July 19, 2016

Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub Review

This was provided to me by a brand for review and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post but all opinions are my own.

Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub

I think my beloved Lush Dark Angels is going to quickly be replaced with the new Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub ($28). This dual-formula mask and facial exfoliator is one of two new charcoal skincare offerings that Clinique launched earlier this Summer.

I was particularly excited about City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub because I’m a lover of charcoal scrubs and skincare in general such as MAC Volcanic Ash and Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Face Polishing Mask. This actually acts as a 5 minute ask to draw out oil, dirt, and gunk from your pore and later it turns into an exfoliating scrub as you wash it off.

Nifty right?

Here’s my thoughts on it!

Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub is a thick creamy clay-like mask that can be applied onto skin and washed off in five minutes (or after it turns a light shade of blue from the bluish gray shade it is when squeezed out of the tube). I typically apply it and lounge around with it for 5 to 10 minutes until it dries down. As it sets it becomes a little tighter and looks and feels like a clay mask. This worried me since I have drier skin and I was worried it would be overkill for duller/drier skin. Ok, so I wouldn’t say I have clogged pores or visible pores so, I can’t speak about how well this drew out gunk from my pores.

I will say that it does a fabulous job brightening up my complexion and smoothing it out (Sorry! No gratuitous photos of me sporting a face full of blue goo but you can always follow me on Instagram as I’ve been known to do mask selfies and lots of pictures of food because I like to take pictures of my food!). After it sets, I wash it off with lukewarm water. As you rinse, the mask breaks down and the grains gently exfoliate skin. It was fairly easy to rinse off and the grains give my skin a good scrub to whisk away dry and dead skin cells. As I patted my face dry I was waiting for that dry, tight feeling to set. Guess what? It never happened! My face felt smoother but I didn’t have to contend with tightness! Added bonus, my moisturizer absorbed so much easier and my flaky cheeks and forehead were smooth plus my complexion was brighter! I’ve been using it two weeks for the past month and a half and I can honestly say that I’ll be repurchasing it in the future. I’m a big fan of Lush’s Dark Angels but I have to admit that can be pretty harsh at times. Clinique’s formula is much more gentle and just as effective! Plus sensitive users will love it has zero fragrance.

Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask swatches

Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub Swatches

All in all, Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub gets a big yay from yours truly. This is a keeper and I can see it becoming a staple in my skincare routine!

Available now at Clinique counters, clinique.com, ulta.com, and nordstrom.com.

Tried it?

Do share your thoughts!


This was provided to me by a brand for review and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post but all opinions are my own.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment.

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  • Claire L

    You should try the Cattier clay masks from France, they are good and not expensive. I like the yellow clay one for dry skin, I think you might like it as you have skin on the dry side. I looked to see if you had reviewed the Queen Helene mint julep mask and it made me happy that you had! I had tried it earlier for the first time today and I loved it!

    • Isabella Muse

      Thanks for the rec Claire will have to check ’em out!

  • kimkats

    No Dryness? No Tightness? No Fragrance?! Hell, I’m all in!!! Now – clinique, we need to talk… How about a decent GWP this fall, hm? Keep the damn evil yellow goo, and the ubiquitous rinse off foaming cleanser – that stuff would take the wax off my car, and probably a couple layers of paint. Do something different – throw in some MU shades you haven’t done before, or let us choose what cleanser we want!! Howzat for an idea? 😀

    Sorry Muse – just a little cranky that clinique’s GWP offerings have been pretty lame in the last couple years… I wanna good one! 😀

    thanks for the review, this is on my gonna-git list now!

    • Isabella Muse

      hah a good GWP would be nice 😀 I hear ya on all that! My pleasure dear!

  • danadoo

    I’ve tried so many different brands of makeup and skincare over the years, but clinique always draws me back in, I am never disappointed in their products! I’m going to have to try this one.

  • genevieve

    This seems like a really good product to try as I have dry and sensitive skin. Your review, as always, was really helpful. There are so many skincare products on the market, making fantastic claims, so I never know which one to purchase.
    I will certainly give this product a go – because, as a rule, I don’t like the tightness generated by masks in general.
    As for GWP – I agree – Clinique has been recycling the same GWP for a long time now and it would be good if they could mix it up a bit.