OCC Lip Tars in Fleshworld, Dash, and Vintage

A few years ago, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, or OCC was the biggest gorilla in the zoo when it came to weird and wonderful lip colors. ‘Member Technopagan? I ‘member!

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About a year after this pic was taken, I wanted to wear this lipstick to an OG “technopagan” show (Psychic TV), but it had completely separated by then. Ugh.

Now that we have the NYX Liquid Suedes, new Kat Von D Everlasting shades, Bite Beauty’s latest seasonal offerings, etc., is OCC still standing its ground? I’d say so. The brand’s color selection is a product of great care and inventiveness–I don’t only mean trendy macabre shades like Indrid and St Sebastian, but also more work-friendly options. Besides, the OCC finishes, whether metallic or creamy, remain highly attractive. Many other brands only offer unorthodox colors in liquid-to-matte formulas, which are not everybody’s cup of tea due to their dryness.

Of course, OCC lipsticks are called lip tars for a reason–they’re pigmented to a fault, quite messy, and need a lipliner (I use Urban Decay’s clear pencil, Ozone.) In this blog post about the Shoegazer lip tar I describe the formula and application in painstaking detail. Shoegazer was my first lip tar in “Ready-to-wear” gloss-style packaging, which offers an improvement over the original squeezy tubes–looks like it makes the product less likely to separate. A few months ago, OCC had a big sale, and I grabbed three more tars. From left: the new-ish shades Fleshworld and Dash, and the classic Vintage.

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Fleshworld

Aka: We salute you, Twin Peaks dorks.

Fleshworld is what I was talking about when I mentioned the weirder lip tars that are still on the safe-for-work side. OCC describes this shade as “plum-toned rust”–what does that even mean? I would say that Fleshworld is warm reddish color as if seen through thin purplish film. Since I don’t have anything similar, I decided to swatch Fleshworld between my rustiest lipstick (Smashbox’s Out Loud–another new favorite) and my plummiest lipstick (the popular Urban Decay Rapture). The Rapture swatch is much wider, as I had to draw it with a rounded bullet instead of a dainty doefoot applicator.

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L-R: Smashbox Out Loud, OCC Fleshworld, Urban Decay Rapture.

Selfie time. The wings were drawn with Cyprus Umber, the dark brown eyeshadow from Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance.

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Dash

Since I started wearing lip tars, I’d been wanting one in a “nude” color, one that would go well with any eye look imaginable. I found it with Dash, a beigey-rosy mauve. It’s like a friendlier sister to Bite Beauty Thistle, which looks impossibly cool but too cadaverous for office wear.  I feel that in my “everyday creamy nude” department, Dash is going to replace Urban Decay Naked, which has a terrible uneven formula (at least the old Revolution version does.)

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L-R: Bite Beauty Thistle, OCC Dash, Urban Decay Naked.

Here’s a recent look with Dash, where I also used three matte eyeshadows from my new Viseart Petit Pro palette, and a plummy blush, NARS Sin.

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Vintage

Vintage is part of the core OCC lineup, and I’d been wanting to purchase it for quite a while.  I like deep reds… in theory. For some reason, most of the lipsticks I try in this category, such as NARS Cruella or ColourPop Bichette, turn out to be flattering, but too… demure? That’s not my usual choice, as I prefer bold power looks. Thankfully, Vintage is as powerful as a deep red can be: the finish is glossy and juicy, and the shade can only be described as “blood of thy enemies.”

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L-R: NARS Cruella, ColourPop Bichette, OCC Vintage.

For the look below, I went kind of punk and combined Vintage with a messy, fuzzy liner/shadow look. I used the Essence gel eyeliner plus the black eyeshadow (Licorice) from the Too Faced Semi-Sweet palette.

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OCC Lip Tar in Shoegazer

Who wears lip tars? I do! Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics’ “original liquid lipsticks” are not as hyped these days as they were back in 2014, but they’re still out there, still coming in colors that no one else but OCC messes with (see: Derelict and Rime). Sephora phased OCC out, as the lip tars in their original squeeze tube packaging were too fussy. Beautylish and Urban Outfitters still sell them, now in “ready-to-wear” packaging with doefoot applicators. The first RTW lip tar I purchased was Shoegazer, from an Urban Outfitters-exclusive collection.

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First things first: I don’t think the new packaging makes much of a difference. The lip tars are still fussy, oh yes they are. The formula’s the same: thick and viscous paint. Just like before, the lip tars need to be applied in conservative amounts–I actually wipe the applicator down the neck of the tube before putting the product on. They necessitate a lipliner to avoid big-time feathering. Applying them requires time and patience: I use the doefoot applicator to place the color into the center of my mouth, and then (very gently) drag it to the edges of my lips with a lip brush. The lip tars also transfer easily, and god forbid you wear them while eating a messy burrito or sandwich.

But! But. I’ve noticed that almost every time I get compliments on my makeup, I’m actually wearing a lip tar. The finish is gorgeous: it makes the lips look full and smooth and juicy. There are other super-pigmented products that have this kind of finish–ColourPop Ultra Satin lipsticks come to mind. However, those lines don’t have the same color selection as OCC does. Shoegazer is one of the tamer colors, but it’s still interesting: it’s dark raspberry red, but with a subtle purplish undertone peeking through.

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Why the name Shoegazer, by the way? The term shoegaze refers to dreamy, fuzzy rock music from late 1980s-early 1990s. When I think about it, the red/raspberry/purple mishmash reminds me of the cover of Loveless, the classic shoegaze album by My Bloody Valentine:

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(Pic from the Loveless Wikipedia page.)

This is not the first time OCC released lip tars inspired by the trippier side of popular culture. They had a collection influenced by Frank Herbert’s Dune novels, as well as an “Unknown Pleasures” collection named after Joy Division’s seminal album.

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Here’s an incomplete flatlay for the look I’m wearing in the selfie above. I did a very subtle eye, with Mary Quant’s N-05 eyeshadow reviewed here and the Ubame “no mascara-mascara” by Milk Makeup. I also ditched my usual bangin Dipbrow for an unassuming Essence tinted brow gel.

The frost-kissed blush look was achieved using what I swear is the most pigmented blush in history, Sleek’s Pinktini –the reddest shade from the Pink Sprint palette. I tapped the blush with a fluffy powder brush, then sort of lightly caressed my cheeks with it and blended with a finishing powder. When you look at the palette, it looks untouched, even though I adore it and use it fairly often–that’s how saturated these blushes are. Just like the lip tars, so I guess Pinktini is a conceptually fitting choice.