Clinique Fall 2008: Game, Set, Matte

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

They’re baaaaaack. No, I’m not talking about poltergeists, Carol Anne. I’m referring to a resurgence of matte makeup products. Shine and shimmer have dominated makeup for the last several years, but more and more matte lipsticks, eye shadows and blushes appear each day.


MAC heralded the trend with last fall’s Matte2 collection, but since then a number of lines have re-embraced the look.

Just this month Clinique released the Modern Matte collection with its Colour Surge Eye Shadow Stay Matte ($17.50, available in nine different shades).

If you don’t have much experience with matte eye shadows, the Stay Matte shades may be worth a try because the colors are less intense than those in the MAC Matte2 line. I think that makes them a little easier to use.

Stay Matte’s slightly translucent colors result in sheer, soft looks that are very forgiving — fantastic for makeup newbies still working on their brush and application skills — yet the shades themselves are easily buildable if you’re looking for more intense color. I have two of the darker shades, Chocolate Chip (cool brown) and Midnight (soft black), which I like to pair with something neutral for easy work looks. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

In addition to the Stay Matte eye shadows, the Clinique Modern Matte collection features a few other choice makeup pickings:

For Cheeks

Many cream blushes don’t last very long on cheeks, but Clinique’s Blushwear Cream Stick ($18.50) in Very Blush stays put for hours. This limited edition cream-to-powder shade is super easy to use and produces lovely, natural cheeks, even when I’m in a rush. I just dot the stick directly onto the apples of my cheeks, blend and voila — a natural, plum-colored flush. Oh, yeah, and it’s oil-free, to boot. Loving this! Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+

For Lips

Clinique consistently does one thing really well when it comes to lip products: they make ’em moisturize like a mofo. Just like their Glosswear and Superbalm formulas, their new High Impact Lip Colour lipsticks ($14) will keep your lips feeling soft and supple, and each of the available shades contains SPF 15. The shade I have, Red-y to Wear, is a shiny, highly pigmented tomato red. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+

Defining Lip Liner ($14) delivers definition and color with Clinique’s trademark moisturization. It’s a creamy texture and glides without tugging. I like pairing Pomegranate (a dusty rose pink) with Clinique’s Bamboo Pink Glosswear. I also like Red-y or Not, which works perfectly with Red-y to Wear. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B+

Swatches from left to right: Red-y or Not, Pomegranate, Red-y to Wear, Very Blush, Midnight, Chocolate Chip

I was pleasantly surprised by this collection. Mattes are usually something either loved or hated, but I think Clinique did a good job with these. They’re user friendly and highly wearable — two things I really appreciate.


Want to play with Clinique’s mattes? Check ’em out at your nearby Clinique counter or online.

Heya! Happy Monday! I went with vampire lips today and Red-y to wear in homage to Breaking Dawn.

Don’t forget to submit your personal beauty horror story today in the book giveaway! I’ll be picking winners at random tonight. πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 28 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Laurie says:

    With the exception of the blush stick, nothing in this collection is really doing it for me.

    I think I’m on a one-track Cult of Cherry mind right now:)

    Lauries last blog post..Ms. Bunny Ears

  2. Asta says:

    What do you think of Breaking Dawn so far?!

  3. Beth says:

    I really like Clinique Makeup and I’m very tempted by the Midnight Black Eyeshadow. I’m gonna have to go and see if we’re getting this collection over here!


    Beths last blog post..Random Beth Facts #2

  4. Dao says:

    I find Clinique eyeshadows too sheer for me. As they said, “After you go MAC, you can’t go back!” Blush stick looks interesting though, I may give it a try. Truth is I haven’t been to Clinique for ages! LOL at the fangs πŸ˜€

    Daos last blog post..Sephora Beauty Fever Palette in Action

  5. Glosslizard says:

    Nice red! Nice fangs! πŸ™‚

    Most of the Clinique line is like-but-not-love for me, the big exception being the long lasting lipglosses! I don’t like how sticky they feel, but I love love love the spf and how long they do indeed last!

    Ooh, I have a question for you (and anyone else who cares to chip in their two cents)! Black peep-toe pumps and red nail polish! Fab combination, but what color polish does one wear with red peep-toes? Red seems too matchy! I’ll be wearing a black and white dress with the aforementioned shoes, and I’m pondering OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark on the toes. Too goth? Just right? Something else? And should the fingernails match? Complement? Be natural? Help! πŸ™‚

  6. Brittany says:

    For some reason Clinique just doesn’t do it for me. I don’t even know why. Although, I do like the look of the blush stick. I might have to go track it down at all the mall, just to test it out at the very least.

    Cute red lips! I never have the courage to rock them during the day.

