Beauty Product Reviews

occ lip tar review

August 28, 2014


I’d been looking for the perfect neon coral lip colour for some time before I stumbled upon OCC’s Lip Tar range. Every other makeup brand in Sephora had corals, but they tended to be sheer or just plain orange.

The second I walked past OCC’s lip tar display, the artist in me did a double take. They looked just like a set of paint tubes! Plus, they had the exact shade of coral I was looking for. Sold! Here are the swatches of the colours I picked up:

Kimber (Matte) – my dream neon coral, which is much punchier in real life


New Wave (Stained Gloss) – a sheer but buildable neon pink glaze


NSFW (Matte) – a true, deep red


Traffic (Matte) – NYC taxicab yellow


Rollergirl (Matte) – a rich lavender


and Pool Boy (Matte) – the prettiest sky blue. Since blue lipstick is not something you see everyday, I felt it deserved more than just a swatch. I know it’s kind of out there…but once you get over the initial shock it’s really quite a gorgeous colour, don’t you think?


It didn’t take swatching to tell that Kimber and Rollergirl were destined to be on high rotation in my makeup bag, but I was surprised to find that some colours went on better than others. For example, Traffic is watery to the point where it’s almost like a non-sticky gloss. This makes it much harder to wear than say, NSFW which is particularly thick and rich.

I also bought the Tarred + Feathered Lip Balm Duo (which are black and white lip balms for lightening/darkening colours) as well as the Primer, though it was something I had to go back for.


Initially, I didn’t think I needed it – the salesgirl said it was primarily to prevent bleeding, which I figured I could use a nude lip liner to accomplish. While that proved true, what I didn’t know is that the Primer also acts as a barrier between your lips and the Lip Tar to prevent dryness. Lip Tars can be pretty drying, and on my sahara-desert lips it didn’t take long before I started to see chapping and flaking – not a good look!

So I did a little bit of research, picked up the Primer, and have had beautiful results since. Here’s a more in-depth review of the products:


  • The colours are all super pigmented and extremely long wearing.
  • A little goes a very, very long way. So $18 (US) per tube is kind of a steal.
  • The range of colours is incredible. In the very unlikely scenario that you can’t find what you’re looking for, they sell primary colours along with black and white that will essentially allow you to mix any colour you can dream up.
  • OCC products are vegan and cruelty-free. Spare the bunnies!
  • The company is pro-LGBT, and is well represented by drag queens. Why is this awesome? Think about it: makeup that makes men look like women is way more impressive than makeup that makes women look like women.
  • The packaging is excellent. A sanitary, needle-nosed squeeze tube dispenses small doses, which great for consumers but particularly important for professional use. Also, all Lip Tars come with a small brush for application. Such an excellent bonus!


  • Remember that bit about the colours being long wearing? The (admittedly small) downside to that they stain, and it’ll take makeup remover/a mild lip scrub to get all the colour off. Cleaning up mistakes will require more than a piece of tissue and a steady hand.
  • The primer is a must, which therefore doubles the cost of your initial investment in the product line. A nude (or their clear) lip liner is pretty necessary as well.
  • Lip Tars can be pretty drying, so even with the primer it’s essential to give your lips some TLC before application and after removal.
  • Some colours are more watery than others and therefore require more priming steps/products  to wear as a standalone colour.

Bottom Line

Awesome colour range with pro-quality pigments. Primer and prep required for best results.