this thing's incredible

Our Fashion Editor at Large Buys This Lip Stain in Bulk

I keep thinking that there will be a point when I stop using Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, and then it doesn’t happen. I buy other lipsticks all the time: I test them on my hand, and eventually on my lips using those little beauty-counter Q-tips, and I tell myself that I have, finally, moved on … but I always come back to that mysterious little silver tube that has kicked around the bottom of every handbag I’ve ever owned. I’ve tried pretty much every “stain” that comes down the pike, and none of them even come close: They are too pink, or too much like actual lipstick, or they are sheer to the point that they might as well just be Aquaphor. (Not that there’s anything — anything — wrong with that brilliant cure-all concoction.)

What even is black honey? And why does it look good on everyone? I remember someone telling me when it launched that it was meant to be the “black turtleneck” of lipsticks, but the meaning of that garment has evolved and the formula of the (almost) lipstick has not. It stains the lip a shade or two darker than nothing, it’s not waxy, and when it fades you’re never left in that weird, half-on phase that can lead to the impression that you’re a little bit drunk. It doesn’t catch on your teeth when you smile, and it’s also kind in that it doesn’t highlight the various ways in which your teeth have (perhaps) discolored over time.

So now I just accept that Black Honey c’est moi: I buy endless tubes and stick them in all my purses, coat pockets, medicine cabinets, and desk drawers. Black honey is perfect — why mess with that?

Clinique Almost Lipstick, Black Honey

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Our Fashion Director Buys This Lip Stain in Bulk