When Dark and Light collide: OCC The Garden

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase.

 OCC The Garden Collectionphotos: we heart this

I love a good nature inspired makeup collection. Usually when the warm weathered seasons roll around, I find myself surrounded by an overwhelming amount of soft, gentle hues related to flowers and all things, well…pretty.

Like the typical beauty junkie that I am, sometimes I want this perfect balance of makeup that’s something different but doesn’t stray too far into the crazy zone. Lucky me, because I have Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) to thank for achieving just that with The Garden, their new spring/summer collection for 2012.

Here at wht, we love OCC for not only their 100% vegan and cruelty-free products but also their ability to go the extra mile to produce such unique, edgy shades. For The Garden, the main inspiration was – stay with me here – psychotropic and poisonous plants, turning spring pastels upside down with notes of nearly-neon vibrancy.

Multicolor nail lacquers

While I don’t know much about scary plants, I love this bizarre garden approach. The result? Fashion forward colors that are wearable, fun and totally on trend. The review team got to try the entire collection. So how does OCC’s garden grow? Let’s find out!

First up are the Loose Colour Concentrates ($12), which can actually be used for both the face and body. A main ingredient is light reflecting mica, which provides a gorgeous sheen. Here are the new shades for the season (and a little plant trivia from Wikipedia as well):

Loose Colour Concentrates with marigold yellow orange with gold shimmer shade

Datura – an opalescent pink/lavender
Datura belongs to the classic “witches’ weeds and most parts of the plants contain toxic hallucinogens. It has a long history of use for causing delirious states and even death.

Mimosa – marigold yellow orange with gold shimmer
While too many Mimosa drinks can give you a killer headache; the members of this species are among the few plants capable of rapid movement, including the creepy venus flytrap.

Loose Colour Concentrates with a spring green with a silver shimmer shade on top of a marigold yellow orange with gold shimmer shade

Foxfire – spring green with a silver shimmer
Foxfire is the bluish green glow created by some species of fungus found in decaying wood. Spooky.

Triptych – bright and deep true gold
The only non-plant named color of the bunch, the triptych is a work of art, usually a panel painting, divided into three sections – apt for this gold that works on eyes, checks and lips.

I tested Foxfire which is a springy green that blends down to be very wearable and with the shimmer it’s perfect for a green eye look.

Loose Colour Concentrates with a yellow with blue green duochrome

Acacia – yellow with blue green duochrome
Acacias, including the Yellow-Fever Acacia are a thorny species and their bark, roots and resin have been used for centuries to make incense for rituals.

Also pictured:Fae holographic white glitter with a pink/green duochrome

Datura, Mimosa, Firefox, Triptych, Fae, Acacia swatches Datura, Mimosa, Firefox, Triptych, Fae, Acacia

There is one Cosmetic Glitter ($12) in this collection, Fae, a white glitter described by OCC to have a magenta and pink sheen but I only see a green sheen. I simply cannot take my eyes off of this! It’s so fine but has a lot of depth to it. I would love to mix this with nail polish and see how it turns out.

Cosmetic Glitters

Cosmetic Glitter swatches Beautiful swirled together, no?

For all my nail polish lovers, I hope you are prepared for this collection’s Nail Lacquers ($8) because you are in for a treat! OCC has added six stunning hues to their line and I was lucky enough to test three of them.

A hand with a vibrant blue green with an opaque/satin finish nail polish holding a nail lacquer of the same color

Chlorophyll – vibrant blue green with an opaque/satin finish

Chlorophyll (a green pigment found in almost all plants) caught my interest first because I feel like this shade embodies The Garden. It’s without a doubt a perfect opaque teal green nail color with flawless performance and satin finish.

A hand with a brilliant copper glitter in a clear base with a semi-opaque/glitter finish nail polish holding a nail lacquer of the same color

Copperhead – brilliant copper glitter in a clear base with a semi-opaque/glitter finish

I was really curious about Copperhead because in the bottle, it looks absolutely insane. On the nail, it’s actually not that crazy and applies more like a glitter top coat. The glitter particles are small and sparse so if you want to achieve the look of how it looks in the bottle, you’ll need to take the time to apply multiple coats.

