Lip lib: Four custom Lip Tars (complete with nerdy names)

If I had to limit myself to just one kind of lip product, I’d go with Lip Tars (after throwing the requisite tantrum and bargaining with the antique gods).

I love the sleek weight of my MAC bullets. And the crisp artillery click of my Chanel Pirate tube, unlocking at my touch, like a trigger. But Lip Tars aren’t so “modern warfare” in their presentation. They’re not bullets– they’re paint tubes. And I like mixing them up to make custom colors, even if they leave bright streaks on my desk.

Here are a four of my experiments in lip mixology:

 

Agrippina

Agrippina

Agrippina on my face

Agrippina on my face

This rusted metallic orange-red is named for Agrippina the Younger, who figures pretty prominently in Suetonius’ biography of her son Nero– I read parts of it at the Latin nerd camp that ate my summer. (It’s a highly entertaining read, by the way– I recommend it if you A) like Game of Thrones/ASOIAF, except for the magicky Three-Eyed Raven parts or B) are remotely titillated by failed matricides, whispers of incest, fiddling– or rather, singing– while Rome burns, or contest rigging in the classical equivalent of American Idol. Nero– what a guy.) They had their issues, mother and son. In Suetonius’ rather gossipy account, it all culminated in the Emperor’s attempt to kill off his mom by means of a collapsible boat. Before they reached such a violent juncture, there were sketchy carriage rides, and kissing of breasts. I’m sure the Freudians have had a field day, in their time.

Agrippina was by all accounts a ferocious and grasping sort of person. I picture her as a composite of Lena Headey’s Cersei and Polly Walker’s Upgraded-to-Villain version of Augustus Caesar’s mom, Atia. (I’m also convinced that Jack Gleason would make a great Nero. Since I’ve read Suetonius, I’ve seriously been casting the HBO series in my head.) To create her namesake lippy, I reached for warm colors– deceptively sweet, as befits a Roman matron. But suggestive of fire, blood, and the metal of imperium.

I started with Authentic, a “bronzed copper frost”– in honor of Nero, who bore the cognomen Ahenobarbus, “bronze-beard”. I added Grandmother, a “classic coral”. A grandmother, I figured, is an old woman– synonymously (and a little rudely), you might say an ancient woman. And Agrippina was a woman from antiquity. Close enough. Finally, I dropped in a bead of Manhunter, which has the most aggressive glitter I’ve ever seen in a Lip Tar– you seriously have to scrub at the stuff to get it off. It’s kind of like how Nero tried to kill his mom in, like, three different ways before it finally took.

 

koresum

Kore

Kore

Kore on my face

Kore on my face

Here’s Kore, Greek for “maiden”, a name for the goddess Persephone. She’s got this thing with paradox– she’s both a queen of May and queen in the Underworld, Demeter’s daughter and Pluto’s bride. I used Hoochie, a an “extreme magenta”, to represent her dark side, and the “mid-tone pink plum” Memento for the bright. The result is a bright, moddish pink. It’s a little too artificial to look totally innocent– there’s something disconcertingly plastic about it.

 

Pagan poetry

Pagan poetry

Pagan Poetry on my face

Pagan Poetry on my face

Who doesn’t love Bjork? “Pagan Poetry” is probably my favorite song in her corpus. The corresponding Lip Tar remix is a pensive deep-blue shimmer– less deep-sea than deep-space. To make it, I just added a jolt of “true cyan blue” to Technopagan— a “metallic blackened purple with blue pearl”– in the form of Rx.

Yandere

Yandere

Yandere

Yandere on my face

Finally, here’s Yandere— a warmer cousin to Fyrinnae’s coral-pink Queer Theory (see my review here!), with yellower undertones. A yandere, according to TV Tropes, is a character who’s “sweet outside, crazy inside”– a cute face masking dangerous obsession. I vaguely thought i could get that across by using conventionally feminine colors– pinks and corals– but turning up the luminosity to mind-bending megawatts. But mostly I was inspired by one of my favorite mainstream Lip Tar shades, Anime.

To make my ax-crazy coral, I mixed together equal parts of the “seriously neon fuchsia” Anime and the “neon red coral” Queen. Then I swirled in some Memento to lighten it up, for a slightly off-kilter pastel effect. Let me tell you, it’s bright. Almost hurts my eyes to look at it.

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12 thoughts on “Lip lib: Four custom Lip Tars (complete with nerdy names)

  1. As a fellow grad student (early modern English literature) and unrepentant nerd, I’m so excited to have found your blog! The fact that you named a lip-tar mixture “Agrippina” brings me unfathomable joy, and your description of the thought process behind your combination of Authentic, Grandma, and Manhunter is perfect. “[Y]ou seriously have to scrub at the stuff to get it off. It’s kind of like how Nero tried to kill his mom in, like, three different ways before it finally took.” I can’t. I just can’t. Please accept my heart (on a stake, à la ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore).

    I’ve been contemplating getting my hands on Technopagan ever since I saw Temptalia’s swatches, though I might have to content myself with a sample of PBLC’s Indigo Bridge. Not sure I can commit to an entire lip tar in a shade I may never wear in public…

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    • Yayy, nice to meet you! Let’s be friends. 😀 I’m actually a historian of early China (ostensibly), but I just got done learning Latin and I’m not over it, haha.

      I pretty much knew I had to have Technopagan as soon as I saw Temptalia’s swatches! I’ll probs wear it when I’m doing annoying library work with non-circulating resources, which is pretty much the only time I mobilize my beautiful, yet sadly neglected, blues. I’m kind of disappointed I never got a reaction out of the reference librarian, haha!

      I’ve never tried PBLC, even though the swatches look super tempting! How do you like them?

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  2. I love all of this so much! D: An inordinate amounttt. I have my eye on a few colors from the newest OCC line, but I really wish they came in smaller sizes! I love that you can mix them, though.

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  3. I am loving ALL THE THINGS right here. All of them. 😀 My favourite combo is Pagan Poetry of course (can’t go past that Technopagan DO WANT), but this is such a great post in general!

    Grad Student High Fives (and comiserations 😉 ) coming your way! 😀

    Out of curiosity, when you say ‘early China’ how early are we talking? I’m an ancient historian (in one sense) myself, but my earliest knowledge of China is probably only somewhere in the Three Kingdoms area…

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    • Yayy, thanks! Always happy to meet a fellow grad student (especially a premodernist!) slash makeup hoarder. 🙂

      I ostensibly do the Han, but I almost went somewhere else to study Ming-Qing literature, lmao. I basically am kind of a dilettante– it’s a problem. 😛 What’s your area?

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      • Hah, well, my most studied area of history is early dynastic Egypt (or possibly Middle Kingdom literture, hieroglyphs ftw!), but I have a pretty broad palate when it comes to reading about stuff. My experience of the Three Kingdoms area comes from a knowledgeable friend, with whom I played many hours of Koei’s Dynasty Warriors! This encouraged me to read a translation of the Tale of the Three Kingdoms and search around for what was ‘history’ and what was ‘videogame’ (aside from the obvious, like characters who fight with magic dolls, LOL!).

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      • Ooh, Egyptologists are actually the coolest! Although there was a bit of a scandal with the Egyptology folks where I did my undergrad, and now their whole department is kind of being punished, lmao. But that’s really cool– I wish I knew more about other “antiquities”, although now I am sort of trying to do Rome. 😛

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