Looking back even five years, Clinique was one of those brands that had a bit of a fuddy-duddy reputation. Known for their (rather harsh and now a bit outdated) ‘three step’ routine, they dabbled in cosmetics but were more well known for their innovations in skincare than their lipsticks – but oh how times have changed. Fast forward to 2016 and they’re known as a brand that pushes boundaries, injects a little fun alongside their serious scientific research and creates innovative products that spawn endless copycats. Can you imagine a world without Chubby Sticks? Or floral embossed blushers for that matter? These new little colourful macaron-inspired sweet treats have been on my radar for some time, thanks to the hype Clinique are very skilled at creating ahead of a launch, but after a long wait I’ve finally been able to put them to the test. Continuing to tap into the trend for sugar and spice and all things nice, these ‘Sweet Pots’ contain a sugary lip scrub on one side and a slightly tinted glossy balm on the other; together they aim to provide you with super smooth, hydrated and shiny lips that are begging to be kissed. But is innovative packaging enough to justify their £15.00 price tag?
As a macaron lover, I had high hopes for these little pots of balm. They certainly look the part, offering a brightly coloured handbag-appropriate pot that holds a slightly sweet (but not overly so) product inside. However, when you actually remove the balm and scrub elements (they easily screw off,) the adjoining piece of plastic (the metallic bit) is really rather cheap and could be from any other brand. I’m rather disappointed to see none of the cute detailing we’ve become so accustomed to with Clinique; I would have liked to see the rather functional piece being made into something a little more desirable – if only to justify the £15.00 Clinique are charging for what’s essentially a lip balm. Although the smooth pots that hold the scrub and balm are rather pleasant, they’re also a little bit cheap… I started feel like the whole concept was a bit of a charade as soon as I took apart the individual pieces. Boooo.
But how about the products themselves? The scrub has been enriched with sugar crystals to help buff away dead skin and leave lips feeling smooth, but rather unsually the crystals are held within a balm-like texture; this makes it feel like you’re applying a slightly gritty lip gloss rather than an effective scrub. It does the job and is relatively easy to tissue off after you’ve used it to exfoliate away dryness, but it doesn’t provide the luxurious experience I anticipated. Similarly, although the texture, scent and result of the balm is pleasant, I can’t help but feel it’s a little generic and not unlike a lip balm you could pick up for a few quid in Superdrug. It’s not especially hydrating, nor does it offer an exceptional feeling of comfort; it’s gloopy, sweet and tinted with a generic shade of either pink, red, orange or purple. The most innovative shade combination of blue scrub and yellow balm isn’t even being made available in the UK!
Unfortunately I can’t find an ingredients list anywhere to break down exactly what’s inside the scrub and balm to tell you if there are any additional benefits it offers, but I imagine not. The practicality and price point of this far outweighs my need for pretty things that make me go oooooh; why you would need a portable lip scrub is beyond me, which makes this a rather expensive novelty product that’s not actually any better than something a fraction of its price. In my opinion this is just another example of a brand relying on a product’s packaging to do the hard work for them, forgetting to focus on the actual formula inside. Clinique are so well known for their effective formulations and technical advances, so I’m incredibly disappointed to see that my expectations simply weren’t met. I really wanted to sing the praises of a product I’ve been waiting to try for months, but all I can recommend is that you save your money and spend it on one of their face serums instead. I’m off to have a little cry about what could have been…
The Clinique ‘Sweet Pots’ are available in six shades, exclusively at Debenhams, priced £15.00 each.
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