“Vegan makeup” calls to mind a neutral palette of wholesomeness.
But Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC)—and its new Lower East Side flagship—smashes that image to pieces with flaming neon lip colors and shimmery metallic eye shadows.
Except for its way-cleaner product formulations, OCC has more in common with MAC, and stocks almost as many colors.
The brand was founded in 2004 by David Klasfeld, an editorial makeup artist and East Village vegan who wanted to “raise the bar in terms of what makeup companies were calling cruelty-free.”
Call him the the David Life of cosmetics.
Klasfeld crafted the line without animal testing or insect-based ingredients, such as beeswax or carmine, which is commonly derived from crushed insects and used widely in traditional makeup.
OCC products are sold in Chicago, California, and in a few countries abroad, but the tiny, chic Lower East Side flagship, which opened this fall, is its first home.
All the better to showcase OCC’s mineral eye shadow ($12), nail polish ($8), tinted moisturizer ($25), and airbrush foundation ($25)—all of which come in an array of deep, vibrant colors.
The product standout is the super-pigmented Lip Tar ($13.50). It comes in 36 shades and goes on like gloss, but has a matte finish and lasts longer than you would ever need it to. (Mine was still lingering the morning.)
It’s mostly made of hemp and peppermint oils. But super-natural beauty mavens may be turned off by the use of synthetic FD&C colors like Red #6 and Blue #1. (The Skin Deep Database rates the majority of FD&C colors as totally safe, but it’s impossible to know exactly what they’re made from.)
Vegan and non-toxic may not be the same thing when it comes to cosmetics, but it’s nice when they overlap. And it’s an extra bonus when they’re glam enough for a runway—or an evening out. —Lisa Elaine Held
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, 174 Ludlow St., btwn Houston and Stanton Sts., Lower East Side, www.occmakeup.com