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We put it to the test.
Every so often, a select makeup item goes from buzzy product to a full-blown beauty sensation, hailed for its mass appeal and groundbreaking wearability. Such is the case for the Clinique Black Honey lipstick, a softer and more wearable take on the best black lipsticks. It has transcended the barriers of #BeautyTok and completely entranced the internet over the past year.
As a self-proclaimed makeup skeptic, I set out to find out why.
What is Clinique Black Honey?
Lauded for its ability to complement all skin tones, the cult-favourite lipstick stands out for its universal appeal. Though it has a deep purple colour in the tube, it looks entirely unique once you put it on.
With a glossy lightweight consistency, it’s less like a lipstick and more like a layer-friendly balm that, as the brand claims, looks different (but great) on everyone. Ingredients like castor oil and carnauba waxes leave the lips feeling moisturized, and its ultra-sheer finish can be worn alone or layered with any colour of your choice.
Oh, yeah — and according to Clinique, seven are sold each minute globally.
How to wear Clinique Black Honey
Thanks to its chameleon-like colour application, there’s no “right” way to wear Clinique Black Honey lipstick, and that’s part of its appeal. Upon first swipe, it offers a subtle deep mauve and deliciously shiny finish.
During the day, a single layer keeps lips hydrated and adds a hue of autumnal warmth. Apply it more generously for a vampier effect at night. If you really want to drive home the dark theme, try pairing it with the Clinique Black Honey Pop gloss.
My Clinique Black Honey review
The first thing I noticed about this lipstick is how truly easy it is to use. With a transparent pigment, it glides on seamlessly, creating a subtle tinted burgundy gloss. Because it’s so sheer and buildable, there are fewer chances of creating a smudgy mess that spills onto your skin.
As someone who is very pale, not all lip colours work on me (nudes are a no-no; I learned that the hard way). But I was surprised to see that this pretty plum lipstick accentuated my features instead of clashing with them. And based off the reviews from those with darker complexions, this assessment is shared across varying skin tones.
It wasn’t long before I started treating this as a lip balm and putting it on with reckless abandon. From public transit to work events, I consistently re-applied the Clinique Black Honey lipstick without needing a mirror — and it looked great every time. Through it all, I found the hydration to be deep and long-lasting, with my lips feeling nourished for hours, even after the colour itself waned.
If you love it, you can find all the nourishing ingredients and buildable wearability in Clinique’s other offering, a light blush hue called Pink Honey. But really, we like the lipstick in Black Honey the best.
- Deeply moisturizing
- Easy to apply on-the-go
- Wear its own or layered with any other colour
- Sleek silver packaging
- Allergy-tested and fragrance-free for those with sensitivities
- It’s worth noting that because it’s designed to look different on all skin tones, it may not look exactly how you’re expecting it to after you apply it onto your lips
- It’s very transparent, so you’ll need to keep re-applying pretty consistently for a darker look
Where to buy Clinique Black Honey lipstick
Clinique Black Honey regularly sells out, so I recommend acting fast. (Pro tip: To try it for yourself, head to Clinique’s website and select the virtual “try it on” feature.)
For the price of a lipstick with the nutrient-rich properties of a lip treatment, I’d say that all in all, this viral product lives up to the hype.
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