The Clinique Nutcracker Suite Act I Three-Piece Holiday Collection Is Totally En Pointe

Published in: Clinique, Coastal Scents, Makeup, Product Reviews

Clinique The Nutcracker Suite Holiday collection

Even though the pink and glitter in The Nutcracker Suite, Clinique’s new ballet-inspired holiday collection, are totally en pointe, they will not help you pirouette your way to ballet greatness.

Clinique Nutcracker Act 1

Wearing the Eye and Cheek Compact, Chubby Stick Baby Tint and Blended Face Powder from the Clinique Nutcracker Act I, part of The Nutcracker Suite holiday collection

But I can see why you might think they should…

After all, it does make a certain kind of sense to think that since your makeup looks like a ballerina’s from The Nutcracker, you should probably be able to dance like one, too, and then you bust out some pliés on your creaky knees and scowl at your ballet teacher when she says something snarky about your butt sticking out too far!

Er, well…maybe that’s just me and my childhood dance trauma.

Clinique Nutcracker Act 1

The Clinique Nutcracker Act 1, part one of two sub-collections in the Clinique holiday collection

Clinique worked with the American Ballet Theater to choreograph the collection’s color palette, mining the ballet company’s Nutcracker costume archives for inspiration.

The five-piece Nutcracker Suite collection is divided into two parts — Act I and Act II — with lots of dainty pinks and plums and a sprinkling of silver glitter finer than the finest snowflakes.

The products I’m looking at today are from Act I, which was inspired by the Waltz of the Snowflakes sequence in The Nutcracker.

Two words: pink and glitter.

Clinique Nutcracker Act 1 Compact

The Nutcracker Act I Compact ($36)

Truth be told, I was afraid there was going to be entirely too much pink up in the mix with these three pieces — and I’m a girl who loves pink! — but there’s a lot of it here.

In The Nutcracker Suite Act I compact ($36), for instance, there’s a shimmery pink eyeshadow with silver glitter and a rosy pink blush with a satin finish.

Then there’s the creamy light pink Chubby Stick Baby Tint Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Budding Blossom ($17).

And then there’s the Blended Face Powder in Snowflake Dreams ($24), a bluish pink highlighter/body powder with large flecks of silver glitter.

Yo, it’s a LOT of pink.

Clinique Snowflake Dreams Blended Face Powder

The Snowflake Dreams Blended Face Powder, $24

But beside the other colors in The Nutcracker Suite Act I compact, I think the preponderance of pink makes sense, where it acts as a supporting background color, kind of like the dancers in the chorus, for the shimmery, silvery taupe eyeshadow (like a less frosty version of MAC Satin Taupe), the glittery grayish black eyeshadow (super pretty when it’s blended on top of a creamy black kohl base) and the frosty whitish beige eyeshadow.

Altogether, they aren’t your typical red/gold/black holiday steeze, and I like ’em for that.

Clinique Budding Blossom Chubby Stick Baby Tint Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm

The Budding Blossom Chubby Stick Baby Tint Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm ($17)

With glittery eyeshadows like these, you run the risk of some fallout, but Clinique dialed the glitter down a few notches here, and it prevents any full-scale glitter bombs. I notice very little fallout from any of the shadows in the compact.

Clinique Nutcracker Suite Act 1 Swatches from the left: beige, pink, taupe and black eyeshadows from the Act I compact; pink blush from the Act I compact; Snowflake Dreams Face Powder, Budding Blossom Chubby Stick Baby Tint

Swatches from the left of the beige, pink, taupe and black eyeshadows in the Act I compact; the pink blush from the Act I compact; and the Snowflake Dreams Face Powder and Budding Blossom Chubby Stick Baby Tint

The only time I’ve felt a little iffy about the glitter sitch in Act I has been while using the Blended Face Powder.

That piece is CRAZY glittery.

Like, if you aren’t careful when you apply it and wear it during the daytime outside, people might assume that you were out all night clubbing and just haven’t had time to go home and wash your face yet.

So yeah…use a light touch with the Blended Face Powder.

Clinique Nutcracker Act 1

I’m also wearing Eyelure Texure 117 false lashes

I also think the glitter in the collection is offset by the smooth, satin pink blush (not patchy at all) and the sheer, moisturizing, light pink lip balm (lasts a couple of hours), both which should see a lot of use through winter and into the spring.

