Lisa’s new and improved top ten primers list

I wrote my original ‘Top ten primers‘ post back in 2010, a few years after my primer obsession began. Finding an excellent primer was life-altering for me because for the very first time my makeup actually lasted all day.  I’ve always had strange skin, products don’t last long on me at all – I put blush on and an hour later, it’s completely gone.  For a long time I thought there was nothing I could do about it – until I found a primer that actually made my makeup (and most happily my blush) last a whole day.  I think I bought every primer on the market for the next few years after that. I have owned and used so many different primers I am ashamed to put a number on it. 

Lisas top ten primersThis list is a long overdue update of my personal choices for the top ten primers – each one is unique, they all have their advantages, and they are all excellent.  Which primer I choose is determined by the condition of my skin that day, my skin tone, and the foundation I am going to use. (A side note – I was astounded by the price increases when I updated them!)

My top ten list is not in any particular order – these are my top favorites, but they are all equal in terms of play time they get.

Kevyn Aucoin The Primed Skin Developer

Kevyn Aucoin The Primed Skin Developer

1.  Kevyn Aucoin The Primed Skin Developer ($68)

The earlier version, called The Sensual Skin Primer, was actually the primer that began my obsession.  I used it one day and could not believe how vibrant and fresh my makeup was 10 hours later. The new version is even better – I use the Normal to Oily one.  The texture has slip but it doesn’t feel extremely silicone heavy.  It dries quickly to a satin finish.  It keeps makeup on like no other.  There are some drawbacks, though – it is an expensive item, so expensive that it hurts to buy it.  I tend to use this on special occasions only to try to make it last as long as possible.  And while I love the hygienic pump bottle, it drives me crazy that I never know how much I have left.  Regardless, I will never be without a bottle – and a back up.

Grand Central Beauty Skin Perfecting Primer

2.  Grand Central Beauty S.M.A.R.T. Skin Perfecting SERUM+PRIMER ($68)

I like to say that the only time I have ever been wrong was that one time I thought I made a mistake.  Unfortunately, in reality I have been wrong on a few more occasions than that…and I was completely wrong about the S.M.A.R.T. Skin Perfecting SERUM+PRIMER.  While it has a slew of cool ingredients, including squalane from brazilian sugar cane, apple, watermelon, lentil, rice and soybean protein, I initially thought it worked better as a serum than a primer…totally incorrect.  This is a kick ass primer.  It keeps makeup looking totally perfect for 12 hours.  Every time I use it I think, “How could I have been so wrong??”

Reviva Labs Makeup Primer

Reviva Labs Makeup Primer

3.  Reviva Labs Makeup Primer ($19.50) This is absolutely one of my favorite primers of all time.  It has silicone, but it isn’t super thick.  I find that it works best if I apply the primer and then let it sit for about three minutes.  It has a slightly wet texture at first that will collide with your concealer and foundation application. If you wait a few minutes it dries down to a beautiful finish that helps concealer and foundation apply and wear perfectly.  It does everything a primer should do:  makes skin super smooth, allows even application of concealer and foundation, and increases longevity.  

Pur Minerals green_primer

4.  Pur Minerals Colour Correcting Foundation Primer in Green ($31):

This is the primer I reach for when I’m broken out.  The green color balances out redness from acne, broken capillaries, and rosacea.  It doesn’t make me look like an alien – the green transforms into a beautiful, even skin tone color.  Less is more with this primer. You don’t need much to neutralize redness and create a perfect canvas for foundation.

OCC Skin Primer

5.  OCC Skin Primer ($27.50):This is a really cool primer.  Not only is it great for the face, but you can also use it as a lid primer for mineral eyeshadows.  It’s unlike most primers.  You HAVE to shake the bottle before squeezing some out – and then be careful when you do, because it has a thin, liquid consistency.  Once applied, wait until it dries because it applies quite wet, but does dry down to a super smooth, satiny finish.  And boy does makeup stick to this stuff!

Paul and Joe Protecting Foundation Primer

6.  Paul and Joe Protective Foundation Primer ($32)

This is, by far, the strangest primer I have ever used.  And I love it.  It has an SPF of 30.  It’s also super watery – it must be properly shaken before squeezing the product out.   It has a very thin consistency that dries down to a satiny finish.  It also has super fine, really tiny microshimmers in it, which gives skin the best natural looking glow.  The primer looks really yellow, but it goes on colorless – aside from the glow.  Makeup lasts and lasts with this primer.  I find that I reach for it when I am using very matte, oil-inhibiting foundations like Clarins Truly Matte Foundation because the microshimmers counteract the flatness.

