I'm a sucker for Clinique. I really am. I have no idea why, exactly, but I remember looking at their ads as a kid, thinking they were the epitome of awesome. As an adult, I sort of skipped over Clinique (going to MAC, instead). I guess I'm making up for lost time now.
Like all Clinique quads, the packaging is somewhat plan. A lucite bottom, so you can see the product without having to open the quad, and a shiny silver lid. This is the first quad I've had that doesn't have a smooth lid - it has "speedbumps" on the lid, for lack of a better term. I'm not sure if this redesign is for a particular reason, like to reduce the fingerprint potential, or if it's just to update their look. The palette includes the standard fair for Clinique, a sponge-tipped applicator, and tiny useless brush, and mirror running the full length of the palette. This retails for $25.50.
This is an overall warm toned quad, with one color that is slightly more neutral. The highlight shade is a the perfect slightly yellow "glow" color - you can't really see it on my arm. It has a touch of sparkle, but it's not shimmery, or matte. More of a satin, I suppose. On my brow bone, however, it brightens up the skin. The second shade is a shimmery honey brown tone - not bad, not great. The third shade is a satin finish, more red-version of the second shade. The last shade looks very interesting - a dark shimmery red-touched brown Swatched, it's as little less exciting, and on the eye.. well, it's just not that thrilling.
The best way I've found to wear this palette it to applied the second, shimmery shade to my lid, the fourth color to my crease and blend it out with the third, slightly matte shade, and use the highlight under my brow. The contrast between the middle shades is minor on my lid. This palette doesn't really do much as far as bringing out the green of my eyes.
Overall, the pigmentation was as expected. Not "holy-mother-of-god" pigmented, but not terrible. The shadows are not super soft, but a brush can easily pick them up and apply them. Keep in mind, I'm a huge fan of subtle highlight shades, so I'm pleased with the highlight shade in this palette. They blend well enough, although the darkest shade likes to stick to some of the bases I've used (like the 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Sin).It's manageable, though. I like that the shadows do not kick up a lot of dust when used.
Is this palette unique? No. Is it a must have? No. It's it pretty? Yes. Is it worth swatching? Sure, since your stash may have a need for something warm and neutral. I will say that the girl working the Clinique counter at my Nordstrom said I was purchasing the last one they had, so someone is buying them. If you're interested, I wouldn't wait, since the Nordstrom I go to is not exactly busy.
By the way, I thought I'd mention, I swatched the Gradient Powder Blusher from this collection... and it's very pretty. A darkened, warm, nude color. Fairly soft, pigmented, and seemed to blend okay using my finger. I'm still trying to decide if I like it, or if I want to wait to see if it shows up at my CCO. I'm concerned it'd be too dark for my face, though.