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There are plenty of beauty products that claim iconic status — few are as famous as Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in the shade Black Honey. Born in 1971 (with the intention of becoming the “black turtleneck” of the makeup world), this jammy, sultry lipstick remains a bestseller of the brand today and has recently seen a major revival thanks to a new school of Gen Z- fans posting about it on – where else – TikTok.
So, how does a lipstick become such a hit? This unassuming tube certainly doesn’t look like a crowd pleaser at first glance: in fact, the deep berry shade looks decidedly niche. But swipe this black-and-red balm over your lips and you’ll soon realize what it’s all about. The pigment becomes translucent and becomes a translucent shade, giving a big, fuller glow and a pop of color that somehow suits every skin tone. Think: less Wednesday Addams, more Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
Black Honey doesn’t exactly come from humble beginnings: it has enjoyed A-list support for quite some time. Drew Barrymore wore it into the 1990s, Emilia Clarke loves it today, and Liv Tyler even wore it in Lord of the Rings. But perhaps Black Honey’s most boastful claim to fame is that it was the lipstick Molly Ringwald used during That breakfast club scene – the actress even calls it one of her all-time favorite products in her biography, Getting the beautiful back†
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This single shade of strengthening balm is so popular that it even outlasted the rest of the line. When Clinique tried to discontinue the Almost Lipstick collection, predictability sparked outrage — so much so that Black Honey survived the cull and is the only shade still in production today. In fact, it’s the best-selling lipstick in Clinique’s entire roster, with one sold every three minutes worldwide.
Now Black Honey has found a whole new fanbase in the beauty-obsessed TikTok community, where the hashtag #cliniqueblackhoney currently has over 41 million views. From soft-goth loyalists to 1990s revivalists and classic-glam MUAs, it seems there’s no one who doesn’t love this unassumingly brilliant beauty hero.
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