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My Experiences with Clinique Bangalore- I
I’ve always admired Clinique as a brand that is classy and well, clinical (in a good way). I’ve associated the brand with awesome skin care and quality makeup products. My tryst with Clinique began nearly 10 years ago when I bought Clinique Happy, a citrusy perfume that claimed to lift your spirits and “make” you happy. It belonged to neither skincare nor makeup, but the product got me interested in Clinique as a brand.
I’m currently using their All About Eyes eye cream, Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel and City Block Sheer SPF25 sunblock daily. While the eye cream is good enough, the jury is still out on whether one or both of the face products (gel and sunblock) are making my skin break out.
In the past, I’ve used their single blush, pressed powder, the shimmery green tube mascara and their Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (as opposed to gel). While the blush and the powder broke me out and the mascara irritated my eyes (also reported by many reviewers on the Internet), I must have believed in Clinique strongly enough to go out and give them a second chance. It is only recently that Clinique counters have cropped up in Bangalore stores such as Shopper’s Stop and Lifestyle. I was quite pleased when I first spotted one in Bangalore, since that meant I could treat my skin to some serious TLC.
I also used Clinique’s Superfit foundation nearly 8 years ago. At that time I was dealing with some residual redness (now barely visible) from acne and badly needed some coverage. Their Superfit foundation came to my rescue in that not only did it not cause my skin to break out, but it also provided good coverage. For many years after that, I used minimal to no makeup.
I have acne prone skin that is not too oily. My skin is not sensitive as such and does not get irritated easily. I’ve had consistently clear skin for the last 2 years and it means that I am finally able to use face makeup and skin care products without the fear of them exploding in my face.
Cut to today, thanks to IMBB and my ‘Hot Mama Makeover’, I started my second innings in makeup about 9 months ago. A good foundation is a must have in any makeup-ista’s kitty. So off I went to Clinique to get my old friend, the Superfit foundation. This counter is in Garuda Mall, Shopper’s Stop. In 3 different colour matching sessions at 2 different Clinique counters, I was matched with 2 different shades – Cream and Honey, by 3 different SAs. I am NC42 in MAC. While I could easily see that Honey was too orangey on me, the SA insisted that it matched perfectly. Another time, I was left wondering whether Cream was too light for me. The store lighting was strategically making matters worse for me and it was dusk outside. At the SA’s insistence that it was a perfect match and that it would blend out after some time, I bought a 30 ml bottle of Superfit foundation in Cream for Rs. 1550. When I asked her how something that was labelled “Cream – Very Fair – Neutral 17” could possibly be a match for my clearly warm toned wheatish skin, she said that their warm shades were too orangey for anyone. Also, 2 of their SAs had separately matched me with this shade, so I wanted to trust them and go with their opinion. Hey, if you can’t trust people in white lab coats, then who can you trust?
Clinique Superfit Makeup
Once home, I decided to try out the foundation. My face fell and my heart sank as soon as I opened the bottle since the shade did look like chalk against my skin. There was immediate anguish against those sly and incompetent SAs. Over the next few days, I tried it in various ways, but the verdict was the same – the foundation was making me look like a white faced clown! Even the finish wasn’t good as it seemed to accentuate my pores big time and looked pasted-on. It also looked like it broke me out in whiteheads. This was the last nail in the coffin! I mentioned this to my husband and he said that we should go and get a refund. I thought, ‘Refund? What hope do we have! ‘.
Anyway, we went back and I politely explained my problem to the SAs that had matched me with this shade. They heard me, but began deploying delay tactics to tire me out and drive me away. I requested that I didn’t even want my money back, would they please exchange it for something that I could actually use? They kept dilly dallying, shifting the blame from Shopper’s Stop, to me, to the store lighting. They blamed me saying that I might not have applied it properly. That was funny, since just minutes ago those same SAs had complimented me on how beautifully applied and natural my foundation looked (Maxfactor Second Skin).
I mentioned that the other day that I wasn’t able to figure out whether it was the right shade or not because the SA had applied it so sheerly that there was almost no coverage. I reminded them that I had specifically asked for a foundation that provided medium to full coverage and I knew Superfit was a foundation that was meant to give you that. At this, their manager (the SA who had sold me this shade) became defensive, raised her voice and tried to shut me up saying, ‘This is the way we apply our makeup madam!’. She even came up close to me while saying this as if trying to scare me away. This was the limit. I had shelled out the cash, I had been matched with a wrong shade, I had been polite the whole time, and yet these SAs were bullying me. I said that I would contact Clinique directly and for that would they please give me their full details? I took out a pen and paper and wrote down her name and waited for more information. This immediately softened her stance. She made a (possibly fake) phone call to someone to “check” with them. Then she came over to me and told me to get an exchange coupon for 1550 from the Shopper’s Stop customer service counter to exchange the product. But they would only exchange it for a foundation product because “someone” said so.