The Clinique Pep-Start Collection

A few weeks ago I popped into Sephora with the intent of browsing for some skincare products and came across the Clinique section. Truth be told, I haven’t used Clinique since my early twenties, but back in the day you couldn’t tell me that the 3-Step system wasn’t the TRUTH! That was years ago and I am well past my twenties, so naturally my skin care regimen changed.

I was however intrigued by their newest line – Pep-Start™. The first product that caught my eye was the HydroBlur Moisturizer. This hybrid moisturizer/primer claims to visibly reduce the appearance of pores, provide all-day hydration with a matte finish. To me that sounded like perfection in a jar, especially on those days when I’m running late (which is like EVERY. DAMN. DAY) and I just want something that will keep me hydrated and keep the oil at bay. The second product was the Pep-Start 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser. I love a 2-for-1 product. Cleansing and exfoliating – and then there’s papaya extract and we all know about papaya’s ability to help fade blemishes and the moisturizing properties that it has. Throw that in with bamboo beads for gentle exfoliation and that’s just a recipe for smooth skin.


I tried these two products for two weeks and here’s my review.

HydroBlur Moisturizer – While this product is extremely hydrating, in my opinion it works better as a hydrator/primer than a moisturizer. The reason why I say that is because I prefer my moisturizers to have SPF, so I actually have an added step after I allow this product to penetrate my skin. The one thing I did like is that if you’re like me and use a glycol toner, this will definitely calm your skin because of the hydrating properties. It is important that you don’t put on too much of the product because it will tend to leave a slightly white overcast on darker skin. As far a matte effect, it’s pretty spot on. On the days when I wasn’t running late (which was like two days out of the fourteen day test period) I applied liquid foundation one day and powder foundation on another day. If you’re using this as a priming moisturizer liquid foundation is the way to go. Your foundation will glide on smoothly and you won’t have to worry so much about “baking” your foundation (a skill I probably will never master) but then again I was using the Smashbox Studio Skin foundation which is pretty damn amazing (saving that for another post).

2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser – Time saver in a bottle – WORD! Gentle enough to use everyday and although it says it’s gentle enough to use both morning and evening, I personally use this as my morning cleanser only since I exfoliate with a glycolic acid toner and don’t want to irritate my skin. One thing is for sure – it will cleanse your pores. Dirt and debris BE GONE! My skin felt smooth and my other skincare products seem to be more effective and I think it is because it helps with absorption.

If you ask me, the cleanser is probably the real MVP, but if you use the moisturizer as a primer instead of a moisturizer it’s fairly good. On a scale of 1 to 10 I’d give HydroBlur Moisturizer a 7 as a moisturizer and a 9 as a primer. As far as the 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser it’s pretty much a 10 as a daytime moisturizer for me. As far as overall value goes, both products are worth the money and you get a lot of product that goes a long way from a brand that is tried and true.

Not sure if these products will work for you? There are two ways you can try them out. You can try the Pep-Start Sampler Set that includes a 1 oz. Cleanser and a .5 oz moisturizer/primer or if you’re really into getting a priming moisturizer you can try the Merry & Brightening Pep-Start Set, which includes a 1 oz. Cleanser, a full size 1.7 oz moisturizer plus deluxe sample of Pep-Start Eye Cream. I have both…don’t judge me. Or you can purchase the full-size of either product just by clicking on the product names above.

Have you tried Pep-Start™? Share how you’re using these products in the comments section below.

Until next time always remember to SEE. TOUCH. TASTE.



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