Note: I don't own all of these
Lip Tars by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics are the latest innovation in lip products. I can't describe them any better so I'll just let OCC do it:
"A stunning new innovation in lip color, OCC Lip Tar combines the longevity of a lipstick, with the ease of application of a gloss. Goes on slick and moist, and dries down to a satin finish. Ultra-saturated in color, OCC Lip Tar contains an unprecedented amount of pigment, so a little goes a very, very long way. An intense yet featherweight layer of color that stands up to the scrutiny of Hi-Def Video and Digital Photography, without ever looking (or feeling!) heavy. Meant to be mixed, OCC Lip Tars come in concise range of colors (and black and white!) for a limitless selection of shades made by you!"
While it's certainly not difficult to be blown away by the Lip Tars, like most innovations, there's room for fine-tuning. The colors that I own are Uber, Melange, Hush and Clear.
Read on for swatches and an review
Top (L-R): Pageant, Anime, Botanical, Plum, Uber, Traffic, Tarred
Bottom (L-R): Clear, Petty Beige, Melange, Hus, Grandma, NSFW, Feathered
There are a total of 25 shades in this line. Please refer to the OCC website
You'll notice that there are some pretty freaky colors like green and yellow. Keep in mind that they are meant for either artistic purposes or mixing. Jude has done excellent demonstrations on how the colors can be mixed so do check out her blog. However, it's really up to you to experiment since the outcome will depend a lot not only on the colors that you mix but also the ratio used.
What a mess right? Lip products that are packaged with these kinda applicators are usually thick and sticky so that they don't flow out. With the case of the Lip Tars, they're not sticky or goopy even though the color intensity and staying power is insane. As a result, the Lip Tar flows out, getting all over the applicator and transparent cap. Since I've gotten these, OCC has changed the packaging of the Lip Tars but I don't know yet if it's an improvement besides the white cap.
Lip Tar has a light minty scent from the peppermint oil. It also contains Hemp Oil and Vitamin E. Lip Tars are 100% vegan, cruelty-free and do not contain parabens and other harsh preservatives.
What you see is what you get -- that's how I'd describe the colors. They are very very very very very intense. I am not kidding. One drop is seriously all you need to fill up the entire lips. You can also count on it to stay on for hours even after meals, though there may be a teeny amount of fading. Lip Tars feel lightweight and comfortable to wear despite the satin (almost matte) finish.
When I had with me more than two dozens of Lip Tars and some in the same colors, I realized something strange. Some of the colors with the same name don't look alike. In particular was Uber. If you notice in the first picture, Uber is very cool and almost grey. Now, compare it with the Uber swatch which is from my own tube (got it few months before the order thus, could be old batch) and it's a cool-ish brown. Lighting had nothing to do with the fact that both Uber look like different colors -- they really do! My Uber is also more glossy compared to the other two colors.
Some of the Grandma looked brighter than the others as well. Petty Beige looked a lot more yellow compared to online swatches and pictures. I've e-mailed OCC regarding this matter but they didn't reply me so I don't know the reason for these differences in colors.
I would suggest that you don't depend on my descriptions and swatches because the ones that you get may turn out to be different. In brackets are OCC's descriptions:
Clear: (CLEAR, GREAT FOR MIXING WITH LOOSE COLOUR & PIGMENT) It's more watery than the others. On it's own, it gives a nice shine but it's meant for mixing. You can mix this with any loose pigment to create a lip color. It's also great to thin out the colored Lip Tars.
Hush: (PALE, ANTIQUE BRIDAL PINK) I initially got this thinking that it's really pale and I could make nude lippies when mixed with the other colors. As it turned out, the pink's nude-ish but still very much wearable and doesn't lighten the darker colors tremendously. It's a pretty color but doesn't serve the purpose I intended it for which means I'll need to get either Conquest or Feathered.
Uber: (DEEPLY COOL AND FASHIONABLE TAUPE / BEIGE) Mine's very brown and cool-neutral. I think it looks great with super dramatic eyes and you can certainly work with this for more fall-ish color combinations.
Melange: (A WEARABLE, WARM MIDTONE NEUTRAL) Wearable for most people but still rather bright for me. It's a warm reddish orange.
Make your own lip color by combining Clear Lip Tar with loose pigment (MAC Heritage Rouge). Again, a little will do.
If you're wondering how the Clear Lip Tar differs with regular clear lip glosses, I've compared it to the Shu Uemura Vinyl Unlimited clear gloss.
First off, Shu is really sticky. Secondly, the mixed color comes out blotchy and the pigment doesn't properly dissolve into the gloss, gathering them into lines. With Shu, Heritage Rouge gets muted out and the pearlescent effect doesn't show.
Mix and store your colors in jars.
Several combination... You can mix in other lip products and loose pigments to create more shimmery colors or even glossier textures. The amazing thing about Lip Tars is that the formula can be mixed with practically any other product and a new color will be created without compromising the intensity.
As I've mentioned before, it's not difficult to be blown away by a makeup innovation like Lip Tars. Nevertheless, being a very new product, it has its minor flaws that need some working on. All in all, I think OCC is on the right track with their ideas and concepts. To say that I'm obsessed with the Lip Tars would be highly exaggerating. I'm very unadventurous when it comes to Lip Colors so I'll always end up concocting similar colors. If you love bright lip colors like Shen does, you'll probably appreciate Lip Tars a lot more than I would.
Lip Tars can be purchased directly from the OCC website for USD$12.50 each but their international shipping is quite pricey. I'd like to get two more Lip Tars from them so I may open up another spree but not so soon. We'll see.