12.02.2014
9
953
Stay Matte Oil-Free Makeup
Rating
$23
Category:Makeup > Sensitive Skin Products > Foundations without Sunscreen > Liquid Foundation
Last Updated:12.02.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This fragrance-free liquid foundation is oil-free as claimed and contains a beautiful array of silky, lightweight ingredients that won’t make oily skin or oily areas feel slick or look greasy. Its soft, slightly fluid cream texture is easy to blend and provides no less than medium coverage from the get-go. This is not the foundation to pick if you want sheer to light coverage, though we suppose you could mix this with a moisturizer to sheer the results. It finish is absorbent, long-wearing, and noticeably matte—any dry areas will be magnified, so be sure to moisturize those spots first. Ideally, this foundation is tailor-made for skin that’s oily to very oily all over, as those skin types are most likely to be thrilled with how this looks and wears. It does a formidable job keeping excess shine in check, though you may find you need to blot or powder at some point during your day.

The range of shades is extensive, impressive, and mostly warm-toned, so you’ll see more yellow to gold tones than pink or rosy tones. The only shade to avoid is Deep Neutral which is strongly peach. Honey is slightly peach but workable, as is Creamwhip. The darkest shades (Spice, Clove, and Amber) are good for dark skin tones though they’re quite similar. The shade options for very fair skin are limited, but still worth a look. Those with light to tan skin tones will be happiest with the palette.

Claims
Ingredients

Water, Methyl Trimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Nylon-12, Silica, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Cholesterol, Glycerin, Zinc Stearate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Caffeine, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Lecithin, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Dimethicone PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Laureth-7, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Potassium Sorbate, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Triethyl Citrate, Hydroxyapatite, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Chloride, Alcohol, Dipropylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Nylon-6, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Bismuth Oxychloride, Mica

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 Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

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03.13.2015
Finally a great matte foundation

I have very oily skin however, not acne prone. I have tried several liquid foundations (matte included), and have found that I am extremely oily and the makeup looks caked on by the end of the day (only using a little). With this foundation I found the perfect match at the Clinique counter at Macy's. I love the way it looks on my face and it definitely keeps me matte & controls my oil.I use a primer before& that's all (the smell is a little awkward though).

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Recommend
Reviewed by
L
02.26.2015
unflattering!

It has good coverage but then becomes patchy, and highlights wrinkles and lines around my eyes that I never knew I had.Maybe its because I am applying it over acne treatments and salicylic acid. Good colour match though.

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Reviewed by
aimee d.
02.27.2015
Paula's Choice Research Team Response

Seriously, isn't that the worst? Great color, but it doesn't perform like you need it to. :P - Nathan

—Admin
12.18.2014
Feels very heavy, unnatural looking

This foundation is NOT matte on me. It has a bit of a shine when it sets that gets worse throughout the day. It doesn't look like my skin, either. I prefer sheer, airy foundations, and this feels super creamy and heavy. I know it's supposed to be the exact opposite...but I'm writing an honest review. If this had more of a gel texture I'd probably like it more. I have to wear this over sunscreen, and it gets greasy from sunscreen. Even on bare skin, it's not matte.

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Recommend
Reviewed by
Scarlett A.
12.09.2014
Perfect Foundation for Oily/Combo skin

This is the perfect foundation for me! It has a beautiful matte finish on my oily/combination skin. There are many shades available to ensure you find the perfect shade match. Be sure to go to Sephora to test the product & find the right shade for your skin. It's a medium to full coverage foundation, and looks best when applied with a foundation brush. If you're opting for makeup PERFECTION, use this in combination with the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. Your skin will look perfect for hours.

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Reviewed by
Soledad
08.14.2014
Best Waterproof Foundation

I wore this in Mexico on vacation in the pool and ocean with sunscreen and bare minerals, mineral veil and it lasted all day long! This even lasted after my nap! It did not budge. The colors are pretty good and coverage is perfect. You don't need to apply a lot to get a nice even color on my face. I wish the price was a little lower, but it lasts a long time. I can't decide if this makes my skin breakout slightly or what is going on. I won't use anything else though.

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Reviewed by
Liz B.
07.12.2014
not so happy

I do not agree. I have oily skin, I put the foundation on very carefully in daylight but after about 2 hours when i look in the mirror I see places on my skin where makeup has vanished, it looks like little stains of make up combined with spots of my own skin. I do not like this. maybe it is just my skin type that doesn't make it work.

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Reviewed by
matilda
05.03.2013
Agree with reviews

I agree with both the cosmetic cops and other two reviewers. NOT if you want light coverage, but it does give my oily skin a smooth, nearly flawless appearance and even in the high humidity of Southern Louisiana I can go about 4 - 5 hours before blotting. Unlike many other oil-control foundations I've tried, it never looks chalky, but gives a 'glowing' finish.

Recommend
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Reviewed by
CBS
03.20.2013
works very well for me too

I have been using this product for the winter months for several years - it blends well with a brush or sponge, and the color works well for my skin (neutral 09 shade). A little bit goes a long way - so it lastslong enough that it is a pretty good value overall. Would definately recommend...

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Reviewed by
gigi m.
12.28.2012
Works really well for me.

Finally a foundation that doesn't break me out! I was introduced to this product earlier this summer and I love it. It controls oil for most of the day and goes on really well. What I have found with Clinique is that the make up works for me, but the skin care line does not unfortunately. Everyone's skin is different so ymmv. Overall a great product!

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Reviewed by
Alicia K.
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