Clinique Nutcracker Act 1

If you’d like to take a twirl with The Nutcracker Suite, you can find the entire collection pirouetting now on Clinique counters and online.


It’s holiday tea time at Trader Joe’s!

Gurl! It’s that time of year when I can’t go into a Trader Joe’s without leaving with at least a little something tasty and holiday-themed.

You have GOT to try these holiday teas if you haven’t already. They’re so tasty! Plus, the only way I seem to be able to finish everything I need to finish during the day now is if I’m caffeinated up to here.

LOL! It’s true though…

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Estefania says:

    I think this might be just a tad too pink for me! Haha. I totally identify with that under-caffeinated raccoon on the box, btw. That’s me all day every day!
    Karen, are those the lashes you posted about in Unsung Heroes? They look BOMB.

    • Karen says:

      It’s pretty pink, LOL! But it’s very wearable. Like Clinique would ever do an un-wearable collection, though! Errrthing I’ve ever tried from them is easy to wear.

      So, no, these aren’t the exact same lashes from the Unsung Heroes post. Same brand though! You should try them. Affordable and really comfy. I’ll have closeups either today or tomorrow of them!

  2. Sunny says:

    When I first saw the collection, I dismissed it for being too pink. Now that I’ve seen the palette on you, I’m beginning to think pink is an excellent idea LOL Not sure about the powder though. I do like highlighters, but a glittery loose powder is probably not for me!
    Sunny recently posted … Get This Before It’s Too Late: Laura Mercier Mini Caviar Stick Eye Colour Collection

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sunny,

      You could so rock the pink. Plus it would match purr-fectly with your the of your kitties. 🙂 Studies show that kitties prefer their assistants in pink makeup. OK, not really. But that would be rad if it was true!

      Do you ever wear pink your eyes? It can be surprisingly flattering!

      • Sunny says:

        Haha the kitties here don’t seem to care what I wear as long as I cater to their EVERY whim!

        I actually own some pinks in quads, and they’re fine when paired with the right shades. Still, I just never go “OMG I’ve got to get me some more of that PINK” if you know what I mean 😉

        • Karen says:

          Haha! What have the kitties been diva-ing about lately? Tabs is all about me carrying him up and down the stars. He also insists on kitty massage every night. I have to do a deep tissue around his head and his neck otherwise he gets FUSSY and scratches at the stairs just as I’m about to fall asleep. CATS!

          • Sunny says:

            Seriously? Carrying him up and down the stairs??? Wow! Tabs, you win!

            Mine haven’t developed any new tricks, although they are certainly not getting tired of the old ones. We don’t have central heating (it’s more like an American thing), so I usually turn the heater on in one room and keep the door closed. They somehow figured out the door has a voice-controlled system: when they meow, mama comes running! Kissa has gone as far as to meowing when she’s still halfway across the house, so I have to open the door and wait for her to sashay across the hallway. Brilliant :p

          • Karen says:

            I think of it as an upper body workout. It’s like doing curls but with a really squishy, furry set of weights.

            Do you wonder if cats purposefully train us to respond to cater to their every want and need? It seems like it works that way. They whine, we do whatever they want. Or maybe that’s just how it applies to crazy cat ladies.

            Aww, I’m so jelly that Kissa is your third! It’s only a matter of time before that fourth one comes around. Seriously. Gateway cat. YOU HAZ ONE.

  3. Tulipthecat says:

    Whoa…that’s a lot of pink! I love pink but it might just be too much plus I’m afraid of too much glitter. I always get a little to carried away with pink blush.

    I’m totally into teas right now. I drink coffee all day at my desk in order to keep me awake and focused. I get easily distracted. I’ll have to go to Trader Joe’s to get some of that tea!

    • Karen says:

      The only thing that is cray glittery is the face powder. But the eyeshadows aren’t too sparkly at all! Swatch it… You never know if you’ll fall in love!

      Speaking of pink blush, do you have a favorite shade? Lately I’ve been into one by Chanel called Pink Explosion.

      Have fun at TJs! While you’re there check out the Ladyfinger cookies. They are DELISH!

      • Tulipthecat says:

        Good to know. I’ll have to go and swatch it next time I’m at the mall. The pink blush I’m totally into right now is Make Up Geek’s Secret Admirer (which is more purple) and Rendezvous (which is more pinkie purple). Both are great though!

        Oh I’ll have to look for the ladyfinger cookies to eat with my tea!

