Clinique Pep-Start

3:36 PM

Hi there,

Last month I had the chance to attend Clinique's presentation of their new Pep-Start products in Zürich. First it was awesome to discover the newly launched Clinique products and secondly it was also amazing to be able to meet some of my favorite Swiss bloggers (Accusedoflipsticking, VanessaBratschi, Kissandmakeupbeautyblog, UndnochvielsmehrSarahrita81,  Heypretty).

The new Pep-start products are full of colors -each product is represented by a unique super bright color: orange for the eye cream, almost neon blue for the moisturizing primer, sunny yellow for the heavier moisturizer and bright pink for the cleansers! Packaging-wise, they will indeed pep up your skincare routine for sure! :D
This new collection target younger people, always on-the-go that want efficient products that are easy+quick to apply.

Pep-Start HydroBlur Moisturizer

According to Clinique:
"This oil-free moisturizer instantly blurs imperfections while providing all-day hydration. Skin looks naturally perfected with a matte finish. Wear it alone, or under foundation. It's so lightweight you can use it for touch-ups throughout the day. We call it your new favorite filter...the ideal way to give your skin the moisture it needs, and the forgiving 'retouch' that blurs the look of pores and fine dry lines."

Water\Aqua\Eau, Glycerin (humectant), Sodium Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-1 (film forming agent, thickener), Acetylated Glycol Stearate (thickener, emulsifier, emollient), Myristyl Myristate (emollient), Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer (viscosity control), Dimethicone (emollient, slip agent), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (emollient), Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter (emollient), Hypnea Musciformis (Algae) Extract (red alga extract/anti-irritant), Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer (viscosity control), Gillidiela Acerosa (Algae) Extract (alga extract/antioxidant, emollient), Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul’s Wort) Extract (plant extract without much research), Alcaligenes Polysaccharides (gelling agent), Algae Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Squalane, Ceramide NP, Beeswax\Cera Alba\Cire D’Abeille, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Caffeine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trehalose, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sodium Polyacrylate Starch, Pentylene Glycol, Laureth-9, Laureth-23, Silica, Silica Silylate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Red 4 (CI 14700), Yellow 5 (CI 19140).

Sherbet texture

The HydroBlur Moisturizer is exactly what Clinique says it is. It's a primer + moisturizer all in one. It acts wonderfully to blur fine lines, enlarged pores and small skin unevenness. The formula is lightly hydrating (it has a sherbet texture) and glides very easily on the skin without balling up or acting weird. You don't need much product, as with most primers, less is better in my opinion. It leaves the skin semi-matte with a natural finish. Foundation is easy to apply on top of it (again no balling up or anything). My skin is not particularly oily so I can't say how well it mattifies and if the mattifying effect lasts long.
Formula-wise, it contains many functional ingredients to tune the visocity, the slip and the film forming properties of this product. All these properties are important to help create the blur effect.
It also contains many emollients, such as shea butter and mango seed butter for a moisturizing boost as well as a mix of plant extracts with antioxidant properties (although antioxidants don't survive very well in jar packaging).

If you compare it with The Porefessional of Benefit, here with the Clinique Hydroblur, you have all the moisturizing ingredients in addition plus there is no added fragrance. So this is definitely both a primer and a moisturizer, perfect if you want to have a quick and easy routine.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised and I must say that I've been using it everday since I got it! That's a product I highly recommend, especially if you're looking for a primer!

Pep-Start Hydrorush Moisturizer SPF20 

According to Clinique:
"This oil-free moisturiser instantly refreshes and delivers all-day hydration. Gives skin a healthy-looking glow and UV protection against the sun's aging rays. Formluated with antioxidants, anti-irritants and barrier strengthening ingredients to help provide multi-faceted environmental protection."

