Iā€™m Kristel. I vlog. I blog. Professional makeup artist based in Manila. 300 hours training in Make Up For Ever Academy, Seoul, South Korea. I live makeup, you have no idea.

Monthly Skincare Snippets: Clinique Moisture Surge for April 2014!

Monthly Skincare Snippets is a year-long project of mine using one skincare set consistently for a month. I only have two rules: use it at night and don't allow more than seven days of non-usage. I wanted to set a period of usage for products (one month) instead of waiting for them to get emptied. This is my way of making a dent on the various skincare samples I've accumulated. 
You may read more Snippets here.

The first and only time I've participated in a Bonus Time was September 2013. I deliberately tried to qualify just to get the freebies and lessons learned are: check carefully if the freebies are suited to your skin type (mother of all miracles, thank you that this one is!) and two, do your own math and never trust the SAs.

Looong picture for that huge bag!

I had her take out a lot of pieces I was interested in. I was putting in and taking out stuff from my basket because I wanted only Php 5000 worth of the stuff I really, really, really wanted to try. With all the exchanges, she didn't tell me I was still way over the budget. I bought over 7k of stuff (I think) and I might have taken out one pencil or the eye shadow trio if I knew that before heading to the counter.

I know, I know, it was probably my fault anyway. But she totally knew I was budgeting myself and damn bitch said nothing. She's lucky I like everything (except the trio). This rant would wear out your scroll button if I ended up with a lot of duds.

P.S. I'll be selling a different Clinique set on our joint Offline Blog Sale. Check out Facebook page (click here) to see what the I and the others have teased for selling. It's mostly makeup, skincare and other beauty goods but a few of us are also selling clothes :) See you this Saturday and Sunday :) 


Clinique Bonus Time or gift with purchase, September 2013. You get the tin can + deluxe samples if you spend Php 4500, then the additional bayong (big bag) if you get Php 5000. Bonus Time changes every quarter, I believe. I think I'm pretty lucky to have timed this perfectly with a Moisture Surge bonus time, some BT's are sets for oily skin :(

Huge thanks to Liz as I used her post as reference. (I attended that Clinique Party ^_^. Check out my account of the party here.)

Product Description:

The September 2013 Clinique Bonus Time includes:
  • Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser Mousse, 15ml
  • Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator, 7ml
  • Moisture Surge Thirsty Skin Relief, 30ml
  • Moisture Surge Overnight Mask, 7ml
  • All About Eyes, 7ml
  • Lash Power Mascara, 2.5ml

I love that Clinique includes specific literature for each Bonus Time. Though they mostly try to keep to one line, Moisture Surge here for example, they don't always have that luxury. People like me who don't diligently keep up with Clinique's skincare can easily get lost as to what order to use the samples in or if they're even meant for one's skin type.

The literature includes a short item description, volume of sample and country of origin. I believe the country of origin is important as there are regional variations in formulation for some companies, I'm just not sure if it's the same with Clinique. There's also a complete ingredients list, which is quite handy as there's not always enough room for that on sample containers.

clinique september 2013 philippines bonus time review

Can I just say- I love Clinique's samples! Their minis emulate the shape and design of the full-size products, and the jars are my favorite; they're glass! This Bonus Time's tin can is also the perfect storage solution for my MSS. Everything fits neatly inside and the jars don't have room to topple over :D

Click here to know more about Moisture Surge from

How to Use:

I've narrowed it down to the following PM routine, because as I said, I don't really have time for skincare in the AM.

  • Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser Mousse - I use a dollop that's about as big as 1.5 peas. I start lathering a bit on my hands and continue working around my face. It has a very thick foam, which feels stripping even to a foaming cleanser fan like me. I usually work a second splash of water on my face to make it more workable and runny.
Clinique Rinse-off Foaming Cleanser Mousse
  • Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator - It's meant to be step 3 in the Clinique 3-step of Cleanse, Exfoliate and Moisturize. Since this set doesn't provide step 2, I go ahead as I prefer not to add "aliens" to my MSS trials. Pimple creams and eye creams are my only exemption. It has a very bouncy, gel texture which feels soothing on parch skin like mine.
  • All About Eyes - I dot the product lightly around my eyes. I try not to go close to the lashline as it tends to creep inwards. It's very light and has a bit of that shimmer that camouflages dark circles, making it an ideal daytime eye cream as well.
  • Moisture Surge Overnight Mask - Cream masks are the very last step to whatever routine you're doing. They're meant to create a protective barrier over the skin, trapping the routine's moisture in your skin overnight to carry that suppleness over to the morning.

  • Moisture Surge Face Spray - It was only around July, when I read up on how to use the Caudalie travel kit, that I learned face mists should be used after cleansing and prior to serums and moisturizing creams. Guided by the idea of layering, you use the thinnest product (water) to layer before thicker products (emulsions/creams). This allows your skin to take in the thin layer of moisture more deeply as you pack in thicker products on top of it. During my trial, I mostly used the MS face spray as a midday skin pick-me-up.


I wasn't too excited about this kit because from day 1 I felt.. off-balance. I'm observing my skin very tightly and was beginning to develop this sixth sense with my skin. It didn't have flakes but something felt wrong. I just knew my skin was off and the best way I can put it in words is that there is a feeling of impending acne. Like there's cystic pus gurgling five layers deep into my skin.

And hey, well whaddaya know. In exactly 5 days I grew my first zit. It's not a hormone zit, but an irritation zit. It was small but felt very deep and sore all around. I suspected it was the mask that was putting me off. I don't know why I stuck around 'til week 2 (by then, I'd already accumulated 3 zits- nothing alarming) before I took it out of my routine. I guess I wanted evidence?

With the mask gone, my skin was smooth and bouncy, but not as much as when I was using the mask. My skin felt softer with the mask, but then I kept getting zits with it. So it was either: (a) get glowy, bouncy skin that was gradually building up a little pimple army or (b) get slightly less impressive skin that actually felt healthy and perfect.

Since I'm a very practical person, I stuck the month out with option B.


Clinique skincare brands itself very skin-friendly so I find it weird that with my reckless testing of dozens of skincare products, this was the first to give me sensitivity acne. 

Clinique All About Eyes

In any case, the most remarkable things that stand out in this trial are:
  • The iridescent sheen from All About Eyes - If you do skincare in the morning, that's gonna help out real nicely with dark circles coverage. The watery texture also means it sets in very quickly, so you don't have to wait that long before doing your makeup. It looks transparent and plain in my swatch but it has a tiny bit of microshimmer in it :)
  • The bouncy texture of Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator - No doubt the star product of this trial, followed closely by the cleanser mousse. It feels very hydrating and is easy to apply. It also feels very comfortable throughout the night.


Probably not. Don't get me wrong- the products were good and they did their job. There's just nothing justifiably stellar about this trial that makes me want to get anything full size. Except maybe the Moisture Surge Hydrator- that was AWESOME! I may change my tune if I find a step 2 AND a different mask.

Though I was lucky to score a Bonus Time meant for very dry to dry skin, I didn't reach my full potential with this set.

Beauty by Tellie score: 3.75/5

clinique moisture surge review

Clinique Moisture Surge is very promising, but I have to call the score based on what I got to experience and unfortunately, my experience was borderline average. It wasn't a waste of time as my skin was left in good condition, but I'm looking for great condition, y'know? I really wish the mask didn't irritate me, I'd have scored this set at least a 4.

You may visit their webiste

Have any of you tried Clinique Bonus Time? Do you take a close look at what they're giving out? I totally lucked out on this one!

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