Saturday, January 23, 2016

Review: Clinique Black Honey nail polish

So apparently, one day Clinique woke up and said "Hey! We're the only department store makeup line that doesn't sell nail polish!" And with their usual all-American capitalistic fervor, they proceeded to manufacture some.

Now, being Clinique, they had to adopt this whole hypo-allergenic, dermatologist-tested scientific-sounding good-for-you stance, so they came up with a nail polish whose main claim was that it isn't irritating. Sort of ... the boy next door of nail polishes.

Apparently, the first place nail polish irritation shows is around the eyes, since we all touch the eye area hundreds of times a day. But most people don't realize this, so when Clinique announced that their nail polish didn't irritate the eyes, the beauty press's reaction was a profound "Wha------?"

Which may have affected sales.

Also, getting into the nail polish business three years ago is sort of like buying a house in 2006.

You've probably already figured out where this is going, right?

My tale of woe

This wasn't a sample, per se. I picked up my bottle as part of a Sephora Black Honey set.

I got the Almost Lipstick, the nail polish, and two Black Honey products that are exclusive to Sephora: the Quickliner twist up eye pencil and the Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss.

The good

It's a gorgeous color. OK, my husband thinks it looks like a bruise, or maybe a very old scab. And he's right. There's a definite dried blood look to this stuff. Polishistas™ would refer to it as "vampy." And it is a dupe of Chanel's original 1995 Vamp, the mother of all dark, so-ugly-they're-beautiful, blackened-red polishes.

But honestly, I think it's prettier than Vamp. Or Rouge Noir, which is the original Vamp, renamed for the American market.

Image courtesy of Izzy's Beauty Shop

But back to Clinique. The brush isn't as wonderful as OPI's wide brush, but it's not as flimsy and stupid as an Essie or Chanel brush. And it's not the 3-D mega-triangular-Hulk-Smash brush that Dior uses. So that's good, too.

Also, the length of the brush works well with the consistency of the polish. When the brush is really long, like Sally Hansen's, a glob of polish can migrate down the brush and flood your cuticles. But this polish behaves itself.

Also, it's a creme. No glitter, shimmer, or sparkles. Just a smooth, deep, glorious creme.

The Bad

Actually, it's not a creme; it's a jelly. Which I've been known to like a lot. But there's a time and a place for everything, and sometimes I'm not in the mood to mess around with glitter making jelly sandwiches.

I'm not fabulous at applying nail polish, but I'm not terrible. I mean, I can color inside the lines. I managed to get this on without ooking up my cuticles and the skin on the side of my nails too much. But this stuff is sheer. Really sheer. This is one coat

This is two coats.

To get good coverage, I think you'd really need to apply three coats.

Now, this polish dries fast. Very fast. But, as the lady says

In the interest of science, and because I really like the color, I tried this polish twice. The first time, I didn't get around to applying top coat, which is something I usually do. My nails started chipping within hours. Seriously, later the same day. Within two days my nails were the kind of mess that would leave Faux Fuchsia running around with her hair on fire.

I tried again--this time, base coat, two coats of color, and top coat. That's the second picture up there. And of course I was in a hurry so of course squidged the top coat a little, but there you go--again with the two coats, and you can still see through the color, and there's a tiny chip in the forefinger of my non-dominant hand.

Anyway, I wouldn't recommend this polish, unless you are really, really gifted at applying nailpolish, and own a great bulletproof topcoat.

Ladies, start your hoarding

None of this matters, though. I'm sorry to announce there is a world-wide shortage of this attractive, streaky, and chip-prone nail polish.

I went to the Sephora website to find out the price of the set I bought, and it's not there any more. (For the record, the set cost me $25, and I ordered it on November 9th, 2015.)

It turns out there are also no Clinique nail polishes to be found, on Sephora or any other store that sells Clinique. The Clinique website has nothing. I googled and got a hit, but when I clicked on it, the Clinique website redirected me.

WTF? It's like Clinique is trying to scrub every reference to their nail polish from the internet. 

Seriously, Clinique? You just introduced this line in 2013. I just bought this stuff two months ago. What if I had liked it? 

As of this writing, Clinique has disappeared their nail polish. Unless you're willing to buy from a third-party retailer, you'll have to wait for a St. Bernard carrying a barrel of dermatologist-tested blackened-red nail polish around his neck to come rescue you from your predicament.

Oops, I did it again


I'm sorry, Internet. I reviewed something you can't buy. Again.

Luckily, you probably wouldn't want to.

Of course, on the bright side, if you already own this polish, hold on to it. As with all discontinued products, there will be crazed fans out there. You'll probably be able to sell it on eBay for unbelievable amounts of money. 

1 comment:

  1. That is one lovely colour but .... I am not a good nail polish person - it gets all over the nails with me! Shaky ... polish that does not dry well and goes on thin --- I with the lady with "no time for that "!
    Its a Shame and from the sounds of it - so does Clinique!


Gentle Readers:

For the time being, I've turned off comment moderation. Please don't spam; it's not nice.

xxx, Poppy.