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Sunscreen - Clinique - Sheer City Block SPF 25

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rated 3.7(256 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 3.7
  • 65% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.2
  • Price: $$$

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rated 2 of 5 top reviewer on 2/27/2010 1:59:00 PM More reviews by ashleyanders

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm Hair: Blond, Curly, Medium Eyes: Blue

Check out my notepad to read a more detailed explanation of my skin type!

What it Claims:
"Sheer, broad-spectrum UVA/UVB daily sunscreen. Lightweight formula helps wick away perspiration and absorb excess oil. Perfect alone or as an invisible makeup primer. No chemical sunscreens. Appropriate for eye area and sensitive skins."

Claims - True or False?
1) Lightweight: False. One reason why I truly hate facial sunscreens is that they have ALL felt heavy on my face, or they have resulted in a grease pit on my face. This one felt slightly heavy. When worn without moisturizer, it did feel lighter. Would not dry on my face, although dried better when thinned with moisturizer, so it felt heavier as the day progressed.
2) Wick away perspiration: False. I don't really see how ANY cosmetic can do this though, unless it were to completely block the sweat glands.
3) Absorb excess oil: False. While I don't think it really worsened my oil production, if I were to get oily (especially when I'd get overheated), the oil would simply stay on my face.
4) Appropriate for eye area and sensitive skin: True. I've used it a few times under my eyes and never noticed any burning or stinging, and I've never noticed any irritation on my face.

Comes in a small squeeze tube bottle with a twist off cap. I would prefer a flip cap, or at least a wider cap, as it doesn't stand up very well (I am always afraid that it will fall over). Very simple packaging that comes in a small cardboard box. I do not personally see the need for the cardboard box, as it is a complete waste. The twist cap is probably better for travel, but I do not see anyone applying this every 2 hours.

Definitely fragrance-free, but not void of smell. I wouldn't say it smells bad, but it isn't something that leaves me jumping for joy. Pretty much has a typical sunscreen + foundation smell to it. Doesn't linger for long though.

Although it says it is oil-free, this sunscreen definitely feels slightly oily and greasy, much like conventional sunscreens. Comes in one tint only, which I would say is a huge negative - many women will be unable to use this simply due to the colouring, as it does not go on colourless. I am quite fair, and while it wasn't painfully obvious, I found that it slightly changed the colour of my skin, or that it was the wrong undertone for my skin. I believe that they would have better sales if they added other shades, or created a colourless version. I would say that it is sheer, but it seemed to create some irritating friction against my skin if applied without being combined with moisturizer.

Ease of Use:
When used alone, it was slightly hard to apply evenly and without mild irritation. When used with moisturizer, it applied smoothly, evenly and the tint was more suitable to my skin tone. Because it is tinted though, it will leave your fingers stained, so in terms of applying it on the go, it would not be my first, or any, choice. The squeeze tube is decent as it doesn't seem to dispense too much product at once.

Bang for your Buck:
At about $20.00CAD or $17.50USD for 40ml (1.7oz), this is definitely pricey. The one tube itself will not be over-the-top expensive, but considering how often you will need to repurchase (that is if you are applying the proper amount of sunscreen in the first place), I can easily see this only lasting a few months. Overall, I believe that it is a slight rip-off for daily use.

Final Consensus:
When I first sampled this sunscreen, I did like it. However, after purchasing the same product and using it more often, I realized that it was not for me. It was too heavy, did not leave my skin matte and became greasier over the day. I could not wear this alone and had to top it off with powder, which made it feel even heavier. While it didn't leave a whitecast, it simply didn't work for me. I believe that it might also have caused some breakouts, but because I have not used it on a daily or consistent basis (not in school yet and jobless = staying at home and out of the sun), I cannot be sure. Overall, I simply wasn't impressed and will be returning.

Overall Rating: 2/5
Price: 3/5
Packaging Quality: 3/5
Would you buy this product again: No.

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rated 5 of 5 on 2/23/2010 8:38:00 PM More reviews by CopperPenny222

Age: 25-29 Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Other

I have been using this product for years. I think the tinting has gotten a little darker, but I love it anyway. I wear it everyday and it does irritate my skin the chemical sunscreens often do. I seriously don't know what i would do without it!

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rated 4 of 5 on 2/22/2010 More reviews by jjaywilson

Age: 30-35 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This is not for those with fair cool skin tones. The tint is too overwhelming for anyone with less than a medium skin tone, and it definitely for those with warm tones.

Other than the color, I did like the way this product felt. It moisturized, provided a nice bit of coverage from the sun, and didn't feel greasy in the slightest.

I gave this product one more chance before returning it, and suddenly it didn't seem too yellow. I'm not sure what I was seeing before, but I really like this product now. It gets just a hint of coverage. I combine it with a tinted moisturizer when I want to look put together.

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rated 4 of 5 on 2/13/2010 8:33:00 PM More reviews by sonal79

Age: 30-35 Skin: Other, Tan, Warm Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Brown

Well this sunscreen is good for acne prone people as it is oil-free, and it is not greasy. But I am about NC 40 and this gives me a whitish cast. For this reason, I wouldn't buy this again. It probably works for lighter skinned people though. It is good that this is a all physical sunscreen though.

