12 New Reasons to Color Your Lips, Brows, and Eyes


For this look, we paired a rainbow-winged eye with natural skin and lips. Bottom to top: Tarred as liner, plus Pool Boy, Grandma, Feathered, Pennyroyal, and Anime.

Colored pencils have been favored by artists and creative kids since the early 20th century (Faber-Castell released its first artist-quality set to the world in 1908). As a sketching medium, pencils give you the ability to layer pigments and really play with color—two things Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics celebrates as a makeup brand.

In that way, OCC’s new Cosmetic Colour Pencils ($16 each) totally make sense. They’re a wonderful complement to the cult-fave Lip Tars, and one-of-a-kind in that you can use them almost anywhere, from lips to brows to pretty much anywhere on the face or body (with exceptions: the shades Anime, Black Dahlia, Grandma, Hoochie, NSFW, and Trick are not recommended for use as eyeliners).

For now, there are 12 pencils available, from those that coordinate with best-selling Lip Tars (Anime, Black Dahlia, NFSW, Hoochie, Grandma) to versatile neutrals (Trick, Sybil, Pennyroyal). One vivid blue—Pool Boy—matches a hue from the brand-new-for-2014 Lip Tar collection “Plastic Passion.” Rounding out the range are Tarred and Feathered, a true black and white, respectively, plus the invisible Anti-Feathered, meant to work with any lip color and keep it from fading.

The verdict: the Cosmetic Colour Pencils, all of which have a matte finish, offer a great color payoff. They’re great on lips, gliding on without any skipping. That’s true even of the super-bright, non-traditional shades—sometimes offbeat colors (neons, purples, blues) are really waxy and hard to put on; not the case with these. If you’ve ever thought about experimenting with painterly brows for a day (or night) this is your chance. The coverage is so good that you might be able to completely mask your natural hairs.   

Color swatches from left to right, top: Anime, Hoochie, Black Dahlia, Tarred; middle: Sybil, NSFW, Grandma, Pool Boy; bottom: Feathered, Anti-Feathered (invisible), Trick, and Pennyroyal

Feathered, the white, proves especially versatile for the sake of mixing. Try a little on the back of your hand with the magenta Hoochie, say, and you can dial it down to a pink of any intensity.  With a little Feathered, the bright coral Grandma can become a soft orange stain, or Pool Boy, a soft sky blue. The possibilities are almost limitless!

And while you don’t have to layer too much to get vivid pigment, no matter where you’re working, you get a little time to play. The formula stays blendable for a bit, so you can manipulate it to your liking before it sets in. And set in it does—these hardly smudge at all, and wear really well. If wearing on lips, you might want to bring your pencil along for touch-ups (in case you, you know, eat).

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