Beauty Test Drive: Clinique Almost Lipstick In Black Honey

Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey is a certified cult classic, the kind of lip color thing that shows up on best-of and must-have lists everywhere for years and years. It’s widely touted as a color that looks good on everybody. I am reluctant to believe that anything is ever one-size-fits-all. Clothing is not. Shoes are never. Clinique, however, believes that Black Honey is a shade that will look good on every skin tone. So, we put it to the test to see if these spurious claims hold any weight.

Application: This glides on like a heavy lip balm or a light lipstick, which seem appropriate, given that’s pretty much what it is. It’s housed in a shiny silver tube, the cap of which disengages itself frequently and gets lost in the bottom of my bag. Also, over the course of this writing, I tried to twist up the tube, and found that the actual lipstick got kinda stuck and I had to nudge it down with my finger, which is fine, but eh. I mean, not re-inventing the wheel here. It’s just lipstick. Because this is so sheer, it’s the kind of thing you can put on while you’re waiting for the train, or walking down the street, or stopped at a red light, or something. You won’t end up with lipstick all over your face, which is always a plus.

Results: Hm. On my medium-ish skin tone and kind of pigmented lips, this shade is what breathless beauty bloggers refer to as MLBB, or “my lips but better”. Yeah, it’s still my mouth, buuuut I wouldn’t necessarily argue that it’s better. I’m used to wearing bright, eye-searing lipstick, and so to have the rest of my face on, but just  sheer wash of color on my lips feels inauthentic to my true beauty self. Though, a brief survey of respected peers(Amelia) assured me that it looks like there’s something there. It’s subtle, but not in a bad way. I used to wear this when I wanted to feel ~*sophisticated*~ in high school. I’d steal it out of my mom’s free gift bags from Macy’s and stash it in my backpack. It paired well in the late 90s with a super thin brow and a a lot of liquid liner. Nowadays, it’s the kind of thing I’d have on hand if I lived in fear of being papped by the photogs at every instance. It makes me look pulled together enough, but not fully done. I’d give it a 3 out of 5.

For funsies, here’s the lip on three of our lovely staffers. It looks great on all of us, because we are beautiful angels, but universally flattering for one and all? I’m not so sure about that.