Sunday, 19 April 2015

Review: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion

Today I'll review the last step in Clinique's 3 Step Skincare System, their ultra-famous Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion. This is a light, basic moisturiser that is suitable for very dry to dry combination skin. There is also an oil-free gel version available, Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel, for oily combination to very oily skin, or if you require oil-free skincare for any reason.

productinfo 
Brand: Clinique
Name: Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion (DDML)
Price: £17.50 for a 50ml tube or bottle, £29 for a 125ml bottle with a cap or £30 for a 125ml bottle with a pump.
Where to buy: Clinique counters worldwide, Clinique online (UK and US site), Boots

This light moisturiser is very basic in benefits, but not ingredients. It contains purified water and sesame oil to mimic the oil and water balance of the skin. It doubles the amount of moisture your skin can hold immediately after applying and after 8 weeks of using it twice daily it strengthens the skin's moisture barrier by 54%.
packaging
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All of Clinique's 3 Step Skincare System products have clear packaging so you can see the product inside the bottle. DDML comes in either 50ml or 125ml, in a squeezy tube or plastic bottle. I prefer the squeezy tube packagings because you can control the amount of product you squeeze out and once the product starts to run out, you can cut the tube open to get the rest out with a spatula or cotton bud.
application
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The moisturiser is a light yellow in colour, light in texture and feel, and absorbs quickly, easily and with no greasy residue or film. It has no scent or sun protection, it is very basic.

Clinique recommends you use this moisturiser after cleansing with the Liquid Facial Soap and exfoliating with the Clarifying Lotion. Once your skin has been thoroughly cleansed and exfoliated, there are no dead skin cells or dirt stopping the moisturiser (or any moisturiser) from absorbing and doing its job to the fullest. You then apply any eye creams, serums or 'treatment' moisturisers, which are moisturisers with other benefits/ingredients other than basic hydration, such as anti-ageing, anti-redness, brightening, etc.

Clinique like to show a demonstration where they cleanse and exfoliate one hand with the aforementioned products, then apply DDML. Then on the next hand, they apply DDML on its own. As you rub the hand that has nothing but DDML on, they will comment on the fact it turns a bit whitish as it's being rubbed in, and feels like it's just sitting on top of your skin. They say it is because the dirt and dead skin cells have not been removed, preventing the moisturiser from absorbing properly; however, they also insinuate that this happens if you don't use the Liquid Facial Soap and Clarifying Lotion with DDML, because obviously you should buy the whole set for maximum effectiveness and profit. The same way shampoo and bottles say 'For best results, follow with [same brand] conditioner'.

However, I have used this product with the other 3 Step products, with other facial cleansers and BHA toners, and even with just a facial cleanser before, then the rest of my skincare (no BHA toner). The moisturiser still absorbs fully and doesn't feel like it's sitting on top of the skin and it doesn't usually turn white as it's been rubbed in unless I've waited a little after cleansing and exfoliating. My skin actually sucks this up very quickly, and after applying, my face feels almost matte, like I haven't applied any moisturiser. According to Clinique consultants, this is apparently a good thing because this preps your skin to better absorb the rest of your skincare products.
mythoughts
Just to recap the rather bulky application text above - Clinique would obviously like you to use DDML with the other 3 Step products but the moisturiser works just as effectively and absorbs like normal after using other branded facial cleansers and BHA toners. It's a fine basic moisturiser and considered a cult classic by many; I think one is sold every 7 seconds or something like that, and the factories never stop producing DDML all day and night. However, for me, it's just a basic moisturiser and I would not pay that price for a moisturiser that doesn't brighten skin, ward off ageing or contain any ingredients beneficial to my personal skin type and goal. I would rather spend the money on a proper moisturiser that both hydrates and does the above mentioned, so this product gets 3 out of 5 stars from me.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Review: Clinique Clarifying Lotion Type 2

I have already reviewed Clinique's Clarifying Lotion Type 1, the second step of their 3 Step Skincare System for Very Dry to Dry skin. I was given a free sample of the Type 2 variation after I thought the Type 1 was not effective enough for my skin so I will review and compare the two. However, this will have some copied & pasted info from my last review since much of the information is the same for this product.
productinfo 
Brand: Clinique
Name: Clarifying Lotion Type 2 for Dry to Dry Combination Skin
Price: £16.50 for 200ml or £26 for 400ml
Where to buy: Clinique counters worldwide, Clinique online (UK and US site), Boots

