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We Tried Clinique’s Black Honey Lipstick to See if It Really Looks Good on Everyone

Clinique's Almost Lipstick in Black Honey against colourful background

Every day, we’re surprised by the sheer power social media holds in the beauty space. Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in the shade “Black Honey” (Sephora, $30) has been a cult classic for decades. According to the brand’s website, “We used to say [this lipstick] was sold every three minutes – but that was before TikTok found it.” Although the product was launched back in 1989, it gained widespread popularity through social media in 2022, leading to the lipstick completely selling out at one point.

What you need to know about Clinique’s Black Honey Almost Lipstick

Priced at $30, the Almost Lipstick isn’t exactly a lipstick, nor a gloss (hence the “almost” in the name). It glides on and hydrates similar to a lip balm, gives the shine of a gloss, but provides the sheer pigment that you would usually expect from a lipstick. While it looks black in the tube, the colour is more of a universal plum shade that can be worn alone or paired with another lip colour to enhance the shade.

See also: We tried E.L.F. Cosmetics’ Halo Glow Liquid Filter — here are our honest thoughts.

Clinique says “Black Honey is famous for its chameleon-like ability to flatter all skin tones” – it’s one product, yet it looks a bit different on everyone. Our team decided to review the same shade on all of our different skin tones so you can picture exactly how it’d look on you before you commit to the purchase.

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, Sephora, $30.

Chelsea Brimstin holding Clinique's Almost Lipstick in Black Honey
Chelsea Brimstin

This is Chelsea’s new winter weather saviour

“Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in shade 06 Black Honey is about to become my go-to lip balm. As someone who goes for a pretty minimal, clean makeup look, it’s the perfect way to tint my lips and complete an outfit with a more refined edge. The shade is perfect for my skin tone. I don’t have much natural colour in my lips, so the Almost Lipstick gave my lips a delicate pop of colour without feeling like it was too overpowering on my face.

Honestly, for a lip balm, it stayed on my lips for quite a while, keeping them tinted even as the glossy finish wore off. Also, I’m huge on moisture – to the point that I find myself dipping into my favourite Laneige sleep mask at least once an hour (who says sleep masks can only be used at night? Not me.). I have a tough time keeping my lips hydrated and this silky balm not only completed my makeup look, but kept me feeling moisturized throughout the day. So, while it may not be the longest lasting colour or gloss, I reapplied often anyways to keep my skin hydrated in the dry Toronto weather. All-in-all, I love Almost Lipstick and it fits perfectly in my pocket, so I’ll be bringing it with me everywhere for the remainder of the winter.” – Chelsea B., Digital Producer, Slice


See also: How to get the glowy, clean girl makeup look.

Mali Raja holding Clinique's Almost Lipstick in Black Honey
Mali Raja

Mali loves the hydration and smooth texture – but would’ve liked more pigment

“If I could only use one type of makeup product for the rest of my life, it would be a hydrating lipstick – so naturally, I was really excited to try Clinique’s Black Honey lipstick. A lipstick that looks good on everyone? Say no more. I typically gravitate towards slightly darker shades, so my intuition was telling me that I would have no problem liking this lipstick. While I do love it, I think I got my hope up a little too high! I expected this to become my new favourite, but after a few coats I realized that the shade isn’t too far off from what my natural lip colour is already like.

I can confirm I’ll be keeping this lipstick around to use for everyday errands, touch-ups, or to throw on before Zoom calls to give me that no-makeup-makeup look, just to look a teeny bit more put together, but beyond that, I don’t really see this as a going-out lipstick. If you’re looking for something with a life-altering shade – at least for my fellow brown girls – this might not be it. But, if you’re looking for a super hydrating and non-sticky lippie, I support you running to grab one.” – Mali R., Content Creator, Slice


See also: We tried Rare Beauty’s liquid blush on different skin Tones and here are our honest thoughts.

Krizia Ramos wearing Clinique's Almost Lipstick in Black Honey
Krizia Ramos

Krizia was pleasantly surprised by the subtle “just-drank-wine” tint

“I was surprised at how much I love this Almost Lipstick. For starters, the dark colour that the lipstick is in the tube wasn’t how it came out when I first applied it on my lips. It’s not so pigmented and actually gives the most natural-looking stain which I love — almost like I just drank wine. I’m not a huge fan of dark shades because I personally think they don’t look good on my skin tone, so I’m obsessed with how subtle this is.

It’s very moisturizing, so it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing lipstick. I don’t really like the feeling of lipstick either, so normally when I put on a lipliner, I apply a small amount of Vaseline to keep my lips from drying out throughout the day, but in this case, I could skip that step altogether. The sheer finish is the perfect in-between to a gloss and matte lippie so I could definitely see myself using it every day for a simple look. For me, one layer does the trick and dabbing a tiny bit more in the middle of my lips, but I’m sure if you want the colour to show even more you can apply another coat.” – Krizia R., Producer/Editor, Slice

Ria Ankrah
Ria Ankrah


Ria is here for the versatility

“This viral product truly caught me by surprise (in a good way)! It’s lightweight, highly pigmented with a sheer finish, and has an easy applicator that doesn’t take up much space in a purse or makeup bag. I like this shade against my complexion and know the buildable formula will come in handy for multiple makeup looks – natural, glam, or an in-between. This is definitely something I’d wear for multiple occasions! It reminds me of applying a brownish-red lip liner with Aquaphor on top but now I can carry one product instead of two. Thanks Clinique!” – Ria A., Social Media Manager, Slice

You may also like: Beauty picks 2023: Our favourite beauty products to try this January.

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