Sometimes I fantasize about what a beauty Hall of Fame would look like. Lining the ring-lit halls would be L’Oreal Lash Paradise mascara, Nars Orgasm blush, Glossier Boy Brow, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, and Becca Cosmetics highlighter and under-eye corrector. At the very center would be Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, but it wouldn’t be roped off like the Mona Lisa; in this magical place, one would be free with each ticket. Alas, this wonderland doesn’t exist — but thanks to Reddit, there is a way to duplicate the perfect flush of Black Honey, and right now, it’s just five bucks.
Given Black Honey’s icon status, most people are probably familiar with the gorgeous color it delivers, a sheer wine tint that sells every three minutes. Personally, my favorite Black Honey memory is making eye contact with a boy in a restaurant while wearing it as a teenager, and watching him trip on a step. The power is real.
Yet so is the financial strain most of America is facing right now, ten months into a pandemic that’s seen the government spectacularly fail to support its citizens. So when one smart Reddit user started a thread on drugstore beauty products that are just as good or better than their high-end counterparts, I couldn’t click fast enough.
The best takeaway? One commenter’s hot tip. “Hidden gem alert: Chapstick Total Hydration Lip Oils. These are extremely glossy, really nourishing and hydrating, and come in beautiful sheer colors,” they wrote. “The dark plum is what I always wanted Clinique's Black Honey to be.” Moseying on over to Amazon, the Lip Oil’s reputation only builds. It has over 700 five-star ratings, with shoppers describing the gloss as super moisturizing and shiny “without feeling goopy or sticky.”
Winter takes a toll on lips, especially those that tend to be dry and chapped. But one shopper on Accutane (which is notorious for turning your body into a dry husk as it tackles acne), says, “I wish I would’ve discovered this sooner! My lips love this Chapstick. Surprisingly worth it and very hydrating,” while another person with “perpetually dry, flaking lips” say they were also surprised the drugstore balm “greatly reduced flakiness.”
Shop now: $5 (Originally $7); amazon.com
On top of that, the effect lasts: One teacher writes that “it hydrates so well, I can teach a whole class without reapplying it.” The Sheer Plum shade in particular is a crowd pleaser, garnering shopper compliments on the “light, but still noticeable tint” that “adds just a hint of color for a beautiful natural look.” It looks inky plum while concentrated in the tube, but reads gently rosy on your lips, “light but still noticeable” and the “perfect everyday lip color” (although not quite as pigmented as Black Honey).
Others say that after grabbing one at Target and later finding it out of stock, they ordered four on Amazon just in case. Someone else ups the ante, commenting that they’d “buy 100” of the “natural but glamorous” shade, and “use them for my entire life.” It’s so good, shoppers say they’ve thrown out all their other lipsticks.
Since it’s Chapstick, you know it’ll always be affordable — the treatment usually costs $7, but it’s currently on sale for just $5. Lip product commitment isn’t my strong suit, so I won’t be tossing my hoard of lipsticks just yet. But at that price, it’s hard to resist buying one of the Reddit, Accutante, and educator-approved oils for every pocket.
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