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Top Five Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar Shades

Updated on October 26, 2014
OCC Lip Tar in Nylon.
OCC Lip Tar in Nylon.

Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tars are one of my favorite cult products. If you're looking for a lipstick that's highly pigmented and will not budge, Lip Tars are the way to go. And the best part is? All OCC products are vegan and cruelty-free!

Lip Tars are packaged as liquids--they have about the same consistency as wet nail polish--in tubes that hold a lot more product than they look! They smell like mint, are made with hemp oil, and hydrate better than any matte lipstick on the market. Every Lip Tar comes with a lip brush for perfect application. What that means, of course, is that these aren't going to be the quickest products in your makeup arsenal. Lip Tars are for when you have time to play with your makeup. And they're meant to be mixed; if makeup chemistry is your thing, you'll get a huge kick out of mixing your own shade.

But that doesn't mean that some shades aren't perfect right out of the bottle. We're shining our spotlight on a handful today.

OCC Lip Tar: Trollop. Pinked coral.
OCC Lip Tar: Trollop. Pinked coral.
Here's me, modeling Trollop!
Here's me, modeling Trollop!

#1: Trollop

When I had light pink hair and couldn't wear my beloved red lipstick anymore, Trollop saved me. I'd never even put on light lipstick before, but right away I was a convert. Trollop is a bright, happy bubblegum right out of the bottle, but once applied it it becomes an amazing bold-girl's alternative to the "Your Lips But Better" lipstick color campaign. Think "Your Lips But Wow."

Trollop is one of OCC's matte shades, and even though OCC works hard to make its lip stains as hydrating as possible, matte lipsticks are always going to be a little drying. Applying lip balm before the Lip Tar is always a smart move, and if the final look is too matte for you, a simple gloss on top, whether it's one of OCC's special Stained Glosses, their Clear Tar, or your favorite drugstore brand, looks amazing on top. Now that my pink hair's gone, I love layering a red gloss on top of Trollop so that I still get the gorgeous pink, but I get a little hint of my red fix as well. And darkening the color a little that way makes it a great night look.

Remember: For all Lip Tars, all you need is a tiny drop! Dot it on your lower lip and use the brush to spread it.

Mixing recommendations: If Trollop isn't quite bright enough for you, mixing it with the ultra-bright Nylon makes a gorgeous shade in-between Trollop's coral and Nylon's hot pink.

OCC Lip Tar: Role Play. Deep maroon with red pearl.
OCC Lip Tar: Role Play. Deep maroon with red pearl.
OCC Lip Tar: Role Play. The metallic finish plumps up the look of your lips, and the bright, true red is universally flattering.
OCC Lip Tar: Role Play. The metallic finish plumps up the look of your lips, and the bright, true red is universally flattering.

#2 Role Play

If the bright colors in OCC's matte collection aren't attention-grabbing enough for you, the glitter in the metallic collection will be! OCC's metallic Lip Tars take the same saturated hues from its matte line and add sparkle for a look that's undeniably eye-catching and incredibly dimensional. Some are direct revamps of colors in the matte collection--add gold flecks to the beautifully wearable coral Grandma and it becomes the feisty Electric Grandma--but others are shades you'll only find in the metallic line. Role Play's one of them, and it's OCC's best nighttime red.

OCC describes the color as "maroon," but that seems like too sad a word for this shade. Role Play is a whole look in one bottle. Blend a tiny drop of this on your lip (the lips in the picture on the right really are only wearing just one little dot!), maybe add some black mascara, and you're done. You could be wearing your rattiest old sweats and you'd still look like a movie star in this stuff.

Mixing recommendations: If you wish it really were more maroon, mixing with the vampy burgundy Black Metal Dahlia will darken and deepen. And since Black Meta Dahlia's also in the metallic collection, you won't be diluting out any sparkle. If diluting sparkle is your goal, the classic matte red NSFW is probably your best bet. Though that's not my favorite of their matte reds...

OCC Lip Tar: Harlot. Neon Popsicle Red.
OCC Lip Tar: Harlot. Neon Popsicle Red.
OCC Lip Tar: Harlot. A perfect, oh-so-slightly orangey red for daytime.
OCC Lip Tar: Harlot. A perfect, oh-so-slightly orangey red for daytime.

