Clinique Superbalanced Silk Makeup SPF 15 in 08 (MF-N) - swatches and first impressions


This morning I've been sitting here writing my review of the Too Faced Peanut Butter & Jelly Palette and it's turned into an epic post, so I've put that aside for now and instead decided to write this little first impressions one because it will be a lot shorter.

You may remember that I tested two Clinique foundations recently in one of my sachet posts, and I promised to do a swatch/first impressions post on both of them so here I am with the first one.

Of the two, this foundation is the one I liked the least: it's too thick and paint-like for my personal tastes, but it has had some great reviews (see eg Mecca's website) so that could just be because I like my foundations very light and more dewy.

It retails for $52 AUD for 30ml so it's not the most expensive foundation on the market, but it's not cheap either.

I received two sachets of shade 08, which is on the light side of medium and has neutral undertones. While the colour isn't a bad match on my light-medium to medium skintone in terms of depth, the undertone is completely wrong on me (you'll see it almost pulls a purple-grey in the swatches), which of course doesn't help because you can see it on my yellow-based skin - but I'll try not to let that impact my comments.

There's an unblended and partially blended swatch in natural light (outdoors):

Indirect sunlight:

Direct sunlight:


This is a first impressions post: I've only used the foundation a few times, and unless I've worn something for a good two weeks and in different weather conditions/with different primers, I don't consider it to be a proper review. Still, first impressions posts are often useful so I'd like to give you my thoughts.

The product is described as a silky smooth and ultra-fluid foundation that's silk-enriched. It claims to naturally perfect the complexion with an undetectable, 'no-makeup-makeup' finish.

I have to say, I don't agree with that. As mentioned above, this foundation is thicker than what I'm used to and it feels like paint whenever I apply it. You can see in the above swatches (the partially blended ones) that it looks a bit like paint, too. Even when I apply just a little and warm it in my fingers first, it takes more effort to blend than I would like and I need to work at it more than I do other products.

Once it's on, I do agree that it gives a reasonably natural finish (provided that you don't use too much) but I still feel that it looks like a mask on me. That's probably partly because the undertone is wrong and you're always going to 'see' a foundation that's not quite the right colour, but it's also because I'm not used to something with this much coverage. I'm a tinted moisturiser kind of girl.

One thing to note is that it sets well on my arm but it doesn't set as well on my face - perhaps because it's mixing with the sunscreen I'm currently using, which is a little greasy - so I do need to set this if I want my powder products to blend over the top.

If I don't wear that sunscreen or mix in a drop of oil (which I tried to thin out the formula), it dries to an overly powdery finish on me and it just doesn't look good. Note, though, that I have dry skin - which tends to make 'satin finish' foundations look powdery if they're not formulated right - so if you have normal to oily skin then this might look more satin on you.

The good news is that this product doesn't sit in pores, which is one of the big things I look for in a foundation, so that's a huge plus and something to keep in mind.

Overall, it's worth noting that I hated this product to start with but liked it better when I tried it with oil on the second use and then when I wore my greasy sunscreen on the third. It's certainly not a product I would buy and I wouldn't recommend it if you have dry skin, but I'll use up my sachets because it's not awful.

Oh! The SPF 15. If you're going to include sunscreen, you should include a lot of it. Otherwise don't bother. That's just what I think.


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