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This product is listed twice, so I thought I had better list my review twice.
I am not sure how useful this review will be as they have actually stopped making this product. Which is a shame as I did kind of like it and with a few hangers could have been really great. It's the only powder I have seen with an SPF in it so that is a big plus - however, I am uncertain whether a sweep to keep your liquid foundation in place will really have any sun protecting effects.
The great thing about this powder is its texture - its so fine and soft and much better than other loose powders. I think this is because you grind it yourself. A circular palette of pressed powder is underneath a dial that you rotate. As you rotate the dial a small layer of powder is shaved off, ready to be used. The problem is the dial cannot go right down to the bottom of the powder palette so you are always left with product you can't get access to which is both frustrating and wasteful. One time the dial broke away from the thread and so I couldn't turn it anymore.
And the brush, well it's pretty useless - the thin small piece of plastic is difficult to hold and use and the bristles rough and fall out easily. Definitely buy a separate brush.
Even after all these negatives, however, I still buy this powder and wear it daily. If I am having a dry skin day the powder will sit on my bear skin and stay looking fresh. If I am having an oily day the powder stays matte. I use it on bare skin, primed skin and on liquid foundation and it never fails to stay in place for the whole day.
I have quite oily skin, but only on parts of my face (around the tzone) so I was always concerned about having shiny areas on my face. My face can get quite blemished, so I was looking for something light that would not clog my pores, while still giving strong enough coverage to make the blemishes magically invisible.
It turns out that this is a really great powder, but not necessarily great if you have really read blemishes without using another product. This will not give enough coverage to act as a foundation in it's own right with either concealer or liquid foundation underneath.
When breakouts are less severe, the powder can be used directly onto the skin to create a nice finish on a lighter make-up day, and the powder does remove the shine.
The actual powder pack itself is really clever. It operates by turning a part of the compact to grind and release some fresh powder. I really like this about the compact, as with a lot of other compacts it was starting to look a bit greasy and dirty towards the end. This product lasts for a long time, and the brush, although not the best, gets the job done quite efficiently. The compact comes with a mirror inside, but the mirror gets a bit dirty very quickly, due to the loose powder.
Overall good product for a mixed skin balance, but not great for stand alone coverage.
Clinique's Superbalanced Powder makeup really disappointed me. It was brought out on the 1st of September 2009 nationwide. I thought the compact was extremely unique and the mineral blend of the powder was also unique. However I later found out after purchasing the powder that Elizabeth Arden brought out one virtually identical (shown in one of my photos) in February 2009. So perhaps Clinique's launch was not as unique as I first thought!
***What the compact looks like and what it contains***
It comes in this really smart circular compact which has a small press-in-button to release the top to come off. It has pressed powder (a hard block of powder in it) and you twist the grey part of it clockwise (like a dial) and it freshly grinds the pressed powder into loose powder (small shards of powder) . This is impressive to see for the first time. It has little marks around the grey circular grinder and the Clinique consultant told me you only need to twist it to one mark for one application however, I needed about 3 marks. It comes with an antibacterial, circular shaped brush which is flat and it is supposed to sweep on the skin without irritation because of the way the particles of powder are arranged (however I found that the brush was quite harsh on the skin so used it with my normal powder foundation brush).
***How to apply***
- Turn the dial about 3 marks clockwise.
- Dip the brush into the powder and tap off the excess.
- Sweep onto the skin from the t-zone (nose area) outwards, using the flat side of the brush
- Re-apply until you have your preferred coverage
***Shades of the powder foundation***
There are six shades altogether. They are all called natural but with a different number at the end indicating the shade, for example Natural 1 and this goes up to Natural 6.
I am Natural 1 (so very pale skinned) but it still seems to look a tiny bit dark on me and slightly orangey in places where the powder collected on dryer areas of my skin (which is never a good look).
Before I bought the foundation I picked up Natural 3 to look at the texture and this looked about 5 shades too dark for me, so I think the shades do not go up in steps, they seem quite drastic changes in shade from Natural 1 to Natural 2 etc.
***What does this foundation do? ***
It balances the skin, absorbing oil where needed and adding moisture where needed giving a natural moderate to full coverage (however I didn't see any of that as you'll read in the rest of this review).
The powder foundation also contains minerals so it is better for your skin including Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc. This is a nice thought to know that the powder blend contains minerals however, if the powder is not right in the first place like for me then the minerals really did not make any difference to me.
First of all it is a very expensive £27.00 for 16g.
It claims to be for all skin types and I have oily skin yet it seemed to cake and look very dry on my skin making it very flaky and I didn't see how it balanced my skin out at all.
It claims to be long lasting however it lasted for a maximum of 3 hours which was my main disappointment.
It also claims to be moderate to full coverage but I could only get a light to moderate coverage, I tried using it even with a sponge for heavier coverage but it made no difference.
A disappointment with the compact itself is that there is no indication when the powder is running out - the compact may feel slightly lighter but you cannot actually tell.
I finished using mine up as a finishing powder over my foundation since I was not going to waste £27.00! And this showed me how little you actually get in the packaging. It seems like you are paying more for the mechanism and packaging than the actual product.
However there are a couple of pros to it...
First of all I love the mechanism of it, the fact that it is freshly ground each time you use it and that it is packed with minerals.
Secondly it is great that it has SPF15.
The compact also has a mirror which is convenient for any touch ups. Plus the smart compact means that it will not mess up in your bag. Like many pressed powders if you drop it, it will shatter into millions of little pieces (disaster!) And with loose powders if the screw lid comes away slightly in your make-up bag or hand bag then you are completely screwed there will be powder everywhere. But this is quite a good solution because you control how much of the solid block of powder that you grate and the block of powder is securely kept in a separate part of the compact so it is unlikely to shatter (and even if it did you could still easily use it and it wouldn't create a mess).
***Would I recommend it? ***
I wouldn't recommend it unless you have very normal skin not slightly dry or slightly oily. As you have read from my review I had many disappointments with this foundation. I looked forward to trying it so much and I bought it on the day of release, but unfortunately the cons weigh out the pros. If you are intrigued by this foundation and want to try it, my best advice would be to get the Clinique consultant to try it on you and then see how it lasts and acts on your skin for the rest of the day before buying it.
Ive tried this for about 5 days now and im still not sure if i like it or not . I apply this with my trusty kabuki instead of the brush thats with it because the brush provided is not as dense as a kabuki and therefore doesnt give as much coverage or a good finish . This compact is clever it has dials round the side and you turn the top part of the compact to release the powder. so you get freshly grated powder each time , which i feel is more cleaner and easier. ( no more spillages in bag)
when i first applied this over my usual liquid foundation i did think it wasnt that good because all i wanted was a loose foundation that had light to medium coverage with a bit of a glow to it to add on top of my current foundation . it didnt seem to cover that much at first but i was only using a very small amount (half of one dial). whats fantastic about this product is that you can layer it easily to get the coverage you want and it doesnt look cakey or change colour. It gives me a subtle glow that screams healthy skin which ive never achieved.
theres something strange or wonderful thing is that after an hour or so it gave me more coverage and i hadnt applied any more. which has never happened with any other foundation. this foundation is really good at controlling oil after 11 hours or so there was a bit of shine but no splitting of my foundation .
on fri i wore this foundation all day and night and i only reapplyed twice in bout 22 hours which is fantastic . The more time i wore it , the better it looked . so im really happy with this.
where to buy
clinique website £27