Sunday, 25 March 2012

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream SPF 30

RRP: £25 for 40ml
# of shades available: 3 (with the third being an online exclusive)

--What does the promo say?--
"NEW Age Defense BB Cream SPF 30 is a medium to full coverage cream that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, helps conceal imperfections and enhances skin's complexion. The formula calms skin and helps protect against UV and environmental damage while working to help balance the skin, and provides oil and shine control to extend the life of the foundation all day."

The pale green and silver ensemble is so far, so Clinique. Nothing outstanding here. Metal lid feels luxurious yet secure. Squeezing out of product from bottle is very easy to control.

The product insert gives a range of possible uses, so you need to apply it as you see fit. Either way, you start by applying it all over your face. This way it serves as a sunscreen (and therefore an anti-ageing product), concealer and moisturiser, which also claims to soothe, protect against environmental aggressors such as pollution, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and play the role of a foundation. So you can just stop there. OR, after you've applied it, you can use it as a primer - so you can continue applying the rest of your makeup as normal.

I find that shade 01 matches my skin tone very well, although if I had one teeny tiny criticism it would be that there is a slight off-white effect, which comes from the sunscreen element. This can be remedied through the artful application of powder - I'm currently using Benefit Dandelion and Arbonne pressed powder. Skins that are even paler could potentially just leave it at that, though.

Coverage is excellent. For me, the use of powder, while necessary to regulate the colour slightly, is not needed for extra coverage, while the use of concealer need only be minimal (and maybe even not needed at all on good days).

--Texture and consistency--
Is similar to a light foundation in its consistency; it's not creamy enough to match a tinted moisturiser, and yet doesn't feel at all sticky. I'm guessing the lack of total creaminess is due to the sun-protection properties.

Slightly chalky perhaps, but ultimately smells clean. Nothing from the ingredients list jumps out as being dominant.

--Effects on the skin--
Wow-factor effect comes mainly from the coverage provided as well as the longevity of the product (see below). Face feels moisturised and oiliness feels controlled, but no more than with the use of my regular ensemble of products. Skin is not irritated by the use of the product. Longer-term use and testing would be required to see if it really protected against environmental aggressors or provided an anti-ageing benefit. Sun protection is excellent.

Once applied, this doesn't need to be touched up. For this reason, it works well as a concealer, primer, foundation and sunblock.

--Value for money--
While I was initially a little shocked at the price, this comes into the same price range as foundations by Stila and Dermalogica. For tinted moisturisers the brand comparison is even better, falling into the same bracket as tinted moisturisers by Laura Mercier and Yves Saint Laurent. The appeal also comes from the fact that this BB cream, unlike a lot of Western offerings, actually seems to be a real contender to the multi-function products found in Asia rather than just being a tinted moisturiser under a different name. To recap, the Clinique BB Cream offers 9 separate functions (1. Concealer; 2. Anti-ageing over the long term; 3. Reduce the appearance of lines in the short term; 4. Defends against environmental aggressors;  5. Soothes; 6. Moisturises; 7. Controls oil; 8. Foundation; 9. Makeup primer). On the downside, though, this is expensive for a BB cream and you do have the feeling that Clinique are capitalising on the brand's image just a tiny bit: the only BB creams falling into this price bracket are the most premium lines from genuine Asian brands Missha and Skin79 (their normal products cost less than this). However, I would probably still buy it with my own money (I was sent a PR sample this time) due to its fabulous coverage, good colour match, ability to stay on the skin without turning my face into an oil slick, the fact that a little goes a long way, and the idea that while it is in the same price bracket as the brands mentioned above, it does so much more.

perfect partners
Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour Balm, £16
Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion, from £16.50
Quickliner for Eyes Intense, from £13

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