Sunday, October 5, 2014

Clinique : Party Pretty Box {shadow palette, chubby stick for lips, mascara, quickliner for eyes, nail enamel, eye cream}

Happy weekend, goddesses!  If you haven't already, it's about time that you heard about Clinique's Limited Edition box for Fall 2014, Party Pretty.  I couldn't believe what an amazing deal this is, and was delighted that it includes some favorites of mine.

Clinique Party Pretty

A Different Nail Enamel : "Cinnamon Swirl" Limited Edition

"Cinnamon Swirl" is a dark chocolate ganache polish spiced with cinnamon stick russet shimmer that is variously struck with an iridescent golden glow.  An indecisive polish, this is; sometimes it seems to be to be a deep melted brown with a reddish chestnut shimmer, and it some lights it looks to be a vampy oxblood red.  Cinnamon is definitely an apt description, though I think a cinnamon roll is much too innocent for this come-hither color; I thought more of devil's food cake when I wore it.  The formula is great, very smooth and easy to apply; I went with two coats.  The bottle is a mini at .14fl.oz, but the brush feels full size so it isn't a hindrance.  This polish is limited edition to this set, so I don't believe it will be released in their full size (0.3fl.oz).

Clinique "Cinnamon Swirl"

All About Shadow Palette : Limited Edition

This palette borrows from other Clinique palettes but also introduces two exclusive shades for a wonderfully autumnal color collection.  I was so excited to see the fascinating taupe shade from Neutral Territory on here, which has a murky grayish green oil-slick shimmer, though as you can see in the swatches below the green fades to the subtlest possible effect on when applied; in motion, however, it does add a whisper of intriguing dimension.  The palette also includes a cream shimmer from the Buttered Toast duo, a red-tinted espresso from the Morning Java quad, an exclusive golden blonde shadow dubbed "Champagne", the antiqued thistle shimmer from the Beach Plum duo, and an exclusive muted nearly-brown plum shimmer called "Chocolate Covered Cherry".  If you are familiar with any of these palettes you know that the Clinique eyeshadow formula is neither buttery nor chalky, but a buildable powder that, particularly with regards to the darker shadows, starts somewhat sheer and gains much intensity by the second go round.  I tend to prefer luxuriant shadows that are just melting with pigment, yet this style does afford more flexibility and degrees of opacity for those who like to dial their look down to more natural hues.  This palette is sized like the Clinique quad but obviously divided into six rather than four, so the shadows are slightly smaller but the value of a quad is there.

[ sunlight ]

[ full-spectrum lamp lighting ]

Chubby Stick Intense "Grandest Grape" + Quickliner for Eyes Intense "Intense Sable"

I love the Clinique Chubby Sticks so much, and the newer Intense formulation is just incredible.  "Grandest Grape" looks like a wine or grape juice hue in the tube, but for me went on the lips as a rich blue-based red.  It's totally beautiful and super pigmented, and leaves a lovely stain on the lips, but I was a little disappointed that it didn't lean plummy as I was hoping.  I've been all about the berry tones this fall!  The box contains a full-size Chubby Stick, wheeee. 

The Quickliner for Eyes in "Intense Sable" is a gorgeous plush deep brown with opulent golden twinkles.  The lightest touch on the eyelid leaves rich, pigmented color behind without any dragging whatsoever.  It is a full size eyeliner, with the only different being in packaging; there is no blender on the other end, and the cap is plastic instead of chrome.  To me, the essential value is there!  I used "Intense Sable" to whimsically frame the eye shadows above, and I think it plays very nicely indeed with the palette.

top: sunlight // bottom: lamplight


High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara

The fact that this mascara was included in the box was a huge boon to me, seeing as it is my favorite-est mascara of all time ever ever.  I love me some va-va-voom crazy-big long lush lashes,  and this is the mascara I always come back to for the biggest volume and best shape.  This + Clinique's lash primer is my doe lashes dream team.  I often have people ask how I get my lash look, and this is it.  The silver tube Extreme Volume Mascara has the same exact formula as the regular High Impact Mascara, but the brush has these fine pliable bristles, and the tube has an air-lock mechanism that for me has kept this mascara going for at least six, sometimes ten months, depending on how often I'm using it (I don't wear mascara quite so often when I'm at school).  When you hear and feel the *click*, you know the tube is air-tight.  It's lasted at least twice as long as most mascaras, in my experience!  For me, the super prolonged life and awesome brush have been worth the extra couple bucks that the Extreme Volume takes.  You'll get the full size full shebang in the box, which right there accounts for half its value!!  Party Pretty comes with an "Extreme Black" mascara, which is what Clinique ladies have recommended to me in the past (the other option being a softer "Black").  I've never really noticed the color difference.

Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara in "Extreme Black"


All About Eyes

Finally, the Party Pretty box comes with a tube of Clinique All About Eyes, which is supposed to reduce under-eye circles and puffs.  The Clinique lady seemed most excited about this item, so I'm guessing it is quite popular.  At first I thought it was the same as this little sample All About Eyes Serum I've had lying around, but the regular AAE is rather thicker and more like a gel, whereas the Serum is much thinner and is applied with a cooling roller ball.  Both glide on silky and soft, not oily or greasy or anything.  If you were to purchase AAE it would come in a little pot, but at 0.5oz/15mL this little tube contains a full-size amount of product.

All About Eyes (in box) < vs. > All About Eyes Serum (not in box)


All of these goodies come lovingly packaged in a lurid purple cosmetics case with space-age silver accent panels, all stuffed in a like-colored box that can be seen from anywhere in the store probably.  The Party Pretty box retails for a truly incredible $39.50, and claims to have a value of $113.50.  Here's my breakdown on that: Limited Edition All About Shadow Palette: $28.00 (eyeshadow quad equivalent).  Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm: $17.00.  High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara: $19.50.  Quickliner for Eyes Intense: $16.50.  A Different Nail Enamel: $5.833 (0.14/0.3=0.466 // 0.466 x $12.50 = $5.833).  All About Eyes: $31.00.  Make-up case: Free.  By that accounting, this box is actually worth $117.83.  I was kind of expecting the "value" number to be padded with like $15 for the flamboyant little bag, as per usual with things like this, but far from inflating the apparent box value it seems that Clinique was being modest!  I've never heard of a company underestimating the true value; probably they were accounting for the packaging changes, which at least to me is not so important as the actual product anyway (especially when all but one product is full-size!!).  I just emphasize this because I think it illustrates Clinique's devotion to quality, integrity, and their clients.  I picked up my box at Dillard's, though it can also be found at select Macy's, Bloomingdales, Bergdorf Goodman, and Lord and Taylor.  I'm giving this my savvy shopper seal of approval (which I just made up right now), and highly recommend it as a holiday gift, or just as a gift for yourself because quite honestly you will never get a better deal on these products.

Have you purchased one of these Clinique boxes before (apparently it's an annual thing, how have I missed this??!)?  What was in it and how does the value compare?


  1. If you buy at macy's right now you get a free gift as well :) With any 27 dollar purchase of clinique products.

    1. Good eye, Michelle!! Thank you so much for sharing the tip! Hooray for awesome deals :)