Firstly I think the concept of these is fantastic. Secondly I have not been able to escape Clinique ID no matter where I go or travel to. It's been marketed and then some! Even in London not so long ago the entire Oxford circus tube station - walkways, escalators, tunnels were dedicated entirely to Clinique's latest launch. And so there it was...no escaping = I had to have it! Already a big fan of the Hydrating Jelly (please see my separate review for this as much more in-depth on the main product itself), I got myself onto e-bay and found a U.S seller who had a one-use sample pack for all 5 variations. I purchased 3 lots of each, just enough for me to get an initial idea on how the products work, using one very AM or PM for 3 consecutive days. I did notice that the sample size was quite generous and probably would have lasted longer than the one use it claims to, but decided to use on neck and throat too rather than get one and a half uses out of it which would be pointless.
Note this is not a definitive review of the long-term benefits and results with the products, only my initial observations as I didn't use these for long enough. So here it goes in order of most to least favorites...
Blue - Pores & uneven skin texture. Used AM. This one was my favorite and used over the course of 3 days it did help improve the texture of my skin, not massively but noticeably so. Pores looked ever so slightly smaller and my skin just felt less bumpy and looked smoother, yet no 'dried out' as some AHA containing products can make your skin feel. Makeup also seemed to both go on better and last longer too. If I had to purchase the jelly with a cartridge in the future then this is the one it would be.
Orange - Fatigue. The effects from using this were very similar to the blue one, probably due to the inclusion of Glycolic acid, yet it also has a BHA in it (salicylic) which helped more with the odd blemish than the blue one did. In other words if you're torn between the two I'd say opt for blue if it's mainly texture you're looking to improve and hydration. orange if it's texture (but not as much effect as blue cartridge) plus blemishes. I can't vouch for its effect on 'fatigued looking skin' as mine very rarely if ever looks fatigued so if there was any difference in that department, it's lost on me.
Purple - Lines & Wrinkles. Used PM. The effect I noticed on my skin was similar to what I've noticed with PC's Ceramide Enriched Firming Moisturizer. It helps make your skin look slightly better somehow. I'd like to say 'taut' but I don't know if that would be the correct or honest term. It is noticeable though, just an overall better looking skin. The advantage Clinique has over PC is that you can add the purple cartridge to DDML and get a much richer, more emollient product, meaning no need to use a separate moisturizer later as PC is not very moisturizing, although it is slightly more effective imo. Noticed a small bump appear on my forehead by day 3 of using but uncertain whether linked to this or just a coincidence. For its anti-aging benefits it definitely requires more time and applications to see results I say.
White - Uneven skin tone. I don't know if the concentration of the active ingredients isn't high enough, but this was the one with the most impressive ingredients which I was expecting to rank as my fave. Turns out it does brighten but perhaps not at the level I'd envisioned. I reckon this is one that needs more time (like the purple one) to reveal its full effects.
Green - Irritation. I do have sensitive skin (reactive would be a better word) which currently seems to be doing fine, hence not noticing much from this at all. I do also have a spot of redness around the sides of my nose which I was curious whether this would help with but not noticed anything, again probably needs more time. But bonus - I did notice a slight reduction in a blemish, something I did not expect (probably the AHA and BHA) as I used this straight after the purple one had finished (I'm guessing purple gave may have given me the small bump on my forehead that I mentioned earlier).
Verdict: Glad to have had a play around with these and if I get around to purchasing one (most likely the blue one) I will stop by and update after giving it more time to work. The above are just my initial observations, nothing more. In my experience all good products take time to reveal their true efficacy, there's only so much you can glean from a small sample.
~ My HG list ~
(As I've sampled 100s of skin, hair and m/u products over the last decade and a half, I thought it might be useful to share my top 10 must-have products, subject to change if and when I come across something more effective. I love constantly trying out new stuff - usually sample sizes via e-bay, also plenty courtesy of a friend who works at Sephora)
1. Hair Loss Treatment: ‘Divine Herbal’ - Hair Oil
2. Lip Balm: 'Nuxe' - Reve De Miel Lip Balm
3. Pigmentation + Anti-Ageing Treatment: ‘Divine Herbal’ - Facial Treatment Serum
4. Cleanser: 'Paula's Choice' - Skin Balancing Cleanser
5. Concealer: ‘Mac’ - Studio Finish Concealer
6. Lash Growth Serum: ‘Divine Herbal’ - Divinelash
7. Foundation/SPF: ‘Juice Beauty’ - Stem Cellular Repair (warm glow)
8. Foot File/Callus/Heel Treatment - 'Microplane' - Colossal Pedicure Rasp Foot File
9. Ingrown Hair Treatment - 'Priva Shave' - Post Hair Removal Treatment
10. Hand Cream: 'Origins' - Make A Difference Rejuvenating Hand Treatment