Thursday, October 1, 2015

Best GWP Ever?

Clinique isn't a brand that normally entices me, but I came across this gift with purchase at Bloomingdale's while I was in the US that was just too good to walk away from. I'm used to lacklustre and downright stingy GWPs in Australia, where the minimum spend is massive ($80+) and the freebies are tiny and usually nothing exciting. But this offer from Clinique might just be the best I've encountered.

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.


  1. Wowww I am blown away! Australia... please take notice. The shade 'At Dusk' is seriously on another level!

    Wendy xx

  2. Beautiful palette!

  3. I'm just getting into Clinique myself as an adult but have to say that I've always seen my mother use their products and she would gift me the samples or GWP she got so I know the quality is amazing! Their prices are also really affordable for a high end brand!

    Maria // Fox and Arrow

  4. No brainer for sure! I live in the US and I am blown away. I hope they still have this available! The overnight mask is a full sized product, in most skincare standards. The e/s palette is gorgeous!

  5. Wow that is an amazing deal! I agree, Clinique isn't a brand I normally use, but I'm obsessed with their moisturizer!


  6. that's a lot of bonus!! Clinique in Germany is also very generous with GWPs. I agree with you, the brand never really attracts me, but I have tried a bunch of their products and some of them are really lovely. The chubby sticks for the lips are one of my fave tinted lip balm formula ever. I own 4-5 shades from the line and even repurchased two ton tomato once ^^
    The chubby stick eye shadow on the other hand was a let down for me too. I had Fuller Fudge ( I hope the name is right xD ), and yet it is a nice neutral shade, I just didn't find it appealing enough.. The Kiko ones are indeed more superior.
    That eye shadow palette is gorgeous!! Peach pop and black honey are so beautiful!!

  7. i so want this! UK takenotice!!!

  8. I've tried a few skincare pieces from Clinique (only when there's a GWP, of course) and never been impressed. But the powder eyeshadows are such fantastic quality that they stopped me from writing off Clinique altogether. I've got 3 little trios from GWP and they made up for the wasted time and money I spent on the ineffective skincare

  9. Wow so many amazing things :O
    That eyeshadow palette looks absolutely amazing.. all the shadows look wonderful :)
    The palette itself, the design, look lovely too :)
    I also love the look of Whole Lotta Honey :)
    We do have Clinique here in Vaasa but it is SO expensive that I have never really dared to look at it more closely ;)

  10. Wow thats a loot. The eyeshadow palette is so so pretty and so are the chubby pencils.

  11. What a fantastic steal!!! I recently picked up the Take the Day Off Balm too, although a little pricey, I'm kind of stoked to try it out! I can't believe how much GWP you got with only a $55 spend- just like you in Australia, we have to spend $75+ to quality for dismally tiny samples ;-\ Glad you picked up what you wanted ;-)

    Stephanie |

  12. Amazing GWP. Us Aussies get ripped off every which way when it comes to cosmetics among other things. When the exchange rate was better, I would order stuff from Sephora US and pay the extra for a shipping forwarding co to deliver and it still worked out cheaper than buying here.
    The Beauty Bloss

  13. Holy moly! The pigmentation and colours of that palette look amazing. You're right, Australia should definitely take some notes and offer better GWPs ... but, let's be honest, with the steep prices here we don't need to purchase many things for it to quickly add up to $80+


  14. Whoah that's a pretty good deal! Most GWP's I've encountered are just cheap looking pouches. Good job! Too bad about the moisturizer though. I know a lot of people that are absolutely in love with it.

  15. Argh this is such a good GWP! David Jones has a fairly decent one on at the moment for a $60 spend and I'm considering it since I really want to pick up the cleansing balm. But, I don't know what else to buy and there's nothing cheaper than $30 ugh. I love Lots o Latte for quick days! I find the shade super similar to Bad to the Bronze. And yaaaaay I'm so glad you love their powder shadows! I have one of their quads and the formula is SO GOOD. Those shades are gorgeous!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

  16. This is such a good deal! Australia really needs to pick up their act when it comes to makeup! The eyeshadow palette looks amazing! :)

  17. Very nice pics! Great blog!
    Would you like to support each other by following each other´s blog! Kiss 💋

  18. I'm actually thinking about getting their cleansing balm at the moment ( specially because I have a 23% cupon at sephora to spend...My cleansing oil is finishing and I believe a cleansing balm for the winter time will be a nice switch. ( and the Caroline Hirons stamp of approval makes everything feel better)
    I have been looking for their eye sticks for a while. I have been collection a few with time because there are days in the morning were I just want to look polished and fabulous without having to spend too much time blending eyeshadows. They are also amazing bases and amazing for travelling :3

    We rarely have things and promotions like this which is quite sad. Now I'm seriously crying for those shadows. ( and no, I don't really need more eyeshadow palettes)

    Take care, have a nice day!


    Too Faced Natural Matte Palette Giveaway

  19. HOLY COW. I think you hit the mother load with GWP!!! That's such an amazing deal, you basically got something for every part of the face!!! I want that palette so badly, love LOVE the bronze and peach shades. I too don't think of clinique as the most exciting but I love how it looks so 'clean' and almost medicinal but they don't come to mind when I think interesting or special but I've heard plenty of solid reviews of their products. I need to get myself a cheek pop blush and a duo/quad from them! I've always wanted to try their mascaras but I've since found my holy grail so I'm holding back!

  20. This was SUCH a fun post to read, I can only hope to come across a deal as good as this when I'm there.
    The cleansing balm is actually on my wishlist too, seems like a good one to keep on my shower shelf for those lazy days. I really want to get the Lilac chubby eye stick, I love a good purple eye :P
    Whole lotta honey was my first chubby stick and I used the whole thing up (crazy coz I have way to many lip products now to just be committed to one shade but I used to keep it in my pencil case for school haha)!
    The middle 4 shades of the eye palette are all stunning, that coppery bronze!

    chloé⎪ status.chlo


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