Cle de Peau Correcting Cream Veil

7.  Cle de Peau Correcting Cream Veil ($76)

I have a love-hate relationship with Cle de Peau.  Some products I adore and will buy despite the exorbitant price tag.  Other products I can’t stand, and I get offended at the price of items that do absolutely nothing for you.  This primer, however, is well worth the price.  At the same time, I get the sample sizes at the counter when I can…they are great for travel and give several weeks of use. This primer is a thick, creamy lotion.  You don’t need a lot of it – a little goes a very long way.  In fact, if you use too much you will get a distinctly white cast to your skin.  Use the right amount and it sinks into your skin nicely, leaving no white or greyish cast.  Skin is super smooth, lines are filled in, and makeup goes on beautifully and lasts all day.  Pores look smaller and it lessens oil production throughout the day.  Get a sample at the counter before investing, but I’ll bet once you try it, you’ll want the full size version.  I love this under cream foundation.

IT Cosmetics Feel the Moment Primer

8.  IT Cosmetics Feel the Moment Anti-Aging Primer Serum ($38)

The Feel the Moment Anti-Aging Primer Serum is a thick, super hydrating primer that makes skin baby smooth.  Ingredients include caviar extract, hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, hyaluronic acid, vitamins A, E, and C, argan and jojoba oils, and avocado.  The serum is in glass jar with a dropper,  and two drops is more than enough to prime and hydrate.  It goes on slightly tacky then dries down to create a perfect canvas for makeup. This is just what I need for perfect makeup when I have dry skin.  I have gone through two bottles of this and am halfway through my third!

Algenist Pore Corrector Anti Aging Primer

9.  Algenist Pore Corrector Anti-Aging Primer ($42)

This primer comes in an opaque airless pump which keeps the product integrity and effectiveness safe and sound.  It does everything a great primer should do – it reduces the look of pores, creates a satin finish for easy makeup application, and it keeps that makeup in place and reduces fading throughout the day.

Ingredients include Alguronic Acid, which ramps up the anti-aging quotient. I am thrilled that over time it actually improves my skin – but I am even more thrilled with the immediate results of perfectly primed skin. And, of course, not looking like a sad clown with melted makeup at the end of the day is a huge plus!! The Pore Corrector Anti-Aging Primer has a beautifully lightweight texture that doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. While liquidy, it dries quickly and truly makes that beautiful canvas you need to happily play with all the rest of your cosmetics art supplies.

Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy

10.  Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy ($7)  So this is a bit of a cheat…it’s not a face primer, but it is such a fantastic eye primer I had to put it on the list.  If you like pigment eyeshadows, you need this.  If you have oily lids, you need this.  Heck, it’s only seven bucks…try it out!  A tiny dab makes eyeshadow not only cling to your lids for dear life, it also brings out a vibrancy you never knew the eyeshadow had in the first place.  I think of my Pixie Epoxy as liquid gold.

The biggest difference I notice between my original list from five years ago and the one I have now (beside the price increases!) is the addition of primer/serums.  Primers don’t just prime anymore, they also treat the skin.  Most people probably only need or want one, maybe two different primers.  I happen to be just a *little* obsessive about makeup, so my collection is extreme – but if you are looking for a primer, I am sure you can find something perfect for your needs on this list.

Ok ladies, what is your favorite primer?  Is there another amazing primer out there that I just have to try??  There’s always room for one more!  – Lisa

Black Friday/Cyber Monday fun from Inglot and OCC

Inglot and OCC are two of our favorite companies so when we were told about their specials for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we wanted to share them with you.


OCC Little Black Dress Lip Tar

OCC Little Black Dress Lip Tar

‘LITTLE BLACK DRESS’ Stained Gloss, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics newest colour innovation, imparts high-impact shine and subtly defines lips with a sheer veil of black pigment. This unexpectedly wearable shade creates the perfect neutral lip colour, that hydrates and softens lips, while maintaining a slick, glossy finish that lasts throughout the day.

Debuting right in time for Black Friday and continuing through Cyber Monday, all orders $50.00 USD and over will receive complimentary domestic shipping within the contiguous United States. Want more? All orders over $75.00 USD and over will receive a free ‘LITTLE BLACK DRESS’ Stained Gloss (limit one per customer) in addition to complimentary ground shipping. ‘LITTLE BLACK DRESS’ will also be available permanently future forward at OCCMAKEUP.COM.

OCC Little Black Dress model

OCC Little Black Dress model

Will be offering 20% off online.  Also receive a free #77 Gel Eyeliner with any purchase over $80. This is only available on
Two of Marcia’s absolute favorite eyeshadows on her green eyeshadow review are Inglot and Lisa is crazy about their blush. There’s a lot to love with Inglot.

Inglot Black Friday sale

Inglot Black Friday sale


Best of the Year 2012: Lisa’s picks



It’s the new year, so you know what that means – a bunch of people with hangovers and a ton of ‘Best of 2012’ lists!  Beauty Info Zone is jumping right into the pool with our own lists.  Here are my personal picks for Best of the Year 2012, stay tuned for Marcia’s choices tomorrow. 

Shimmer, color, extensions, scents…it’s all here!  I have much to be grateful for, much to be thankful for, and here is my big virtual hug to all the products and product lines that brought me so much joy in 2012.


Best new (to me anyway) cosmetics lines



Christina Choi lipgloss

Christina Choi – beautiful lip glosses, gorgeous eye shadows (love the duo with a coordinating cake liner), plus so much more.  I am very, very excited about this line.

in my Z Palette

My gorgeous Makeup Geek eyeshadows in my Z Palette

Makeup Geek – love the lipsticks, and the eyeshadows are truly the bomb.  If you don’t have any yet, they should be first on your list of new purchases for 2013.

Best old (to me anyway) cosmetics lines


Le Metier

Le Metier eyes

Le Metier de Beaute – 2012 was a Le Metier year for me, from fantastic makeovers to awesome facials to workhorse products that I can’t do without. 

Bye Bye Pores powder and puff

Bye Bye Pores powder and puff

It Cosmetics – I am constantly amazed by this line.  There hasn’t been ONE thing that I didn’t love.  I think I look forward to new products from It Cosmetics more than from any other line because they never, ever disappoint.

Dan Read Icy Lilac eyeshadow

Dan Read Icy Lilac eyeshadow

Dan Read Cosmetics –  another line that never lets me down.  I always have my Dan Read Silver Screen Series foundation with me – in fact, on Christmas Day I bought myself another one as a Christmas gift to myself.  I also love the eyeshadows, they are fantastic.   Dan Read is on my ‘best of’ list every single year.  He rocks – and so does his cosmetics line.

Make Up For Ever Iconic Red

Make Up For Ever Iconic Red

Make Up For Ever – did you watch Syfy’s Face Off this past season?  I think it was the best ever thanks to Make Up For Ever.  Dany Sanz is brilliant, and I love all of her creations, particularly the Aqua Rouge lip colors.

Best skin care


reviva-primerReviva Labs – I have probably tried 15 different things from this line and I love everything. I think that is amazing. My absolute favorites are the Makeup Primer, Hyalauronic Acid Serum, and the Willard Water.

cooling metal tip applicator

Love the StriVectin cooling metal tip applicator – and if you look closely, you can see my camera reflected in it!!

 StriVectin – oh boy do I love the 360 Tightening Eye Serum – it’s a great serum with the best applicator ever.

Jewelweed Topical Mist close upCreation Pharm – this is a terrific organic line with intriguing products. I still use the Jewelweed Topical Mist every day. I am probably on my 20th bottle.  If you look close, I do believe that is my photo of my fingers holding the Jewelweed bottle on their website!!!

Love my Kleraderm

Love my Kleraderm

Kleraderm – one of the very best skin care lines there is.  I have used it for years and will always be a ‘Kleranet’.  I have an appointment for a facial with Joanne Recchia-Kallabat in a few days and I am so geeked.  She gives a $200 facial for just $20, plus I will be finding out about the latest new products – and I will be sure to share!

Best brushes


Domed Shadow Brush

Real Techniques Domed Shadow Brush

Real Techniques (Pixie Woo) Domed Shadow Brush – this is by far the very best eyeshadow crease brush I have ever used.  I say thank you for this every day.

212 up close and personal

212 up close and personal

Hakuhodo 212 – the supreme brush for blending eyeshadow.  If you don’t have this — you need it.

Best hair care


I will never be without this hairspray

I will never be without this hairspray

Unite – the Go365 Hairspray is the primo hairspray ever. Period.

Cristopher Glossing Shampoo

Cristophe Glossing Shampoo

Cristophe  – the Glossing Shampoo and Conditioner never fail to make my hair super soft, shiny, and bouncy.

Leonor Greyl makes for a good hair day!!

Leonor Greyl makes for a good hair day!!

Leonor Greyl – gorgeous products that smell amazing.  So many of her hair products are cult favorites, and for good reason!

Biggest personal influences in 2012


soft waves

Soft waves?  No problem!

Verge One – I would say that two lines dramatically changed my daily appearance in 2012.  The first is Verge One.  Their ‘texture wands’ have completely changed the way I wear my hair.  Now pretty much every day I am curly or wavy, and I love it.  The texture wands are truly fabulous finds for which I am extremely grateful!

More lashes = love!

More lashes = love!

Novalash – the second line that dramatically changed my daily appearance in 2012 is Novalash.  I had what I thought were nicely dramatic eyelashes thanks to Latisse…and then I found Novalash.  WOW.  My lashes are huge and beautiful and easy to care for every single day.  This is a ‘get down on my knees and say THANK YOU‘ find!!

Most fun


Everything is better on a stick!

Everything is better on a stick!

Lush – Reflecting back on 2012, I remember so many awesome, entertaining products from Lush.  Seriously, everything they make is not only useful and practical, it’s also a blast. 


Who knew blue hair could be so fun?

HairUWear – another surprising super fun discovery for me this year were hair extensions.  I adore the ones I have tried from HairUWear, whether they are lively and funky bright colors or seriously hair-enhancing extensions.  Absolute enjoyment that reminded me I need to step outside my comfort zone to make new discoveries.

My top product picks


OCC Skin:  Conceal Y series

OCC Skin: Conceal Y series

OCC Airbrush Foundation and Conceal Concealer – two of the best finds of 2012.  The foundation is a fantastic water-based foundation that works with every application technique, it looks totally natural and wears like iron.  And the concealer is nothing short of amazing – it’s the perfect concealer times twenty. 


Tarte Magic blush really is magic!

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushfirst-rate blushes with lots of different shades and perfect pigment.  This is a blush that will keep you blushing all day long.

Lisa Hoffman bracelet2

Lisa Hoffman Fragrance Jewelry – so gorgeous, clever and unique!  One of my favorite fragrances of all time is Lisa’s Tuscan Fig, and to be able to have that inside beautiful jewelry?  Fantastic.

Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara

Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara

Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara – this is the best mascara I have ever found for my lower lashes.  It’s pretty amazing.

Tarte concealer top

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Waterproof Concealer – another pick from Tarte.  This concealer is creamy long-lasting goodness that saved my eyes this fall when they were going crazy with allergies.  It’s a total winner.

My perfect tube of 3Lab Perfect BB Cream

My perfect tube of 3Lab Perfect BB Cream

3lab Perfect BB Cream – my very first BB cream and the best one out there.  Yes, it’s expensive – but it’s also worth every single penny.

CV Skinlabs bottle

CV Skinlabs – sunburns, bug bites, hives, rashes, it’s all so much easier to live through with Rescue + Relief Spray.  I have a bottle of this in my refrigerator at all times.

Skin Chemists Wrinkle Killer

Skin Chemists Wrinkle Killer

Skin Chemists Wrinkle Killer – the snake serum is far more than a marketing ploy. This stuff works. If you want less wrinkles in 2013, get yourself some Wrinkle Killer.

If 2013 is even close to as good as 2012 was, then we have a LOT to look forward to.  2012 was chock full of great discoveries, wonderful ‘old faithfuls’, tons of joy and nothing to complain about.  Life is good!  – Lisa

Some holiday ideas that aren’t quite run of the mill

We’ve reviewed a few brands on Beauty Info Zone that don’t come to mind instantly when you are thinking of products to buy as gifts. They aren’t owned by the big cosmetic companies and don’t have big advertising budgets but their products are fabulous. We thought we’d share a few items with you that might be nice to see under a Christmas tree/Chanukah bush.

VMV Hypoallergenics is a brand we’ve shared before. They have gifts for the people that have sensitive skin. My favorite is the MistleGlow gift but that’s currently out of stock.