I didn't have the ingredient list but I fianally found it here.
Active ingredients
Avobenzone 3.0% (sunscreen, anti-UVA)
Octisalate 5.0% (sunscreen, anti-UVB)

water\aqua\eau • butyloctyl salicylate (stabilize avobenzone) • glycerin (humectant) • polyester-8 (stabilize avobenzone) • polysorbate 60 (emulsifier) • dimethicone (emollient, slip agent) • butylene glycol (solvent) • cetyl alcohol (emollient, thickener, emulsifier) • sorbitan stearate (emulsifier) • tridecyl stearate (emollient, thickener, emulsifier) • pentylene glycol (humectant) • sigesbeckia orientalis (st. paul's wort) extract (plant extract without much research) • laminaria saccharina extract • plankton extract • arabidopsis thaliana extract • lactobacillus ferment • ergothioneine • palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 • sea whip extract • hordeum vulgare (barley) extract\extrait d'orge • caffeine • algae extract • squalane • ethylhexylglycerin • trehalose • palmitoyl tripeptide-1 • triticum vulgare (wheat) germ extract • micrococcus lysate • tridecyl trimellitate • tocopheryl acetate • dipentaerythrityl hexacaprylate/hexacaprate • peg-100 stearate • acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer • cetyl palmitate • sorbitan palmitate • sorbitan olivate • sodium benzoate • ethylene/va copolymer • dimethiconol • tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate • sodium hydroxide • sodium polyacrylate • polyethylene • lecithin • sodium hyaluronate • carbomer • polysorbate 20 • disodium edta • pentaerythrityl tetra-di-t-butyl hydroxyhydrocinnamate • bht • chlorphenesin • phenoxyethanol [iln42436].div>

The Hydrorush is a moisturizer with SPF20. It has a slight sunscreen scent and when you look at the cream and consistency, it totally reminds you of a regular sunscreen (a thick-ish white cream). That said, the texture is lighter than what you could expect and it doesn't fell heavy or oily on skin. I must admit I was quite surprised because looking at it, I was really expecting a very thick cream. When you spread it on the skin, it feels rather lightweight and is quickly absorbed. It stays sticky  for a couple of minutes before setting down to a matte finish. It contains 3% of avobenzone to protect your skin from UVA and 5% octisalate to protect from UVB. So this is a full spectrum chemical sunscreen.

Most of the time, I don't like moisturizer with SPF. I prefer using a standalone sunscreen. Without going into details, standalone sunscreens are usually formulated to adhere to your skin better than moisturizers with SPF and often moisturizers with SPF tend to be not full spectrum and/or have a too low protection or the sunscreens could interfer with the other suncreens present in your makeup etc. That said again, I think this Clinique Hydrorush moisturizer is pretty neatly formulated (but I'm not an expert) to double act as a sunscreen and if you like chemical sunscreen and don't want to use a standalone sunscreen, this one might be a good option for an everyday/city protection! I don't use chemical sunscreens, so I haven't tried the Hydrorush :p

Pep-Start Eye Cream

According to Clinique:
"A pep rush for eyes. Just 3 seconds to look wide awake, refreshed. Hydrates, brightens, perks you up. Its cool touch and de-puffing tip help keep eyes looking fresh. Smooths the way for makeup, too. Have it on hand. Ophthalmologist Tested."

Water\Aqua\Eau, Glycerin (humectant), Butylene Glycol (solvent), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (emollient), Squalane (repairing ingredient), Cetyl Esters (emollient), Dimethicone (emolient, slip agent), Methyl Gluceth-20 (humectant, surfactant), Polyethylene (thickener), Glycereth-26 (emollient, thickener), Polybutene (thickener), Sucrose (moisturizer), Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract, Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul’s Wort) Extract, Algae Extract, Molasses Extract\Saccharum Officinarum\Extrait De Melasse, Sapindus Mukurossi Fruit Extract, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Whey Protein\Lactis Protein\Proteine Du Petit-Lait, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2, Caffeine, Phytosphingosine, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Yeast Extract\Faex\Extrait De Levure, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Sucrose Stearate, Caprylyl Glycol, PEG-8, Sodium Hyaluronate, Simethicone, Polysorbate 20, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Dextran, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).

The Pep-Start eye cream is a lightweight moisturizing cream. It glides easily across the skin and immediately feels hydrating. The applictor is also funny and rather convenient to give your skin a nice massage and if you don't want to touch your skin with your fingers (great if you're travelling).
Formula-wise, it contains many emollients (such as shea butter for example), humectants (glycerin) and repairing ingredients (squalane) with the addition of a few pepetides that have some anti-aging benefits (stimulate collagen production for example). It doesn't contain any fragrance. So overall, that's a very interesting eye-cream that I love using and would also totally recommend. Note that if you have very dry or dehydrated skin, this will probably be not enough.

