Perfectly Real Makeup
Last Updated:12.02.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Perfectly Real Makeup is a near-perfect choice for those who want a smooth, lightweight foundation that fulfills its promise of looking as natural as possible. This foundation has a slightly creamy texture that quickly morphs into a soft matte finish once it’s blended. Clinique states that Perfectly Real Makeup “feels like nothing at all.” It isn’t quite that light—you will notice it’s there—but your skin will look improved without appearing made-up. It provides sheer to light coverage, so you still need a concealer for red spots or dark circles. The matte finish makes this product preferable for normal to oily skin. It can definitely exaggerate any dry spots, so it’s important for your skin to be completely smooth before application. Almost all of the shades are gorgeous, neutral options with no strong overtones of peach, pink, ash, or rose. There are options for very light skin, as well as some beautiful darker shades.


Water Purified, Cyclopentasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Silica, Dimethicone, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Quarternium-90 Bentonite, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Coconut Acid, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Lecithin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Nylon-12, Ethylhexylglycerin, Acrylates Copolymer, Phenyl Methicone, Polysilicone-11, Propylene Carbonate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Laureth-7, Trifluoromethyl C1-4 Alkyl Dimethicone, C9-15 Fluoroalcohol Phosphates, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Talc, Silica Silyate, Magnesium Myristate, Diphenyl Carbomethoxy Acetoxy Naphthopyran, Lauryl Methacrylate/Glycol Dimethacrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Nylon-6, Alumina, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines, Chromium Hydroxide Green

Brand Overview

Clinique At-A-Glance

Strengths: A few excellent moisturizers and serums; excellent sunscreens; very good cleansers and eye makeup removers; unique mattifying products; impressive selection of foundations, good concealers; some remarkable mascaras; much-improved eyeshadows, lip colors and blush formulas.

Weaknesses: Bar soaps (which can clog pores and dull skin); alcohol-based toners; unfortunate choice of jar packaging for antioxidant-loaded moisturizers.

Estee Lauder-owned Clinique 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). Unfortunately, terms like “hypoallergenic” and “dermatologist tested” aren’t regulated by the FDA and can mean anything—thus, you still need to rely on the ingredient list to tell you whether their product contains any ingredients with the potential to irritate skin.

That inconvenient fact aside, Clinique is leading the way with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums, plus some formidable makeup and more than a few excellent sunscreens. While Clinique has some products that we see as missteps for reasons discussed in their reviews, more than ever, what they offer is quite good (just have realistic expectations, as some of their claims go beyond what their products are capable of).

Turning to makeup, Clinique continues to offer a vast palette of colors and textures, especially with their enormous selection of foundations—many of which feature effective sunscreens. Without a doubt, the numerous formulas offer something for every skin type and almost every skin color—though the blushes, eye makeup and lip colors are frequently not pigmented enough for deeper skin tones.

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 new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment 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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great finish & shades

Paula is right, this foundation is as close to your own skin as it gets! I have oily combination skin and this works for my whole face. I am also very light and have had problems matching my skin without looking like I'm wearing a mask. The lightest shade of this is still just slightly too dark for me, but it's the lightest I have found yet!

Reviewed by
Lauren S
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