We all know I loves me a strong lip color. When I say strong, I mean Strong with a capital S: something most people wouldn't wear, something that completely stands out from the crowd, something that garners heaps of comments (some positive, some negative) from the masses. Traditionally, that means a super-bright red. But lately I've been drawn to peaches and pinks with hints of coral in them.
And that's how I ended up impulse buying the OCC (Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics) Lip Tar in Divine. Hey, I'd already bought the Makeup Forever Aqua Lip Pencil in 18C and a mini-tub of the Soap & Glory Righteous Butter--it was a pinky-coral kinda day!
My first order of business was to swatch this bad boy. I found a few colors that are comparable, but none of them are perfect dupes. MAC Force of Love lipstick is darker and more red, making it appear almost fuchsia by comparison. Butter London Teddy Girl gloss is lighter and contains far more white. MAC Betty Bright is the closest dupe I found, but it also has a slightly whiter base and is a bit more coral than pink. I think Divine looks a good bit cooler in this swatch picture than it actually is because the other products are more yellow.
Then it was on to the second order of business: flailing about with glee and delight at how stupidly pigmented and pretty it is.
Granted, this isn't exactly news: OCC Lip Tars are notoriously pigmented. Dozens of YouTube tutorials have popped up, stressing that newbies apply the tiniest amount of product possible with a lip brush. And I have to agree with this wisdom if you want opaque, even coverage: use a small, synthetic brush and build the color slowly. A little goes a long way.
If you don't want opaque coverage--and in this instance, I was headed for my teaching job, so I wanted to tone it down a smidgen--then you totally can apply this stuff with a fingertip. Put a dot on the back of your hand and pat the product on your lips until you get the brightness you desire. I wanted a soft, pinky-peach, so I used next to none, and I slicked some gloss over top to soften it further. (It photographed darker than it was in reality, but you can get the general idea here: it's definitely wearable this way.)
I absolutely LOVE the color this leaves on my lips. It's beautiful and professional and kinda-sorta nudes out my lips without making me look like a corpse.
But alas, the formula isn't quite so perfect, especially if you plan on doing the pat-it-on method. Though it doesn't feel particularly drying when I'm wearing it, it definitely does dry out my lips. I took the above photo immediately after I'd exfoliated my lips, applied a thick layer of balm, and dabbed on the tiniest amount of product...and it's a horrifying city o' flakes.
You can't really see the flakes unless you're about 6 inches away from my face, but still: not pretty. (As a sidenote, this is a more accurate representation of how Divine looks on my lips when I pat on a tiny amount.)
Applying an opaque layer of the product will hide the dryness a bit more, most likely because the formulation is quite thick and the brightness/opaqueness of the color is distracting. But you can definitely still see some flakes here, and every little line in my lips is accentuated.
So the formula is a complete bust, especially if you're new to makeup and you aren't quite sure how to work with such a fussy product. But..is it sad to say that I still want to love this thing? The color is just gorgeous! And you can't REALLY notice the dryness and thickness unless you get close to me!
...did I just try to justify keeping this product? Ugh, we're done. Off you go, Divine; you are clearly toying with me.
I won't be keeping it, of course, because MAC Betty Bright is similar enough, and I have little patience for lipsticks that make my lips look like crap when there's a more attractive dupe out there. But sigh, nevertheless.
Rating: 2 out of 5.