Wednesday 8 May 2024

Iconic Beauty - A Review Of The Clinique Black Honey + More Gift Set And A Life Update*

I can hardly believe it's been nearly a month since I last posted but predictably life got in the way again. My auntie passed away peacefully at home with her family around after a short battle with cancer. understandably it's hit us hard, my mam in particular especially coming so soon after my uncles passing last year so understandably I've been spending lots of time with her reminiscing, and focusing on other things. Throw in the fact that she hasn't been very well either, and I'm not only still struggling with my teeth and gums, but I've also been struggling with an scratch on my left eye and very uncomfortable dry eyes, it therefore will come as no surprise that yet again the blog has been pretty low on my list of priorities.

Despite that though I have been doing a bit of post prep and a bit of editing here and there, but seeing as I'm trying to rest my eyes a bit and limit my screen time, nothings happening very fast. That been said though I do actually have a little post for you today that I've been working on for a few months now and it's part of a new mini (or maybe not so mini - we'll see ;) series called 'Iconic Beauty'. In this series I'm going to be sharing my thoughts on some of the most iconic and talked about beauty products on the market, from products with a cult following, to products that everyone on social media seems to be talking about, and the first product I'm going to be talking about is Clinique's Almost Lipstick in the iconic shade Black Honey.

First released back in 1971, this deep, deep berry shade, must have really stood out amongst the bright colours of the hippy area, but it quickly became a best seller, and all of these years later according to Clinique, 1 tube of Black Honey is sold every 7 minutes worldwide! I've been reading about Black Honey and why it's so perfect for both in magazine and online for years now but I never got round to buying it,  until that is I started using Tik Tok. Yes according to various journalists and retailers the old clock app has apparently introduced a whole new generation of people to this product, and for a while last year it was in pretty every haul video, or get ready with me that appeared on my for you page, so I gave up, I was indeed influenced and I decided to take the plunge and try it for myself.

Now, you should know by now that I love a bargain so I didn't by the lipstick on its own, instead around Christmas time I bought in a little kit called Clinique Black Honey + More. As well as containing a full size Almost Lipstick in Black Honey it also contained, a good sized mini mascara and an eyeliner for just £30, and considering the lipstick was £24 on it's own it would have been rude not to pick this up instead.

So Black Honey, why is it so iconic, well just look it, it looks beautiful, in this 1.9g full size  Clinique's sleek, minimalist, matte and shiny silver packaging really makes, this dark burgundy black lipstick stand out. It looks almost black here but I can assure you it is a tiny bit more berry toned in real life.

If you don't know anything about this lipstick, I can pretty much guess what your thinking - 'why is a lipstick that looks like it belongs at a goth convention so popular?' Well in case you haven't realised it doesn't really go on that colour. According to Clinique the perfect blend of blue, red and yellow pigments, produces a sheer berry tone, that will miraculously work on any skin tone which is shown in their numerous ad campaigns - the simple reason why it's popular is that it suits so many people.

As you can probably guess from the difference in colour in the tube, to the colour payoff, Black Honey actually has quite a sheer glossy finish, sort of my lips but better. It's described as the perfect hybrid between a lipstick, a lip balm and a gloss.

So that's why it's popular, and why it's so iconic but what did I really think of it? I have to admit that even though I knew what to expect, this 100% fragrance free lipstick still looks intimidating in the tube, but I needn't have worried. The soft but not overtly creamy formula applies easily, and it definitely creates an almost just bitten sheer berry tint - Clinique claim that you can apply it without a mirror, I guess it depends on your skin tone as I could see little imperfections on my skin when I tried but you might be different or more skilled at applying it ;). Whilst sheer the colour is slightly buildable so the more you apply the more intense the colour will be - just don't expect a block, solid colour finish.

I definitely think it has a more balm like feel, and a lovely shiny almost gloss like finish. It isn't the creamiest lip colour, or even tinted lip balm that I've ever used but it was still comfortable to wear and it certainly didn't leave my lips any drier.

The wear time was decent, predictably the glossy finish was the first to fade, transferring onto cups and glasses quite quickly, but once that had gone, it left a slight berry stain which lasted for a few hours.

I have to say I actually do like the product a lot, and I can see why it has the reputation it does but if I'm being honey I think it maybe is a tiny bit overhyped, it's certainly nothing earth shattering, either colour wise or moisturising wise, but I guess the fact the just about anyone can wear it is it's real selling point, and it's certainly better than the few so called dupes that I've tried, but I can't help thinking for the price it might be cheaper just to buy a tinted lip balm if that's the effect you're going for - hmm. For the rare people that Black Honey apparently doesn't suit there is apparently a pinkier version called Pink Honey, which I might try next - If you've tried that one please let me know  your thought- I think it might be too pale for me but you never know. The Black Honey + More Kit is really hard to find now but the lipstick, it is still widely available on its own for around £24 from retailers including Boots, ASOS, M&S, John Lewis, Beauty Bay, Look Fantastic and Sephora.

