I've been using City Block in its various formulas for years. The Sheer SPF 25 is one of the best tinted moisturizer/facial sunscreen/primers out there for those sensitive to chemical sunscreens. It's lightweight, but still creamy enough for drier skins. (Oily skins might find it a bit heavy.) My only beef is the tint: it's supposed to be sheer, but it leaves a vague muddy orange-brown tint on my face. Granted, I am very pale and I doubt it would be a problem for everyone. Still, I wish Clinique made this in a non-tinted version.
I have used this product a little over a week. At first it gave me great coverage! Made my skin look so smooth and even. It is a bit greasy looking after I apply, but I put powder over it and then it was perfect! Kept my face looking matte almost all day. But then it was very thick so I mixed it into my moisturizer and it was fine. But I noticed it made my face white compared to the rest of my body. It was very unnatural and it made me look like I was wearing foundation (which I hate). And under direct sunlight it had this whitish cast. No matter how little I used, it made my face lighter than the rest of my body. It worked great as a primer, but could not be worn without matching the rest of your body.
I'm a neutral to cool toned ppp (NW10) with mild Rosacea and dry, very sensitive skin. I've been on a search for the most protective stable sunscreen that my reactive skin can tolerate, and haven't had any luck with the extremely high PPD European brands to date. All of them (Avene, LRP, Bioderma) sting my skin to some degree or another.I was excited to try City Block, which is stable, known to be generally sensitive-skin friendly, and contains a plethora of antioxidants. It also contains a tint, which--although I have no previous experience with tinted sunscreens--I thought might be a nice addition. Because I am naturally amongst the palest of the pale, I don't really need the extra whitening effect created by most physical sunscreens. Alabaster skin is one thing; ghostly pallor is another. :) If I use a dab of Atopalm face cream under City Block, it is reasonably moisturizing; a little on the dry side, but certainly not as drying as Shiseido 55, for example. The finish feels a bit thick, but not excessively so. Better yet, my sensitive skin seems to tolerate City Block without any difficulty. After I put it on, I can go about my day without worry of stinging or redness. However, there is a down-side to this product for me; one that has been mentioned by other reviewers. This drawback is the tint, which is extraordinarily unflattering on me. Oh my, could it be any yellower/muddier/jaundicing? I look like I'm wearing some sort of a silly mask. After testing this sunscreen, I have renewed appreciation for Blue Lizard Sensitive, slight white caste and all. If you have warm-toned skin, City Block could be a great option for you. However, if you are very fair and/or cool-toned, I'd definitely recommend wearing a sample for a few days before purchasing.
Since I only use foundation on parts of my face I have been looking for a good base with SPF. So far I have tried out MAC Prep+Prime SPF50 (PP) and Clinique City Block SPF25 (CB).
PP obviously has better protection with the higher SPF, but it contains few other beneficial ingredients and I can not use it on my oily forehead without getting clogged. CB also clogs the forehead, but in a lesser degree since it is lighter in consistency (PP is really creamy). Luckily I have bangs, so it is not an important issue. In my opinion CB looks better under makeup, while PP can make the skin look a little blotchy. Further more I think PP is aggravating my red areas a little.
All in all I have a slight preference for CB. It's less expensive too, nearly half the price. I am not completely ruling out PP, mainly because of the high SPF. For the colder months CB is definitely my first choice, while PP is a valuable asset for me in Summer. What I really need to try, though, is the CB with SPF40 (this supposedly has less antioxidants, but I have to try it before deciding).
I have been using this for 3 years. I need to use a good sunscreen because of medical conditions. It definitely works for that. It is also an excellent make-up primer.
I can actually get away with using this and either smashbox rainbow powder or a bronzer alone in summer.
I have sensitive skin that is easily irritated by chemical sunscreens and fragrance. I turned to Paula B for a sunscreen that would work for me, and, wouldn't you know it, this was the absolute only one that's on her shortlist of SS's suitable for sensitive skin (non-chemical SS, fragrance-free) AND available in Canada! At first, I was disappointed that it was tinted because I was just looking for a gentle SS, not makeup. But I've grown to like the sheer coverage that it provides, and actually think of this more as a tinted moisturizer. It has its drawbacks...you have to dab it on in small sections and blend quickly, or you'll look streaky. And you really need to let it dry/set for a good half hour after application or it will come off in weird little pills... But, given that I have no other alternative for a gentle SS, this is working out well for me. Yes, the tube is on the small side, but I've been using it 5-6 days a week for over 5 weeks, and I'm still on my first tube. I will repurchase.
UPDATE July 30/09: I'm still using this and still really liking it. I've been using a serum underneath (Olay Regenerist FF) and that keeps everything hydrated and looking smooth and dewey all day. I've also been experimenting with using powder on top, and it really grabs the powder and hangs on to it all day. BTW, I've now been using the same tube for over 3 months, so the cost per use is really going down. Like I said, still loving it! Will definitely repurchase when it (eventually) runs out.
4 instead of 5 because it's not as matte as I would like it. However, I have a super oily t-zone. On the rest of my face, it looks great. I can apply it under my eyes, which is fantastic. It doesn't sting at all by the end of the day. I have tried a number of other tinted moisturizers, include drugstore ones, and this is my favorite so far.
My skin is dry, reactive/sensitive, and easily burns. Most foundations make me itch; most (chemical) sunscreens give me eczema. I've been alternating this with city block 40 for almost 2 years and have had no bad skin reactions. It has a slight yellowish tint, which on my nw20 skin works perfectly to tone down my natural ruddiness without making me look sick. I apply with fingers, and dust my t-zone with powder. (One negative that another reviewer mentioned is that the color transfers very easily; make sure you apply this after you've dressed.) One tube lasts about a month.
I haven't found another facial sunscreen that works nearly as well as this does. I will happily continue to buy and use this product.
I really like this stuff. Its a good, light, non-oily, everyday sunscreen. I don't wear foundation or anything like that, so I'm not sure how good it holds up as a makeup primer. Its great that it is free of chemical sunscreens and Clinique doesn't test on animals.. which is a must have for me. I stopped using it for a while just to try other things but I used it again today and remembered how much I like it! I'm almost out and I think I will buy again.
I love it. I've been using this product for more than 15 months. I love the fact its oil-free since I have a combination skin. It's also a great primer IMO. I couldnt think of something else.