OCC Black Dahlia Lip Tar Review & Swatches

OCC Black Dahlia

As you may know, I’m a huge fan of the OCC lip tars – they’re one of my favorite long-wearing lip products.  I’ve swatched five of the shades previously, and I have a sixth for you today! Black Dahlia is a new shade, and part of the Heroine Collection, which includes both lip tars and other products.

As I said in my last review, lip tars have a thin, fluid texture. They have a peppermint scent. They are basically a very, very pigmented liquid lipstick – the most pigmented lip product I have ever tried. When worn correctly, I have no bleeding or feathering, and they easily last for 6+ hours on me. However, if you apply too much, which is very easy to do, they are a complete mess – they’ll slip off your lips, on to your skin, where they will stain and look very messy. They must be applied with a lip brush. Some people find them drying, but I don’t – though I love matte lip products, and rarely find anything too drying.

Lip tars are now sold at Sephora – it looks like they have the whole shade range online, but I’ve only seen a selection in-store.   At Sephora, lip tars are packaged in a clear vinyl pouch and include a small lipbrush and a card with instructions on how to use the lip tar.

Sephora's OCC lip tar packaging

Sephora’s OCC lip tar packaging

OCC lip tar instructions

Instructions – note that I’ve never used clear lip tar –
it’s definitely not necessary!

OCC mini lip brush

OCC lip brush – front

OCC mini lip brush - side

OCC lip brush – side

I was quite skeptical that the lip brush would be any good, but I used it to apply the swatches below, and it worked quite well.  It has an extremely short handle, but the brush head is a nice size for working with lip tar, and the brush hairs are nicely shaped. It feels like natural hair to me, but since all of OCC’s full size brushes are vegan, I’m sure it’s just an excellent synthetic.

When I swatched Black Dahlia on my arm, I realized it looked similar to MAC Rebel, so I’ve swatched them together so you can compare.  AS you can see, they are very similar in color, but Black Dahlia is darker and seems to have more depth.  The flash picture looks more color-accurate to me.

OCC Black Dahlia, MAC Rebel - comparison swatches - dupes

OCC Black Dahlia, MAC Rebel – flash

OCC Black Dahlia, MAC Rebel - comparison swatches - dupes

OCC Black Dahlia, MAC Rebel – natural light

Note that Black Dahlia has a different finish than the other lip tars I own – to borrow nail polish terms, the others have a creme finish, and Black Dahlia is a jelly. Or, you could say that the others are opaque, while Black Dahlia has a translucency to it.  However, the texture and application seemed the same to me as the other lip tars I own.

I have two lip swatches. The first is a very light application – I used barely any lip tar, the smallest amount I could get to fully cover my lips.  For the second, I added another thin coat after the first coat had set.

OCC Black Dahlia lip swatch

Black Dahlia – one layer

OCC Black Dahlia lip swatch

Black Dahlia – two layers

As you can see, this is not a forgiving shade – every last texture imperfection on my lips is clearly visible.  Of course, it looks much better from further away, but some patchiness is still visible.

Also note that Black Dahlia stained my arm – I’m used to swatches staining, but this was a much more persistant stain than most.  I usually remove stubborn swatches with straight jojoba oil, then wash my arm with hand soap, then towel dry. This method gets almost all stains off easily – but here’s the result after one round:

Black Dahlia / Rebel stains left after washing

Black Dahlia / Rebel stains

After a second round of oil / soap / towel, the Rebel stain is completely gone and the Black Dahlia stain has diminished significantly, but is still quite visible.

Of course, one doesn’t usually get product on one’s arm in the normal course of wearing lipstick! Staining is both a negative and a positive in my opinion. The downside is that it means that if you accidentally go outside your lip line when applying the product, it might stain and thus be difficult to get a clean lip outline. The upside, of course, is that the product will stain your lips and last very well.

Overall, I love Black Dahlia lip tar. I love the color SO much, and I love the slightly translucent quality.  However, it is tricky to work with – more so even than other lip tars – so I would only recommend it if you are willing to spend extra time working with it.

Availability: Sephora.comOCC online, Beauty.com — $16