Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer Review | My first foray into full coverage makeup

While I encourage all women to find their own definition of beauty, it would be silly of me not to say that the conventional beauty that we see everywhere doesn't have an influence on us or myself. I'm definitely influenced by what I see, in particular the ideals set for by Asian beauty spreads where the girls seem to be on a whole other level of otherworldly perfection. As someone into makeup, it's hard to stand firm to body image independence and also gush over the next pretty release. Case in point, the new Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer. As someone who wears only light coverage foundation, this would be my first venture into full coverage foundation and I was definitely worried that the look of flawless perfection that it claims to provide would be too seductive to resist! So was it? Read on to find out!

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer Review

The Product
The Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer is a two-in-one foundation and concealer that provides full coverage for 12 hours, regardless of sweat or humidity. Its oil-free formula helps conceal imperfections while still allowing skin to breath and is designed for dry to combination skin.

The Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer comes in 20 shades ranging from a pinky-ivory, to a warm molasses brown. If you've even glanced at any of the reviews online, selecting the correct shade is very tricky, even more so than normal. Clinique states that due to its highly pigmented formula, the shades will typically appear darker when first applied and then will change to blend into skin as it dries down. I'd definitely recommend swatching these in-store first before purchasing as at first I thought I would be somewhere in the mid-range with Golden Neutral, but I settled upon the second lightest shade, Creamwhip!

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer Review

The Guts
The primary ingredients in this foundation are:
  • Isostearyl neopentanoate - an emollient that also acts as a stabilizer and binder that helps the foundation keep its structural integrity and uniform pigmentation
  • Dimethicone - a silicone that gives this foundation a silky, light texture and also acts as an emollient by creating a protective layer over skin
  • Isohexadecane - acts as a thickener and provides a silky texture to the foundation
  • Trimethylsiloxysilicate - performs similar functions as the previous ingredients.
Other ingredients of note are Sodium Hyaluronate (moisturizing) and Hydrolyzed soy protein (antioxidant).

Price & Packaging
A 30 ml bottle retails for $34 and is available at Sephora and wherever Clinique is sold. The Beyond Perfecting's heavy glass bottle feels weighty and luxurious in the palm and is slim enough to be easily packed away for travel. What's really unique about this foundation though is the brush. Lately, brands have been really innovating with their foundation brushes and the Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer is no exception. The brush is long with a bristly doe-foot applicator. At the tip of the brush, is a little well that contains a tiny reservoir of product. To use, simply dab and swipe the foundation directly onto your face using the wand, then blend away. Typically, since I really wanted that full coverage feeling, I may dip my wand twice to fully cover my face.

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer Review

Lately, I've been wearing more foundation in an effort to even out and conceal hyper-pigmentation and acne scars. Here is my before face:

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer Review

and my after once I applied the Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer to my cheeks, nose, under-eye and chin area:

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer Review

I'm simply in love with the silky, velvety feeling that this foundation gives my face. It literally erases away any scars or unevenness, giving me a perfectly even base upon which to apply the rest of my makeup. I was expecting this foundation to feel heavy and cakey, but it actually felt utterly weightless and once set, it didn't seem to budge all day. After a few hours, I do get a little bit of shine as per normal, but it was manageable. The foundation didn't oxidize at all and there was no caking either. 

In terms of concealing, it does a great job at covering up dark circles, redness and hyper-pigmentation, but only provided around 90% coverage of the acne scars around my mouth. I found I had to apply a second layer of foundation to really cover that area. 

The biggest mistake I made with this foundation was not using the right brush. Initially, I used my normal go-to, which is the Bobbi Brown Foundation Brush, but I found that the stiff bristles weren't a good fit for the creamy thickness of the Clinique. Sadly, my Bobbi Brown only swirled this foundation around and caused it to sit in a thick layer on my skin. Using my fingers didn't improve things much either. Within a week, this foundation caused me to break out like mad. Luckily, I'd already ordered a replacement brush - the Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush. This brush is AMAZING with this foundation. Its thick, dense head gently and thoroughly buffs this foundation into my skin and it spreads it wonderfully so that I don't need a lot to get maximum results. Best $26 ever.

Even though I'd now figured out (painfully) how to properly wear this foundation and I'm absolutely in love with the finish, I think it's safe to say that this won't be my regular foundation moving forward. Something in me objects to putting such heavy makeup on my face everyday. As lightweight as this one is, it still contains a lot of silicones, which I believe block your skin from breathing and could trap in dirt. I also believe that the more makeup you wear, the more your skin becomes dependent on it. Your makeup becomes a crutch to hide behind, instead of a way to bring out your natural beauty more. Sadly, I've decided to be strong and keep this on my shelf as my go-to for dates, parties, and events, and keep my light foundation and BB's in my regular rotation.

Final Verdict
Buy - a painful learning process to shade match and to find the right application tools, but once you find these things, then say hello to the most flawless skin you'll ever have!

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