Product Review: Clinique Almost Lipstick in Lovely Honey

There are so, so many beauty and fragrance and hair and skincare products on the market that no one can possibly keep track of them, much less write about all of them. I usually prefer to concentrate on recommending products that have pleased me, rather than complaining about products that have disappointed me, but this post will be one of my exceptions to that loose rule.

If you’ve been buying and wearing cosmetics any time between 1971 and now, you may have come across Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. One of the company’s best-selling products, it’s billed as a universally flattering sheer lip color. The Black Honey shade was always just a bit too “warm” for my skintone, but I admired its versatility for most wearers, not to mention its longevity.

Over the past year or so, cosmetics brands from Revlon to Chanel and back have released sheer lipstick lines. So when Clinique recently announced a launch of seven new “honey” shades of Almost Lipstick, inspired by the now-clasic Black Honey, I thought, good for them: they deserve a piece of the current sheer lipstick action, since they set the trend the first time around.

Passing the Bloomingdale’s Clinique counter during a gift-with-purchase event, I surveyed the new Honey shades and picked out Lovely Honey for myself. It’s a rosy mauve shade with a lightly shimmery finish, the sort of lip color that I love and wear everywhere.

That is, in the tube it’s a cool rosy mauve: on the mouth, Lovely Honey all but vanishes, leaving a slightly gleamy finish but barely any visible pigment. It feels moisturizing enough that I don’t need to wear any lip balm under it, but then again, I’d get pretty much the same effect from wearing balm alone. It can also be layered over a regular lipstick for a touch of glow and shimmer, which is fine; but I just expected more from this product.

I guess I should have read between the lines of Almost Lipstick product description on Clinique’s website: “Transparent pigment merges with the unique, natural tone of your lips to create something wonderful and yours alone.” In other words: tinted balm. Well, they tried to warn me…but I do feel that the sheer lipstick bar has been raised by recent releases from other brands.

Have you tried any of the newer sheer lipsticks? Do you have a favorite? Feel free to comment!

Disclaimer: this item was purchased by the author.

Images: close-up product photo by Tinsel Creation; Winnie the Pooh stuck in the honey pot, via Just-Pooh.


11 thoughts on “Product Review: Clinique Almost Lipstick in Lovely Honey

  1. Do ANY Clinique lipsticks last? I love Clinique liptsticks for their perfume free and moist feel, but I feel they never stay on my lips for more than 1/2 hour, certainly not past my class time. Guava stain is my favorite, btw.

    1. That’s a good question! I remember going through a long Think Bronze phase… that was a “Different Lipstick,” and seemed to last fairly well, but I haven’t used it in a while. I can’t even think of a long-wear lipstick to wear… will have to research the topic! ;)

    1. Revlon Lip Butters: now, *those* are sheer lipsticks worth trying. Some of my beauty-obsessed friends were raving about these, so I took their advice and bought Berry Smoothie. It has not left my purse since that day. It’s moisturizing, well pigmented, and very gently priced! Of course, it doesn’t last all day, but it holds up very respectably for a balm-y product.

  2. Sheer lipstick, GTFO!!!!!! Long live pigment!

    Seriously, the thought of “sheer lipstick” makes me want to barf.

    -Susan, dark lipped mama.

    1. hah! Most of the time, I like a good old-fashioned lipstick with plenty of color… but on hot days, or very casual days, I do tend to pick up something sheerer. Then again, I’m pretty pale all over my face, so a little color goes a long way.

  3. Oh, and re Clinique lipsticks, those suckers seem to melt worse than any other brand. It doesn’t take much heat, and they’ve turned to goo in my purse.

    I really don’t care for Clinique products in general, but I am actually wearing their Raspberry Glace lipstick today, which is a rare pink that works for me.

    1. How strange, about Clinique lipsticks getting melty. I’m afraid to see what would happen to their “chubby pencils” or whatever the heck those new balms are called.
      I still like Foxy eyeshadow and sometimes I pick up a tube of City Block tinted moisturizer, but for the most part, I’ve drifted to other cosmetics counters…

  4. Not new, but still great – Lipstick Queen Saint! The formula is wonderful – moisturizing, light, with no scent or taste.

    And now I have to try the Revlon lip butters.

    1. Oh, I love Lipstick Queen’s Saint formula! Her Jean Queen and Medieval are also excellent semi-sheer lippies. And, really, the Revlon Lip Butters are shockingly good… wearable colors with a balm-like feel, for a reasonable price!

  5. I really really miss my Almost lipstick Lovely Honey. Can anyone tell me where I can buy it? I tried and they are asking a small fortune for what they have. I say $45.00 is just to much.

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