Sweets For Your Face: Clinique Cheek Pops

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Usually I’m not drawn to make-up that is overtly flowery, pink or twee-looking, and I generally avoid anything that has the word “pops” in the title. So, when these uber-cutesy, daisy-embossed, bright blushers from Clinique called Cheek Pops appeared with a media fuss, I was rather indifferent. But the more I heard about the pigment and texture of these blushers the more intrigued I was to try them, and I’m glad I did. These are just too nice – product wise – to resist, and I’m happy to put my anti-cute quandaries to one side. These new highly pigmented, spring-hued blushers from Clinique come in four colours: two in peach, coral tones and two in pink, berry tones. Intrigued by the hype surrounding the release of these blushers, I went for one in each colour family – “Peach Pop” and “Berry Pop” – and have been very pleasantly surprised.

These blushers retail at £16.50 each, for which you get 3.5g: very reasonable, if you ask me. As mentioned, the blushers are embossed with a flower pattern, which I am very much in the minority for not loving with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. What I do like is that these come encased in clear round plastic packaging that is deceptively sturdy and practical, as well as feeling quite luxurious.

“Berry Pop” is a bright, fairly cool-toned raspberry colour. In retrospect I think I might have been better to go with “Plum Pop” as it is cooler and lighter, and a shade I’d be more likely to wear, but I don’t own many fuchsia blushers so I’m sure I’ll get good use out of “Berry Pop” on days when I want my cheeks to be bright and full of cheer. My advice is to go easy on this one application-wise, by which I mean to be light of hand and make sure you tap the excess off the brush onto a clean tissue before applying. “Peach Pop”, on the other hand, took a bit of building up: it is much more subtle and I don’t think quite as pigmented as its pinker counterpart. It is a lovely shade of coral-pink in the pan but once applied it flits between pink and peach in different lights: in the photos above it looks far more pink in my view. Either way it’s very nice.

The texture of these blushers is truly excellent and up there with the best quality you’d expect from brands like NARS and Laura Mercier. They are highly pigmented and come in four universally flattering shades, and although they are very much spring/summer colours I wouldn’t be surprised, since these have been such a success, if Clinique introduced more to the line. The Cheek Pops are extremely easy to blend due to the almost creamy texture when applied on the skin, which makes the colour easily manipulated to look and sit how you want it to. I’ve heard these compared to the renowned Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushers, which I’ll be sampling as soon as they arrive in the UK at the end of this month via QVC – you can find out all about it on ReallyRee’s blog. Overall I’m really impressed with these new powder blushers from Clinique, flowers aside, and I’ve been proven wrong this time in my aversion to cutesiness. I like these so much I’m even willing to say “Cheek Pops” with a straight face. Well played, Clinique. Well played.

And Now, A Feminist Addendum

Cheek Pops aside, Clinique’s packaging is fairly un-cutesy, helped along I suspect by the brand’s scientific image: the products are not constantly trying to attract us with shininess and over-perfume our skin cream, and their sales assistants in-store always wear unisex white coats. Clinique’s shade range is nearly always excellent, looking to accommodate for women of all skin colours and types. For the most part the packaging even looks pretty unisex, as if people could select beauty products independently by what they’re looking for, regardless of packaging – say WHAAT? My only gripe with Clinique is that their male skincare range is the usual dark grey, as plain and basic as possible, “no frills”, sensible-man-face-care affair that always makes my heart sink a bit. That’s all I’ll say on this for now: Clinique is by no means the only culprit and I’m going to be looking more in-depth into men’s beauty marketing next week. In the meantime I would love to hear your thoughts on this below.