A hand with a pastel silvery blue with an opaque/metallic finish nail polish holding a nail lacquer of the same color

Phantasm – pastel silvery blue with an opaque/metallic finish

I’ve never experienced pastel/metallic nail polish without it looking too frosty. That’s not the case with Phantasm. The immediate color payoff for this one is rather extraordinary and flashes when light hits it.

Our review team will be by in the comments to give their thoughts on the three other lacquer shades including:

A hand with a disco ball silver glitter with a semi-opaque/metallic finish nail polish holding a nail lacquer of the same color

Arsenic – disco ball silver glitter with a semi-opaque/metallic finish

A hand with a metallic blue green with a opaque/metallic finish nail polish holding a nail lacquer of the same color

Chimera – metallic blue green with a opaque/metallic finish

A hand with a light crème apricot beige with a semi-opaque silvery shimmer finish nail polish holding a nail lacquer of the same color

Kava Kava – light crème apricot beige with a semi-opaque silvery shimmer finish

We can’t forget OCC’s cult product: Lip Tars ($14). which are now in different packaging. Rather than the slant tip applicator there is a needle nose tip so less product disperses. And, you avoid the urge to apply them directly to your lips (you NEED a brush with these). My mind was blown with the range of these 6 shades in this collection:

OCC’s Lip Tars with different shades

Ophelia – medium warm pink
Chlorophyll – shiny, dark blue green
Digitalis – cool, light pink-tinged lavender
Kava Kava – medium apricot nude
Pennyroyal – roasted peach/brown
Belladonna – ultra violet

Ophelia, Chlorophyll, Digitalis, Kava Kava, Pennyroyal and Belladonna lip tar swatchesOphelia, Chlorophyll, Digitalis, Kava Kava, Pennyroyal and Belladonna

I had a blast testing Kava Kava and Pennyroyal. Kava Kava is a gorgeous peach shade on my lips and is definitely one of the safer colors in this Lip Tar selection. With a brown shade like Pennyroyal, I was able to mix a tiny bit with Kava Kava to make a whole new neutral lip look.

OCC’s The Garden really does have something for everyone. Whether you normally stick to safe shades or are drawn to interesting new ones, OCC’s got you covered.

we heartsters and reviewers: Are you ready to pluck a few pretty poisons from The Garden of OCC?

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • mandabear

    Amanda is a beauty & fashion lover who hopes to own a Shiba Inu one day. She spends most of her time frolicking and chowing down in NYC. She's also getting seriously involved with her iPhone. skin tone: NC30 skin type: oily to normal favorite beauty product: nail polish and lipstick

    View all posts


  1. I’m giving this collection a whopping 5! Now that I see all the photos in one spot (I was so anxious for this very moment), this is a gorgeous gorgeous collection and SO my style. My favorite are the nail lacquers, although I would wish they would have included another cream polish. I’m a huge fan of their inspiration – it’s just so cool and edgy but in a non-pretentious way. The simplistic packaging works so well for them because of the amazing colors to showcase. Well done OCC :)

  2. Great review @mandabear! I always love anything OCC releases, so I’m super excited to see this collection. Chlorophyll and Chimera are going on my to buy list! Can’t resist two of my favorite things – shades of blue/green and nail polish :]

    1. I feel you :) I am a nail polish fiend as well.

  3. I am blown away by the polishes! Wowzers!! I must have Chlorophyll and Chimera!! Gorgeous! Gorgeous!

    1. I was so giddy with Chlorophyll – the fact that it’s a blue green and not a flat out green totally won me over. Time and time again I’ve tried very grassy green polishes and never felt they were very “me”.

  4. OCC never disappoints and The Garden is no exception. I love the thought that went behind it. You hear “garden” and you think “of course, spring: flowers, butterflies, all that junk”. Which has it’s place, don’t get me wrong. But OCC went to a darker spot of the garden, and that’s much more my cup of poisoned tea.

