I’ve heard a lot of things about liquid lip products for a while and wanted to try them out! The usual choice is the OCC Lip Tar, but I stumbled across the 3CE version – from the Korean brand Stylenanda – and thought I would give those a try too as they’re just a little bit cheaper than their OCC equivalent.
The 3CE Lip Pigment has a very faint floral scent. On my lips, I seem to smell something very like… pine nuts? It fades quickly. Once dried, it absolutely puts the ‘stick’ in ‘lipstick’ – it doesn’t transfer, it doesn’t come off when I dab my mouth with a tissue or rub with fingers. It survives contact with glass rims, drinking straws, and utensils. I’d say Mink Beige is somewhat close to the OCC Lip Tar in Divine, but I don’t have it on hand to compare swatches. A note to squeeze out the first few drops! They were watery and applying them to my lips resulted in the direst-looking streaks. After that the consistency is much nicer and thicker, more similar to lip tars. It does sink into fine lines on the lips if you have no other product underneath, which lip tars tend not to, and it’s more drying. The drying presents a major problem for me – even the tutorial video on the Stylenanda online shop shows the model’s lips flaking after application. Eek.
I’ve heard of people using the lip pigment as liquid blush and eyeshadow. I haven’t tried that myself and am not sure how that’d work since it’s so drying! It sounds like it’d be uncomfortable on the eyelids…
Iced is – as you might guess! – incredibly shiny. The only similar thing I can think of is Illamasqua Intense Lip Gloss in Galactic, only they are not much alike; Galactic is a solid, gray-toned silver with more glitter than some eyeshadow (read MAC’s Dazzle finish for lipsticks) and Iced is more of a pearly white with a frost finish rather than glitter. Consistency is completely different too, as Galactic is a conventional lip gloss and tends toward stickier. Both are metallic, if that’s what you are looking for (and I have been looking for metallic lip shades forever). I’ve worn Iced over matte to satin lipstick to over a frosty, creamy lipstick and both work beautifully, for different effects. It can be applied sheer or opaque. I prefer the consistency of the OCC to the 3CE.
(Swatched and photographed with flash, as Iced looks milky without. With flash it’s more representative of what it looks like on the lips!)
Both products are entirely drying – they accentuate dry flakes on the lips to an uncomfortable degree (ew), so I try to exfoliate and moisturize my lips well before putting these on. I put on a coat of another lipstick first – something sheer and nude if I want the color of Mink Beige or Iced to show up true, or something creamy and pigmented if I want to layer the colors. Alternatively, I put gloss on top, though that isn’t always practical with Iced. I find gloss to look strange on top of frosty lip colors. Putting Iced on top of Mink Beige is surprisingly lovely – it reminds me of some MAC Lipglasses – though it doesn’t solve the dryness issue. A heavy hand with the chapstick before applying goes a long way to make wearing these more comfortable!
When applying I use just the tiniest drop for either product. It’s enough to cover my entire lips and be opaque. I tried mixing them on the lips before but that tends to result in the most horrific settling into lines and general messiness; mixing on the back of my hand yields much better results and smoother application… but it’s not too sanitary if I’m out (not that I’d want to touch-up on a lip tar or lip pigment while eating out). Mixing it on the back of my hand with a moisturizing lipstick – I should try it with a Revlon Lip Butter – counters the dryness slightly.
What with the fuss and necessity of layering products on top or under these ‘liquid lipsticks’ I can’t say I’m converted. I much prefer normal solid lipsticks for pigmentation, and glosses for hydration. The biggest pro would be the long wear time and sheer durability of these products, but I’m personally all right with touching up or reapplying lipstick or gloss throughout the day. Nevertheless new product types are always exciting to play around with! (Back when I was little there were just lipsticks, chapsticks and clear glosses…)
Oh! It looks like there are counterfeit 3CE Lip Pigments, this video helps you spot the counterfeit ones. The main takeaway is that counterfeit 3CE have boxes that don’t match the shade of the tube, and the back of it will say that the tube contains 12g of product rather than the correct 11g.