the slightly peach or pink side of neutral. Many of the colors are top-notch, especially for lighter and dark skin tones. The following shades are not recommended due to strong overtones of peach and rose: Porcelain Beige, Cream Caramel, Neutral (which is anything but neutral), Honey and Beige. There are some good dark tones and the shade range now includes options for very dark skin, too.

Even Better Makeup SPF 15 is best for normal to oily skin, and should be suitable for blemish-prone skin unless you know that mineral sunscreen actives make your breakouts worse.


If you’re looking for a less expensive alternative that offers the same outstanding sunscreen protection in a silky fluid foundation with a soft matte finish, consider trying Paula’s Choice Best Face Forward Foundation SPF 25 ($19).

Note: This foundation’s rating is due to its overall performance rather than its SPF rating. Due to concerns about people not applying sunscreen liberally enough to get the amount of SPF protection stated on the label, it is often recommended to look for SPFs with ratings higher than 15. If you plan to use foundation as your sole source of facial sun protection, consider using one rated SPF 20 or greater. If the foundation with sunscreen you choose is rated less than an SPF 20, we strongly advise applying it over a daytime moisturizer rated SPF 15 or greater and following it with a pressed powder rated SPF 15 or greater. That way, you’re ensuring sufficient broad-spectrum protection which is essential for having and maintaining healthy, younger-looking skin at any age.


Active: Octinoxate 6%; Titanium Dioxide 2.90%; Zinc Oxide 3.5%. Inactive: Water, Methyl Trimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Dimethicone, Triethylhexanoin, Butylene Glycol, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Octldodecyl Neopentanoate, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Extract, Betula Alba (Birch) Bark Extract, Citrus Jabara Peel Extract, Sacchoromyces Lysate Extract, Trametes Versicolor Extract, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Sodium Mannose Phosphate, Glycerin, Sodium Myristoyl Sarcosinate, Methicone, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Dimethicone Crosspolymer-3, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Lecithin, Laureth-7, Tocopheryl Acetate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Alumina, Sodium Chloride, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Polyaminopropyl Biguandine; May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica, Bismuth Oxychloride

Brand Overview

Clinique At-A-Glance

Strengths: One of the best selections of state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums loaded with ingredients that research has shown are of great benefit to skin; excellent sunscreens; several Redness Solutions products excel; an outstanding benzoyl peroxide product; good selection of self-tanning products; some very good cleansers and eye makeup removers; some unique mattifying products; a large and wholly impressive selection of foundations, many with reliable sun protection (and shades for darker skin tones); good concealers; some remarkable mascaras; much-improved eyeshadows; loose powder; blush products; some brilliant lipsticks and lip gloss; gel eyeliner; priced lower than most competing department-store lines.

Weaknesses: The three-step skincare routine, because of the bar soaps and irritant-laden clarifying lotions; jar packaging downgrades several otherwise top-notch moisturizers; incomplete routines for those prone to acne; skin-lightening products with either unproven or insufficient levels of lightening agents.

Estee Lauder-owned Clinique's tremendous success (the company's products are sold in over 13,000 department stores and in 110 countries) reshaped the way cosmetics lines identified themselves, sending the concept of line loyalty out to pasture. Today, cosmetics companies expand their market either by buying already established companies or by creating new ones, and Lauder has been adept at doing both. Of course, cosmetics companies keep this multiple-personality identity hidden from the consumer. If the general buying public realized that these apparently different companies were so intertwined with each other, how could they flaunt their independence and claim that their unparalleled formulations are secret or the best? It's hard to think Lauder (or any company) would, even if they could, keep secrets from one branch separate from the others. And as evidenced by the formulary similarities between brands, they don't!

The niche Clinique built launched the concept of cosmetics being "allergy-tested," "hypoallergenic," "100% fragrance-free," and "dermatologist tested." Of those marketing claims the only one with significance is "100% fragrance-free," which, for the most part, Clinique maintains (although it does add some fragrant extracts to a few products). Regarding allergy testing, unless you can see the results, what difference does it make if a product makes that claim? What if the test showed 20% of the women who used it had a sensitizing reaction, dryness, or irritation? Would Clinique highlight this, or is it just easier to default to the generic allergy-tested claim and leave such details out, figuring consumers won't ask for more? 

Moreover, "hypoallergenic" is a term not regulated by the FDA, so any product can use the word without having to substantiate the claim. "Dermatologist tested" is also bogus, because without published test results the term can easily mean nothing more than that a dermatologist picked up the product, looked at the container, and said "This looks good." And what about the dermatologists on Clinique's payroll? How do we know they're not the ones involved in testing, rather than sending the products out for independent, impartial evaluation (though how impartial can any study be that's paid for by the company making the product)?

Clinique declined any participation for this site, which included refusing to send us copies of the allergy studies they maintain have been performed for every product they sell. We find their unwillingness to help odd because, for the most part, we genuinely like most of their products. In fact, more than any other department-store line except Estee Lauder, Clinique is leading the way with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums, plus some formidable makeup. They also have their act together for sunscreens and have expanded their decades-old three-step skin-care routine to include water-soluble cleansers instead of bar soap. They also now have a second "Dramatically Different" moisturizer that's well-suited for those with normal to oily skin and FINALLY reformulated their longstanding water-and-wax yellow lotion.

The Clinique consultants, dressed in medical-looking white lab coats (Clinique's image in that sense was ahead of the times given today's plethora of doctor-designed skin-care lines), do their best to speak intelligently about skin-care routines, but for the most part they're trained to sell the products rather than to provide information about what substantiated research has shown about the skin's needs to look and feel its best.

The good news for you is that the chemists behind Clinique's arsenal of products have been keeping up on this exciting information, and formulating superior products in response. We wouldn't blindly and solely bank on Clinique as your skin-care solution, but more than ever what they offer is, despite some far-out claims and problematic products, what epitomizes advanced skin care for all ages. Shop carefully and you'll leave confident that you are purchasing products with solid science, not just marketing hype, behind them.

Turning to makeup, Clinique continues to offer a vast palette of colors and textures, especially in their huge and imposing selection of foundations, many of which feature effective sunscreens. In fact, this category has become the most compelling reason to shop Clinique's makeup collection. Without a doubt the numerous formulas offer something for every skin type and almost every skin color. The shade selection has improved considerably, with more neutrals and a broader range than ever before. You still need to use caution and watch out for peach-toned duds, but for the most part finding a natural-looking match shouldn't be a frustrating experience, and the counter personnel are happy to provide samples.

Although the foundation and powder shades take darker skin tones into account, the blush, eye pencil, and most of the lipstick shades do not. Perhaps that will change in the future, as Clinique beautifully updated their eyeshadow collection with ultra-smooth textures and deeper colors that show up on darker skin.

Compliments are also due for Clinique's updated makeup tester units. They are well-organized, labeled with product name and price, and easily accessible without a salesperson's help. And speaking of salespeople, most of the Clinique consultants we encounter go above and beyond to provide assistance and to answer any questions we had (even if we didn't always agree with their responses). Those white lab coats don't mean medical expertise, but we'll take outstanding customer service over pseudoscience any day!

The bottom line is that, despite a few shortcomings, Clinique is one of the most comprehensive (and comparably affordable) department-store makeup lines, and it is completely understandable why they enjoy such broad appeal.

Note: Clinique is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Clinique does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Team.

For more information about Clinique, call (800) 419-4041 or visit www.clinique.com

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment that Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia and Paula's Choice Skincare made over 30 years ago-to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Good product!

It's hydrating without being oily. Makes the skin look fresh and plump. Medium to high coverage. Good range of shades- I'm fair with yellow undertones and it's hard to find a shade that doesn't make me look sick or orange, but this one nails it!

Reviewed by
Ana R.
like this product

I came to this product as a foundation 'virgin' in my mid-40s, when I began looking for a product that would cover middle-aged blotchiness & redness w/o looking cakey & that would also provide me with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. I've found good match for my skin tone, and it blends easily (with my fingers) and looks natural. However, in summer I switch to Clinique's City Block SPF 25 to get a higher sunscreen rating.

Reviewed by
alix v.

I had high hopes for this make-up, for my oily skin. This was one of the worst foundations I have ever tried. The lightest shade turned orange on my fair skin. The product did not blend easily and dried too quickly to blend. It was noticable on my skin and did not look natural at all. Needless to say, I returned the poduct for a refund.

Reviewed by
My favorite makeup ever

I've worn a variety of Clinique foundations for many years, this product is by far my favorite. It "goes on" like a dream and has excellent coverage for my sometimes splotchy and reddened skin. I can see how very young women would think this foundation is too thick, but for those who need medium to slightly more coverage, Even Better is ideal. For those who have problems with what shade to choose, try the makeup on and check it in daylight. I hope Clinique never discontinues this product.

Reviewed by
Dianne W.
Too yellow

As a fair skinned redhead Ivory (01) was the best match, however it has a definite yellow tone and the slightly darker picks were even more yellow as I found out when I went back to where I purchased it and the sales person told me many women choose too light a color. I have cool undertones rather than warm and this looked odd on my skin. I didn't like the heavier texture either. I'm living on a fixed income since I lost my job so price is important to me, but I use Paula's skin products.

Reviewed by
Even Better Makeup

Trying this as my new foundation. Covers well - but doesn't look thickly applied - and you don't need a lot of it, which is good considering the higher price point. The neutral was actually the perfect color for me - just make sure you blend well, especially along the jawline. I have aging skin but still experience oiliness and a bit of acne in my T-zone. So far, this foundation works well for me.

Reviewed by
Tamara G.
Great coverage but may look heavy

I used to wear EB until I switched to Paula's foundations. EB gives great even coverage but someone commented that the foundation looked heavy and "old lady" on me. Even when I tried to put this on as sheer as possible it still had a heavier look than I wanted. If you like medium coverage tho you will love this. If you prefer something more sheer and younger looking (ie. not matte), you won't like EB.

Reviewed by
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