As I said earlier in this post I do love a bargain, and at the time it made more sense to buy the Black Honey + More set rather than the individual lipstick. As well as the beauty that is Black Honey herself, the kit also came with a couple of eye products, including a 3.5ml half size of the  Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black, which retails at around £14

Although I don't remember buying it outright, I had actually used this mascara before, so I think it was either a GWP or a magazine freebie, and I remember being pretty impressed, so for just an extra £4 on top of the lipsticks retail price, I was pleased to have the opportunity to try it again.

As you would expect from Clinique this mascara, is ophthalmologist tested, free from fragrance and oil, and it's safe for both contact lens wearers and people with sensitive eyes. The packaging is clinical and to the point, if you want a fancier tube Clinique certainly sell mascaras in more expensive looking packaging but this particular one lets the product inside do the talking. 

Even though this particular tube is only a half size, it came a full size, signature soft, full fibre spoolie brush, which when teamed up with rich black pigments, Clinique claim produces a mascara that adds buildable volume and length all without clumping.

Thanks to the full brush it was nice and easy to apply on the top lashes, but predictably there was a little bit of spotting and smudging on my shorter lower lashes, but nothing too extreme and it was fairly easy to remove with a cotton bud.

After just one coat you can already see the difference, the lashes are darker, longer, more separated and fuller. One coat is perfect for everyday use, but if you want to go bolder then this mascara will help you do exactly that.

1 Coat 

2 Coats 

With 2 coats, the effect is intensified, the lashes are darker still, longer, fuller, and more separated. This picture is taken straight after application, no fiddling or combing so they do look a little bit clumpy and spidery, and there are a couple of smudges under the lower lashes, but it's nothing that a lash comb and a cotton bud couldn't fix, and most importantly even with an extra coat the lashes didn't feel, tight, dry, heavy or uncomfortable.

1 Coat

2 Coats 

Despite the fact that it's not promoted as a waterproof, or long wear mascara I was still pretty impressed with the wear time, only after about 6 hours do I start to notice a bit of panda eyes going but it wasn't too bad, and when even when I came to take it off at the end of the day, it removed easily with eye make up remover and there was still plenty of product still remaining on the lashes.

Whilst I don't agree with the non clumping claim, everything else Clinique claim about this mascara rings true, darker, longer and fuller lashes, a buildable formulation, and decent staying power. There are probably a lot more dramatic, false lash effect mascaras on the market but this particular is a real workhorse, perfect for everyday both wear and for when you want to add just a touch of drama. 

Also available in Brown and Black-Brown, this half 3.5ml half size retails at around £14 and is available from various retailers including Boots, ASOS, Beauty Bay, and M&S. The full 7ml size retails at around £24 is also available from Boots, ASOS, Beauty Bay, and M&S, as well as John Lewis, Look Fantastic and Sephora.

Now as well as the two items that I was more than happy to have Clinique's Black Honey + More kit also contained another item from the High Impact range, only this time it was one that I wasn't quite so enthusiastic about!

Yes it was of course my nemesis, an eyeliner, and more specifically a felt tip liner - the Clinique High Impact Easy Liquid Liner in Black. I think this is the year when I've eventually admitted defeat with liners like this, no matter what the brand and the promises they make, my eyelids are just to oily and my hands are too shaky to make them work. Purely for you guys though I had a little play with this one and whilst I achieved nothing worth photographing, I do have a few thoughts.

First up the blurb from Clinique - again as you would expect, it's fragrance free, ophthalmologist tested, allergy tested and suitable for people with sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. Advertised with the tag line ' All the drama of a liquid eyeliner without the drama of putting it on' - this pen is designed with a precision, ultrafine tip for both thin and thick lines, and they claim is has 24 hour smudge and budge resistant wear.

I'll start by saying that this is a believe around half the size of the regular, retail product, and do you know what? if pushed I would definitely go for the smaller size pen. The smaller size made it, even for me, quite easy to control. I also liked the tip on this pen, it was fairly easy to manipulate, it was also quite firm and as a result you didn't need a lot of pressure, so I'm pretty sure that the steady handed liner lovers amongst you should be able to achieve both an ultra fine, and thicker bolder line.

So far so good, but the old, oily, hooded lids quickly ruined any joy or love that I felt towards this liner! Whilst it did seem to dry fairly quickly the minute I blinked a smudgy, mirror image of a line appeared in the middle of my eyelid, and almost immediately the original line looked faded and patchy. That been said though once I'd cleaned it up, reapplied and made sure not to blink for a few minutes whilst it was completely dry it did actually stay put - it did fade and go patchy but there was still liner there when I removed it with my normal eye make up remover about 6 hours later!

As someone is rubbish with liner it this one wasn't actually that bad, the key i think is to give it enough time to dry - If you're a liner buff and you're looking for something to try then this one might be worth a look. I can't find this particular 0.3g size online but the full 0.6g size retails at around £23 and is available online in this shade from John Lewis, M&S and Look Fantastic.

I hope you've enjoyed this little foray into some of the Clinique's make up products, and taking a look at one of their cult products in the Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. If you've tried it I'd love to your thoughts, and whether you think it lives up the the hype, and I'd also love to know what other cult beauty products you'd like to see me cover in this series - so please leave me a comment and let me know and I will see you soon with a little nails of the day post x 

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