Clinique Black Honey: It’s Not Just For Lips Anymore

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Of the cult-classic makeup colors, Clinique’s Black Honey has one of the most impressive stories. The lipstick arrived in 1971 and became a best seller almost overnight. In the ‘90s, that deep berry shade of almost-lipstick became the decade’s it-color, thanks to celebrity fans like Drew Barrymore and Julia Roberts. Today, Black Honey remains Clinique’s most popular lipstick by far; the brand sells one every three minutes in the United States. 

So what, exactly, has made this color enduringly popular? Basically, it looks good on just about everyone. Intimidatingly vampy — nearly black, actually — in the tube, the color is reassuringly sheer on lips, leaving a pretty raisin-like hue with a hint of shine. Originally conceptualized as a “black turtleneck” for lips, the shade uses a blend of pigments (red, blue, orange, and yellow) meant to flatter women of all ethnicities and skin tones.  

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Clinique is expanding its most popular hue into A Black Honey Affair, a new eight-color eyeshadow palette ($36) that just launched at Sephora this week, and aims to do for eyes what the famed color did for lips. The playful shadows range from light browns to intense purples; the first four shades can be used to create a neutral daytime look, while the other four shadows—which are admittedly more difficult to wear—can be used to create a violet eye (or layered over the soft browns).

Will this palette gain a devoted following in its own right? Only time will tell, but these autumnal shades are about as gorgeous as it gets — and with so many shadows packed into one pretty palette, it’s a honey of a deal, too.

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