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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

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  • 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.
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    • 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!
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    • 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
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    • 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!
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    • 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!
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    • 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!
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    • ?! 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. : (
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  • I wonder if this shade would look orangy on my skin?
    Maybe not, but it's a bit pricy.
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  • rougepurcouture

    Love the blush and you have beautiful cheekbones

  • I never great grasped the hype over Black Honey but daaaaaamn this is pretty! :D
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