Clinique The Nutcracker Suite Act I Palette & Powder swatches, review, photos

Clinique The Nutcracker Plie Pink review palette

The product: Clinique The Nutcracker Act I Palette and Blended Face Powder & Brush in Snowflake Dreams

» Inspired by “the tulles and velvet fabrics in vivid pinks, glittering whites and vibrant purples” in The Nutcracker.

Clinique The Nutcracker Act I Palette ($36 USD/$46 CAD)

The pink Nutcracker Act I Palette (not to be confused with the purple-themed Act II) contains an All About Shadow Snowflake Suite quad in the shades Sugar Cane (available as a single), Crystal PinkMushroom (also in Clinique’s Greys 8-Pan Palette), and Boron, as well as a Blushing Blush Powder Blush in Plié Pink.

Clinique The Nutcracker Act I Snowflake Suite review

Clinique The Nutcracker Act I Palette

The shadows were much dustier than I’m used to seeing from Clinique, and apply fairly sheerly but with little fallout. I adored the taupey Mushroom and the Blushing Powder Blush in Plié Pink, which gave my cheeks a seriously gorgeous pink glow, but the other three shades in the palette (a boring shimmery white, a super-sheer pink heaped with silver glitter, and a boring sparkly black) were a big letdown for me.

At $46 CAD, I think this palette is worth it if you really adore those two top performers (all five pans are of middling-to-good quality), but it’s not getting a standing ovation from me. While it’s not like, the worst, I know that Clinique can do a lot better than this in terms of quality — and knowing that, it’s hard not to expect more from the brand.

Clinique Snowflake Suite Plie Pink swatches review The Nutcracker

Clinique The Nutcracker Act I Palette swatches: Blushing Powder Blush in Plié Pink (heavy/light), All About Shadow Quad in Snowflake Suite (Sugar Cane, Crystal Pink, Mushroom, Boron).

Blended Face Powder & Brush in Snowflake Dreams ($24 USD/$29 CAD)

Okay, so this one was another pretty-but-nonsensical letdown. Who, in their right of mind, needs ANOTHER shimmery powder?! I see at least five of these come out each holiday season from brands high and low, so someone must be buying, but this kind of product is just not up my alley.

Clinique Snowflake Dreams review Blended Face Powder

Clinique Blended Face Powder in Snowflake Dreams

Snowflake Dreams, which comes with a non-optional scratchy brush, is intended to add shimmer to the shoulders, neck, and chest, but the glitter is just too big and unidimensional — it’s just chunks of silver glitter in a crazy-sheer pink base. This Blended Face Powder would be great for an actual performance of The Nutcracker (theatre makeup, after all, has to be extremely obvious for the audience to see it), but in real life, it’s way too much.

Unless you were putting on some sort of crazy, Nutcracker-themed party with strobe lights and strippers, I guess? In which case this would probably be an awesome product to dust all over your body. I wouldn’t know; raves aren’t really my thing. (But I bet a Nutcracker-themed one would somehow manage to be really, really cool.)

Clinique Snowflake Dreams swatch Blended Face Powder review

Clinique Blended Face Powder swatch in Snowflake Dreams (brushed on below/patted on heavily over primer above).

The verdict?

As much as I love Clinique, this collection is an act that I would not like to see again. (Aside: what’s the best theatre performance you’ve ever gotten to experience? For me, it was a four-hour-long production of Pride and Prejudice. Worth every damn minute — to this day, I regret not seeing it again before it closed.)

I would love to see Plié Pink released as a standalone blush, and if you can get your hands on Mushroom, absolutely do, but aside from that — skip The Nutcracker Suite, and save your pennies for one of Clinique’s 8-pan palettes instead.

Availability: Online at Clinique and exclusively at the Hudson’s Bay in Canada.

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  • lol… youse funny… :-) I actually quite liked the look of that shimmer powder, but now I'm not so sure anymore.
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    • :P Youse funny, too!

