The Makeup Counter Experience with CLINIQUE

July 14, 2015


I recently had the opportunity to visit my local CLINIQUE makeup counter for a full skincare and color matching consultation. I have to be honest here and tell you that I don’t typically get involved at the makeup counter, or with sales people for that matter. I’m usually one of those research online, then buy in store because I’m too impatient to wait for shipping type of person. But you’d be surprised what you’d learn by speaking to a brand representative and expert. I was lucky enough to have the chance to meet and work with Karen Flad, CLINIQUE skincare expert.

I’ve been a long time CLINIQUE user, always going back to my tried and true Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ – no matter how many different moisturizers I try, I always wind up sticking with this product. But the dermatologist-developed cosmetics brand has rolled out an impressive list of new products that I couldn’t wait to try out.


Starting with skincare, I was immediately introduced to the Turnaround Revitalizing Treatment Oil. I gravitate towards oils for restoring the moisture in my face that I tend to lose from being out in the sun, especially in the summer. So this product immediately got my attention, especially since I’ve been using one that’s almost double the price! Karen explained that oils aren’t just for people with dry skin either. Many of those with oilier skin seem to fear skincare oils with the thought, ‘why would you put oil on oily skin?’ But you’d be surprised the  positive effects it will have on your skin. Who knew- oil can actually combat oil!


My skincare and overall cleansing regiment really needed an upgrade. My dirty beauty secret? I don’t really wash my face often. Gasp – I know. I use makeup wipes to remove my makeup and if I wash my hair that day, I’ll use a sonic cleansing brush in the shower. Mind you this happens maybe once or twice a week. That means toxins in between days of cleaning are just sitting in my pores. I’m basically asking for acne. So I was excited and motivated to start cleaning my face better when Karen introduced me to the Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush. She taught me the correct way to use it on my face to effectively remove dirt and oils along with the corresponding products that work best for my skin type.


Color matching is a big reason to stop by a makeup counter. It’s not always easy to match the right color to your face so seeking advice from an expert that can carefully pick out the right color for you is best. I always recommend this to anyone who doesn’t use foundation often, if at all. Your face is almost always going to be a different color than the rest of your body, especially in the summer (assuming you’re using proper sun care). And if you aren’t someone who regularly uses foundation, or multiple brands, it can be hard to judge what colors work well for you.


Karen swiped a few different shades of the Beyond Perfecting Foundation and Concealer along my lower jaw line and cheek to see what color matched the closest to my natural skin color. She also showed me a fun trick to use a fluffy shadow brush to buff in the foundation under my eyes. This foundation actually has the concealer built in – the perfect time saver for those mornings when you’re in a rush!


After a my foundation was buffed in and my contour was perfected (easy peesy with the contour and highlight chubby sticks) it was time to complete the look… with lipstick!


I’m a bit of a lipstick hoarder, I’ll admit it. But a good majority of my lipsticks go unused because of how drying they can be. CLINIQUE recently introduced a new line of lipsticks (which are adorable by the way) and they already have a smoothing primer built in! Say what? I’ll take them all! It’s so hard to find good, moisturizing lipsticks with great staying power and CLINIQUE successfully created the perfect lipstick with the Pop Lip Colour + Primer. These little punches of color will keep your lips moisturized for up to 8 hours, not to mention the fact that they’re conveniently color coded to easily find in your purse or makeup drawer. I think it’s obvious what color’s my favorite – I nabbed it immediately after learning that Cherry Pop was the perfect compliment to my skin tone.


So don’t be afraid to visit a makeup counter during your next trip to the mall and your favorite department store. Don’t feel like you have to shy away from sales professionals, because they really are just that… professionals. Brand experts don’t want to sell you a ton of products you’re not going to use then never come back to buy new items. The goal is to make you a repeat customer, meaning they are truly there to help you by providing professional and trustworthy advice to recommend products you’ll actually use.

It never hurts to do a little research beforehand to see what products may interest you. But ask questions when at a makeup counter. Find out what their top selling products are or their personal favorites. Typically, they sell well for a reason. My experience at the CLINIQUE counter was not only informative, but fun! Because at the end of the day makeup is supposed to be fun and you never know what you’ll learn if you ask questions.

Photos by Stephanie Drenka Photography.

A big thank you to CLINIQUE for sponsoring this post, Karen Flad for sharing her expertise in CLINIQUE makeup and skincare, and to Nordstrom Galleria Dallas for allowing us to photograph! All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • Karen Flad
    November 10, 2015 at 4:00 PM

    It was truly a pleasure getting to work with you and meeting you! Loved this blog before and continute to love it even more!