Clinique Black Honey Gradient Powder Blusher review, photos, swatches

The product: Clinique Gradient Powder Blusher in Black Honey

Ironically, the product I was most excited for in Clinique’s Fall 2011 The New Black collection ended up being the one I liked the least. Which, okay, before you freak out – that doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it! I just, er, liked it less than expected?

I think the reason I wasn’t crazy about the Black Honey blusher is that it has a lot less of a gradient than I’d hoped it would. It’s still lovely – a bit plum, a bit brown, and a tiny bit peach – but it’s just… more uniform than you may think. As a cheek colour, the shade is far more universal than the traditional Black Honey lip colour (which I know can look rather “blah” on some skin tones), and the faint shimmer helps add more universality still.

Left: sponge pulled horizontally down Black Honey and horizontally on the skin, to display the gradient.

Right: sponge pulled horizontally down the blusher, but vertically down the skin, to display the blended effect.

(Did that make any sense whatsoever?)

I’m usually not a fan of shimmer in my cheek products, but these fuchsia flashes are so finely-milled – you really have to get right up to your skin (within 3-4″) and stare it down in order to pick out the shimmers. It definitely wears as a matte, not only in terms of all-day colour but also in the way it sits on your skin: the smooth, velvety texture buffs right in, and beauty junkies who typically avoid shimmery blushes (usually those with oilier skin or large pores) need not fret with this one.

I love the chic, sculpted cheek that this blusher creates so easily, but I hate the price tag – with taxes, it’s over $30 in both Canada and the US, and I feel like that’s a bit much for a Clinique blusher. You are paying for the gradient effect, though, so I suppose that it’s worth it if you’re really into gradient products! (This is my first, but I do think  it looks quite pretty in the pan.)

Black Honey blusher, applied

The verdict?

Ooh, I feel like I never reach verdicts anymore! I’ve been far too fickle as of late.

I was actually really impressed by the Black Honey Gradient Powder Blusher, and I love the effect it gives – that perfect, low-maintenance sculpted cheek. However, it would have been nice to have a more pronounced gradient, and I’d advise caution in application: particularly on fair skintones, I can see this getting a bit muddy if you tend to be heavy-handed.

If you fall in love with the shade, though, don’t hesitate! It really is a lovely product, all in all, and it won’t be around much longer. I haven’t been able to find a dupe thus far – I know there has to be one out there, somewhere, but Larie and I were just completely unable to track one down!

Clinique Black Honey Gradient Powder Blusher swatches, different lighting

Clinique Black Honey Gradient Powder Blusher

Previous Post Next Post

You may also like

  • That is a stunning FOTD, as always, love. I do still agree that it is too expensive for a Clinique blush, but the color is so agreeable…sigh. I still can't think of an exact dupe, but I think a lot of colors may come close – like those rosy browns everyone keeps throwing around lately :) Those don't have the plummy aspect, but I wonder how much you'd be able to tell the difference on cheeks? I wish my FOTD attempts didn't come out so horribly, or I'd give it a go.
    My recent post Doing Some Maintenance…

    • Hmm. That's actually a really good point! That swatch dupes and face dupes aren't actually the same thing, that is. It's something that makes a ton of sense, but I always forget about :P Or just discredit – "but almost the same and actually the same are different things! What if I neeeeed an exact dupe?"

      Thank you ;o) And I think you're just judging yourself too harshly on the FOTD attempts – they're probably more than fine ;)

  • dani@callitbeauty

    I loooove how this looks on the pan but I wasn't taken by it when I swatched it in store. That said, it looks absolutely LOVELY on you!
    My recent post Monthly Favourites – October 2011

    • Thank you! ;o) Strangely, I'm not all that fond of the swatch – but do like the effect once it's applied!

  • It looks so pretty on you. I almost bought this powder when Sephora came out with an exclusive. It has the prettiest print on it.

    • Thanks, lovely! Perhaps pick it up during the sale season? Sephora's just about to start their VIB F&F, if I'm not mistaken ;)

  • Jamilla

    Looks totally gorgeous on your amazing cheekbones! Clinique scored with this one!

  • it looks good on you, would probably not show up that great on me. hmmmm
    My recent post Neutral with a POP of Color – Makeup Look of the Day

    • Hmm. I'd have to agree with you there – I'm betting it would give a really nice "glow," but I'm not sure about a pop of colour. Sorry, hon! :(

  • Stacey

    From the swatch, I don't think I would be willing to forge out over $30 for this, but it looks so pretty on you! It's subtle but gives the perfect amount of definition and lift. Very nice!
    My recent post Chanel Nail Colour: Black Pearl, Peridot & Graphite

    • Yes, exactly! I really like it, but I wouldn't recommend it at quite this price point. If it was the same price as Clinique's regular blushers (I think closer to $20), then yes – but $30? Hmm.

  • This has quickly become my go-to blusher. I absolutely adore it. It looks lovely on you, too!
    My recent post Soft LOTD With Pink & Gray

    • Lovely to see another Black Honey blush lover out there, Samantha! ;) I can definitely see why you'd love it – I mean, it's *nice* against my skintone, but it was practically made for yours!

  • Very pretty colour.

  • I think it was something ridiculous – like over $50 – when I checked at the counter. It looks way better in the photos and on you than it does in person on its own!
    My recent post Butter London "Wallis"

    • ?! Noooo, I don't think it's that expensive in Canada! Give me two shakes; I'll check the release.

    • $35. Still too high imo, but not nearly as bad as $50! :P

  • It's really pricy and seems like it could be easily duped. : (
    My recent post Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes Mascara – Review

  • I wonder if this shade would look orangy on my skin?
    Maybe not, but it's a bit pricy.
    My recent post $500 Sephora Beauty Supply Card

  • rougepurcouture

    Love the blush and you have beautiful cheekbones

  • I never great grasped the hype over Black Honey but daaaaaamn this is pretty! :D
    My recent post Geek Post: Supanova Brisbane November 2011