When I think Clinique, I think many things: 3 Step Skin Care System. All About Eyes. And, lately, serums that are potent enough to lift the spots off a bird’s egg. Skincare, skincare, skincare. And then I met Clinique Global Colour Artist Jenna Menard. The brand was having an event and somehow I found myself in Jenna’s chair for a “touch up”, which really turned into a way-too-long gossip and information-sharing session. I was absent-mindedly picking up the tubes and jars and sticks that were laid out and then I looked in the mirror: damn, Jenna. What did you use? A cream eye shadow in a squeeze tube really stole the show—and, honestly, I’d never heard of it…but a taupe-y, buildable formula with just the right amount of shimmer? Yes, please. That was just the tip of the iceberg. So a few months later, when Clinique commissioned me to shoot something around one of their new color products, I said hold up. People need to know about the whole kit and kaboodle. ITG’s newest member, my intern Tessa (who I met on Fashion’s Night Out), needs to meet Jenna.
The girls got together last weekend and…kind of looked like sisters. Artfully disheveled buns: check. An enviable mix of heirloom and flea market jewelry: check. Very discerning about their makeup: oh yes. “Lately I’ve been doing a strong lip, but I’ll do more of a smoky eye when I have the time,” Tessa tells Jenna, whose favorite trick happens to be “showing people what they can do by combining only a few products.” Jenna takes one look at Tessa’s green eyes, grabs a Lid Smoothie (the cream eye shadow) in Born Freesia—a grayish-purple—and gets down to business. “I love Lid Smoothie. It’s one step for eyes and you’re finished, if you want. I tell everyone about it,” she says, blending a dot over Tessa’s eyelid with her finger. “You can build it from sheer to opaque. Some things are just so pigmented that they are hard to use—this is foolproof.” She decides to kick it up a notch and layers two eyeliners (Quickliner For Eyes Intense in Violet and Cream Shaper For Eyes in Black Diamond) on the lash line and lower waterline, smudging it with her favorite cotton swabs from Muji. Upper lashes get a coat of High Impact Curling Mascara (note: curl lashes first and this will hold it), tiny but mighty Bottom Lash Mascara went underneath, and voilà: a ten-minute smoky eye.
Jenna kept the rest of Tessa’s face fresh by eschewing foundation and instead dabbing on my current favorite product (stay tuned for more on that)—a highlighter. Up-Lighting Liquid Illuminator in Natural went across the cheekbones and on the inner corners of the eyes for a dewy glow. Lips stayed neutral with the tiniest bit of enhancement from a Chubby Stick in Mega Melon, a lip balm/lipstick hybrid in playful packaging that will have you feeling like you’re five years old again. At least, that sense of discovery is certainly in the air: “When I’m on a shoot and I’m using these products, people will take a step back and ask me what they are. Clinique makes color, but you wouldn’t necessarily think that color this intense,” she says, gesturing to Tessa’s eyes, “would come from it.”