Clinique: Makeup with the skincare advantage
LIVIN' & LOVIN' - Tetta Matera () - January 25, 2012 - 12:00am

Just when I thought I knew everything there was to know about makeup comes along Paul Slavin, vice president and general manager of Clinique Asia Pacific. The jovial Scotsman, who has been with the Clinique brand since 2005, dispelled some of my long-held notions about makeup and shared some mind-boggling makeup trivia with me.

 “Do you know that in a year, if we put every Clinique lip product we sell all over the world on top of each other, it will be equivalent to 650 Empire State Buildings?” Say that again. Yes, while the brand is best known for its skincare products, Clinique is one of the top-selling makeup brands globally. Their liquid foundation outsells all other liquid foundations across continents and the Clinique makeup brand beats the combined sales of all mass makeup products in North America hands down.

While these figures may be common knowledge in the beauty industry, they are little-known facts among consumers; Paul Slavin wants to change that by raising the consumer awareness of their makeup philosophy in Asia and introducing Clinique’s dermatologist-created, allergy-tested and customized approach to quality makeup to many more Asian women.  After all, Clinique is the pioneer in dermatologist-created cosmetic products, having introduced the concept in 1968, ahead of all other makeup brands.

NShow me how: Clinique makeup consultant Paolo Maranan applies makeup on fair-skinned Filipina mtodel Anna Sedeco. Photos by JOEY VIDUYA

 “Do you know why we do not use any celebrity or famous personality to endorse Clinique makeup?” Slavin asked. I looked at him and said, “No,” while I try to recall the hundreds of Clinique ads I have seen countless times in magazines.

“Because we want our makeup to speak for itself; we want to remain focused on the efficacy of our products, stick to and defend the core equity of our brand which is, while our makeup looks good on the face it also has treatment benefits, it is actually very good for all skin types,” he explained. “Besides, we don’t want to dictate to the consumer how they should look or associate our products with a particular age group; we believe our clients are smart, intelligent women who are all beautiful in their own way.”

Come to think of it, Clinique makeup advertisements are clean, simple, straight-to-the-point visualization of their products mostly in pristine white, the brands signature color, sans the all-to-common, oftentimes Photoshopped images of celebrity endorsers. 

 I asked why Clinique is not in pursuit of the “all-organic, all-natural” route like other makeup brands today.

Chubbylicious: Get mouthwatering moisture and a hint of soft shine with Clinique’s Chubby Stick moisturizing lip color.

“Certain organic ingredients like cinnamon may cause irritation and that is something we avoid 100 percent in all our products. Clinique is a trendy brand, but we are not hip and we don’t follow fads; our philosophy has always been to provide the highest quality and most effective collection of products for all ages and ethnicities,” Slavin emphasized.

Clinique creates their products in factories wholly owned by the Estee Lauder Companies (the parent company of Clinique) located in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Belgium and Japan; they have science laboratories in Korea, the United Kingdom and Japan and the company upholds the ethical treatment of people in all their facilities across the globe.

 Slavin studied to become a pharmacist in Aberdeen, Scotland. I asked him if this has helped him in his career in the beauty industry. Without missing a beat, he answered, “Yes, it has tremendously. I have a logical understanding of the science behind the products, its cause and effects and process-driven nature.”

Slavin is involved in product development and has always played a key role in establishing marketing strategies including the Asia-Pacific, his current turf. “We work on the products 48 months in advance and it is no different for the products we are introducing to the Philippines beginning this month.”

 Slavin loves working and living in Asia and has a special affinity for Filipinos. He met and worked with many of our kababayans during his stint as Clinique’s brand manager in the Middle East.

“The Filipinos are such happy people,” he exclaimed. And it is with this enthusiasm that he brings Clinique’s latest makeup line to the Philippines.

Clinique’s Spring 2012 Makeup Collection

“Are you aware that the Filipina owns the most makeup among all the women in Asia? Are you also aware that the Filipina is the most fastidious (metikulosa, in local parlance) about looking good?” Slavin asked me. Apparently, we love our blush-on, too, because we buy more blush-on than any other makeup products. “It is because of this that we have developed products to enhance the Filipina skin, fair or light-skinned, morena or dark-skinned. We have created a whole range of cosmetics including four shades of foundation for the Southeast Asian woman,” he points out.

 The spring 2012 makeup collection of Clinique is exciting, easy to use and fun; the pout-pleasing lip balm packed with “do-gooders” called Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm provides a sheer hint of color that glides on effortlessly, leaving behind a natural blush of color and sheen. It is infused with a special blend of decadent butters, oils and antioxidants that protect and pamper lips with immediate and lasting moisturization. The mouthwatering shades range from nude to pretty pinks and deep purples. I tried the super strawberry shade on and after coffee and a snack, the color was still visible; the stick is easy to hold making application a breeze.

And the Best Dramatic Performance by an Eye Pencil goes to: Clinique’s Quickliner for Eyes Intense.

 The new Lid Smoothie Antioxidant 8-hour Eye Colour is not your average eye color; it has an innovative cream-to-powder formula that smoothes the lids with nourishing ingredients to revitalize and refresh the appearance of tired eyes. This long-wearing cream shadow delivers rich, crease-resistant color that stays put for eight hours and has a unique cooling applicator that gives a refreshing feel with each use.

 The Almost Lipstick boasts a sheer, smooth formula that allows your natural lip color to come through, creating a custom-fit shade that is unique to each woman. With hues that range from natural nudes to pretty pinks to deep violets and reds, some of which are Asian-specific shades, this lip color gives any woman a fresh-faced, almost no-makeup look.

 The Quickliner for Eyes Intense builds on the success of Clinique’s bestselling eye pencil, the Quickliner for Eyes; it delivers a soft, creamy texture and convenient application while delivering the most intense color payoff. Available in an elegant repertoire of stay-true, eye-amplifying colors, it provides non-fading, long-wearing color for up to 12 hours. I gave this eye pencil a test drive and sure enough, it slid quite nicely on my eyelids with one go and the color did stay all throughout the day.

 I asked Slavin about liquid foundations; while they are not launching the spring 2012 liquid foundation just yet, I wanted to know whether it was true that women my age (I will be 47 years old in March) should avoid using liquid foundation because it makes us look older.

He said that first and foremost, because of the humidity in our country, it might not be such a good idea to use liquid foundation in the Philippines. But he also told me that depending on my skin’s condition, liquid foundation should work just as beautifully as any other kind of foundation.

He let me try Clinique’s Even Better liquid foundation and within seconds it disappeared into my skin like a moisturizer; I was quite pleased with the result. It provided smooth, even coverage and was so light and thin it didn’t feel anything like any of the liquid foundations I have used in the past.  And just like that, with Slavin’s expert advice, yet again another makeup myth bites the dust.

* * *

Lid Smoothie Antioxidant 8-hour Eye Colour and Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm are now available at Rustan’s Makati, Shangri-La Mall, Alabang Town Center, Gateway Mall, Ayala Center Cebu, Essenses Rockwell and at the Trinoma Mall. Almost Lipstick and Quickliner for Eyes Intense will be available in March and August 2012, respectively.

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