Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey is so popular, it even has its own hashtag on the video-sharing app – #CliniqueBlackHoney – which has racked up more than 19.9 million views.
The company and thousands of other beauty aficionados have flocked to TikTok to test or review the product, and the overwhelming consensus has been that the deep pink shade fits a variety of skin tones.
"The color is a perfect mixture of blue, red and yellow. When you have those things, it’s less likely to turn orange on the face," licensed cosmetologist Jenn Aédo, 40, told Fox News. "Anything that has like a berry base or red base, it will sometimes turn reddish or orange on people that have cooler skin tone. But, because [Black Honey] has like a hint of blue in it, which gives it that kind of like purple, berry-looking color while it’s in the tube."
Aédo added that she believes the varying tones in the Black Honey lip shade is why it’s "so complementary to everyone's skin tone."
Clinique originally released Black Honey in 1971 and it grew to have a cult following of its own, Aédo said.
Fast-forward fifty years and the $20 shade is marked as "temporarily out of stock" on Clinique’s website. Other popular beauty chains like Sephora and Ulta Beauty have completely sold out on Black Honey in stores and online – a fact that many makeup consumers have noted on TikTok.
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Aédo said Clinique’s Black Honey lip shade might be in high demand because consumers are still interested in creating "no-makeup" makeup looks.
"A lot of people are really hyper-focused on getting glass skin so it looks like you're not wearing any makeup, and we're just using anything that just kind of makes the face look filtered versus super done up," Aédo said. "There are still people out there that love a full face of coverage, I don't think that's going away anytime soon, but I definitely feel like the ‘no-makeup’ makeup look is definitely here to stay."
Clinique’s Black Honey reportedly fits in with current makeup trends because it applies lighter than it is in the tube, according to Aédo.
"It gives you this really natural flush, kind of like you just bit your lips in the center," she said. "There’s also an easiness to it too, since it’s more balmy and melts into the lips. Like you don't have to worry about being super perfect with it. You don't need a lip liner for it. It just kind of gets thrown on the face."
Color and consistency aside, Aédo thinks Clinique’s Black Honey is having a viral moment because people are rediscovering that it’s the lip shade that Liv Tyler wore when she played the role of Arwen in "The Lord of the Rings."
From what Aédo has seen online, makeup fans of all ages are showing interest in the lip color.
"It's appealing for teenagers because it feels more grown-up, but it's also appealing for people that are my age because it's a little trendier than a regular bullet lipstick," Aédo said. "And I think a lot of people, especially the younger kids they feel like there's something very sultry about it because it looks so dark. For some people, it scares them away. But, then when you swatch it, and it just kind of melts into your skin like watercolor. So, there's something very alluring about that."
For the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers though, Clinique’s Black Honey hadn’t been forgotten.
"I think for a lot of us [Black Honey] was our gateway product to a lot of other things," Aédo said. "And you'll even see, like in that video that I did, in the comment section, people kept saying things like, ‘This was my first lipstick. This was my first lipstick. My grandma gave me this. My mom gave me this.’"
She went on, "Many people say it’s the product that crossed them into the makeup world and got them to try more things that weren't Covergirl or another drugstore brand. It was like the first thing that they got that was ‘high end.’"
Carolyn Dawkins, SVP of global product marketing, consumer engagement and online marketing of Clinique, told Fox News that many of Clinique's lip shades were launched 50 years ago, in 1971, and were available in pot form under its Glosswear line.
As for the Black Honey blowup, Dawkins said she and her team noticed the trend in July when they saw the hashtags were trending on social media.
More #BlackHoney is on the way. Buy it now and get on the shipping list for the next drop. #Clinique #CliniqueBlackHoney #lipstick #makeup #beauty #parabenfree #fragrancefree pic.twitter.com/o3JnWRY7lQ— Clinique (@Clinique) September 3, 2021
"We also saw significant sales increases across all channels, and heard from our retail partners that consumers were running into the stores and flocking to their sites to buy Black Honey," Dawkins said. "We quickly pivoted our digital strategy to include partnering with product fans – both influencers and consumers. We also engaged our brand ambassadors and leveraged Clinique Black Honey content across all channels."
"We are currently taking pre-orders for the next 'drop' of stock and we have more plans to celebrate with consumers when product is back to stock. This helps us keep the excitement and continue the trend," she added.