With a $32 spend, you get in a roomy cosmetics bag:
- Take the Day Off Remover for Lids, Lashes & Lips (50ml)
- Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion+ (30ml)
- Moisture Surge Overnight Mask (30ml)
- Quickliner for Eyes Intense (0.14g)
- Limited Edition All About Shadow Palette (3g)
- High Impact Mascara (3.5ml)
- Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour Balm (1.2ml)
I took things one step further. With a $55 spend, they chucked in two full size Chubby Sticks (you could pick from whatever they had in this large jar, which consisted mostly of Chubby Stick Baby Tints and Chubby Stick Shadow Tints). Given one of those is $17, the choice to upgrade seemed like a no brainer.
I knew I wanted the Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm ($29 USD, about $45 AUD), given Caroline Hirons's stamp of approval. This retails for $55 in Australia, so I'm already getting it cheaper even with the woeful exchange rate. I started to immediately use it while on holidays, and found it to be effective at getting rid of all of the day's makeup/sunscreen/other gunk. It didn't leave my skin feeling dry or stripped, and I didn't have to work too hard to get my eyeliner and mascara off (usually the most stubborn part of my makeup to dissolve). I'm unsure how much product I need per use as I'm certainly not stingy with the quantity, though Caroline advises "a small amount goes a long way". As it's solid rather than liquid, if you're scooping it out in one go, it can be difficult to discern how much is enough once it's all melted. I prefer the ease of my DHC Deep Cleansing Oil simply because it's liquid and comes with a pump. I don't need to physically dig the product out of a jar each time and make the effort to work it into the skin so it melts. Still, the Clinique feels and functions similarly to the DHC and is a good alternative.
To qualify for the additional Chubby Sticks, I had to buy something else, so I settled for the 125ml bottle of Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion+ ($26 USD, about $41 AUD). In all honesty, I mainly bought it because it took me just to the $55 mark and not a cent beyond, and skin care is something I have a chance of using up, unlike makeup. Plus, at least a moisturiser is functional and can be used daily. Having said that, I did try the 30ml sample tube and on first impressions, wasn't a fan. It just felt a bit greasy and like the moisturiser didn't fully absorb into my skin, but rather, sat on top of it. Using it as a base underneath my foundation seemed to really degrade my makeup without offering any penetrative hydration. I'll probably give the sample tube another go, but I'm inclined to give the full bottle to my mother.
I haven't tried the High Impact Mascara yet though Pixiwoo seem to be fans, so I'm hoping it'll be a winner. The Quickliner for Eyes Intense is a bit drier and harder in texture than the ultra smooth, glide-on formulas I'm used to, but I do like the twist up mechanism (anything that saves me from sharpening) and it has good pigmentation. The dark brown colour isn't anything spectacular, but at the same time, is classic and a safe bet. I usually prefer something a bit more shimmery and complex on my lower lash line though.
For the two free Chubby Sticks, of course I had to go with my neutrals and picked the Shadow Tints in Ample Amber and Lots o' Latte. I've been eyeing the latter for a long time now, but wasn't convinced I needed it given how many similar shades I own. It also looked too cool-toned and ashy to really complement my skin tone. I do feel those concerns were justified as Lots o' Latte does appear distinctly silvery greyish taupe on my lids, but it's at a level where I can just get away with it. Any more in that direction though, and it would be the case of Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe or Rimmel ScandalEyes Shadow Stick in Trespassing Taupe again (both major fails). Ample Amber is a lot warmer and while I do like it, the colour and finish aren't anything exceptional. I have so many eyeshadows that give the same effect or better that Ample Amber just doesn't inspire any particular enthusiasm.
Eyeshadow sticks/crayons are a convenient and quick way to slap on some eyeshadow when short on time or when you just want the job done, hence I find myself continually drawn to them. These Clinique ones aren't my favourite though, mainly because I prefer more high impact, metallic, strongly pigmented and longer lasting eyeshadow crayons (see KIKO Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow). These Chubby Stick Eye Tints are more satin finish, relatively subdued in colour, and when blended out, can lose a lot of their pigmentation. Still, they're a welcome addition to my "I woke up later than I should and now I have less time to do my face" makeup arsenal, and I expect to get decent wear out of them.
l-r: Ample Amber, Lots o' Latte
l-r: Chubby Stick in Whole Lotta Honey, Quickliner for Eyes Intense in Intense Chocolate
The mini Chubby Stick in Whole Lotta Honey was, believe it or not, the only lip product I acquired during my US trip. I don't even regard it as a purchase, since it was part of the bonus. They actually gave people the choice between Whole Lotta Honey and the eyeliner in Intense Chocolate, or Two Ton Tomato and the eyeliner in Intense Charcoal. I chose the more neutral option, mainly because the lip colour appealed to me more. It's one of those "my lips but better" shades that can be worn with any look. It's on the sheer side and subtly glossy, which gives a natural tint and slightly plumping effect.
l-r: Ivory Bisque, Peach Pop, Black Honey, At Dusk, Morning Java, Bronze Satin
Bottom to top: Ivory Bisque, Peach Pop, Black Honey, At Dusk, Morning Java, Bronze Satin
And now ... for my ultimate love. The Limited Edition All About Shadow Palette. I honestly didn't expect anything since eyeshadows in gifts with purchase always seem like stock the company wants to get rid of, and/or inferior quality. But this palette has blown me away. Even if all the other free stuff wasn't included, I'd consider the $32 spend worth it for this product alone.
The shadows are SO pigmented, vibrant, smooth, blend well, and I love the shade selection. I mean, just look at that orangey-gold shade At Dusk. The first time I applied it to my lids, it was instant heart-eyed emoji, even if I have multiple similar shadows. Bronze Satin didn't swatch as well as it applies, but rest assured it's not a dud. The colours in the palette more or less sum up what I'm into in eyeshadow right now, which is reflected in the fact a lot of them remind me of individual shades I picked out from Makeup Geek recently (seriously, Ivory Bisque = Shimma Shimma, Peach Pop = Cosmopolitan, At Dusk = Glamorous, Bronze Satin = Homecoming). If this experience with Clinique eyeshadows is in any way indicative of the general standard of shadows from the brand, they deserve more attention.