Contrary to what you might be thinking, black lip balm is not just for the guy who plays Gor-Don on those Sprint Framily Plan commercials. When it’s extremely sheer, it lends the impression that you’re wearing nothing (or barely anything) on your lips. But like a nude lipstick, black balm can give you full, sexy, natural-looking lips. Sounds crazy. Let me explain.
A couple of years ago, I interviewed makeup artist David Klasfeld, the founder of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. The first product Klasfeld created was a black lip balm. “When television switched over to HD, a lot of our old techniques went out the window,” he said. “HD makeup wasn’t rocket science; it was very simple. You just needed to achieve color and coverage with a minimum amount of product buildup.”
So how did black lip balm fit into the mix? It became Klasfeld’s replacement for heavy nude lipsticks. “Neutral lipsticks were showing up as a strong color on camera,” he said. “I discovered that sheer black defined the lips without adding any additional color. It gives real shape to the mouth yet is undetectable by the cameras.” What started as makeshift laboratory in Klasfeld’s Lower East Side kitchen turned into a full-fledged makeup factory, and for the first few years black lip balm was all that OCC produced.
To celebrate the brand’s tenth anniversary, Klasfeld has relaunched his black balm in new packaging. It’s called the Tarred & Feathered Lip Balm Duo, and it comes with a sheer white lip balm that you can layer under lipstick to make it look brighter. Even brides are using it. “Makeup artists love black lip balm for brides who want a more natural look,” he said. “Having it on hand ensures that the bride will look great in pictures without looking overly made-up.” And the compact is flat and small enough to slip into your (maid-of-honor’s) clutch, so you can have it handy all night long.
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