When these finally arrived at work for me after a 2-3 week delivery waiting time from China, it was typically a day that Lauren was off sick. This meant that my yelps of “Look! Look what’s came! Look what they do!” were largely ignored by all the boys in the office, who looked at me blankly for about 2 seconds before going back to talking about, I don’t know, servers or something.
I was SUPER excited about them though because as I say I’d been waiting flippin’ weeks for them and couldn’t wait to give them a whirl.
Most people are familiar with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics’ cult ‘Lip Tars’. These are highly pigmented products that are meant to have the smoothness of a gloss but the longevity of a lipstick – so a bit similar to Stila’s liquid lipsticks or Rimmel’s Apocalips, but the pigment factor means that the tiny tubes are meant to last you FOREVER. The range is also completely mixable and contains black, white, yellow and blue so that you can get all jazzy and creative with your lip colours. I’ve heard quite a few people rave about the OCC Lip tars, but at £11 each they’ve never sneaked their way to the top of my ‘to buy’ list.
But when I saw these 3CE lip pigments on someone’s Instagram (I wish I could remember whose, let me know if you’re reading this and it was yours!) my interest was piqued. Now, there have been a few high street attempt at OCC dupes – Sleek’s Pout Paints being one – but none as far as I know that are as cheap as these. Brace yourselves, women and children, for these are just £1.90 each. China, you never fail to amaze me.
I immediately decided to snap one up to see if they were any good. And then accidentally ended up snapping up 4. But at those prices, how could I say no? So with free delivery I had all four of the above products sent to me for just £7.60.
There are 7 shades to choose from, but I decided on the somewhat randomly named White, Plum, A1 (..?!) and Pink. When they arrived, these were thankfully labelled on the boxes in a much more understandable system of 01, 02, 03 and 04. 01 is the white mixing colour, 02 is a bright purple-pink, 03 a deep orange and 04 is my go-to colour of choice, a pale peachy-pink. Each pigment comes in a box with its own little lip brush.
As you can see, the word pigment is CORRECT and these are very bright shades. The consistency is thick and not runny, but then not so thick it’s difficult to blend – it’s basically like those stupid expensive paints in the tubes you had to buy if you did GCSE Art (which are a proper waste of money when you only come out with a C, puh).
I found application a leeeeeeeetle bit tricky just because I’m not used to using a lip brush – also I suspect that the ones provided are too small to do the job properly, unless you have tiny thin lips or are planning to put these on your grandad. With a bit of a combination of lip brush action and some good old fashioned finger dabbing though, I eventually applied a nice coat of each for your perusal:
The really exciting part of the pigments for me comes when you get to the mixing. Although they can all be mixed with each other, I decided to keep it simple and so below is each colour mixed in equal parts with the white 01 shade.
Stating the obvious here but this created a lighter, more pastel version of each shade. I personally liked these colours more than the non-mixed versions, just because I’m not really a ‘bright lipstick in the day’ sort of person so these were much more in my comfort zone. I also don’t think stark orange looks very nice against my skin tone, whereas the more peachy colour that’s created when 01 is mixed in is much more wearable. I think the addition of the white also made each pigment look a bit glossier, though it’s also possible that I’d just got better at application by this point and wasn’t being such a cack-handed idiot.
I suppose the negative of these products is the fussiness of application in regards to the brush etc. It’s not a big problem with the individual shades as I have since found that finger application is okay; but when it comes to mixing up colours with the white then this definitely becomes a little less practical. You could find the perfect shade for a night out, but re-application is going to become a bit of a nightmare unless you want to crack out your artist’s palette and start mixing shades in the toilets of a nightclub.
The counter-argument to this though (ooft, mention of my GCSEs seems to have brought out the essayist in me) is that the high pigmentation means that the colour lasts. I would definitely back this claim up; I wore 04 to work yesterday and even after a good few hours there was still a strong stain of colour on my lips. Although my lips definitely started to feel dry and I had to slap a bit of lip balm on, I’m also happy to report that it didn’t end up caking or clinging to dry parts of my lips too much, which is always a worry of mine.
Overall I am vair, vair impressed with these cheap little beauties. The shade range of the OCC Lip tars is far more extensive and after watching a few Youtube videos with them in, they do look like they apply a bit slicker than these 3CE dupes. For the money though, you can’t complain. You just can’t, or I’ll have to proclaim you to be some sort of pedantic fool.
As I said, these lip pigments were just £1.90 and I bought them from this seller – I can’t see them listed there anymore, but plenty of others also do them. As in most cases, you can find UK sellers who will get them to you much quicker but they’ll cost you a good few quid more.
Have any of you tried these, or any other 3CE products? Or are you loyal to OCC? Let me know what you think in the comments below, and leave your blog links too!