D.I.Y. Lip Tars: Uber-intense metallic lip pigments
[Pic: Get your own metallic brown lips with a rich copper-brown pigment like MAC Chocolate Brown.]
So many people are so obsessed with OCC Lip Tars but I don’t quite understand why people don’t mix up their own. If you like the concept of intensely-pigmented lip “paints” that go on like gloss but look and perform like opaque lipsticks, you’ll probably be interested to know that the formula is extremely simple.
It consists mainly of oils and pigments. There’s nothing really magical or all that hard to recreate aside from the color formulations (just because the matte pigments OCC uses for their non-shimmery finishes are generally harder to work with than metallic ones).
Arm yourself with:
- A light vegetable oil (avoid extra-virgin as these have a stronger smell and go rancid faster), jojoba oil, or silicone oil
- a bunch of pigments in shades that you feel would make great lip colors
- [Optional] skin-safe essential oils like rose, mint, etc. according to your preference
- Clean plastic ziploc bag in the smallest size available
- Small eye dropper bottle
The steps are quite idiot-proof:
- Drop a scoop of pigment into a small ziploc bag and add about half the volume of oil
- Zip up and smoosh everything around, getting everything as smooth as possible. If the formula is too fluid, add more pigments. If there are lumps that refuse to dissipate, then slowly add a drop or two more oil. It’s better to add too little oil at the start than too much, as you won’t be able to go back if you’ve used all your pigment and the formula is too sheer.
- Test a tiny bit on the back of your hand. You should have a lotion like consistency and the formula can be as opaque or sheer as you want. If you’re really going for the lip tar look, make sure it’s opaque, but smooth to the touch.
- When you’re done with the formula, cut the corner off the bottom of the ziploc bag and squeeze the mixture out into a small travel dropper bottle like you would pipe cake icing out of a bag.
One thing to note whether you’re using an OCC lip tar or a home-brew is that natural oils tend to absorb into the skin or dry up after a few hours, so the product will start to look less shiny and more matte. If you want a really sticky, high-shine finish, you will need to buy specialty ingredients like Versagel 750 ME, as lip balms and petroleum jelly won’t quite cut it, although mineral-based or silicone oils tend to be shinier for longer than organic oils.
Metallic pigments tend to stay true to their finish and shade when suspended in a medium, but if you are working with matte pigments, you’ll need to take note that they will always become darker once suspended. What looks like a bright neon pink powder will become a deep magenta once “wet”.
To get it to look as light and bright as it does when dry, you will often need to slowly add in white pigment to slowly adjust and make the color “creamier”, brighter and paler. It’s also a good idea to have a digital micro-scale to weigh and note down how much of each pigment you added, or you will find it hard to recreate the exact same shade again once you run out of your current batch.
[Electric pink creme-finish lip tar made with matte neon-pink and white pigments.]