Since I'm a visual person I hardly ever remember the album title but I just remember what the album art looks like.
When I was an unplucked tween in the midst of my sheltered suburban upbringing, what mom said was law around my
house. One decree: “No makeup until you are (at least) 16.”
Well, imagine my delight when mamacita would let me play with her
gift-with-purchase goodies from the makeup counters at Macy’s and Stern’s
(which is no longer a department store, and I truly feel the sands of time after having typed that). I collected miniature sizes of Lancôme perfumes and
lipsticks, Estee Lauder eyeshadow palettes, and tiny bottles of Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (which, at the time, mostly served to give me
dramatically different breakouts), hoarding them in my Caboodles case.
I was not to wear any of these items out of the house, which suited me just
fine since I had this weird nerd-like penchant for keeping my toys and
collectibles in pristine condition for some impending special occasion in the
One small triumph for me was receiving a mini version of Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, the cult raisin-berry shade that boasted a
universally flattering color. The rich near-black bordeaux
color in the tube was more than seductive to my 13-year-old self, yet when
applied had the subtle blush tones of a PG-13 red lip.
It was sheer enough that I could
sneak it to school, wear it, and not have my mom harangue about me about my
rebellious rule-breaking lipstick coup. I even dared to swipe it on for picture day in 7th grade.
She never knew! Even with photographic evidence (sorry, not
sorry, mom)! Little did I know at the time that Black Honey was much
older than me, having been around since 1971, and becoming one of Clinique’s
most successful shades when re-launched in 1989, when the Lipstick gained the
Clinique has since released the color in many other forms: Nail
polish! Eyeshadow! Blush! Cream eyeliner! Since I no longer frequent department stores, I spied the
most recent offerings at a Sephora, immediately recognizing the narrow, silver
tube. Black Honey, my old friend, had started a cosmetic gang. And I, being the
ambitious beauty writer that I am, viewed them like some glamorous
Pokémon: gotta catch ‘em all!
Using the Almost Lipstick, Shadow Single and Cream Eyeliner,
I’ve created some looks for you guys to acquaint yourself with the wonder that
is Black Honey, should you not already be familiar.
I like to mess with color in really subtle ways, so this
deep raisin-purple color seemed like the perfect color to define my brows in an
interesting yet office-appropriate hue. The Brush On Cream Liner even comes with a tiny
brush that makes painting your brows nearly un-mess-up-able.
The rest of my face was pretty bare, save for some
highlighter on the inner and outer corners of my eyes, curled lashes coated
with mascara, and, of course, Black Honey Almost Lipstick on my lips.
Continuing with the product-purpose-swap, I do love a good
editorial-inspired glossy eye. The trouble with eye gloss, however, is that it tends to
collect in your crease. Being Asian, my eye crease veers into Grand
Canyon-proportioned valleys, so makeup tends to get swallowed up in there if
not firmly stuck to my eyelid.
The best I could do to start was apply a bit of
DIY eye primer (foundation/concealer + corn starch + moisturizer) which helped
keep the color in place, albeit not permanently.
I literally dabbed the Almost Lipstick directly on my eyelids, blending and tapping with my ring finger (because it is the softest and thusly most marriage-indicative digit) upward towards my brows and a bit outwards towards my temples.
I swiped on some waterproof mascara (waterproof
mascara is crucial with eye gloss unless you want to look like a very depressed
surrealist painting) and pinched some lash bunches together to ever so slightly
The Almost Lipstick was the only product used here other
than mascara, dabbing it on my cheeks for a dewy blush and on my lips because
y’all know how obsessed I am with lip balm stains (very).
I feel like every fall, magazines are quacking, “Plum this!”
and “Aubergine that!” for everything from makeup to knits. Was no
one really surprised when Radiant Orchid was crowned Pantone Color of the Year
for 2014? To which I limply rolled my eyes, scoffing, “Next they’ll tell
us pizza wins slice of the year!” (It does. Every year.)
My first experience turning eye shadow into liner (I thought
I was soooo clever, using contact solution to wet my liner brush when I was 16)
was with a deep violet eye shadow by Stila, the name of which escapes me. It
was the only colorful eye makeup I wore at the time. Well, boy, was I pleased when
Clinique sent me their Black Honey collection, replete with a plum All About Shadow Single reminiscent of that hue.
Purple seems to be one of those universally flattering
colors, whether they veer towards the warm or cool tones. Black Honey
definitely is the former, coming off like a sophisticated raisin-plum. I like
to do this look with a shimmery bronze normally but decided to swap it
for Black Honey.
I waterlined my bottom eyelid with black eyeliner and then
took a stiff smudge brush to apply Black honey’s eye shadow along the bottom
lash line, extending to a soft flick. Then, I brought the flick back, moving
up to the outer corner of my upper lid, so it’s like a really asymmetrical
sideways V shape.
Top that with a thick coat of mascara on top and bottom
lashes. The effect is grungy, bratty B.
No, but really.
Everything is surprisingly
versatile in Clinique’s Black Honey stock. Cult items always intrigue me, even
more so when cult colors come about. Personally, Black Honey is a favorite of
mine, mostly because of my experience with it as a kid. They had a blush a year or two ago that was sadly discontinued, but that doesn’t bother me too much,
considering how the Almost Lipstick perfectly suits my desire for dewy flushed
Are there other cult colors out there that you love? Tell
me! My inner cult-hoarder must be satiated! Om nom nom nom nom…