In the fourth grade, anyone who was anyone was 10. Nine-year-old kids were persona non grata; so obviously, I was desperately waiting for October to roll around and to finally hit the big 1-0.
This was serious—I was an adult and expected to be treated like one. I told my mom I was a grown-up and needed grown-up gifts like a lava lamp and fuzzy phone for my room (#adulthood).
My mom had different ideas about what being 10 meant. In addition to the lava lamp and fuzzy phone, she gave me the Clinique 3-Step Skin Care System. It was time for me to start taking care of my skin—washing my face not just when there was a chocolate ice-cream smudge on my cheek, but to maintain its health.
I took my kit to the bathroom, slid the soap out of its signature green dish to wash my face, carefully applied purple astringent to a cotton ball, and administered a small amount of the yellow moisturizer into my sparkly-blue polished fingers (this was pre-pump, so you had to have a good eye). As I rubbed the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion into my freckles, I felt...well, dramatically different. I’d seen my mom apply creams to her gorgeous skin for as long as I could remember, and now, it was my turn. This was the height of sophistication.
Over the years, my Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion has made its way into summer camp trunks, countless sleepover bags, sport-camp packs, pre-prom makeup bags, duffels headed to college and to abroad programs, and even in boxes headed to my first apartment in New York City.
So what has brought me back to this yellow miracle cream for 15 years? Simply put, it’s the best. It’s everything you could want in a moisturizer: It’s lightweight but effective; it sinks into skin quickly, but also can be applied more heavily for mask-level hydration. Plus, Clinique upgraded the original formula a couple years ago to be even more moisturizing.
I’ve layered it like a serum under heavy-duty cream when my skin has been drier. I’ve switched to the gel version when my face was an oil slick and the breakouts were out of control. Not only does this moisturizer target whatever it is that’s going haywire in your skin, but it will never make you break out. I have sensitive, acne-prone, combination skin (do you know how hard it is to find a product that addresses every skin issue there is with our exacerbating one of the others?!) And this yellow moisturizer is my old faithful.
In addition to being an amazing product, the packaging travels without spilling or popping open. Never once have I suffered a product explosion: from camp to international travel, this stuff stays shut. The bottle even has a pump top now, which makes getting the proper “dose” of moisturizer a breeze.
So while the lava lamp has since been retired, the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion remains (as does the fuzzy phone—if Zsa Zsa Gabor had beautiful skin and a fuzzy phone, why can’t I?). Thankfully some things never change.