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Reviewed: Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer (It’s Surprisingly Bold... and Won’t Fade)

Primer plus pigment in one.

When it comes to bright lipsticks, Clinique probably doesn't come to mind at all. (#realtalk)

If you're like me, then you associate them more with yellow moisturizer, the three-step slogan and safe, muted, conservative makeup that moms and grandmothers love.

Who woulda thought they'd come out with one of the most impressive—and innovative—bright lipstick launches of the year?

From The Styling Edit Archives

But they did, and it is. 

Here are the new Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer lipsticks, and you might already be salivating at how saturated they're gonna be:

The packaging of the new Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer lipsticks.

If you ask me, there's always room for another bright lipstick in your collection (yes, I am an enabler). But here's what makes these different.

Primer! They're formulated with a built-in one made of shea and murumuru butters, plus a flexible polymer blend. Just like a hydrating primer would for your face, this one conditions and nourishes the lips, which means the pigment goes on better and smoother.

Even more importantly, the primer helps the colours to stay true throughout the day without changing or fading—they say up to eight hours! 

This is major. I hate it when a lipstick looks good when you first put it on, only to get dull, disappear and/or dry out a short while later. These Cliniques are not only mega-moisturizing and comfortable, but they look the same for hours (I didn't make it to eight yet, but I believe them).

I also get sad when colours look amazing in the tube, but then let too much of your natural lip tone show through, meaning the shade doesn't show up on pigmented lips. With one exception, I find the Cliniques do a great job of erasing my natural rosy lip tone, so the colour in the tube is what you get.

There are 16 shades, and they sent me eight to try:

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer lipsticks come in 16 shades; here are eight.

Here's how they look on the lips:

1 Nude Pop

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in 1 Nude Pop.

1 Nude Pop is described as "a low, pearl pinkish nude." I don't know what the "low" part means, but this one is the exception to the other shades in that it lets more of your own lip colour peek through. I would call it a sheer pinky-beige... not really pearly. It's definitely pretty, and a nice basic nude, if you don't have one already.

4 Beige Pop

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in 4 Beige Pop.

4 Beige Pop is described as "a light, pinkish nude creme." I would say that's accurate... but this is one of two shades in the collection I'm not really into. As you can see, it wipes out much more of my natural lip tone than the 1 Nude Pop, but the effect is kinda weird around the edges—it almost looks like unblended lip liner, even though I'm not wearing any. (And I would just die before wearing visible lip liner. Haha!) However, if you have lighter lips, and are a fan of these über-creamy pale pink-beiges, you'll probably like it.

6 Poppy Pop

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in 6 Poppy Pop.

6 Poppy Pop is described as "a mid-tone orange creme." And oh mah gawd, it is just the best thing ever. Easily my top shade in the entire collection, as I'm loving all things orange at the moment. It's bright, but not the typical unflattering yellow-orange—there's enough red in here to make it very wearable, and slightly muted. This is also the lipstick shade Emily Blunt was wearing in Cannes!

8 Cherry Pop

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in 8 Cherry Pop.

8 Cherry Pop is described as "a rich, blue-red creme." That sounds scarier than it actually looks when it's on. I love this magenta colour, which should flatter just about everyone. It's less strong than a red, less cool-toned than a fuchsia, but less wimpy than a berry.

10 Punch Pop

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in 10 Punch Pop.

10 Punch Pop is described as "a rich, rich fuchsia creme." (Notice the double rich... not sure if that was intentional!) As far as fuchsias go, I like it. It's not too cold against my neutral skin, and is a great bright for summer—or any time you want a fun bright shade to wake up your skin.

12 Fab Pop

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in 12 Fab Pop.

12 Fab Pop is described as "a light, light pink creme." We've been talking lately about how bad the pale pinks tend to look on the red carpet, so this one's not getting a lot of love from me (although I've definitely seen worse on certain celebs... at least this shade isn't drying). As with 4 Beige Pop, I had some challenges getting it to cover my natural lip tone. The end result is a tad too bubblegum-Nicki Minaj-ish for me.

13 Love Pop

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in 13 Love Pop.

13 Love Pop is described as "a mid-tone shimmer raspberry." I know, that sounds kind of horrible (and exactly the type of colour I'd normally associate with Clinique... old lady-ish, etc.) But wanna know a secret? I love it! It's probably my second favourite, after 6 Poppy Pop. Somehow, the muted berry with the shimmer feels modern all of a sudden—everything old is new again!—and it really flatters, in a late '80s sort of way. Am I crazy?

16 Grape Pop

Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in 16 Grape Pop.

16 Grape Pop is described as "a neutral, blue-purple creme." I'm shocked that Clinique even did such a colour—it's really unique and the purple, which is quite strong, pushes the boundaries a bit. I'd wear it for an arty evening occasion, not every day. Weirdly, I steer clear of blue undertones because they clash with my skin, but this one was okay. If you're considering diving into the purple lipstick trend, this would be the perfect one to start with.

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