VMV Hypoallergenics Mistleglow

What is in stock at Dermstore though are three different sets of skincare: Very Merry VMV Happy HoliDew kits for combination skin, dry skin or oily skin at $25.00.

Very Merry VMV Happy Holiday kit

One of the products most sensitive women moan about is mascara since most won’t work on their eyes. That’s where VMV Ooh La Lash shines. Finally a product that won’t burn or turn their eyes red. ($23 at VMV Hypoallergenics) This will help the person who normally can’t wear mascara have a special holiday look. This would be a great stocking stuffer.

VMV Hypoallergenics Ooh La Lash

“Each application adds a new sleeve, coating each lash, building an ever-thicker cocoon of rich, beautiful color, and creating s-tube-pendous, non-smearing volume. Non-clumping, smear-free (and therefore skin-friendlier). Why? Because instead of applying layers of looser pigments across a swath of lashes, it creates a clean, “sealed” tube around each lash.” 

SKEEM is a brand that makes beautiful candle sets that your candle loving friends won’t find in every store in town. Here’s one of our favorites:

Pillar Pack 2

This is the Pillar Pack 2 that includes Night Jasmine and Fig & Black Pepper Pillars, and a Night Jasmine Half Pint. This set may be our favorite but there’s also 5 other sets ranging from $25 to $48. Read Lisa’s reviews on Skeem and you’ll see why it’s a favorite.

For your friend that would never wear Estee Lauder, Lancome or even Dior; the one that wants to be noticed; check out these amazing OCC Metallic Lip Tars.

OCC Metallurgy Lip Tars (photo borrowed from

These lip tars have a metallic sheen and give you the amazing long lasting color of the original Lip Tars. “Apply even less product than usual in this newest iteration of our groundbreaking Lip Tar™ formula for a fully metallized lip look.” These are available at OCC’s website and at for $16.00. ICED: OPAQUE SNOW WHITE FROST

Last but not least, we love everything from Mont Bleu. We’ve recently reviewed some great files and gorgeous mirrors but they also have amazing jewelry, tweezers, hair brushes and cosmetic brushes. Plus they have a Black Friday sale at Design Glassware. You can’t go wrong with Mont Bleu.

Two Hearts Key Ring by Mont Bleu

Have fun shopping – only 36 days left!! — Marcia

Makeup Wars returns with a fall look

Makeup Wars is back with thrills and chills. It’s fall and time to change colors and thankfully the weather. Personally I’m not a hot weather person. Give me a cool crisp fall day and I’m happy as can be. Fall means I no longer melt into a pool of makeup each day. Fall means I can comfortably bring out richer colors. Fall to me means brown, green, rust, deep oranges, mustardy yellows, and that special red that trees turn. Pastels take a back seat.

I tend to wear fall colors in eyeshadows year round it seems since I wear so much in the brown family. So to switch it up for Makeup Wars I decided to do green. Not wimpy greens, not bright green, but forest greens. The trees in Michigan tell the story of fall. Right now they are still lush with deep green leaves but I can see the beginnings of gold and yellow as the chlorophyll disappears. So my fall face is based around these shades.

To achieve this I used my eyeshadows from Makeup Geek Cosmetics* and then played around to find an autumn love. As my eyeshadow primer I wore Too Faced Candlelight Shadow Insurance since it acts as a primer and also adds a pretty light gold shimmer. On my eyelid just above the lashline I applied MAC Soft Force which is also a soft gold shimmer. Next came Makeup Geek Poison Ivy (shimmery medium green) brushed very lightly over Soft Force and above it up to the crease. I wanted to have a deeper green too that was close to Poison Ivy so that there could be some gradation, Makeup Geek Dirty Martini (matte olive green) was perfect for that. I used Dirty Martini in the outer crease and blended it into Poison Ivy. Sticking with green I wore Addiction NV gel liner* in Scene and then finished my eye look with Tarte gifted amazon clay smart mascara*. I went back and played with the eyeshadows to make it “just perfect” especially by pumping up the gold of Soft Force on the lower lid and adding some to the browbone.

After my eyes are done I’m ready to work on my face.

