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Professional Makeup Artist at Glamour N Glow
Phoebe is a professional makeup artist and is here to bring her expertise to you. No matter what your beauty questions or troubles are, she's got all of the answers you need to have a successful makeup journey!
Latest posts by Phoebe Berkeley (see all)
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Finding the perfect lip gloss/balm can prove to be quite challenging; you want to find the perfect balance of color payoff while also keeping the dreaded ‘stickiness’ to a minimum. I’m sure you can picture it now: walking down a windy side street with a beautiful lip gloss on and the next thing you know, you have half a head of hair stuck directly to your lips, ew!
Well, if you’ve ever experienced the absolute horror that is a sticky gloss, look no further than Clinique’s Almost Lipstick, which will give you not only stunning color payoff but also a non-sticky balm finish that will stay with you throughout your day.
I had honestly given up on traditional lip gloss because they’re such a hassle, but I’m excited to share my full take on this revolutionary new product that’s sure to become a staple in your makeup routine!
Clinique Almost Lipstick Review: Key Features
Clinique states on their website that Almost Lipstick uses a unique formula of ‘transparent pigments that work together with your natural lip color to create a unique shade. The idea of this product is that it’s a hybrid between lipstick and lip gloss; you get all of the fantastic color payoffs of lipstick and sheer high shine from a lip gloss.
I’m a massive fan of hybrid makeup products because you often get to reap the benefits of each product while skipping out on the less desirable outcomes. For this particular product, I love that you can still get that gloss shine but skip out on the stickiness factor. I tried out both available colors they have: Pink Honey and Black Honey.
Almost Lipstick is also great because it’s allergy-tested and free from irritants like alcohol, silicone, mineral oil, and gluten. Clinique prides itself on being dermatologist-developed, so every product in its arsenal is free from anything worrisome. If you’re looking to discover what else they have, check out our comprehensive Clinique foundation guide.
- A universally flattering shade that mixes with your unique lip color
- A balmy texture that doesn’t feel sticky
- Can be worn sheer or built up with a lip liner
- Slim lipstick bullet design for easy carrying
- Free from any harmful chemicals/irritants
- The balm can get stuck when trying to rotate it back into the bullet
- Needs a lot of coats if you want a really opaque application
- Lacks a more extensive range of undertones, so users are stuck with either a pink or deep mauve tone
Where and What to Buy
Clinique used to offer a larger range of shades of Almost Lipstick, but they’ve now opted to sell only the two most universal and flattering shades: Pink Honey and Black Honey. To get the full story on this product, I tried out both shades.
What is important to note is that the Pink Honey shade is only available exclusively at Sephora, while Black Honey can be found at Clinique as well as other beauty stores/counters that sell Clinique products (Hudson’s Bay, Ulta, Nordstrom, Sephora, etc.).
The whole reason that Black Honey is the main available shade across all of Clinique’s selling platforms is that it really is flattering for all skin tones, and the Pink Honey shade has mixed reviews when it comes to showing pigment on all skin tones.
Personally, I think that either shade would work wonderfully on everyone, but those with deeper complexions may find that Pink Honey’s undertones don’t add a ton of extra color to their lips.
If you’re thinking of picking up both shades, I recommend ordering from Sephora’s online shop, as they can both be hard to track down in brick-and-mortar locations. Sephora has great delivery speed and free shipping on orders over $50.
However, if you’re interested in only picking up the Black Honey shade, I recommend trying to track it down in a physical store so that you can swatch it and see it in person. Depending on where you live, it might be wise to call around to stores that sell Clinique products and put one on hold.
I ordered both shades of Almost Lipstick from the Sephora website and they arrived promptly at my door. Let me tell you, I had a tricky time finding Pink Honey in an actual physical store, so that’s definitely why I recommend just putting in an online order, especially if you’re getting both shades.
When I first looked at the shades online, I was definitely a little hesitant about Black Honey because it looks like a very deep purple shade in the bullet. But let me tell you, I was completely wrong and I actually prefer this shade to the lighter Pink Honey.
As you can see, both of these shades offer some good colors but keep in mind that they do look a little different when they mix with the unique tone of your lips. I found that especially true for the Pink Honey shade, as on my hand, it looks quite muted. But, I love how you can really see the shine payoff here! Next, it was time to try it out on my lips!
Applying these glosses was really fun and easy; all it took was a few swipes back and forth, and then the pigment started blending in with my lip tone. Applying both colors was equally easy, but I will say that I had to pay a bit more attention to the placement on my lip line when applying Blach Honey; this is because it’s a deeper color on me.
