Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup
Last Updated:12.17.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Is this liquid foundation the acne solution the name implies? No, but it's still a very good foundation for those with oily or breakout-prone skin. It's not a reliable choice for treating acne because the amount of salicylic acid is too low to be of much help and the foundation's pH won't permit exfoliation.

Even though you'll need to resort to other products to manage acne, this foundation certainly won't make matters worse. It has an unbelievably weightless texture that feels silky and sets quickly to a soft matte finish. You'll see an improved skin tone, and this absolutely doesn't feel like you're wearing makeup. Coverage is in the light to medium range, so you'll need to pair this with a concealer for trouble spots or strong redness. This does a formidable job of keeping oily shine in check, too. Yes, the formula contains a type of alcohol that can be problematic for skin, but the amount is low enough that it won't be all that problematic, although it certainly would have been far better without it. Among the shades, to consider carefully are the slightly peach Fresh Beige. The other shades are excellent and best for fair to dark skin tones.


Active: Salicylic Acid 0.5%; Inactive: Methyl Trimethicone, Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Alcohol Denatured, Nylon-12, Butylene Glycol, Talc, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Silica, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Calcium Stearate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Caffeine, Glycerin, Hydroxyapatite, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Quaternium-90, Bentonite, 10-Hydroxydecanoic Acid, Lecithin, Tocopherol, Sodium Chloride, Tromethamine, Propylene Carbonate, Alumina, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica

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
Sort by:
Half Mexican girl

I am still on the fence about the product. I am half mexican-american. It is not easy for me to find foundations without looking like i am wearing a mask considering i am a mixed skin tone. I ended up being the light alabaster coloring 02.I recently broke out with some acne on my chin and on my cheek, which never happens- from immense amount of stress. Also having creasing problem by my nose.. The makeup looks great on me and blends very well. It just doesnt blend with brush, settled in creases.

Reviewed by
Katie L
Quite satisfied

I have been using this for about two years and I am very happy with it. A bottle will last me a full year, so I would call it a good value. It does a very good job covering redness, better than other liquid foundations I have tried, but I do pair it with a concealer for trouble areas sometimes. I use the "fresh alabaster" shade, and it blends with my skin very well and lasts all day long, overall I am very pleased and would definitely recommend it.

Reviewed by
Elizabeth C
denatured alcohol

Paula/staff - I trust your reviews, but I'm just wondering why this received at "good" rating when denatured alcohol is listed as the 4th ingredient, while almost all products get bad ratings with denatured alcohol? Regarding the foundation, I have used this entire line including cleanser, toner, lotion and foundation but it really irritated my skin and made it extremely dry. The coverage of this foundation is also too sheer & watery. It's not awful but its definitely not worth the money

Reviewed by
Beautypedia Team Response

Thanks for your comments! We did not find that the amount of alcohol in this foundation is likely to be problematic. Even though it's the fourth ingredient, we did not detect an alcohol scent or sense of dryness common to products with higher amounts of alcohol.

-Paula's Choice Research Team

Enter a title for your review
First Name, Last Initial
Email Address
How would you rate this product on the following:
500 characters left

Terms of Use

585633-IIS5 v1.0.0.431 10/9/2015 4:47:23 PM