Oral Fixation: The Pain & Pleasure of OCC’s Lip Tar

Published on May 28, 2013 by   ·   2 Comments

Of all the different types of cosmetic products available, my favorites are always, always, always lip products.  There is nothing that finishes off a face like a brightly colored pout, a fierce glitter lip, or some glossed-up and juicy DSL (If you don’t know what that is, Urban Dictionary can help but be warned – it’s dirty! 😉  ).  I’ve bought more types of lipstick, lip gloss, lip paint, lip stain, and lip-whatever than I can even remember or count, and most are just variations on a basic formula or idea.  But recently, thanks to videos by Queen of Blending and the relative closeness of a Sephora, I’ve become acquainted with a fun new product that can be temperamental but opens up a world of creativity: Lip Tar, by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics.

0 MAC Lip MixBefore I go into Lip Tar itself, I should say that this product isn’t some new revolution; MAC had a product (and might still, for all I know) called Lip Mix that I bought a few tubes of at least 10 years ago.  It was a highly pigmented liquid that you could mix with glosses or other colors of Lip Mix to create custom looks.  I played around with it a few times, but I found the liquid too runny and when it bled it stained the lip area something fierce.  I also wasn’t that fond of the smell, which is a shame since most of MAC’s lip products have this delicious Vanilla-y smell that makes me want to devour them.  It wasn’t long before the Lip Mix ended up in my bag of containers for the MAC recycling program.

Lip Tar is the same sort of idea, but whether it is a better formulation or just the improvement of my own application skills with age, I find it much easier to use, though you do still need to be careful.  If you let this bleed, especially a dark color, be ready for some pain and anguish trying to fix your mistake!  The biggest mistake people make is that they squeeze it out of the tube, see a liquid, and think they should apply it like a lip gloss.  Wrong!  This stuff is serious business – the old cliché about a little going a long way was created for this stuff!  When I’m playing with it, I usually squeeze out a drop about equal to the size of a bb-gun pellet.  Then you can use the brush (each tube comes with its own brush – more on that later) to start working the color into your lips.  Here is a tutorial about how you can apply Lip Tar (the video is good but she’s a bit long-winded and spends several minutes talking about lip prep – lip balm and liner and such – and the actual OCC part starts at around 12:56):

The Sephora in the Fargo JCPenney got in a small selection of the Lip Tar line, and I picked up a bright neon pink color called Nylon and started playing with it.  Since then, I’ve ordered a few more colors from the line.  As you probably already saw in my post about Sephora’s Color of the Year (Emerald), I got a fabulous shimmery green color called Power Plant (the newest colors to be introduced have all had a shimmer effect in the formula) and a fun true blue called RX.  I also picked up 3 of their limited edition Lip Tar and Nail Polish collections featuring 3 fabulous drag performers: Willam, Detox, and Vicky – famous for hilarious parodies like Chow Down At Chik-Fil-A and That Boy Is A Bottom and the new Detox-driven Silicone.


0 OCC Black Dahlia

0 OCC Kava Kava

[These pics show the 3 collections I picked up.  There are also collections available in Anime (Willam), Strumpet (Detox), and Grandma (Vicky)]

The main pros of Lip Tar?  First, is the versatility.  Lip Tar comes in a range of almost 20 colors with new limited edition colors being introduced periodically.  The liquid formula makes them all super easy to blend, which means that you can buy just a few tubes and get a ton of mixable looks out of them, and given how little you need to use, they will last forever!  There is also a clear Lip Tar you can use to sheer down the colors and also doubles as a lip primer.  Second, once you master the application, you can paint them on and they will stay put for a long time; this is especially important for a drag queen like me who has a long night of lip-syncing, emceeing, and…other assorted activities that may or may not take place in the men’s room after the show.  Allegedly.  Finally, each tube comes with its own brush, so you don’t have to worry about the pigment staining your regular lip brushes or inadvertently mixing with other products during application.  And the cool minty smell doesn’t hurt either.

The cons are mostly about getting used to applying this differently than other lip products.  It’s easy to squeeze out way too much and waste it.  If you’re like me and like to mix stuff right on the bathroom counter, be ready to wipe it up right away and be prepared to put a little extra elbow grease into it as the saturated pigment will soak into anything!  Also, be very aware of not letting it bleed.  This is super important!  Use a lip liner, and work the Lip Tar in slowly so it doesn’t start to run outside of your lip line.  The first time I used this I put way too much on and ended up with neon pink Bozo the Clown lips…then I had to completely reapply all the foundation around my mouth because the product stained the skin!  Start small and build up to the color saturation you want, and be sure to let it dry.  Finally, while the brushes are great, the packaging (basically little plastic zipper pouches that are a pain to go in and out of to retrieve your product) is pretty much an immediate throwaway, and then you just have a ton of little brushes rolling around in your kit.

0 OCC LollipopOverall, I love playing with the product even if it can be frustrating at times.  I loved the idea of mixable lip colors with more obvious results than mixing together lipsticks (which can be tricky, especially if they are of different consistencies, finishes, etc.) and I’m glad that all the promise I had seen in MAC’s Lip Mix is finally being realized in the Lip Tar line.  I’m also excited to see them expand the Lip Tar offerings by including some with a shimmery finish, though they still tend to be as drying to the lips as the other colors (and as all matte and semi-matte lip products tend to be).  Once mastered, Lip Tar allows makeup artists and fans create really fun custom colors and even push the envelope with art and editorial looks.  With Lip Tar, my lips will always be picture perfect…no matter what I put between them!

Now Go Forth And Get Painted!

(The easiest way to track down some Lip Tar for yourself is to order it online: OCC’s website is HERE, and Sephora.com also carries the whole line and the limited edition collections.)

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Readers Comments (2)
  1. […] know, I’m definitely down with OCC!  I’ve talked about Lip Tar before (check it HERE if you missed it) and I’ve been playing with it on the reg at shows and other events.  I […]

  2. […] Ready To Werk? OCC Remixes Their Beloved Lip Tar Formula Oral Fixation: The Pain And Pleasure of OCC’s Lip Tars […]

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