        • Karen says:

          They are DELICIOUS. They had samples with some fluffy chocolate mousse thing-a-ma-bobber (I can’t remember the name) at TJs and I had to literally tear myself away from the sample cart. So good. They’re super fluffy and they melt in your mouth.

          OH, and P.S. If you ever feel like you’ve gone too heavy with your blush you can always tone it down by stippling your foundation brush on top.

          • tulipthecat says:

            That sample cart has gotten me to buy all sorts of things. All their samples are super yummy!

            The person at the mac counter told me to use a mineralized highlight/blush/powder I had bought that I can’t remember the name of

          • Karen says:

            Yeah they are. They have a knack for combining flavors. Do you follow TJ’s on instagram? They have good recipe ideas sometimes.

          • Tulipthecat says:

            They have an instagram account? Well then I’ll have to follow them!

  4. MonicaP says:

    The Clinique kit is sooo pretty! And had I not purchased the Naked 3, I think I’d be all over it.

    Hmm, Vanilla and Cinnamon Black tea sounds oh, so good to me. Definitely need to do a TJ run – soon!

    MonicaP recently posted … 8 Stocking Stuffer Ideas For Her From Target – $15 And Under

  5. Agata says:

    That palette looks so beautiful on you. Your eyes look stunning! I think it might look too pale on me though…I don’t know.

    I wish I had a Trader Joe’s store nearby so I could try these teas. But not even one store less than an hour away.
    Agata recently posted … Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is a real Trooper

    • Karen says:

      Hi Agata,

      You’ll have to do a mega run when you go to TJs. Put these teas on your list, along with the Dark Chocolate Stars. THEY ARE THE BOMB DOT COM!!

  6. Fancie says:

    Just look at all this pink! Lol I love it! I love the look you created too. Beautiful as always, Karen.
    Fancie recently posted … Fancie Faves

  7. snoopysteph says:

    I just ordered the palettes from Act I & II – I’m a sucker for Clinique. We go waaaaayy back. 🙂

    Lorel took me to see the Nutcracker Suite by the Joffrey ballet company a couple of years ago & last year I took Ande. The music is so magical when performed live by a symphony orchestra! It’s one of my very favorite parts of the holiday season.

  8. Xuvious says:

    I would have thought this would be too light for me but I love the blush and eyeshadows on you! Faith in pink restored. 😉
    Xuvious recently posted … Mac Girl About Town Lipstick

  9. Erin says:

    That looks nice on you, it really had a fun lavender tinge to the set!
    Erin recently posted … Review: English Laundry Fragrances

  10. There we go, pinks again. I just think they go better with dark hair.
    I own a pink eyeshadow which sometimes gets used, but no pink blush, no lipgloss, no lipstick…

    Maybe one of my New Years Resolutions has to be: Find the perfect pink lipstick. After all if YOU say there is a pink for everyone, who am I to disagree?
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Favorite Face of November

  11. Rachel R. says:

    What a gorgeous collection. Sophisticated pinks, not little girl pinks. Love it!

  12. It sure is a lot of pink… 🙂 Which isn’t a bad thing, lol, just saying, it’s all very sweet and cute. The swatches look great.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … A game of Beauty Cluedo: who murdered my lovely skin?

  13. I didnt love the colors at first glance – too soft and pale for my complexion but you make them work!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … VIDEO : Everyday Winter Makeup Tutorial

  14. Kim says:

    Definitely lots of pink but it doesn’t really look that way on you. I thought the Chubby Stick was going to be full-on Barbie but it’s actually really subtle. And your shadow look is definitely a pretty taupe. 🙂 Naturally, I noticed the lashes immediately!

  15. Jax says:

    Oh thank goodness for something that isn’t red/gold. I get so fed up with seeing the same thing over and over again. (and I hate gold eyeshadow on me, just doesn’t work)

    Might have to go out and buy both Acts because
    a) sooooo pretty
    b) want to encourage Xmas variety

    I had promised myself I was going to have a purchasing break, silly me 🙂

  16. gio says:

    Love all the pink, so pretty and feminine! And that blush… gorgeous!
    gio recently posted … Product Review: Ten Anti-Aging Complete Rejuvanating Care

  17. Jen says:

    HiI Karen, I love this review thanks so much. I am really really PALE as in Irish pale lol. I bought the blossom chubby stick and I love the blush. I am not much of a wiz in the eyeshadow application dept. Would you consider a tutorial on how you got your awesome look? Thanks x Jen

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