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Clinique Reviews | Everything You Need to Know

Clinique is one of the leading American cosmetic, skincare, and perfume companies. Its full name is Clinique Laboratories, LLC, its tagline is “Great skin can be created”, and it is officially owned by a parent company, the Estee Lauder Companies.

Clinique Company Background

Clinique began in the mid twentieth century when Evelyn Lauder became interested in creating a new skincare routine brand. In 1968, Clinique became the first company in the world to debut an allergy tested, dermatologist approved, fragrance free skincare line. It was called the 3 Step Skin Care System and promised to deliver daily cleansing, exfoliation, and moisture for a wide range of skin types. Since then, Clinique has expanded to become one of the largest and most profitable American cosmetic and skincare companies. It has also partnered with multiple other companies including Allergan (who manufactures Botox) and Elizabeth Arden (resulting in a prescription-only skincare line called Clinique Medical).

Other notable facts about Clinique include that they were the first prestigious skin care company to provide a skin care line specifically targeted towards men and their unique skin care concerns, and that they are renowned throughout the world for their emphasis on dermatological diagnosis, highly trained product development expertise, and incredible customer service.

Clinique’s mission focuses heavily on skin care and cosmetic products that avoid using common allergens and irritants, in order to make their products applicable to the broadest customer base as possible. All of their current skin care products are devoid of parabens, phthalates, and fragrances, and are heavily tested to make sure that they will not cause harmful reactions in users’ skin. Another interesting fact about Clinique is that they aim to increase their sustainability as a brand and achieve a zero carbon footprint by the year 2020.

Clinique Strengths and Weaknesses

An analysis of the company can give some insight into their strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for future business growth. One of Clinique’s strengths is that they have been present in the skin care and cosmetic industry for over forty years, which means that they have a very strong understanding of the market, the customer base, and the competition. Because of this, they are always on top of the current technologies and trends within skin care and can respond to these with new product lines.

Their marketing campaigns are also excellently managed and aggressive enough that Clinique is one of the most profitable American skin care and cosmetic companies. Of course, marketing only goes so far and is ultimately dependent on the quality of the product. Clinique’s product lines that are free of allergens, parabens, and fragrance live up to the hype and have a very large fan base of satisfied customers.

The high quality of their product line, the wide variety of products that they offer that are targeted at a range of different skin types and skin complaints, and their global reach all combine to make them such a successful company.

Another of Clinique’s strengths is that they have always been good about offering samples to their potential customers. They’re good at hooking in new customers because they offer many free samples of new products with each purchase of Clinique products.

Companies are never perfect, and of course Clinique has some weaknesses as a brand as well. One is that their products are available in some drugstores as well as department stores and have a relatively low price tag when compared to other brands. This could be seen as a strength in some ways, but also might be off-putting to a wealthier customer base that believes in price tag as an indicator of quality.

Additionally, Clinique has historically had a more limited brand recall when compared to other large multinational skin care and cosmetic companies. They face strong competition from many other brands and their products are getting increasingly expensive to manufacture due to their refusal to use animals for testing, so it will be interesting to see how they continue to compete in the global skin care and cosmetic industries.

Skin Care by Skin Type

As mentioned previously, one of Clinique’s great strengths is that they offer a wide range of product lines and skin care routines targeted at different skin types. Some of the skin care concerns that they address, as listed in the skin care section on their website, are acne, age prevention, dark spots and uneven skin tone, dryness, lack of radiance or luster, lifting and firming, lines and wrinkles, oil control, pore reduction, redness control, and sun/UV exposure protection. Within each of these skin concern areas, Clinique offers a range of products designed to encompass every aspect of the skin care routine. Thus they cover every step of the routine from cleansers, exfoliators, makeup removers, and toners all the way to moisturizers, serums, and sunscreens, and even more specialized products like serums, eye and lip products, masks, BB creams, and CC creams. There truly is something for every skin type and every concern.