#3 Harlot

Now that I'm no longer a pinkhead, I'm back to red lipstick. And for me, that means back to Harlot (oh, ha, ha).

Harlot is the Dorothy's-Ruby-Slippers red of our dreams. It's how your lips would look after you drank a milkshake made of Dorothy's Ruby Slippers. But minus the sparkle--Harlot is in the matte collection, which makes it more versatile than Role Play. Worn matte, it's surprisingly modern and edgy; with gloss, it's irresistibly fun and glamorous.

(Oh, and psst: You can get Harlot, Trollop, and Nylon (the first picture in this article) in a three-pack and save some cash. It's on Sephora.)

Mixing recommendations: Harlot is on the orange-red side. If you're in more of a blue-red mood and feel like playing chemist, get your hands on Rx. It's true cerulean blue that mixes perfectly with any lip tar to give it more of a blue tone--make your orange-reds redder, your blue-reds purpler, and your purples bluer.

OCC Lip Tar: Lament. Matte neutral rose-beige.
OCC Lip Tar: Lament. Matte neutral rose-beige.

#4 Lament

#4 and #5 on this list are both from OCC's Fall 2014 collection, but besides that they couldn't be more different. The collection, entitled "Unknown Pleasures," consists of six brand new shades, four matte and two metallic. Beautiful, subtle Lament is one of the mattes, but for some reason it tends to stay wetter than other Lip Tars. And the glossiness works wonders for this shade.

With '90s fashion swinging back into vogue, neutral-colored makeup is a great way to pay homage to the grunge scene without having to go barefaced. But a lipstick with prominent light-brown tones risks making you look washed-out instead of natural. Lament avoids that my hanging on to a bit of wet shine, despite its categorization as a matte tar, and the balance of pink and brown is enough to elevate it from boring to downright angelic.

Mixing recommendations: If you'd like it a little pinker, this would look gorgeous amped up with Divine, described as a "true pink flamingo." To amp up the shine, sliding on a layer of Hedonist ("neon pastel pink") from their Stained Gloss collection would make Princess Peach proud.

OCC Lip Tar: Technopagan. Metallic blackened purple with blue pearl.
OCC Lip Tar: Technopagan. Metallic blackened purple with blue pearl.
OCC Lip Tar: Technopagan.
OCC Lip Tar: Technopagan.
OCC Lip Tar: Technopagan. See how much dimension there is to this color?
OCC Lip Tar: Technopagan. See how much dimension there is to this color?

#5 Technopagan

One of the two new metallics out for Fall 2014, Technopagan couldn't be more different from its collection-mate, Lament. Technopagan is a love-it-or-hate-it shade, or, more accurately, a love-it-or-scared-to-death-of-it shade. Not everyone's looking for a metallic purple lipstick, but if you are, Technopagan is stunning, long-lasting, and amazingly complex.

Technopagan is a blue-based violet that changes with the light and the opacity of your lips, creating an almost ombre effect as it sticks--and does not feather--on the edges of your mouth. It's glittery, multi-tonal, and impossible not to notice. And have I mentioned it lasts? This might end up being your signature color just because you won't be able to get the stain off your lips. But I don't think you'll mind.

If you're brave enough, you owe it to the world to make 'em look.

Mixing recommendations: Part of me wants to insist that you don't alter this one bit...but a bigger part of me can't stop wondering what would happen if this were mixed with Harlot. Think about it.

Additional Supplies

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics makes pure black and pure white Lip Tars called Tar and Feather, respectively, that are the easiest way to alter shades. If you love the tone of one of their pinks, for instance, just that one tube and some Tar and Feather can give you an entire range of colors from light pink to nearly-red, all with the same color balance.

Each lip tar comes with its own brush, and you can do a lot of mixing right on your lips. But if you're serious about creating your own colors, it's worth it to pick up some tiny dropper bottles or even contact lenses cases to keep your homemade colors in. Here's a great blog post about mixing and bottling your Lip Tars.

A lot of the Lip Tar sets you can order from Sephora come with a primer in them, which is useful if you tend to have problems with your lip color bleeding or feathering. OCC also sells pencil liners designed for the same purpose.

Have you tried OCC Lip Tars? What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!


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Three Worst e.l.f. Products

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Top Five Beauty Hubs

Hey, Lady--You Should be Shaving Your Face

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