This Clarifying Lotion is a chemical exfoliator, except Clinique likes to use the term 'liquid exfoliator' so they don't scare off customers not used to the term. It contains salicylic acid as a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) to unclog pores and sweep away dead skin cells from the surface of your skin and witch hazel for a slight tingling effect. Types 3 and 4 contain menthol as well, for a really 'clean' feel. I'd also like to note at this point that my skin is used to chemical exfoliators, I use an AHA serum every night.
packaging
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Clinique has a very clinical and scientific brand image, as you can tell by the name. The Clarifying Lotion bottle is clear to show the colour of the lotion, which is different for each type (green #1 for very dry to dry skin, purple #2 for dry combination, pink #3 for oily combination and blue #4 for very oily skin.) However, the colour of the lotion isn't natural, it's added colouring. The Clinique logo and large 'C' is in metallic silver on the full sized product, and black on the deluxe sample packaging.

I heard from a colleague when I worked on a beauty counter that if you leave the Clarifying Lotion in direct sunlight, it turns a weird yellow colour and people return them. If that's the case, they should really make the bottle dark or the opaque colour of the lotion, I don't think people are bothered about seeing the lotion through the bottle. The bottle is pretty boring but I guess it looks sophisticated if you care about brands and high end skincare.
application
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Clinique's recommended method of application is applying this twice a day, morning and night, after cleansing with the Liquid Facial Soap. Soak a cotton ball in the lotion, and sweep the surface of the skin lightly, going in upward motions, avoiding the eye and lip area. Don't rub or go over the same area twice.

However, my way of using this is by soaking a cotton pad with the lotion. Clinique recommend cotton balls rather than pads because pads soak up and apply too much of the lotion, so it could cause a higher level of exfoliation than necessary, thus potentially causing irritation. However, I noted that my skin is used to chemical exfoliation.  I did not notice much extra softness or exfoliation from the Type 1 of this Clarifying Lotion so this is why I am trying the Type 2. I have noticed an extra softness in my skin as well as less dry or dead skin flakes so I think this is the right Type for me. I can tell it is exfoliating my skin chemically, it's not too strong or overly abrasive and my skin has maintained the level of softness and exfoliation since using it continuously. I also noticed that the amount of spots/pimples I got was reduced after using this product. I don't get many spots at all anyway, maybe one a month or less, but even that was reduced. Now I only get a spot every couple of months, and when using the Clarifying Lotion, it's gone in a day or so. I'm sure this is because the BHA unclogs the pores, so it has definitely made a difference in that aspect.
scent
This Clarifying Lotion has a very strong alcohol smell, it's quite pungent. I was a little shocked when I first used it. It contains denatured alcohol so that it evaporates on your skin quickly. If your skin is sensitive to alcohol, Clinique also make an 'Extra Mild Clarifying Lotion' that doesn't contain any alcohol.
mythoughts
This Clarifying Lotion is more suited to my skin type, especially because I am used to chemical exfoliation. My face feels continuously soft and exfoliated with no dry or dead skin flakes. I get even less spots than usual because the BHA unclogs my pores so I believe it's useful for me to have a BHA product in my daily skincare regime. However , I found a cheaper Korean alternative after using this so I don't think I'd recommend this product to people because I like the Korean alternative more and it's cheaper. However, it is harder to buy and you have to wait for delivery so the Clinique one is more widely available worldwide. This product is good for people starting out with chemical exfoliation. 4 out of 5 stars for me, merely because I found a cheaper Korean alternative.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Review: Clinique Clarifying Lotion Type 1

Today I will review the second step in Clinique's 3 Step Skincare System, the Clarifying Lotion in Type 1 for Very Dry to Dry skin.
productinfo 
Brand: Clinique
Name: Clarifying Lotion Type 1 for Very Dry to Dry Skin
Price: £16.50 for 200ml or £26 for 400ml
Where to buy: Clinique counters worldwide, Clinique online (UK and US site), Boots

