Full disclosure, I previously managed a Clinique counter years ago, and so the brand holds a special place in my heart. But for good reason – even though they are a major beauty brand (owned and founded by the Estée Lauder company), I like that they stay true to their mission of producing great skin care and always allergy testing. So when Clinique launches products, I tend to perk up and listen. Case in point, they are on a recent kick of featuring newly customizable products. Since I’m always on the look out for a great tinted moisturizer, this newer product of BIY Blend It Yourself Pigment Drops caught my eye – this is pure pigment that allows you to make any moisturizer into a light tint or full-coverage hydrating foundation. Whee!!! As a makeup artist, my head immediately started swirling with all of the multi-purpose and functionality possibilities – even the idea of adding a bit to eye creams to help conceal dark circles and reduce puffiness while evening skin tone was amazing. As a pragmatic and sensitive skin-focused esthetician, I was also excited as this gives a lot of people who normally shy away from heavier foundations a chance to experiment by finding their perfect coverage on their terms. Foundation can often have a lot of fillers, so this allows you the option to take straight pigment and apply with the vehicle (serum or moisturizer) that you decide. The benefit of this is that it takes on whatever finish the serum or moisturizer is – matte, satin or dewy. Score!!
There’s a full range of shades to pick from, and easy to test on the jawline just like you would with any foundation. My shade is BIY 105 (VF-N), which is Clinique-speak for “very fair – neutral”. Don’t let the small bottle fool you though. If you think about it, foundations are usually pigment mixed with a base that does specific functions: long-wearing, smoothing, anti-aging, SPF protection, moisturizing, full-coverage, oil-control, etc. If you think about it, you can accomplish this with a moisturizer (best fit for your specific skincare needs) and then customize it with a level of coverage that you want. Mind. Blown. Speaking of coverage, let’s get to that – the drops are measured and are very concentrated. Caution, a little goes a long way. It’s a very watery consistency but that doesn’t mean that it’s diluted. I like more full-coverage foundations and I’ve found that 2 drops in my dime-sized dot of Olay Complete All Day UV SPF 15 Moisturizer is the perfect blend. I’ve also found that the coverage is buildable – I’ll take a a little bit of the pigment, and layer where needed.
The one thing that I’ve learned from using this for the past 3 months is that I am not using a foundation brush to apply – this now falls into my morning regimen at my moisturizer phase. I will also apply this down my neck and around my eyes, with layering to build up coverage. I’ve found that it works best to use the back of my left hand as a palette: first squeeze a dime-size amount of Olay moisturizer, and then drop 2 drops of BIY into the moisturizer. Swirl to mix, and then apply and blend out. I’ll use a little bit more to layer where needed, if I want more coverage. If you want a more mattifying effect, I recommend using Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel rather than the Olay moisturizer – it creates a silky finish that helps keep oily spots shine free. If you are looking for a very full-coverage effect with more shine control, you can easily blend a powder foundation over the top. Conversely, if you want a dewy affect, blend a single drop with a moisturizing serum for a sheer, hydrated look.
I do still use foundations, as sometimes I prefer my favorites (such as L’Oreal True Match or PUR’s 4-in-1 Liquid foundations) to achieve a specific look or effect. But I now include BIY in my mix of makeup, as it provides options that I couldn’t get with other products. My hope is that this stays within the standard foundation line-up for Clinique, and that this review helps clarify how to use it. Once you get the hang of it, and you see how to blend it in with your favorite skincare treatments or moisturizers, I think you’ll love having it as an option to use.
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