Clinique 3 Step Skin Care System

Like many-a-blogger/ youtuber, Clinique contacted me a while back to see if I'd like to try their 3 step system. The only 'catch' was that I had to make a few videos on how I was getting along with the products over two weeks - which I'd have done anyway! Now, I'm always on the look out for a way to improve my uneven, oily skin and love how clean and fresh the fool proof 'cleanse, tone, moisturise' method makes me feel - so how could I say no?

A while later I stumbled half awake into my kitchen to see my trial pack for 'Type 3 - Oily/ Combination Skin' had arrived. The kit contains liquid facial soap, clarifying lotion and dramatically different moisturising gel. Bought individually,in their full sizes, this set would set you back a whopping £73. Clinique do, however make smaller sizes (prices start at £13 for products in this specific kit)...

At first, I was a bit wary. The clarifying lotion smelt like strawberry vodka (I kid you not, it smells SO strong) and made my face feel dry and tight. The moisturising gel stank of soggy wheat-a-bix and didn't seem...well...right next to the thicker creams I'm used to. In the spirit of blogging/ out of pure curiosity, I decided to 'man up' and carry on using them for the full two weeks. It could only get better, right?

Well, four days in and I broke out across my chin/ forehead. To make it better, I only spotted (hehe, get it?) the offending red bumps after trecking, in the rain, freezing cold across a muddy field after about three hours sleep in a tent. WHAT A HAPPY CAMPER. Random, big breakouts never happen to me, yeah, the odd spot likes to crash the party - but they never bring their friends. Ho-hum. I figured it was down to my skin adjusting. The majority had cleared up by day 6 (though I'll admit Freederm was probably a great help), so it wasn't a huuuuge problem.

By the end of the first week, my skin had just about gotten used to the products and I was starting to enjoy using them. The clarifying lotion makes your skin feels super fresh, clean and pampered (my fave of the products) and you only need the tiniest amount to get a face full of bubbly goodness. The clarifying lotion was a bit of a fail product for me. Yes, I'm suuuure it's responsible for my now oily free T-zone and it did stop making my skin feel really tight after a while, but that's where the joy stops. According to Clinique, this grain free, water consistency liquid is an exfoliator. SAY WHAT?! Um, Clinique, this stuff is only as exfoliating as what you apply it with, and you suggest, of all things.......cotton wool. Soft, fluffy, passive-aggressive cotton wool. Needless to say, my skin now feels a lot rougher than when I started out with this so-called exfoliating lotion and I'm craving something harsh that will throw me around and call me its bitch. In other words, decent exfoliator. Crappy exfoliation aside - it smells of vodka! Vodka! The last thing I want to smell in the morning. Or at night...Or ever. The moisturising gel had no real noticeable moisturising effects for me, but I only get dry skin on my face during Winter. It does, however, make my skin feel a bit more balanced after the drying effects of the cleansing lotion.
OK. So now that it's all over, my skin is sooooo much more even! Sometimes in the morning I've wondered if I took my make-up off properly the night before, because the redness from my cheeks is almost gone and the slightly darker, yellowy patches have evened out into my true skintone. My skin is a lot less oily, and my foundation doesn't get that oily layer after a few hours wear anymore - awesome! That may be down to swapping foundations recently, though, but I've always used oil free foundations. Sat here, make-up free, my face still feels clean and balanced after....5 hours. Being less oily hasn't prevented any little spots appearing every now and then, but I'm 18 - it's natural.

Overall, my skin really has improved. It's a visible difference. Will I be buying full size when the trial sizes runs out? At £73, no. Smaller sizes can be bought up for a total of £43. If I had that sort of cash to spend on skin care, I might just be tempted...but I'd have to add a proper exfoliator into the mix! Kits are also available for very dry to dry, dry combination, oily combination and very oily skin and are available from the Clinique site and Clinique counters. Introductory sets are currently only £20!

If you want to receive Clinique offers/ promotions/ the chance to get a 3 step system for FREE, either leave your email in the comments OR email me - lily175 [at] for an invite to join the 3thingsbefore30 site using my ambassador code! You'd also be giving me the chance to try out and review more Clinique products :)

All images from the Clinique website.


  1. nice review! I'm glad you had nice results. I've been using the cleanser and the clarifying lotion but I haven't seen any improvements yet, maybe my skin just doesn't like salicylic acid :\


  2. Thanks, Lily (great name, btw :P). A lot of people find the Clinique range quite harsh, stick it out a while longer and maybe swap to something purer if it doesn't work out for you.

  3. I'm a bit scared to try this, I had a consultation today and they recommended the type 2 three step to try.


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