After skincare I always start with concealer. My undereye circles need help desperately. Lately I’ve been mixing just a touch of eye cream with Tarte’s Maracuja Creaseless Waterproof Cream Concealer* and applying it under my eyes as well as by my nose to cover the redness there. For foundation I wanted something that was light but had good coverage. I’m not ready yet to go into my full foundations since the weather is still unpredictable. OCC Skin Airbrush Foundation* was just the ticket. This is a water based foundation. I need just a little bit to create a flawless look. It stands up to heat and humidity. The best way for me to apply this is with the Tarte buffy bamboo face powder brush. I put a few drops on my face and then buff it in with this wonderful brush. Instead of powder to set my makeup and keep my face oil free I love using Mally Poreless Face Defender.

Last we need some color and I chose to use 1 product for both blush and lips. After trying some Lush Emotional Brilliance products I went to the store to buy a lipstick. I chose Perspective and have fallen in love with it. It’s described as a dusty rose. Because I really wanted to wear it on my lips I didn’t quite know which of my many blushes might work with it so I just gave in and use Perspective as a liquid blush. It’s long lasting on both my lips and cheeks and pulls my look together.

So there you have it – green and light golden eyes, (almost) flawless skin, and a dusty rose cheek and lip look. It’s a change of pace for me. I feel like I look like I’ve come in from a walk in the cool fall weather and got kissed by the weather.

Join my fellow Makeup War warriors to see what they like for fall by clicking their icons below or by clicking on the previous/next arrows. – Marcia

*disclosure: starred items (*) were sent by PR, rest self purchased

OCC Skin: Conceal review and swatches

OCC Skin: Conceal R series

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics has some impressive products that are worth obsessing over.  I previously reviewed the Airbrush Foundation HERE, today I have for you swatches of the foundation along with swatches of the 12 shades of the Conceal ($20) concealer.

OCC Skin: Conceal Y series

The concealer is a huge winner.  First of all, 12 shades?  That is an incredible range.  They are divided into two categories, just like the foundation – red based shades and yellow based shades.    The concealer is a cream concealer in a screw-top pot, and it applies creamy but dries down to a matte finish that does not creep into fine lines.  It has enough slip to be able to sheer out, and it has really terrific coverage.  Here are swatches:

RO, R1, R2, R3, R4, R5 indirect outdoor lighting

R0, R1, R2, R3, R4, R5 direct outdoor lighting

Y0, Y1, Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5 indirect outdoor lighting

Y0, Y1, Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5 direct outdoor lighting

OCC recommends using their #003 Concealer Brush.  I like to use my fingers, the body heat helps the concealer blend beautifully and just meld into the skin.  You really don’t need a lot of this concealer, even for very dark circles.  And it has some great ingredients like Cocoa Extract, Aloe Leaf Extract and Vitamin E.  It’s one of my all time favorites.  It’s rare that I find an excellent cream concealer that works for my oily skin, and this one is a keeper.  For reference, the Airbrush Foundation swatches are below.  – Lisa

R Series swatches – indirect outdoor lighting

R Series swatches – direct outdoor lighting

Y Series swatches – indirect outdoor lighting

Y Series swatches – direct outdoor lighting

 *pr samples

The Garden – OCC Spring/Summer 2012 collection

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Nail Lacquers

One of my favorite booths at the IMATS show is the OCC (Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics) one. It’s like a wonderland of color. As far as the eye can see are amazing pigments for eyes and cheeks, Lip Tars in the most delicious colors and oodles of nail polishes. You can’t help but stop at their booth, that is if you can cut through the crowds that feel the same way. While I can drool over the beautiful colors online, it’s not often I can see them up close and play with them. Unfortunately for me though IMATS is not in my plans this year and OCC is one of the reasons I’m so sad about that.

Luckily I have a few of the newest OCC products to console me but it isn’t enough. For spring/summer 2012 they’ve created a beautiful collection called The Garden. This garden is unlike any you’ve seen before. The ordinary, though beautiful, pastels you are used to are injected with triple doses of color to make them more vibrant and appealing than ever.

In The Garden there are 6 new Lip Tars, 5 new pigments AKA Loose Color Concentrate, a new glitter, and 6 stunning Nail Lacquers. They’ve updated their packaging on Lip Tars and Nail Lacquers for more precision in applying.

LOOSE COLOR CONCENTRATE ($12): pictured Triptych and Datura

The 5 new shades are Datura (opalescent pink lavender), Foxfire (silvery lime-green shimmer), Acacia (yellow with blue green duochrome), Triptych (sleek regal gold), and Mimosa (orange with strong gold shimmer). I’m sharing Datura and Triptych with you.

