Why a Clinique lipstick created 50 years ago has gone viral on TikTok

TikTok has created several trends in the last few years but one of the most unexpected is the resurgence of Clinique’s ‘Black Honey’, Almost There lipstick. The hashtag #cliniqueblackhoney has racked up 15.8m views on the platform and that’s translated into sales with the product selling out at most retailers, including on Clinique’s own website.

Clinique black honey
Clinique

But what is behind the appeal of this lipstick, which was originally created 50 years ago in 1971, before being tweaked in 1989? Described by Clinique as ‘The black turtleneck of lipsticks’, the lip colour adapts to the wearer’s natural lip shade and enhances the colour that is already there. Its subtle hue is best described as a berry shade that gives a just-bitten hint that suits everyone, no matter the skin tone or eye colour. It’s always been one of the brand’s bestsellers, but the recent TikTok exposure has seen its popularity sky rocket to never-before-seen heights.

Clinique black honey
Clinique

Users have praised its versatility. ‘I’ve had such a hard time finding a lip colour like this that’s just sheer and moisturising and that works for two-toned lips, or people with browner lips or not pink lips. Go out and find it, Black Honey by Clinique, it’s so good,’ said one happy customer.

Clinique has been quick to respond to the hype; with brand ambassador Emilia Clarke testing the product in an Instagram post.

‘I’m a granny, I’m sorry. I’m not on TikTok,’ she said while trying the product out for herself. ‘It looks really scary. It looks like my lips are about to go black,’ before exclaiming, ‘That’s amazing! Clinique, send me seven more, thank you very much.’

At £18.50, it’s not cheap but, with a 50-year pedigree, it looks like a product that’s more than just a passing social media trend.