Saturday, 7 September 2013

Lip Tar Custom Mixes: Preliminary Adventures

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics make a liquid lipstick called Lip Tar - you paint it on as the thinnest possible layer (about a bead half the size of a pin head) with an included brush, it then dries to a demi-matte finish. It's amazingly pigmented, long wearing and comfortable to boot.

I currently own 10 of them - 7 traditional(ish) lip colours I love and 4 mixing colours:

Vintage, NSFW, Strumpet, Nylon, Hoochie, Lydia, Interlace, Tarred, Rx, Traffic, Feathered

I finally have the time in my life (thanks to being partially crippled due to recent knee surgery) to play creative artist with all my new colours (below are A TON of photos - proceed with caution).

Here's the method I use to apply them:
  • Moisturise with lip balm and let it sink in for a couple of minutes
  • Wipe off the excess lip balm with a tissue paper
  • Apply the thinnest possible layer to give a wash of colour and create the lip shape
  • Top up to full opacity with another tiny bit of Tar

That will give you a true to Tar colour which is cleanly and easily shaped and doesn't smudge or feather. To then mix an on-the-mouth colour (as opposed to mixing it on a tray/pot) dab on the least possible amount of your second colour and blend out. If you're trying to add a lighter colour over a darker colour (eg red over blue) remember to blot off the excess dark colour first or you'll have to add too much of the lighter colour thus ending up with a gloopy mouth and wasted product.

So without further adu check out my absurdly colourful mouth:

Bare lips
Two coats of Traffic - you can see it's pretty patchy and not as pigment dense as the others
Tried to get graphic and creative: looked like a mouth-flag
Blended it out
You can really see the texture difference between pure traffic and with Rx blended in
Fully blended out and matching my eyes!
Added more Rx, sad green lipstick doesn't suit me as well as I dreamed it would
You can really see the much smoother texture here
Blotted and added Feathered to get a mint green; quick comparison to Lime Crime's Mint To Be (I wasn't trying to colour match here)
Started a fresh with NSFW which is easily the most beautiful true red I have ever seen - neither orange nor too cool.
I originally bought it for mixing as a primary red, but will now definitely wear it alone.
Magical, majestic, magnificent... I'll stop now. It's just perfect
This is where I start getting bored with my regular facial expression
Created an ombre with Tarred but sadly the consistency was even worse than Traffic
Darkened it more - there's a ton of feathering with Tarred and it's really liquid-y, thus sadly this would not be long wearing orpractical to wear out
Blended it together
Added some Rx
Back to bare lips - a reminder of our canvas' original colour
Rx - the pigmentation and consistency was lovely just like NSFW

Added some NSFW and gave up trying to make a cheerfully neutral facial expression
Blotted, added Feathered
Blotted again, more Feathered
Ok so here you can see an issue I ran into: Rx stained my lips badly, making it impossible to get a true purple.
If you're going to be using Rx in a mix always use it second for on the mouth blending as none of the other colours really stain
Stained lips after about half a dozen scrubs with makeup remover
Attempted to roll with it and add Feathered and NSFW on top of the staining
You can still see the staining causing an inconsistent colour and texture. My custom purple/violet/lilac/lavender  dreams did not come true today, but I will try again soon with NSFW as the base colour
I pretty much had to shed 3 layers of skin to get them back to their (almost) original colour
Feathered. Yes, I am so pale I can colour and blend outside of the lines with a pure white lipstick
Unexpected downside: my pearly whites no longer look pearly white!
Im so bored at this point I barely bothered to blend and pose
Feathered and NSFW
After disappointment with the purples this NSFW+Feathered mix really made my night, somehow this photo doesn't do it justice
Not a custom mix but I wanted to wear purple out for cocktails so settled for plain Hoochie

Obviously this isn't anywhere close to the full creative and colourful potential of my Lip Tars (I've got my heart set on a sunset ombre like my Sugarpill eyeshadow look) but it's a great jumping off point. I'll definitely be revisiting this theme/project with both conventional (reds, pinks, corals, purples?) and off the wall colours and combinations.

Also, shout out to Cocktail Cosmetics for being an amazing UK distributor of Lip Tars (and Sugarpill and Lime Crime) - the owner Julie Burford gave me pretty much the best customer service I've ever encountered and my orders arrived amazingly fast and beautifully packaged.

Saskia X


  1. Whelp I need NSFW. My favorite red is Kat Von D's Beranice. It looks gorgeous and I must get it. I don't suppose you have Super NSFW?

    1. Nope, but I've got my eye on the metallic Black Dahlia

  2. O__O These look so amazing I cannot even say!!! I LOOOOVE the colours and combinations you wore!!! :D
    Are these drying at all on the lips?

    1. Yes, they can be drying - you need to make sure your lips have no flakes and are well moisturised before you put them on or they'll be pretty uncomfortable and cling to cracks. They're not the most comfortable lip product, but if you do them right they should never be outright uncomfortable - kinda like false eyelashes!

  3. Awesome swatches love NSFW! If you take a tissue and separate it so it's 1 ply and hold it over your lips while you brush on some translucent setting powder it will help with the feathering and wear time. Also with lip tar I like to use a clear lip liner that will also help prevent feathering on the edges.

    1. Thanks - I tried the one ply powder trick with Hoochie but after 2 hours it turned into this cakey mess, I don't find lip tars creamy enough to need blotting, however it might work with Tarred or Traffic.

      Which lip liner do you use? I've got my eye on Urban Decay's Ozone

    2. I use the UD Ozone and it works great but I do find that the pencil wears down quickly. I'm thinking of moving on to a drugstore clear lip liner just because of how fast I'm going thru it.

  4. NSFW+Rx looks stunning on you! (as do most of the colours, but that one was so unexpected)