This Clarifying Lotion is a chemical exfoliator, except Clinique likes to use the term 'liquid exfoliator' so they don't scare off customers not used to the term. It contains salicylic acid as a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) to unclog pores and sweep away dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Type 2 also contains witch hazel and has a slight tingling effect, and Type 3 and 4 contain menthol and witch hazel, for a really 'clean' feel. However because this type is for very dry to dry skin, they didn't put those ingredients in since they may be too harsh for dry skin. I'd also like to note at this point that my skin is used to chemical exfoliators, I use an AHA serum every night. This was my first time using a BHA, however.
packaging
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Clinique has a very clinical and scientific brand image, as you can tell by the name. The Clarifying Lotion bottle is clear to show the colour of the lotion, which is different for each type (green #1 for very dry to dry skin, purple #2 for dry combination, pink #3 for oily combination and blue #4 for very oily skin.) However, the colour of the lotion isn't natural, it's added colouring. The Clinique logo and large 'C' is in metallic silver. The Clarifying Lotion doesn't come in a box so all the information is on the bottle.

I heard from a colleague when I worked on a beauty counter that if you leave the Clarifying Lotion in direct sunlight, it turns a weird yellow colour and people return them. If that's the case, they should really make the bottle dark or the opaque colour of the lotion, I don't think people are bothered about seeing the lotion through the bottle. The bottle is pretty boring but I guess it looks sophisticated if you care about brands and high end skincare.
application
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Clinique's recommended method of application is applying this twice a day, morning and night, after cleansing with the Liquid Facial Soap. Soak a cotton ball in the lotion, and sweep the surface of the skin lightly, going in upward motions, avoiding the eye and lip area. Don't rub or go over the same area twice.

However, my way of using this is by soaking a cotton pad with the lotion. Clinique recommend cotton balls rather than pads because pads soak up and apply too much of the lotion, so it could cause a higher level of exfoliation than necessary, thus potentially causing irritation. However, I noted that my skin is used to chemical exfoliation. When I first used this lotion, I didn't find that it did much to my skin. It didn't feel much softer or more exfoliated, so I switched to using cotton pads instead and I could see improvement slightly. I also do go over some areas more than once, areas I feel need a little more chemical exfoliation like my nose and forehead. I have never had any problems with this and even though I do consider my skin dry, I still felt the Type 1 Clarifying Lotion was a bit too 'weak' for my skin. However, although I didn't notice much extra exfoliation or softness, I did notice that the amount of spots/pimples I got was reduced after using this product. I don't get many spots at all anyway, maybe one a month or less, but even that was reduced. Now I only get a spot every couple of months, and when using the Clarifying Lotion, it's gone in a day or so. I'm sure this is because the BHA unclogs the pores, so it has definitely made a difference in that aspect.

A lot of people call this 'paint stripper' possibly because of the smell (see below) and possibly because I've heard a lot of people don't like this product at all. They say it dries out their skin, ruins it, irritates it, causes breakouts etc. I have not experienced any of that. However, when I first started using an AHA serum, I did get a couple of spots in the first week or so of using. After that, they disappeared and my skin has benefited from the use of an AHA serum ever since. So I wonder if that was the so called 'purging stage', where your skin brings out all the dirt and gunk from underneath the surface and in the pores. I did not experience any purging stage using this product and can use it alongside my AHA serum with no bad effects.
scent
This Clarifying Lotion has a very strong alcohol smell, it's quite pungent. I was a little shocked when I first used it. It contains denatured alcohol so that it evaporates on your skin quickly. If your skin is sensitive to alcohol, Clinique also make an 'Extra Mild Clarifying Lotion' that doesn't contain any alcohol.

mythoughts
Because my skin is used to chemical exfoliation through AHA, I didn't find see much difference in my skin when using this product. I did, however, see a reduction in my already-sparse spots so it's definitely worth me having a product with BHA in it. After I used up all of this Clarifying Lotion, I actually asked for a sample of the Type 2 to see if that made any more difference in exfoliating my skin so that will be the next Clinique 3 Step System review I will do. Then, after using that, I found a cheaper Korean alternative so I will review that. Therefore I don't think I'd recommend this product to people because I like the Korean alternative more and it's cheaper. However, it is harder to buy and you have to wait for delivery so the Clinique one is more widely available worldwide. 3 out of 5 stars for me.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Review: Clinique Mild Liquid Facial Soap

