Clinique's Even Better Makeup Is Like an IRL Instagram Filter

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Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation


@clinique / Design by Tiana Crispino

What We Like
  • Long-lasting, full coverage

  • Lightweight, concentrated formula

  • SPF 25

  • Absorbent and non-greasy

  • Contains hardworking skincare ingredients

  • Wears well in heat

What We Don't Like
  • May be drying in winter

  • Not Byrdie Clean

The Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation is an amazing product if you’re looking for full, matte coverage without the thick texture. It’s unique in the sense that it has a lightweight feel, but creates even, full coverage that lasts all day. This is now my go-to foundation.


Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation


@clinique / Design by Tiana Crispino

We put the Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

Since day one, I’ve been a full-coverage foundation kind of girl. Having dealt with teenage acne and resulting scars, I was convinced that no amount of concealer, powder, or bronzer could replace a thick, masking base. 

But over time, I grew averse to the cake-y texture typically associated with full-coverage products (especially the drugstore buys of my youth). While I’ve graduated to more sophisticated formulas over the years, I still struggle to find a full-coverage foundation that doesn’t feel heavy on my skin.

Until I came across Clinique's Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation, that is. This liquid, oil-free formula promises a matte, weightless finish with full coverage to boot—a rare combination that I had yet to try. Needless to say, I was excited to put it to the test—find my full, honest review of the fan-favorite Clinique Even Better Makeup below.

Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation

Best for: Combination or oily skin types.

Uses: A foundation with full, lightweight coverage that conceals redness, blemishes, and scarring without a heavy cast. 

Active ingredients: Titanium dioxide 2.4%, zinc oxide 5.9%, salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C.

Potential allergens: Not likely

Price: $42

About the brand: Clinique is a legacy beauty brand known for its mindful and clinically vetted products. It was the first brand to launch a dermatologist-developed and approved line in 1968, and it continues to sell beloved, non-irritating makeup and skincare products to this day.

About My Skin: Combination and acne-prone with some fine lines

My skin could be considered high-maintenance—it’s incredibly sensitive and prefers a simple, pared-back skincare and beauty routine. My complexion is best classified as combination, but runs on the dry side in the winter. My jawline regularly has some hormonal acne, especially around that time of the month, and I also have some fine lines on my forehead. I like a foundation that does a good job of covering both of these, but also want the formula to feel good on my skin.

The Ingredients: SPF and other skincare powerhouses

Packed with SPF 25, vitamin C, salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, and the brand’s exclusive dark spot-fighting molecule UP302, Clinique's Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation works hard for your complexion. In my opinion, it could be considered a skincare-makeup hybrid. Like all Clinique products, it’s formulated without phthalates, parabens, or fragrance, but it does contain PEGs (which are on our clean beauty “maybe” list).

The Feel: Absorbent and surprisingly lightweight

Clinique Even Better Makeup Clinical Serum Foundation Texture

Kelsey Clark

Per the instructions, I primed my freshly cleansed skin with a moisturizer before putting on the Clinique Even Better Makeup. Using a beauty blender, I applied two pumps to my face and neck and still had plenty left over. I instantly liked the matte finish, especially in peak summer heat. It absorbed quickly into my skin and felt dry to the touch in seconds (which is rare for a serum foundation), yet thoroughly masked my blemishes and scars. Simply put, it’s not what you’d expect from a full-coverage serum foundation in a good way—it’s not greasy, cake-y, heavy, or overly dewy. I agree with the brand’s statement that it looks like your bare skin, but better. With that said, this product can definitely err on the dry, ultra-matte side—it’s specifically formulated for combination or oily skin. I’m curious to see if I still like it this much come winter.

The Results: Impressive lightweight coverage

Clinique Even Better Makeup Clinical Serum Foundation Results on Kelsey Clark

Kelsey Clark

I was most impressed by the Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation’s coverage—it concealed my acne scars, blemishes, and red spots without the thick, almost smothering texture. As a person who’s always worn a heavier foundation, I know that this is hard to come by—most full-coverage products err on the cake-y side. This product is unique in the sense that it has the consistency of a lightweight foundation, but still creates an even, matte result on par with other full-coverage foundations. It also stays put for a good 12 hours or so, making it great for a long day or night out.

The Value: A bit pricey, but justified

While $42 isn’t too high of a price point, I wouldn’t consider this Clinique Even Better Makeup affordable either, especially since liquid foundation is something you're likely to frequently purchase. But I will say that this product is packed with top-of-the-line ingredients that justify the price tag—you’re treating your skin every time you put it on, not just concealing blemishes. What’s more, the formula is highly concentrated, so you don’t need much to cover your entire face. I can see myself being able to use my 1-oz. bottle for months.

Similar Products: You've got options

Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF 15 Foundation: This foundation ($31) is the Clinique “Even Better” product that started it all. It’s slightly cheaper, a bit less matte, and just as loved by beauty fanatics.

Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation: If a full-coverage formula is what you’re after, one of the best options is Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation ($43). This top-rated product boasts a similar liquid, oil-free formula and seamless matte finish.

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare: Similar to Clinique’s Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation, this top-rated product ($40) boasts an impressive ingredient list—it’s formulated with hyaluronic acid, aloe vera extract, and vitamins E and B5 to hydrate and nourish the skin.

Final Verdict

For me, Clinique's Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation was a home run. It’s equal parts full-coverage and lightweight, which I’ve never come across before. I also love that it contains good-for-you ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C, going well beyond concealing blemishes. If you’re looking for a glow-enhancing, moisturizing foundation, this definitely isn’t it. But per the brand’s description and suggested use, I’d say this product does what it’s supposed to do and proves why so many people love Clinique's Even Better Makeup line.


  • Product Name Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation
  • Product Brand Clinique
  • Price $42.00
  • Weight 1 oz.
  • Full Ingredient List Dimethicone, Water\Aqua\Eau, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Phenyl Trimethicone, Isododecane, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Isodecyl Isononanoate, Lauryl Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Alcohol Denat. Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hydrated Silica, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Polygala Senega Root Extract, Berberis Vulgaris Extract, Nymphaea Alba Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Molasses Extract\Saccharum Officinarum\Extrait De Mélasse, Dimethoxytolyl Propylresorcinol, Caffeine, Niacinamide, Salicylic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Tocopherol, Lactoperoxidase, Glucose Oxidase, Lactobacillus Ferment, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Cholesterol, Jojoba Esters, Glucose, Polysilicone-11, Laureth-7, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Silica, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethicone/Peg-10/15 Crosspolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Alumina, Propylene Carbonate, Dipropylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Potassium Phosphate, Tetrasodium Edta, Sodium Citrate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, [+/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499)].

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