Review: Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

It seems to be loved ubiquitously. It’s praised for its naturalness, its sheerness, its richness, and its moisturizing ability. It was apparently good enough for Liv Tyler to wear in a trilogy that grossed $2.92 billion. How could it possibly be a bad product, right?

The packaging is really sleek. I tend to favor packaging that’s a little more whimsical, but this is definitely attractive packaging (and it looks like it is made for adults).The actual product is very sheer. It’s a dull red with a little bit of brown or maybe purple in it, but it’s not opaque enough to be too vampy. It creates a lovely “my lips but better” effect. It’s a little bit greasy (it kind of feels like you dipped your lips in a tub of vaseline), but not enough to be actively distracting.

The big problem arises, though, in the four hour test. As readers are aware, I expect my lip products to last through four hours and meal. I applied my makeup. I got dressed. I put together my stuff. I looked in the mirror. My lipstick was gone. GONE. About half an hour has passed since the application.

This is absolutely unacceptable. I knew from the moment I put it on that this product wouldn’t pass the test with flying colors, but I didn’t expect such a floundering failure from a product beloved by so many.

Since the original test, I have attempted to wear this product a half dozen times. I thought it was a lovely shade to wear to a meeting for work, but it didn’t last until the end of the meeting. I wore it on a date with my boyfriend, and it didn’t make it through the first course. This could be a wonderful color for a variety of situations, but if you have to reapply it literally every 15 minutes, it’s not really worth my time. There are lots of pretty colors out there that don’t completely disappear this rapidly.

Clinique Almost Lipsticks retail for $15 for 0.07oz (214.29 per ounce). For comparison, a MAC lipstick retails for $15 for 0.1oz ($150 per ounce).

However, given the terrible wear-time that I get from this product, I don’t think that this example offers an appropriate comparison. I’ll be generous to Clinique and work based on the assumption that Almost Lipsticks offer one hour of wear, whereas MAC lipsticks offer four. That means that in the average workday I would need to apply Clinique Black Honey eight times and MAC only twice. Thus, assuming equal masses of a single application, MAC is a 571% better value for continuous wear.

1. I’ve been very tempted to try this lipstick! My sister says she loves it! But it’s good to know about the wear time!!


2. I have the Silk Naturals Kisser Slicker in Nectar, which is the same colour, but cheaper and longer lasting!

3. I love Clinique and it is my go-to brand, but I tend to favor their glosses over their lipsticks, and with glosses I just expect to reapply continuously. Sad that their lipsticks don’t perform very well!

4. I almost bought this the other day! I’m glad I didn’t now. Thanks!

5. Some fuckwit hid/lost my samples at the lab that I was supposed to be working on, so I’m having a little chocolate and an unwind by reading old posts.

BUT MORE RELEVANTLY… what do you think of the popular dupe for this, Revlon Lip Butter in Fig Jam?

6. I actually just bought the Fig Jam because of your question, and I love it. It kind of feels like a chapstick, but WAY prettier, so I tend to reapply it just because I like the way it feels (and it’s fairly inexpensive, so I don’t feel like I have to ration it). That said, it does seem to last pretty well, and I would definitely say the color is comparable to Robin’s description of Black Honey. It’s super flattering; I definitely recommend it.