Sweet As Honey — Why The Clinique “A Black Honey Affair” All About Eyeshadow Palette Is Such A Treat!
Every two minutes — that’s the frequency with which Clinique ships out a tube of its iconic Black Honey lipstick to an eager customer. The blackened, Merlot-tinged raisin hue was first introduced as a Glosswear for Lips shade in 1971, during which it instantly sky rocketed to the No. 1 selling lipstick shade in all US department stores, and was reinvented in 1991 as a sheer, understated Almost Lipstick hue that enhanced the natural pout pigmentation of every woman who wore the universally flattering lip color. In the years that followed, Clinique’s Black Honey Almost Lipstick retained its coveted spot as a makeup cult classic — an enviable status shared by such products as Chanel’s Vamp nail lacquer, NARS’ Orgasm Blush, and L’Oréal’s Elnett hairspray. This year, inspired by the versatility and timelessness of its famed Black Honey Almost Lipstick, Clinique introduced a new eight-shade eyeshadow palette containing light neutral shades, reddish browns and plums, and sassier purple and lavender hues that together feel like an exciting yet seamless makeup narrative.
The Clinique A Black Honey Affair All About Shadow palette ($36 at Sephora stores and Sephora.com), then, contains eight velvety soft eye shadows that adhere to the gentle skin on eyelids effortlessly while also being easy to blend, buff, and layer to achieve a multitude of looks and varying degrees of color intensity. The first four shades in the palette — Sugar Cane, Hazy, Black Honey, and Lucky Penny — are all designed to suit all women regardless of their specific ethnicity, skin color, and undertone family. In the same manner that Black Honey flattered every woman’s lips, then, these shadows should complement every gal’s lids. To that end, the shades consist primarily of soft neutrals with a classic satin finish.
The aptly named Sugar Cane eyeshadow hue, for instance, takes its name from the granulated sugar we use to flavor our desserts and sweeten our coffee and tea beverages. Unlike so many snowy or opalescent whites, it’s remarkably understated, devoid of any holographic or translucent specks, and yet that’s precisely why it feels so charming, angelic and celestial. This shade can be worn by itself, blended with other shades to soften their intensity, or even applied to the inner corners of eyes for a brightening, eye-opening effect.
The Hazy eyeshadow shade, meanwhile, blends soft brown tonalities with gray hues, creating the ultimate taupe shade. Black Honey, meanwhile, follows in the footsteps of its sheer lipstick predecessor by incorporating warm amber tones, reddish raisin hues, and tinges of versatile cocoa brown. These tones combine perfectly to yield a color that’s robust and grabs one’s attention without ever having to ask for it. And, like the Black Honey Almost Lipstick hue, this eye shadow feels like a true neutral, combining blue, yellow, red, and orange undertones without the pendulum ever swinging too drastically in any one direction. In some lighting, the shade looks like raw agave nectar or syrupy molasses, while in others its berry-like, raisin-y red qualities rise to the surface.
Next, to complete the four light neutral shade offering, there’s Lucky Penny, a soft coppery brown shade with rose gold undertones that make it feel more feminine and delicate.
Check out swatches of the Sugar Cane, Hazy, Black Honey, and Lucky Penny eye shadows below:
For a day-to-evening transition, Clinique added four complementary but slightly more dramatic and statement-making eye shadows to the palette. To complement the soft, ethereal, subdued neutrals on the right half of the elongated, rectangular palette, it added Dark Brown Shade of Morning Java, an espresso brown hue with gray undertones and the faintest bit of taupe and silver shimmer. Perfect for lining the lash line, accentuating outer corners, or emphasizing the crease area, the color works beautifully with nearly any shade — whether it’s a camel brown, a pink champagne, or a sheer plum.
Speaking of plums, the next two shades in the palette belong squarely in the purple family, adding a playful spirit to the palette, as well as a wow factor to any resulting look. Purple Pumps is a delicious sugar plum shade that feels apropos for the holiday season but could easily transition into spring, summer, and beyond. Though the color itself is a bold choice, the eye shadow has a rather soft intensity, so that it will feel approachable to customers who are trepidatious in regards to experimenting with striking makeup colors. That said, it can also be layered for an immediately striking intensity. Next, there’s my absolute favorite shade in the palette: Lavender Out Loud. This powdery soft eye shadow looks like a pumped-up, slightly whitened, near-pastel version of the hue that distinguishes the petals of lavender plants undulating in the wind in the fields of Provence. It somehow manages to evoke the magic of spring via its floral associations while still exuding a grayish moodiness that we associate with the winter season. Simply put: it’s a gorgeous shade. And, last but not least, since these violet and purple tones can be used to create smoldering smoky eye looks, the palette includes a Graphite eye shadow shade that’s best described as a steely, almost gunmetal gray saturated with silver-y shimmer.
Check out swatches of these four shades below:
Want to see what these look like on lids?
Check out a look I created using the Lucky Penny eye shadow as the foundation, combining it with Black Honey (which I swept along the outer corners and blended into the crease area) and with Dark Brown Shade of Morning Java along the outer “V” area for greater definition.
But what about those purple shades? Well, below is another look, which mainly entails Lavender Out Loud (you can see the tonality quite clearly along the lash line), Purple Pumps (blended into the outer half of the eyes and the crease area), and Graphite (applied every so sparingly to outer corners).
The options with this palette are virtually endless since even shades that might not “seem” to go together actually make for excellent pairings. Also, what’s divine is that these shades can be mixed together to create new tonalities. For instance, try blending Black Honey with Purple Pumps and you’ll be stunned by the berry succulence of the resulting hue, or mix Asphalt with Hazy for a revolutionary “greige” shade.
My verdict on the A Black Honey Affair palette? It’s an affair to remember.