The first thing I noticed when swatching and then using these loose concentrates is the fine texture they have. They feel like silk and apply that way too. Each pot is 2.5 grams and comes with a shaker top that’s covered with sticky plastic. When I use a pigment I only peel off a small corner of the cover so that I won’t get spillage. I then either put the loose color in the top of the container or even better in my Minerals Mate for application.

Datura from

Datura swatched up close

Datura is an absolutely gorgeous pinky lavender that is very sheer. It gives just a glimmer of color but as you move your head you can see the opalescence it has. It’s beautiful as a soft shade alone on your eyes or as a highlighter. It can be used dry or wet but I prefer it dry. My favorite way to use Datura is to use it over another eyeshadow to soften the color and bring an iridescence to it. It also looks amazing mixed in with a lipgloss or Lip Tar. It was hard to get a picture of the beauty of this because it’s so delicate but on your eyes you’ll definitely see what I mean.


Triptych on the other hand is intense. There’s no getting around the color on this. It’s like a day in the sun with its strong gold pigment. It’s a gorgeous shade that will especially look beautiful on someone with a tan (hopefully a faux tan ladies!!). Besides using this on your eyes, think about mixing a little with your body lotion to bring a sparkle to your arms, chest or legs. It’s summer personified.

LIP TAR ($14):

Kava Kava Lip Tar

Ophelia Lip Tar

Lip Tars are unique to Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. These one of a kind products are not for the faint of heart. I was terribly addicted to Lip Tars at one time and like a mad scientist made creations out of them that were fun but a little outré. My husband used to shake his head and wonder what I’d come up with when I’d take a little of the black (Tarred) and start mixing away. One of the most important things to remember about Lip Tars is that a little goes a long long way! Minerals Mate Mixing Tray is perfect for mixing shades and then keeping the colors ready for next time. I bought a lot of small plastic pigment jars on ebay so that when I’d mix I’d be able to take the color with me. Another way to bring those creations is to load up your covered lip brush and use that.

Kava Kava indirect light

The new Garden shades are Belladonna (ultra violet), Digitalis (pink tinged lavender), Penny Royal (roasted peach/brown), Chlorophyll (teal) and the two I have Ophelia (pure petal pink) and Kava Kava (true peach neutral). A simple, elegant formula that contains Hemp Oil, Peppermint Oil and Vitamin E, OCC Lip Tar feels as good on the lips as it looks!

I love their new packaging because it dispenses the product much more slowly and I can easily put it on my lip brush for application. While the outside doesn’t look different from my previous Lip Tars, the tip is better. Both Ophelia and Kava Kava are easy colors to wear though they are intense. The texture of a lip tar is that of a thick liquid lipstick, it’s not loose though, it’s very concentrated which is why a little bit of Lip Tar goes a long way. They go on very slick but they dry to an almost matte texture. I like to be sure my lips are well moisturized before wearing Lip Tars. Kava Kava is the easier one of the two for me to wear. I prefer a light lip color and this has the perfect depth. There’s a definite peach tone but it’s not neon looking like some of my past attempts at Lip Tars. Ophelia is a beautiful, slightly darker pink shade than Kava Kava. Both wear amazingly long on me. I’m a lip biter and I find that in spite of that I still have color long after I expect it to be gone. As you can see by my pictures, these apply lighter than they swatch.


OCC Arsenic

I love the new packaging on the Nail Lacquers. The bottle is so much more sleek but the quality is still the same. The 6 new shades are Kava Kava (crème beige neutral, semi opaque shimmer), Copperhead (brilliant copper glitter, semi opaque glitter), Phantasm (pastel blue metallic, opaque metallic), Chimera (pastel mint, opaque metallic), Chlorophyll (vibrant teal/green, opaque satin) and Arsenic (brilliant silver glitter, semi-opaque metallic).


I received Arsenic to test and it’s pretty amazing. As pretty as it is for summer, it’s going to be outstanding on New Year’s Eve. It applies beautifully because the color is so saturated. I’ve found with most OCC Nail Lacquers that you can get by with one coat if you want to and Arsenic was no different. It dried quickly though so a second coat made it look even better. OCC polishes are long lasting and don’t chip on me.


All OCC products are 100% Vegan and Cruelty Free. It’s a company that you feel good about buying from.

Even if your garden is already planted and shining in the June sun, you can still take advantage of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetic’s Garden with these beautiful new shades. — Marcia


*pr samples