Pep-Start  2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser

According to Clinique:
"By combining gentle cleansing with exfoliating power, this 2-in-1 formula takes away dirt, dulling dead skin cells, excess oil and impurities to give skin a smooth finish and a radiant glow. Preps skin for makeup. It is gentle enough to use twice a day. "

Water\Aqua\Eau, Glycerin, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Silica, Acrylates Copolymer, Lauramidopropyl Betaine, Butylene Glycol, Sucrose, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Bambusa Arundinacea (Bamboo) Stem Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Salicylic Acid, Palmitoyl, Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Caffeine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acetyl Glucosamine, Sodium Coco PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Polysorbate 20, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Citric Acid, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Laureth-2, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Sulfate, Carbomer, Monosodium Citrate, Disodium EDTA, EDTA, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Orange 4 (CI 15510), Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Red 4 (CI 14700).

That's a very gentle facial scrub that's doesn't irritate the skin or leave it feeling tight. I find it more gentle and less abrassive than many scrubs. Note that it does contain Sodium Laureth Sulfate that can be irritating (although less that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) so I wouldn't really recommend it to people with sensitive skin. It also contains chemical exfoliants but in wash-off products they are not very useful so the exfoliation here is definitely physical. I personally don't use physical exfoliants very much but I have to agree that this one is very gentle and I have actually been enjoying it once a week for a deeper cleansing session. It leaves the skin very soft and refined. Even if it's gentle and despite the twice a day claim of Clinique, I think using it once a week is enough and wouldn't use it more than 1-2 a week to avoid overstimulating the skin.

Pep-Start  Quick Cleansing Swipes

According to Clinique:
"Helps keep skin out of trouble by removing the excess oil, dirt and debris that can clog pores. Smooths skin through mild exfoliation. Instantly moisturizes. Perfect for face, of course, but also neck, chest, upper arms, back. Preps skin for makeup. All skins benefit. "

Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat., Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Hammamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Gentiana Lutea (Gentian) Root Extract, Sasa Veitchi Extract, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Extract, Cladosiphon Okamuranus Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Beatine, Acetyl Glucosamine, Trehalose, Yeast Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Dextran, Disodium Phosphate, Sodium Phosphate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorephensin.

The Cleansing Swipes are sturdy, thick wipes that can be used to remove makeup when you are in a rush or while travelling. I wouldn't really recommend using them too often because they contain a large amount of alcohol which can dry the skin and irritate it. Also it's not appropriate to use them around the eyes. If you're looking for makeup wipes, I would much more recommend the Clinique Take the Day Off Micellar Cleansing Towelettes for Face & Eyes. They are more gentle, they don't contain any irritant or fragrance and remove makeup as well as these ones

That was a looooong article! I hope I haven't lost you :p If I had to pick only 1-2 products from this line, I would take the eye cream and the Hydroblur! And I have to say that I also enjoy the exfoliating cleanser once a week :D

Purchase info
Clinique products can be purchased from authorized retailers (Sephora, Nordstrom, Selfriges, and Marionnaud, Douglas or Manor). You can also buy online directly from (international) or (Switzerland).

*PR Samples*

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  1. I loved your review, pretty complete and thorough. I don't get to read lots of blogs where I can find ingredients info such as yours, so I'm pleased I've found you. I've just bought the yellow one with de SPF, and I don't think it could quite act like a sunscreen BUT maybe it could be just enough if you are to be sun exposed only for a couple of minutes. At least that's how I will be using it.
    Cheers from Buenos Aires :)

    1. Thank you, Patricia, for your lovely message! I think you're right, it's more or less what some people call a city or everyday protection when you're out only for a short moment. Wearing a standalone sunscreen is always a better idea if you really want to protect your skin from the sun anyway. But for some reasons here in Europe and Switzerland, there aren't many people who use a standalone sunscreen everyday!


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