Some reviewers say that you can apply the product without looking in the mirror, but because the balms do have color pigments, I’d recommend taking a glance at a mirror while you apply. This product is great, though, because you can apply it quickly on the fly with a small compact mirror.
Almost Lipstick in Black Honey
Almost Lipstick in Pink Honey
Wear Test: How Does It Stand Up To My Day
I really wanted to put both of these shades to the test, so I applied them on my busiest days, which include CrossFit classes, lots of errand running, and lots of hot coffee!
As you probably assumed, both of the balms did wear away quite quickly; however, they did leave a lovely light stain on my lips that accentuated their own natural shape and color. This was especially true of the Black Honey shade, which left a nice light mauve tone.
Usually, I would be extremely disappointed if a lip product wore off that quickly, but given that the stain stayed there for quite some time, I’m a happy camper! My lips were also very moisturized and seemed to look plumper after application, even though there aren’t any actual ‘plumping’ agents in them.
One suggestion I’ll make that’ll help keep this product on for longer is to use a lip primer and liner; having these two products on beforehand will not only ensure longer wear time but also greater color payoff as well. You can also experiment with the lip liner combos under either Almost Lipstick shade-I think putting a bright pink liner under Pink Honey would look stunning!
Even though Clinique offers such a unique product with Almost Lipstick, there are a few similar alternatives that you can try. I’ll go through them below:
Tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip
This product is very similar to Almost Lipstick, from the formula down to the bullet-style packaging. What’s great about this item is that it is available in 10 different shades, so there’s sure to be a color that everyone likes Our very own Stephanie Jensen actually gave this product a try, so check out her comprehensive review here!
Sephora #Lipstories Balm
The #Lipstories balm actually descended from the original Lipstories lipstick that became a cult Sephora Collection product. Ringing in at $10 each, these balms are the most budget-friendly option out of the bunch. The balms are infused with mango butter and jojoba oil, so you get great moisturizing power. There are ten available shades that range in pink, peach, mauve, and nude tones.
To give you even more options, there are two different finishes: satin and shimmer. What is great about these balms is that they are not sticky and have a great color payoff.
RMS Beauty Hydrating Tinted Daily Lip Balm
This lip balm is also made with fantastic moisturizing ingredients like jojoba oil, cocoa seed butter, and Candelilla wax. What you get upon application is a lovely tint of color and a huge dose of hydration. RMS claims that, because of the powerhouse ingredients, you’ll feel hydrated for up to 12 hours.
The balms are available in 5 different shades; what’s great about this line is that they have a clear balm if you want to skip out on any color. The price for one balm clocks in at $28, so definitely a little pricier than the #Lipstories balms. However, you are getting a few more good-for-you ingredients included.
Rare Beauty With Gratitude Dewy Lip Balm
Selena Gomez knows what she’s doing when it comes to beauty products; these balms are quite new to the scene but have already become a popular option for many customers.
They come in 8 different shades and are priced at $21 each. What makes them a great option is that they contain high-performing ingredients (shea butter, gardenia, lotus) but are free from harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, phthalates, and parabens.
The shade range available is quite varied, with options like clear, cool brown, plum brown, and muted berry. If you’re looking for a product that is vegan & cruelty-free, then this is a great option for you.
Question: Is Almost Lipstick free from harmful chemicals?
Answer: Yes! Clinique emphasizes the importance of products that are free from irritants, so you can rest assured that you’re putting on a safe product. Here’s what you won’t find in Almost Lipstick: parabens, phthalates, fragrance, alcohol, silicone, gluten, and mineral oil.
Question: Can you use Almost Lipstick anywhere else?
Answer: Yes, you actually can! Given the blend-ability and sheerness of Almost Lipstick, you can use it as a sheer glowy blush. I would recommend that you only use it on bare skin or a very light coverage foundation, as it might not mix well with other products under it.
To get the best blend, put a little bit on the tips of clean fingers and warm it up slightly. Then lightly dab it on with your middle and index fingers; you might also get good results if you use a damp beauty sponge; however, it might just absorb up all of the product.
Question: How Long Will My Almost Lipstick Tube Last?
Answer: The rule of thumb for most lip products that are housed in bullet packaging is that they’ll be safe for use between 18-24 months. If you’re sharing the product with someone (which I seriously do not recommend) then the shelf life will be a lot shorter. While it’s hard to tell exactly when to stop using a lip product, look for signs of deterioration such as bad smell, cracked tubing, and flaking.
I really think that Almost Lipstick is a great product; you not only get great moisturizing benefits, but you also get a hint of color that is entirely unique to you. While the Pink Honey shade is gorgeous, I think that Black Honey is the overall winner here; it’s widely available across all of Clinique’s selling platforms and will also work on every skin tone.
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