As you might have seen on our Instagram-page, I recently bought 3 out of 4 products from the Clinique Pep-Start Range: The Hydroblur Moisturizer, the 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser and the Eye Cream. I bought them together in a holiday kit and immediately put them to the test by using them during the cold winter months. After using them for a little bit over a month, I've formed my opinion on them and I'm ready to share that with you today. So let's get in to it, shall we?
As I've already mentioned, I bought these products in a holiday kit, which means I got a good deal on them, I bought the 3 products for a total of 24,50€ (and I got a makeup bag with the products as well), which is a great deal if you ask me. I will be mentioning the normal retail prices for each product, since the holiday kit is (unfortunately) no longer available.
The Hydroblur Moisturizer
Let's start off with a product I really like, the Hydroblur Moisturizer. To quote the Clinique-site: "This oil-free moisturizer instantly blurs imperfections while providing all-day hydration. Skin looks naturally perfected with a matte finish." And I completely agree with everything they say.
I have oily skin, so I enjoy the fact that this is an oil-free moisturizer. Before I started using this one, I actually used the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion, which I liked a lot as well, but since I ran out of that one, I decided to give this one a try. And it did not disappoint. Even on cold, wintery days, this moisturizer keeps my face hydrated all day long, even in the areas where my face tends to get a little drier (like my cheeks). It doesn't feel sticky or thick, like some really hydrating moisturizers tend to do. Instead it actually feels really soft and smooth.
Besides the fact that it's great at moisturizing your face, it also blurs out any imperfections. I don't really know how to describe this to you, so I'll just show you instead.
Because of these blurring effects, I actually use this moisturizer as a primer as well. It has a texture that is very similar to Benefit's Porefessional (a staple in my makeup bag) and it has a similar effect as well. It minimizes pores, but it does so without clogging them. It doesn't lessen the appearance of pores as much as the Porefessional does (which is okay since it's not technically a primer like the Porefessional), but it comes close and minimizes them well enough so that I no longer feel the need to also use a primer on top of my moisturizer.
I'm always very nervous about trying out new skincare, just because my face tends to breakout really easily. If my moisturizer is just a little bit too oily, I will get a breakout. If my primer or foundation is a little bit too oily or clogs my pores even a little bit, I will get a breakout. If I get even the smallest amount of stress, I will get a breakout. But I'm happy to report that this moisturizer did not break me out at all, that's why for that fact alone, this moisturizer is a winner in my book.
The only thing that I don't like about this product, is that it doesn't have an SPF in it. But to be honest, I can look past that, I'll just put an SPF on on top of this moisturizer.
Finally, I think we should talk about the price tag. Clinique isn't really known for being an affordable brand, but with this range I think they actually have some very reasonable prices. And I actually think they might have done this on purpose. This range seems to be directed to a younger audience than most of their skincare (with the bright colored packaging, the videos on the site,...) and I think that's why they made this range a little bit more affordable. A 30ml tub will cost you €17,90, where a 50ml tub will set you back €26,50, both of which seem reasonable to me, especially when you look at the prices of some of their other moisturizers (for example: The Clinique Smart SPF 15 Moisturizer will set you back €38,50 for a 30ml tub and €59 for a 50ml tub). A 50ml tub will also last you quite a long time since you don't need a lot of this product to keep your face moisturized.
The Eye Cream
Now, let's talk about the one product I absolutely do not like, the Eye Cream. According to the site, this product is supposed to de-puff your under-eye area, brighten and hydrate the area. I don't think it does any of this.
In the set, I only got a smaller sample-version of this product that didn't come with the de-puffing and cooling tip, that this product normally comes with. So I get that you won't get the exact same effect as you would with the normal product, and that would be absolutely fine. I do however expect it to do something, otherwise I could just rub a cool piece of plastic under my eyes and be done with it. But this does nothing!
I used this every day for 2 weeks and didn't see a notable difference on the days that I put it on. It actually stung a little as well. When I put in on, I could feel a kind of tingling sensation under my eyes. I didn't really experience any irritation or something like that, just a subtle tingling sensation. And that's why after trying it for about 2 weeks, without seeing any notable differences, I just put this product aside and moved on. I've since started using the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado and I already like that product way better (let me know if you'd be interested to see a review of that product as well)!
Once again, the price tag on this product is very reasonable. A 15ml tube will cost you €21,50 and since you're only supposed to use a very small amount of this product, I suspect that this will also last you quite a long time, if you decide to pick this up.
I do just want to clarify that these are my personal experiences with these products and that you might actually like this eyecream. Everyone's skin is different and what doesn't work for me might work great for you and vice versa. These are just my opinions on the products, but if you are thinking about picking any of these up, I suggest you read some other reviews as well, so you can get a clear idea of whether this product might work for you or not.
The 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser
Let's end on a happy note, shall we? I do like this Cleanser *cheering in the background*. I used this cleanser in the morning and used my Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleanser (which is also an exfoliating cleanser) in the evening. I normally wouldn't use an exfoliating cleanser twice a day, since I used to do this with my Kiehl's one and it dried out my skin, but since the site said it was gentle enought to use twice a day I decided to give it a try. And turns out they where telling the truth. This cleanser was gentle enough that it didn't dry out my skin, yet not too gentle. It did exfoliate my skin, helped draw out impurities and gave me a healthy glow to start my day. If you have dry skin however, I would definitely not use this twice a day, but I think you could get away with using it either in the morning or in the evening.
The cleanser has a gel-like consistency and contains little grains, that help you remove dirt and oil from your skin, thus leaving your skin smooth and glowing. The cleanser doesn't really lather that much (a little bit of foam will form) and rinses off really easily. It doesn't have a strong scent either (it contains no perfume whatsoever, like all Clinique products, and just gets a slight fruity scent from the papaya extract that is in this product) and just leaves your face feeling soft and clean.
So I did like this 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser. Did I love it and is it the best cleanser I ever used? No, it's not, but it's definitely in the top 5 and I would actually repurchase this product. I do however have so many cleansers still laying around in my bathroom cabinets that I still have to try out, so I'll probably use those up first.
Once again, this has a great price tag. A 125ml tube costs €16, making this the cheapest product in the entire range. Once a again, a little will go a long way (about the size of a 5eurocent piece), meaning you'll do a long time with the 125ml tube.
The Hydrorush SPF Moisturizer
There is one more product in the Pep-Start Range that I did not try out and that is the Pep Start Hydrorush SPF Moisturizer. I did however test this product when I went in to the store to buy my other Pep Start products. The reason I did not buy this Moisturizer and decided to go with the Hydroblur Moisturizer instead, is because of the consistency of this one. The product felt a lot thicker and not as smooth when you put it on. But that's really all I can tell you about this product.
This moisturizer comes in a 30ml tub that sells for €17,90. Once again, a very reasonable price.
So overall, I would say that I was very happy I purchased this holiday kit and got the chance to try out these products. Too bad about the Eye Cream, but hey you can't win them all, can you?
I hope you found this review helpful and let me know in the comments if you have tried any of these products out and what you thought of them.
I'll talk to you soon,
DISCLAIMER: These are all my own opinions and experiences. What does not work for me might work great for you and vice versa since we all have different skin.
All prices are based on the online prices at the Ici Paris XL-website at the time this blogpost was written.