Monday, April 25, 2011

review: clinique moisture surge tinted moisturizer

Scary makeup-free pics ahead! Just a warning, ladies. ;)

(photo from

I've really wanted to do a review on a foundation I've been loving lately - Clinique's Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer. I have to admit, I first drawn in by the sleek pale pink and silver packaging and the allure of a magazine ad. The foundation is a pretty reasonable $24.50. I also purchased during Clinique's Bonus Time, when they offer amazing freebies with a $21.50 purchase.   I also purchased the Bottom Lash mascara, which is another great product - but that's for another post!

Anyways, I'll cut right to the chase with the photos and review!


Totally bare-faced! (and in pajamas! haha)


With Clinique's Moisture Surge tinted moisturizer (also wearing nder-eye concealer, mascara, and 17 Mirror Shine in Beehive). I tried to take foundation-only pics, but they were too scary! haha I applied the foundation with Sephora's Professionel Platinum foundation Airbrush #55 (my favorite for applying foundation).

and with some blush (MAC Oh So Fair beauty powder)...


As you can see, it gives pretty good, buildable coverage with a semi-matte finish and a non-tacky texture. Most tinted moisturizers I've tried give a much lighter coverage. If you like lighter coverage, this may not be for you, but I love how it covers my redness and acne scars. Also, you can lighten the coverage if you apply with your fingers or a beauty blender-type sponge instead. One of my favorite things about this foundation is that I don't need to set it with powder (I have combination skin), and it lasts VERY well and doesn't separate around my nose and chin after a few hours of running around at work (one problem I have with NARS Sheer Glow).  Of course, if you have really oily skin, you may still want to set with powder.

Despite the coverage, it doesn't feel thick or cakey. It also has a light sunscreen scent which I happen to like. I have sensitive skin, and this foundation has not clogged my pores or irritated my skin. I also really like the packaging - lightweight and compact, perfect to throw in a makeup bag. The price is great, too - $24.50 - almost half the price of my beloved NARS Sheer Glow.


As with other Clinique foundations, I find that this oxidizes a bit. Blending is key, as once I applied with my fingers and when I got in my car I realized I had the dreaded foundation line around my jaw area.  Yuck! Also, the shade range is extremely limited (Clinique's website lists 6 available shades). I use Shade 2, and while I don't think it's a *perfect* match, it's not a bad one. However, I think darker skin tones might have trouble finding a match.  It's described as "sheer coverage," but it's not an Origins Vitazing-type product (which seems to work on most skin tones) - you do need a shade match.


I've been using this foundation pretty much daily the past 2/3 weeks, and I'm really loving it! I think I would definitely repurchase when I run out.  I'm interested to see how well it fares during the unbearable Florida summer months, but so far, so good!  I'd ask for a sample at Sephora (Sephora is great for foundation samples, if you didn't know!) or at your Clinique counter if you're interested in trying.  I just did wrist swatches and got lucky with my pick, but I know that's not a strategy that works for everyone! 

Hope this was helpful!

<3 Jess


  1. Do you have a youtube channel? If not you really should ;)

  2. I have the Moisture surge moisturiser and love it to bits! Didn't now they have it in a tinted version xx

  3. Oh my gosh! The coverage looks fantastic for a tinted moisturizer! By the way, what under eye concealer are you using? It's funny, because 'Moisture Surge' doesn't lead me to believe that it'd be suitable for combination to oily skin, but that's pretty awesome that you don't even have to powder. I definitely would though for my oil slick of a face. Definitely need a sample now!

  4. I was using the MUFE Lift concealer - I usually use YSL Touche Eclat, but that one was in my makeup bag in my handbag. The MUFE one is really good, too - just a little sticky!

    Honestly, if it weren't for the name, I wouldn't even connect the tinted moisturizer with the moisturizer it's named after. I don't mean that negatively, just that they're such totally different products, and the TM gives a semi-matte, only slightly dewy finish - not at all a "moisture surge"!

    Flyavsted - I love watching Youtube gurus, but I don't think that's something I'd be into doing myself. People are too mean!!

  5. This sounds really good! It looks amazing too! I am definitely going to pick up a sample to try out!

  6. Thanks for this, I've been considering getting this. I couldn't decide between this and VitaZing, think I need to get to my local counter and get a sample. It looks like it really evened out your skin, which is what I could do with.

  7. I have shade one and it gets much pinker on me as the day goes on and it oxidizies which is a shame, clinique really doesn't suit those with pale skin imo. Great review!

  8. I've had trouble in the past too with Clinique's shade selection - it's so bizarre! In the Redness Solutions foundation, the first shade was SO ORANGE on me, and the second shade was lighter. Doesn't make sense!

    I might have to amend this post, also. I think it may have been the culprit behind a recent bad breakout I had! I'm not 100% certain, so I'm giving my skin a break and trying other things, and then I'll give it another go after some time passes. It could be another product or just hormonal, but we'll see...