 Today I will review Clinique's Liquid Facially Soap in the Mild type, for Dry Combination skin. I have previously used and reviewed the Extra Mild type but I didn't feel it was effective enough for my skin. Coincidentally I then got a deluxe sample of the Mild type in a Bonus Time gift so I got to try the next type up; here are my thoughts on it.
productinfo 
Brand: Clinique
Name: Mild Liquid Facial Soap
Price: £16 for 200ml
Where to buy: Clinique counters worldwide, Clinique online (UK and US site), Boots
packaging
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The deluxe sample packaging is a clear squeezy tube with a greenish tinge. The metallic silver Clinique logo and the product name and information are on it. The full sized soap is in a firmer plastic bottle with a pump. I actually prefer the squeezy tube because when the product has almost run out, I can cut the tube open to use the remnants. I had the full sized Extra Mild type and a lot got wasted when the pump couldn't reach the bottom and I had to throw it away.
application
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This soap is clearer and more gel like, as opposed to the creamy Extra Mild variant. It lathers up too, again unlike the Extra Mild (although you wouldn't tell from the unnecessary photos I took XD). When I used it with my hands, I put a small amount into my hands, lathered it up a little and washed my face like normal. Now I use a sonic facial brush, I put a little onto the brush head and gently wash my face with the brush in circular motions. It lathers up mildly. My skin felt clean using this soap, not super squeaky clean but just clean. It didn't feel tight or dry immediately afterwards and I can continue my skincare like normal.
mythoughts
This liquid facial soap is more effective for my skin than the Extra Mild type. It makes my skin feel clean but not overly so. There is no film or residue left when I rinse it off. It's a good soap, however, a facial cleanser is a facial cleanser. I wouldn't pay the full price for a facial cleanser, I believe I can get the same results with other, cheaper facial cleansers. 4 out of 5 stars for me.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Review: Clinique Extra Mild Liquid Facial Soap

I have been meaning to review Clinique's 3 Step Skincare System so I will finally make a start with the first step, Clinique Liquid Facial Soap in the Extra Mild type for Very Dry to Dry skin.

Clinique  was originally created by a dermatologist and all their items are 100% fragrance free, allergy tested and dermatologically developed. Every time they come out with a new formula/product, they test it on 600 applicants 12 times and if one person has a reaction just one time, they tweak the formula and try again.

productinfo
Brand: Clinique
Name: Extra Mild Liquid Facial Soap
Price: £16 for 200ml
Where to buy: Clinique counters worldwide, Clinique online (UK and US site), Boots

packaging
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Clinique has quite a clean and clinical brand image so the packaging for this soap is very simple. I guess to a normal person it looks effective and possibly sophisticated due to the brand. For me, being spoilt with cute Korean and Japanese packaging, it is a bit boring for my tastes. XD

The standard Clinique packaging is the large metallic 'C' along with the Clinique logo and product information. The soap doesn't come in a box so all the information is on the bottle, which is good for ease and the environment.

The bottle is clear with a greenish tinge and shows the milky soap through it. It has a pump at the top which is good for hygiene reasons but sometimes I think you can't get all the product at the bottom out of it, leaving some of it wasted. You can lock the pump by turning it so it's good for travelling.

application
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The soap is very milky and doesn't lather. I have used this soap with both my hands and a sonic cleansing brush. I feel the cleansing brush bristles actually get a bit clogged with this soap, and I can't rinse the head properly because it doesn't lather. I notice that my brush head looks dirtier after I use this soap, then if I use a foaming soap to clean the head after, it looks clean again.

I haven't really noticed much difference in the clean feel between using my hands or a sonic facial brush, and I'm pretty sure that any extra softness I get from using the brush is due to the bristles, not the soap. Even though my skin is quite dry, I don't feel like this soap cleans my skin effectively. I don't want a squeaky clean feel but this doesn't make my skin feel clean enough.
mythoughts
If your skin is very dry and you don't get on with normal face soaps, you could try this and see how you get on with it. However, even though my skin is dry, I don't feel it cleans effectively enough. After using this I received a sample of the Mild version so I will review that next so you can see the differences. 2 out of 5 stars for me.