  7. Melinda says:

    Thank goodness, I love shimmery shades, but this great for a natural look πŸ˜€

    Melindas last blog post..Neutogena Visibly Even

  8. Karen says:

    Hi Laurie,

    I’m ready to join the cult, too! Sign me up. πŸ™‚

  9. Karen says:

    Hi Asta,

    I just got into Jacob’s section. TEAM JACOB! πŸ™‚

    So far… I dunno. I think I’ll have to go further in to decide how I feel about it. I’m trying to read it slowly so I can make it last!

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Beth,

    It’s a good one, and a super easy way to get a smokey day look! I hope you guys get it!

  11. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    HA! I was so wishing I had a set of fangs when I went to the midnight book release party.

    Regarding the nails, hmm, I need more details. Are we taking red leather or or red patent leather?

    But off the bat I’m so far thinking a pale shade that complements the OPI shade, with the light shade on the toes and the dark shade on the fingers.

    You could always go into the metallics, too — silver or gold could be an easy neutral shade.

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Brittany,

    The makeup is something you’ll either love or hate, I’ve noticed. However, even if you’re not usually wowed by the line, I gotta say that you need to at least try the Glosswears. They’re great.

    LOL, those lips unfortunatley disappeared after my lunch!

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Melinda,

    Are you a matte fan? πŸ™‚

  14. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    Sometimes I like the sheerness of them. They’re easy to work with when I’m in a hurry. πŸ™‚

  15. Melinda says:


    Ohhh yes πŸ˜€ lol
    Did you see the French Vanilla? Very natural, and it’s kind of making me hungry…lol.

    Melindas last blog post..Neutogena Visibly Even

  16. Glosslizard says:

    We’re talking bright red patent leather, and definitely a peep-toe as opposed to an open toe. I was actually thinking that the Chanel Gold Fiction polish would be really hot with the overall outfit, but I just don’t think I’m prepared to spend the $$$ on it! πŸ˜‰

  17. Marisol says:

    You crack me up!

    Stop posting all this make up porn. All I can concentrate on is the new quads from MAC.

    Marisols last blog post..Product review – MAC & MUFE plus a bit of Pureology

  18. Karen says:

    Hi Melinda,

    Me too! The same thing happened when I eyed Chocolate Chip. πŸ™‚

  19. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    Hmm, I guess if you plan on wearing it a lot you can totally justify the $$$! Otherwise grab a bottle of Sally Hansen polish and use the money for a fantastic blow out instead. πŸ™‚

    Since we’re talking red patent (hot!) I say gold on the toes and a light complementary shade on the fingers.

  20. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    LOLOL! I should find a way to put some boom-chika-wa-wa music in the back ground!

  21. ines says:


    as a lover of all red lippies (although holy grail is still MAC russian red)… i will probably end up buying that duty free on my way back to montreal.

    total makeup lemming!

  22. Eru says:

    I love, love love the blush! The shade is sooo pretty πŸ˜€ Hope these arrive soon to Spain. Are there matte lippies as well? Red-y to wear looks lovely but I thought these lipsticks were matte, uhm.
    By the way, hope tabs is doing right πŸ˜€ I had to take my bunny to the vet this last weekend and she was so scared that she had a similiar accident, so I definitely understand you.

    Erus last blog post..Gotcha! Tigi Superstar Shampoo~~

  23. gio says:

    This collection doesn’t really do it for me. I like the blush stick though. The shade is very pretty.

    gios last blog post..5 crazy beauty tips that work

  24. Jaimie says:

    That red lip is killer!

    xoxo Jaimie
    Remember! This is the last week to enter my contest. Don’t miss out!

    Jaimies last blog post..Trash The Dress

  25. Leeng says:

    Hi Karen,
    Can the eyeshadows be used wet for eyeliner or are they too sheer? I’m in love with the black shade and would like it to be as versatile as possible.
    P.S. I LOVE your reviews and blog. Thanks to you I bought my first sheer but pale lipglosses from Chanel. We have similar coloring (I’m Puerto Rican) and when I saw how pretty they looked on you I decided to give them a try.

  26. Amanda says:

    Karen, love the red lips. so hot. I’m also intrigued by the blush stick. I love me some cream (or gel) blush and I don’t have a plum, LOL.

    Glosslizard-I’m going to chime in with my 2 cents. πŸ™‚ I say go for a black on your toenails. I love to match my toenails to dresses for special occasions. then for fingers I would do a “pumped up” sheer/neutral something like essie nude beach or tennis corset if you have those.

  27. Glosslizard says:

    Thanks for the advice, Amanda and Karen! πŸ™‚

    I still like the idea of dark polish, but I found a pretty, muted gold today (OPI Up Front & Personal) that I think will complement the red without clashing. I haven’t totally decided on fingernails yet, I think I’ll have to wait until I have the shoes in my hot little hands (tomorrow), I’ll try on the whole outfit and see what develops!

  28. betsy says:

    I want everything in this collection!

    betsys last blog post..Foie-gras this!

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