Clinique Cosmetics

Although Clinique started out as a skin care company, they have since expanded very successfully into the cosmetic industry, offering products for the face, eyes, lips, and much more. Within facial cosmetics, Clinique offers BB creams, CC creams, blushes, bronzers, concealer, contouring products, foundations, powders, and primers. Within eye cosmetics, they offer brow products, eyeliners, eye shadow, and mascara. Within lip cosmetics they offer lip glosses, lip liners, and lipsticks in many different formulations. Within the cosmetic industry they have also expanded into brushes and tools. Some of their most recognizable cosmetic products include their CliniqueFit foundation with its custom color matching technology, their Pop Lipsticks, Chubby Sticks, and more.

Clinique Fragrances

Clinique has expanded into the fragrance arena as well as skin care and cosmetics. The first Clinique fragrance was called Aromatics Elixir and was first put out to the market in 1971. Currently, its most popular and widely sold fragrance is Clinique Happy, for women. This is a citrusy perfume and was first popularized through an aggressive ad campaign featuring the Judy Garland song “Come on Get Happy”. Although this is the most popular scent, Clinique’s fragrance line also includes thirty-four other perfumes created with a variety of different scents and in collaboration with many well-known perfumers.

Clinique Skin Care for Men

A final aspect of Clinique’s product lines is their line developed specifically for men and for their unique skin care needs. They have a shave care line that includes an exfoliating pre-shave cleanser, a shaving cream, a soothing aloe vera shave gel, and a post-shave skin toning serum. All of the products in the line are developed with male skin and shaving care needs in mind, and their sleek grey packaging and lack of fragrance are designed to appeal to the broad male market as well.

Given all of this information, it might be useful to examine a few reviews of Clinique as a brand, taken from actual customer experience. The following list covers some of the major complaints and positive attributes that customers have given to Clinique.

  • The price for the quality of product that you receive is very good.
  • Clinique has a complete product line with a great variety that is consistent in its non-irritating, sensitive skin properties.
  • Clinique’s moisturizing products are silky and hydrating without making your skin feel excessively greasy.
  • One bad thing about Clinique is that they sometimes discontinue products that have been on the market for a long time, even if said products still have a large and loyal customer base.
  • The moisturizing and priming products from Clinique provide an excellent base that makes makeup go on more smoothly and last for longer without creasing, caking, or sliding off your face.
  • If there aren’t any department stores (such as a Macy’s) near you, it can sometimes be a little inconvenient to go and purchase Clinique products in store vs online.
  • Many people love that Clinique is a cruelty-free brand and doesn’t do any animal testing for its skincare or cosmetic products.
  • Clinique provides an entire line of skin care targeted towards every need and skin type.
  • Clinique offers excellent lip care and lipstick products that don’t dry out skin like many other long-wearing commercial lip products.

In conclusion, while it is important to examine all aspects of a brand, both the positive and a negative, before committing to a product line, most users have very few negative things to say about Clinique products.

The price can be seen as a drawback: Of course, there are better budget options for both skin care and cosmetics out there that also offer a lot of quality. Similarly, there are even more high end label brands that are targeted towards more specific skin care ailments or contain more unique and expensive ingredients.

However, Clinique’s advantage lies in its huge range of products targeted towards everyone from young teenagers with oily, acne-prone skin to the aging community with wrinkles and more sensitive, dry skin. Not only this, but also their skin care lines provide a complete routine from cleansing and toning to moisturizing, priming, and cosmetics. Once you have a Clinique skin care and cosmetic routine that works for your skin type, it’s really all that you need. It’s because of this horizontal and vertical monopoly on the market, combined with cruelty free and highly scientific and dermatologist-tested research and development, that Clinique has become such a large and profitable multinational corporation. Most analyses of this brand and its strengths and weaknesses will agree that Clinique won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

Elise Gray has written articles on a wide variety of topics such as fashion, health and wellness, and beauty. Her publications has been seen in U&C Magazine and LA Pulse Mag, just to name a few. In her free time, Elise enjoys trying the latest and greatest hair care products for her natural, curly hair and hiking with her dog, Carrot.