Edit: I bought a new tube of this recently and somehow now it is not leaving a white cast now if I rub it in really properly. Also I notice it is not as light and yellow as it used to be, did they change the formulation. Hopefully it works well for me now, fingers crossed!

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rated 1 of 5 top reviewer on 2/13/2010 3:43:00 PM More reviews by mxk2

Age: Unknown Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I need to prefrace this review by saying I have used varying incarnations of City Block for about a decade - so I know my City Blocks. I finally used up the last of the Sheer SPF 15, which sadly is now discontinued, so I purchased the Sheer SPF 25. What the h*ll happened?!? The tint of the previous versions (even the 25) was perfect for those of us with lighter skin. This stuff is too dark and too golden for me. Second, it is greasy/oily - I can actually see a thin layer of oily on my hand when I squirt out a bit on the back of my hand so I can apply it. It also "balls" on the skin - the older versions never did this. Finally, while the previous versions of City Block had a soft, pleasant scent (a bit reminiscent of a coconutty-type scent), this stuff smells like....Band-Aids - yuck! I was so surprised at the changes I actually purchased a second tube, thinking perhaps I had gotten a bad or old tube, but it was the same story with the second tube. BOO HISS Clinique - you ruined what was previously as far as I'm concerned the best physical-only sunscreen on the market.

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rated 2 of 5 on 2/2/2010 11:09:00 PM More reviews by Lelik99

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Other

I got this because of Paula beguns recommendations. I admit : the ingredients are beneficial for skin, but looks like they can't be enough for product to be great. I really hate the texture of it. It's very sheer and non oily. But when I put it on my skin, it balls up and doesn't moisturize that well. Pretty dissapointing(

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rated 5 of 5 on 2/1/2010 5:10:00 AM More reviews by anniemouse

Age: 25-29 Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Straight, Other Eyes: Green

I really like this product; on me it works as SPF, primer and slight colour tint, all in one! It's the only VFM reasonably-priced sunscreen that I've found with titanium dioxide in it, plus loads of antioxidants (Paula Begoun approves!)
My only issue would be kind of petty - because I have stupidly dark eyebrows (think Rachel Weisz), and the product is tinted, it gets caught up in the hair and I have to painstakingly wipe it away - gah!
If I use powder over the top, it is super mattifying and my skin is so smooth - a definite repurchase, and I'm totally willing to spend the money on a high-end brand; because this does what it promises!

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rated 5 of 5 on 11/25/2009 7:32:00 AM More reviews by Emese1

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Great product. Full of goodies for your skin. I have somewhat oily, acne-prone skin. In the summer (or more humid weather) I put EM Finishing dust or EL loose powder over it, so it's not sticky or shiny. But now, that the weather is so dry I don't put anything over it. But underneath I use Dermalogica Moisture Balance moisturizer. The color is perfect for me, though it's not visible. I have maybe NC 15-20 skin (Shiseido Lifting fdn O00), and this tint is just right. I wear it on days when I don't want to wear fdn and it fades the redness and some blemishes on my skin, though if you want to cover them properly wou'd need concealer, too. I work in an African country, and though the weather is dry, it's always sunny this time of the year, so it's good to know that I'm protected, when I'm outside. Having said that I hardly every spend any time out in the sun. It's not cheap, but I think it's worth it. I'm looking forward to the time when my skin is so perfect that I can just wear this always. (Though I'm beginning to accept my imperfect skin without having the compulsion to always cover it up.)

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rated 4 of 5 on 11/9/2009 5:39:00 PM More reviews by aimeeb212

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

I am so disappointed that I had to stop using this product BUT it was causing a breakout. I used it for 2 weeks straight &really loved it. The consistency was amazing &the tint just evened out my skin (I am pretty fair tho) without feeling like I had foundation on. I wouldn't say it did much in the way of absorbing oil &I can't comment on whether or not it makes a good primer. It never burned when I put it on like most chemical sunscreens do (this is not a chemical sunscreen), but my skin just wouldn't tolerate it. I gave it 4 lippies tho b/c I think its a great physical sunscreen. I'm usually not a fan of Clinique either. Oh well, back to my ProActiv SPF15:(

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rated 5 of 5 on 10/29/2009 5:50:00 PM More reviews by freckleP

Age: 19-24 Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I love this thing. I live in New Zealand so sun protection is very important, even on a cloudy day.

I have dry, sensitive skin with freckles. The tint blends with my Asian skin tone effortlessly (it's almost like a primer to me), the consistency is easy to spread and it gets absorbed quickly. (The tint would suit Caucasian skin tone too. The SPF40 one is too pink for me.) It does get a tad greasy, just like all other sunscreens, but foundation still goes on top easily.

I like the shape of the tube and the way it dispenses - it's easy to control how much you need.

This gave me good protection with everyday use, I don't get a bloom of freckles. But if you were going to the beach, I would recommend re-applying it every 2 hours or get a higher SPF.

All in all, a very good product. Definitely would buy again!

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