Clinique Almost Lipstick Black Honey Dupe?


I usually go to Duane Reade on the weekends. Yes, they’re horribly overpriced compared to Rite Aid, CVS and Walgreens. Yes, they never have any worthwhile sales. However, they always seem to have the limited edition counter displays fully stocked and they also probably have the largest selection of beauty items of any drugstore. They carry just about every cosmetics brand under the sun…except for my beloved Jane which they got rid of last month to make room for some new brands. Three of these new (to Duane Reade) brands are LA Splash, Latina, and Palladio. Well, actually, Duane Reade has always carried Palladio but only the rice powder and brow items; now, though, they have a big, new wall display that includes blush, bronzer, eyeshadow, and lip products.

I think anyone who’s part of the YouTube beauty community is familiar with emilynoel83, a popular guru. She’s raved about the Palladio tinted lip balms that are available in Sally’s Beauty Supply stores in several of her videos. Not having a Sally’s near me, the lip balms were just something that I thought I’d never get a chance to try. So imagine my surprise and glee when I discovered Duane Reade carried the full range of lip balm shades.

If you’ve taken a look at my stash pics, you know that I need another lip product like I need a hole in the head. And $4 each for a lip balm isn’t exactly cheap, at least in my mind. I ended up buying two. *hangs head in shame* My rationalization is that I haven’t really been buying makeup items except for the dollar here or there at the Dollar Tree. I don’t think I’ve spent more than $10 per month on makeup since December. So I’ve been good…right? I deserved a little splurge. Right?

I decided to make my mini-spree a little more worthwhile by getting colors that I don’t usually go for, colors that I don’t already have. I’m usually drawn towards medium pinks and rose shades so I decided to not even look at the Palladio tinted lip balms in Rosey or any shade that had pink in its name (Bronzey Pink, Golden Pink). I ended up picking the Palladio lip balms in Brownie and Orange.

I originally really wanted to get Bronzey Pink because that’s the shade emilynoel83 raved about but Duane Reade actually had testers available for all the lip balms and I thought Brownie looked a lot more wearable on me. Bronzey Pink is actually a shimmery peach shade whereas Brownie is more of a non-shimmery brown-berry color. I may still go back for Bronzey Pink…and some other shades. *hangs head in shame again*

Back to the topic at hand: the supposed Black Honey dupe. I think I may have found one!

Back in college, which was 1998-2002, Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey was all the rage. I remember it was the “it” thing to have and I got caught up in the excitement. It was actually the first mid/high-end cosmetics purchase I ever made and I’ve repurchased it several times over since.

Clinique describes Black Honey as a “deep blackened raisin” color. I don’t know about that. Considering how sheer the lipstick is, how deep can it be? Not very, in my opinion. To me, Black Honey is a sheer brown-berry shade. Hmm, sound familiar? I was actually in the middle of taking some lip swatch pics of Palladio Brownie (for an upcoming Palladio lip balm review) when I realized I’d seen that shade somewhere before. a-ha! The light bulb over my head went off and I ran to my stash to unearth Black Honey.

Looking at each color in the tube, you’d think there’s no way they could be dupes for each other. Black Honey looks almost black and Brownie looks…well, brown. Fortunately, Black Honey is deceptively dark and comes off way more sheer on the skin because I would never be able to pull off such a dark shade otherwise. Even swatched on the hand, you’d think they could be shade cousins or sisters but not twins; the differences become more noticeable as you pile on more layers. In the swatch pic to the left, I applied about 6 layers of each shade to really make their differences obvious; Clinique Black Honey is the more brown shade on the left and Palladio Brownie is the more red shade on the right. But in the other swatch pic above, I only applied 2 layers and you can see how similar Black Honey and Brownie look when a lighter hand is used.

In the lip swatch photo to the right, I applied one lipstick on the left side of my mouth and the other lipstick on the right side of my mouth. Can you tell which is which? Can you even tell I’m wearing two different lipsticks in each of the lip swatch photos?

If I weren’t the one who’d taken the photos I probably wouldn’t be able to spot the difference. They look the same to my eyes although I can see that the lipstick on the left half (your left) has really settled into the lines on my upper lip. Can you believe that that’s Black Honey?! The $4 Palladio tinted lip balm is actually just as pigmented and has a smoother, more even finish.

Since my lips are pale to begin with and I think the two shades look identical on me, I’m pretty sure this will work for lovers of Black Honey with more pigmented lips who are searching for a cheaper dupe; the differences should be less noticeable on you.

ETA 12/16/13: Check out my review of Sally Hansen’s Colorfast Tint + Moisture Balm in Pumped Up Plum. I think it may be an even better dupe of Clinique Black Honey.

8 thoughts on “Clinique Almost Lipstick Black Honey Dupe?

  1. >Oh, I'm sorry it didn't work for you. Black Honey works on me as long as I keep it sheer. Too much and it's just all sorts of wrong. LOL I like that I don't have to worry about that with the Palladio.

  2. >Just found this post yesterday, as I was searching for a cheaper alternative to Black Honey. My 5-year-old decided to use all my lipsticks in my purse as glue sticks, which gave me an excuse to buy more. While the purse was stocked with a few inexpensive Cover Girl lipslicks (Hipster!), my inclination was to spend my money on my old favorite (which I tried to duplicate with Hipster…not a dupe of Black Honey…but cheap). As I couldn't bear the thought of my child using a $12 tube of Black Honey for gluing purposes, I could handle to spend $4 on Palladio. Went to Sally's today and left with Brownie and some shadow (it's amazing what we can justify in the name of vanity). I have to say THANK YOU for writing about Palladio's tinted lip balm. In my opinion, it is a complete dupe of Black Honey…actually, I think it's better. For $8 less, you get twice the amount of product. Honestly, it might even be more flattering than Black Honey. Like your swatch shows, I remember Black Honey settling. Palladio Brownie tinted lip balm = great product!

  3. >nice find! ive always wanted black honey but i just purchased palladio lip tint! i didnt get it in brownie though i got it in a redder color but its just as flattering. thanks for the tip! love your blog btw. follow our blog and we'll follow yours?check out our

  4. Pingback: Revlon Lip Butter Fig Jam & L’Oreal Colour Riche Balm Plush Plum « Mimsy's Blog

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