      I was really excited for the shimmer powder until I swatched it (I had mistakenly thought it would be a pink-silver face highlighter/glow), but I don't know — I just can't work up any enthusiasm for it now. It's just kind of plain, you know? Like, I love a good shimmer when it's well-done, but I didn't feel like there was anything to this $30 powder from a $5 one that you can pick up from the drugstore :/

  • tirurit

    I am not one por pastel or barbie pinks, so this one was never meant for me
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    • Confession: I am totally one for pastel and barbie pinks -.- I just wish there had been MORE pink in this collection — none of the products (save for the blush) actually looked pink on my face! The pinks just came across as shimmery, which I think is a shame.

      When I think ballet, I definitely think more "layers and layers of pink gossamer" than I do "lots and lots of glitter"!

      • tirurit

        That is funny because as much as I enjoyed ballet when I was younger, I hated the pink tutus! I remember the older girls that had this gorgeous baby blue floor lenght tutus and I loved those. Fortunately, I was only stuck in a pink tutu once! ;)

        On the other hand, I love fuchsias, plums, mauves for eyeshadow!
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        • Hah!! I was never a tiny ballerina (or a large one), but I think I've always been mesmerized by the pink tutus. Which is hilarious, because I used to HATE pink! I love it on my face, but in clothing, not so much. :p

  • blushparade

    I'm not a fan of pink eyeshadow anyway, specially those pastely or barbie pinks. They just don't work on me at all. If you add a "meh" quality…. then yeah, I think I'm gonna pass.
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  • LOL thanks Rae for the honest review. Pink is so not me to start with. Hahaha
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    • >.< You're welcome, dude! I wanted to love this collection SO BAD; you have no idea how many sads I had when the palette (blush included) kicked up a bunch of powder. Pinks are my thing! :p

  • beautyreflections2013

    Oh well! That's too bad as I was interested in this one since it's PINK. But that's ok, not like I don't enough of them already hahaha! Thanks Rae!
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    • Hahaha, you would be, Tracy!! :p

      I put up a quick eye look for this one today — it really is gorgeous. But, well, the quality just isn't there :( Have you tried any of Clinique's 4-pan palettes? What I've seen from them so far has been really good, and I bet they do a pink one in that line!!

  • I was so excited in seeing this but upon reading your review about it…I guess I have to pass on this. Kinda sad about it since I love Clinique products and sad to hear that they create products that does not have good qualities that we are expecting.
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    • Sorry to disappoint, Alice! They do a LOT of great products, but unfortunately, this just wasn't one of them :( I personally think their permanent-range eyeshadows are a lot better!

  • sylirael


    Right, now that we've gotten that out of the way *dusts off clothes from practice swoon*

    Although I am a sucker for almost anything ballet related (mynewpointeshoeshavearrivedohgodsimsoexcited), I draw the line at the point where it crosses over into 'let's toss in some only semi-useable sparkly pinks/whites'. The taupe and the blush are indeed lovely, however (although… 'plie pink'? Way to name your blush after the most important but most boring movement in ballet, Clinique). :-P

    As for the shimmery powder, I could actually see myself using it for actual ballet performances, especially If I were rocking the whole Sugar Plum Fairy thing. In fact, if my ballet mistress had her way, I'd put that on, and THEN she would do her usual ritual of spraying us down with hairspray and dousing us (literally and liberally) in iridescent glitter. As it is, I coat my exposed skin generously with Chanel Fantasme before going onstage, although I've only ever had roles that were appropriate to it (Swan Lake, Alice in Wonderland, Wilis from Giselle, etc). As a result, there's a realistic possibility that one day I might hit jar on Fantasme, which is not something I ever thought I'd do when I got it as an eyeshadow!

    In an 'IRL' sense, however, I can't imagine dusting myself with pink shimmer….although the Nutcracker rave with strippers and strobe lights sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime event! :-D
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    • Nooo it wasn't a ballet but OH MY GOD *.* There was lots of dancing, though! Old-timey rich person dancing.

      We wanna see your new pointe shoes on IG!

      Also, YES, I totally agree about the performances — I think the powder is totally unusable in real life, but perfect for performances!!! That would be dreamy.

      (Sorry for the super-short reply I am exhausted and crazy hungry -.- I will talk to you more later! Soon! Probably when I catch up on the Painted Rogue ;))

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