    I got to swatch the whole collection, and what I ended up keeping were the Mimosa and Acacia Loose Colours. I’m a sucker for gold shadows and these both added something to my collection that I didn’t have.

    Acacia is a gold green hybrid, gold from some angles, green from others. And it adds that touch of something different to places were I’d traditionally use gold. It’s INSANE with green looks.

    Mimosa is like Tangerine Tango’s more wearable kid sister eye shadow. You get that pop of orange, with a slight tint of pink. But it’s not such a “look at me – I’m wearing ORANGE!”

    I like to pat both of these on for a more intense deposit of color.

    What can I say? the whole collection is clever and beautiful, a combo that I love! 5 stars!

    1. I totally feel you on the Garden inspiration thing Stef! I love a GREAT collection with cutesy inspiration…But I love this for the same reason I loved MAC Villains collection etc. It’s just so cool when a company just goes “there”. And I can’t rave enough about the products themselves as well :)

  5. OMG so many things I want!!! The Arsenic and Chlorophyll nail polishes look fabulous.

    I tested out the loose color concentrate in Triptych and the lip tar in Digitalis. Triptych is a brilliant yellow gold color. It can be worn sheered out, but it can also be worn very intensely. It has a very smooth consistency and RICH pigmentation. Even my fiance noticed! It lasts all day long, too. The price is reasonable per ounce, and the clear sifter jar makes it easy to identify colors. Five stars for sure.

    The Digitalis lip tar is a very mod, light blue-based light pink. Swatching it on my hand, it doesn’t look that light, but on my lips, it looks too light. It’s not a bad color though. I do like the precision tip that makes it easy to apply a bit of product to my lip brush. The scent and tingle of the peppermint is really nice. The color itself isn’t the best for those of medium/tan skin tones, but the product itself is still fabulous. Four stars.

  6. I’m a sucker for a pretty green, and my eye went right to Foxfire. You answered my question about how wearable such a bright green would be—- glad to hear it blends down. For nails, I’ve got to have Phantasm. So pretty!

    1. Yep! It definitely can be worn sheered out. Just use it on its own, dry, with a sheer base like UD Primer Potion.

  7. Great review @mandabear! OCC always meet the mark! High standards seem to be a given with this new company! The Kava Kava –nail Lacquer is soooo pretty! It’s light and something I could even wear to work! Apricot beige with a semi-opaque silvery shimmer finish would even do my toes justice!

    1. I agree – Kava Kava Nail Lacquer looks gorgeous. So no frills but also reminds me of the beach. I get a free spirited vibe from it!

  8. Love, love, love Chimera! It’s a beautiful blue/green shimmer and sooo perfect for summer. It’s really fun on my toes too. I was also very impressed with the coverage, even from just one coat, and no chipping! This whole collection is so clever, simple and fun. Couldn’t ask for anything more from OCC. Five stars for sure!

  9. I got my hands on Arsenic nailpolish and Belladonna liptar. Arsenic is a perfect discoball of silver sparkles and awesome to layer with colored glitter overtop.

    Belladonna is gorgeous! It’s such a beautiful violet color. Adding a lipgloss over top can tone this down just a little because it is definitely a showstopper. The thing I love about liptars is how just a dab is enough. I apply mine with an eyeliner brush with a straight edge to keep a good line. 5 stars from me, I want Chlorophyll as well!

  10. I received Datura for testing, and it’s even prettier than photos would make you think! It’s fantastic to mix in with lotion for an all-over shimmer (I totally worked it for a bachelorette party), and not too much to apply straight out of the sifter. It’s pretty controlled without much fall out, a pleasant surprise for loose powder! I imagine it being a great highlighter for face and even a nice mixer with lip gloss. It’s so versatile, I love it!!

    Now to get my hands on Chimera and Chlorophyl. OCC The Garden gets 5 stars from me!

  11. OCC, my BFF. Quality+Crazy are the two traits I admire most and OCC’s got ’em. Love.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *