Even Better Compact Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15

by Clinique  Even Better
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Makeup > Foundations With Sunscreen > Cream-to-Powder Foundation w/ Sunscreen
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Skin type: Normal, Oily

This compact foundation is the cream-to-powder alternative to Clinique's liquid foundation, Even Better Makeup SPF 15. Although a good option for normal to oily skin, the compact-style packaging compromises the effectiveness of the skin-beneficial ingredients and antioxidants over time by repeatedly exposing them to light and air. Therefore, when it comes to anti-aging benefits, the original Even Better Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 is "better" than this compact-style counterpart because its packaging keeps the anti-aging ingredients stable.

Still, for fans of cream-to-powder makeup, this is a very good foundation. It has a demi-matte, powdery finish and the texture is creamy, yet surprisingly lightweight. It blends easily and provides flawless medium coverage as well as mineral-based broad-spectrum sun protection. Best of all, it stays put! Eight to ten hours of wear can be expected, even on oily skin. The extensive shade range has options for very light to very dark skin tones, but the majority of the selection caters to those with light to medium skin tones. All the shades are recommended except Linen (pale peach) and Clove (deep orange brown).

Note: This foundation's rating is due to its overall performance rather than to its SPF rating. Given the 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 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.

  • Silky, cream-to-powder foundation blends easily.
  • Broad-spectrum mineral-based sun protection.
  • Extensive shade range; options for very light to very dark skin tones.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Compact-style packaging won't keep anti-aging ingredients stable.

Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide 3.8% Other: Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica, Phenyl Trimethicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Tribehenin, Squalane, Glycereth-8 Hydroxystearate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Arachidyl Propionate, Ozokerite, Lauryl Methacrylate/Glycol Dimethacrylate Crosspolymer, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate Palmitate, Trihydroxystearin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Simethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite . May contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide.

Clinique was Estee Lauder's first attempt to expand its market with a completely separate line and image. Shortly after its 1968 debut at U.S. cosmetics counters, Clinique became known as the indispensable line for the woman under 30 concerned with breakouts, oily skin, and fragrance-free products (meaning less likely to cause allergic or sensitizing skin reactions). That's likely just what Lauder execs had in mind, because their namesake line's image and positioning was geared more toward the mature woman.

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 evidneced 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 have some fragrant extracts in 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? The answer as to which option is easier is clear. 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 in my book or for this site, which included refusing to send us copies of the allergy studies they maintain have been performed for every product they sell. I find their unwillingness to help odd because, for the most part, I 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. They 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.

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. I 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.

In late 2008 Clinique joined forces with pharmaceutical company Allergan to launch a subset of products labeled as Clinique Medical. These products are sold only at doctor's offices, and are positioned as being scientically-designed to complement those looking for the best skin care after undergoing cosmetic corrective procedures. As expected, despite the link with Allergan and the exclusive-to-doctors retail channel, there isn't anything vastly different about Clinique Medical compared to the regular Clinique line. And the whole marketing angle is just bizarre when you consider that since Clinique's inception they've tied their claims and formulas to the expertise of their "guiding dermatologists". They're selling Clinique Medical as "best in class" skin care diminshes the regard which the company should be holding for several of their other state-of-the-art products (those rated Paula's Pick qualify as such). Needless to say, most of the Clinique Medical products are recommended, but don't think for a second that they're superior to or more professional than the best of Clinique's main line. All Clinique products are fragrance-free unless noted otherwise.

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 Paula’s Choice Research Team.

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

Clinique 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. That single 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 I encountered went above and beyond to provide assistance and to answer any questions I had. Those white lab coats don't mean medical expertise, but I'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.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    1 / 4 Poor
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    1 / 4 Poor
Page of 1
  1. RENEE T.
    Reviewed on Friday, January 02, 2015
    • Results
      2 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    I wanted to love it
    • I bought this foundation for a trip to Japan and wanted to pack minimal and non-messy cosmetics. The coverage is lovely, it wears well, but after using it for two weeks I developed a huge, pus filled zit on the side of my nose and whiteheads across my cheeks. I have combination skin.

  2. Nan
    Reviewed on Thursday, April 10, 2014
    • Recommend
      2 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Results
      1 / 4
    gummy in the t-zone @ hour three
    • An excellent Clinique manager, Amber, at Southcenter Mall near Seattle, applied this to me with expert finesse. That is the good news. Back home in Florida, it turns into a gooey mess in the t-zone, esp. on my nose. {I did not glob it on, FYI.} So disappointed. Costs too much and not anywhere near the matte finish of Revlon One-Step. I am returning this. I was willing to splurge but it needs to be better...much better...for oily skin.

  3. BRENDA a.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, January 14, 2014
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    a "Best" for me
    • Well, I rate this a "Best" foundation for me. I have the alabaster in the liquid Even Better and the shade is too light, the texture too heavy on my skin. The Even Better compact feels much lighter on my skin and the "alabaster" shade is darker than in the liquid, making it a better match for me. It looks natural, has a glow but not a shine and I love the control I have in a compact foundation. I really love this one; it doesn't cake or settle into lines; so glad I tried it!

  4. Renee T
    Reviewed on Monday, July 01, 2013
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Results
      1 / 4
    Disappointing results for combination skin
    • I bought this foundation for a two week trip and wanted to "downsize" my cosmetics bag (I usually use Barely There Tint with MAC powder for my daily foundation). The texture and coverage are lovely, but after wearing it for two weeks I have developed what look like big whiteheads across my cheeks and chin, not to mention a large pimple on the side of my nose. Very disappointing.

  5. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Saturday, May 25, 2013
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    Not very good texture and quality for Clinique
    • This product is an excellent idea but the overall wear quality is not. The shade I used was the same as what I normally wear in the liquid foundation of the same name. Liquid Even Better is better than the compact. The compact is drier on the skin even if you dampen the sponge a bit. In fact, I have Normal/ Combo skin and it was way too drying on my skin even after a good layer of moisurizer w/ sunscreen. Save your money for the liquid Even Better. This is not worth the $$$ you spend on it.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice 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 herself.

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