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There’s plenty of beauty products out there that claim iconic status – but few are quite as famously beloved as Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in shade Black Honey. Born in 1971 (with the intention of becoming the ‘black turtleneck’ of the make-up world) this jammy, balmy lipstick remains a brand bestseller today, and has recently enjoyed a major resurgence thanks to a new school of Gen Z fans posting about it on – where else – TikTok.
So, how does a humble lipstick become such a smash hit? This unassuming tube certainly doesn’t look like a crowd-pleaser at first glance: in fact, the deep berry tone looks decidedly niche. But swipe this blackened-red balm over your lips and you’ll soon realise what all the fuss is about. The pigment sheers out to become a translucent tint, imparting major plumping shine and a hint of colour that somehow suits every single skin tone. Think: less Wednesday Addams, more Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
Clinique Black Honey: The History
Black Honey doesn’t exactly come from humble beginnings: it’s enjoyed the backing of the A-list for quite some time. Drew Barrymore wore it through the nineties, Emilia Clarke loves it today, and Liv Tyler even wore it in Lord Of The Rings. But perhaps Black Honey’s most boast-worthy claim to fame is that it was the lipstick used by Molly Ringwald during that Breakfast Club scene – the actress even name-checks it as one of her all-time favourite products in her biography, Getting The Pretty Back.
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So popular is this single shade of enhancing balm, it even outlived the rest of the line. When Clinique attempted to discontinue the Almost Lipstick collection, outrage predictably ensured: so much so, Black Honey survived the cull and is today the only shade still in production. In fact, it’s the number-one selling lipstick in Clinique’s entire roster, with one sold every three minutes worldwide.
Now, the truly iconic Black Honey has found a whole new fanbase in the beauty-obsessed TikTok community, where the hashtag #cliniqueblackhoney has currently racked up over 41 million views. From soft-goth loyalists to nineties revivalists and classic-glam MUAs, it seems there’s no one that doesn’t love this unassumingly brilliant beauty hero.
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