Monday 3 May 2010

Lime Crime Lipstick Review

Now before you wonder if i've lost my mind, i didn't buy these from Her, Claire picked them up from a blog sale for me to try, along with some full sizes of her repackaged eyeshadows so i can swatch more colours against their TKB counterparts and get rid of any ideas that i might be lying about what's in my Lime Crime sample baggies :) Thanks beauteous xx

While we got them for a cheaper price they were brand new (had only been swatched) so I'm going to  review these as if we'd bought them brand new and paid the £14 Space N charges for Lime Crime.

Again i'm not going to lie, i'm hugely biased against these products beause of my feelings towards the company and my personal experiences with it's founder, however i'm going to try my best to just focus on these products and be as honest as possible. If i love them i'll tell you, because i want to have integrity and if anyone reading my blog wants to buy them and doesn't care about what the company has done in the past i respect that decision. However if you feel like you can't take my word that i'm being honest, here are a couple of more unbiased reviews:

Now please go under the jump to hear my indepth thoughts.

Firstly the packaging. Some people hate this because it's OTT and tacky and quite sickly, however this is basically my style so i really like it. I'm not too keen on the pinky-purple colour and would prefer to see it on a plain bubblegum, neon or magenta pink, however i still think it's very pretty. People have said it looks like the Mac Heatherette packaging or a vibrator, which it does, but i don't care, i still think it's nice and fun and not too similar to the Heatherette packaging to just be a copy. However, perhaps because i'm an artist myself and know lots of other graphic designers, or perhaps just beause i'm being hyper critical, there are lots of small problems that irritate me.

Firstly the box. My first problem is very small and very perdantic, but i can only assume one of the ingredients 'beswax' actually means 'beeswax' and is spelled incorrectly.

Also the fact that the box says it is made is LA and 'distributed' by Lime Crime this has led lots of people to think it is a private label formula (i assume because if it were made specifically for LC it should say 'made in LA for Lime Crime) but i don't know enough about this sort of thing to comment on that properly. I don't think it's a big deal personally, Lime Crime never claimed to handmake their lippies and there's no way of knowing how much control she had over the lippies.

(God don't my nails look awful!!)

Finally it just really bugs me that on the unicorn icon (which i think is otherwise nicely done) there is a tiny bump on the horn. As this is noticeable to me from the tiny picture on the box i can only imagine it was huge when first being developed for the packaging, so it just seems lazy to have left it because it's not too obvious on the small scale packaging.

Now the actual lipstick packaging. The casing is FAT. Here is it compared to my Mac Dame Edna lippie:

You can see that they are the same height but the Lime Crime lipstick is bigger in circumference and just allover chunkier. Personally i just think it's a bit odd, and probably why people think it looks like childs makeup. It's not a big deal, i can't imagine it's going to bother too many people but i just think it looks a bit clumsy and chunky.

I think the holographic unicorn is a great idea, and looks very pretty, however it's not executed perfectly. This is hard to show because of the lipsticks curved nature, but the unicorns tail and front hoofs are somehow placed wrongly. If you put the tail in the right place (so it matches with the bottom half of the image) the front hoofs are thrown out of alignment and vice versa.

If you line up the tube so the tail is aligned correctly the front hooves are wonky.

And if you line it up so the hooves look right the tail doesn't align.

But other than those little problems i think overall the lipstick packaging is very nice and very unusual. Some people have expressed they would be embarrassed to show other people, but i think it would be fun and a nice talking point. Other people have said that it also feels cheap to them, but to me it's not bad, just the plastic is a little thinner than, for instance, a Mac lippies casing.

Now onto the actual colours. Before they were released there was some speculation based on the photoshopped pictures that they were repackaged like her eyedusts (people thought of Stargazer which does have several good dupes for the colours) but this is absolutely not true. The lipsticks may possibly be private label but are not just repackaged. The Candyfuture range features several unusual colours as well as some bog standard pinks and a red. Claire managed to get 3 of the 4 colours that i would actually have been interested in trying (the other being No She Didn't) Airbourne Unicorn, D'lilac and Cosmopop.

Cosmopop, D'lilac and Airbourne Unicorn. D'lilac is slightly more pink in real life. These swatch nice and opaque and look pretty.

I'll go through these one by one. Firstly Airbourne Unicorn.

Lime Crime have made a big song and dance over their lipsticks being opaque in one stroke (though i cant find it in the description on the website anymore, it's mentioned lots on her blog and in videos she's done and things) so here is Airbourne Unicorn in one stroke:

 As you can see it isn't opaque, it's quite patchy. Having said that it isn't bad, the coverage for the most part is fair, no worse than the average lipstick but certainly not any more opaque than average.

So i built up a few more layers and ended up with this:


This is the lip swatch from the Lime Crime website:

photo property of Lime Crime makeup.

In real life the colour is the tiniest bit pinker than in my photo, but nowhere near the official swatch which is a lovely pinky purple shade similar to the companies packaging. In real life it's more cool toned, darker and slightly greyer. It's less bright and more 'heatherish'. I still think it's a very nice colour though and would absolutely wear it if the formula were good.

Cosmopop in one stroke looks like this:

With a few layers:


And here is the official lip swatch:

photo property of Lime Crime makeup
The official swatch is lighter and less dull with a slight peachy tone, not just a pale orange. I don't think the colour would be very flattering for many people and tends to make my teeth look very yellow. Having said that i like the idea of the colour, just not how it looks on me.
And finally here is one stroke of D'lilac which came out the worse. Much more patchy and less opaque than the other two colours. 

Here it is after a few layers (though the photo looks more blue than in real life, the above photo is closer to the real colour, slightly more pink)

 And here is the official swatch.

photo property of Lime Crime Makeup

This is probably the closest to how the lipstick looks in real life, though the swatch it is more blue and brighter. The real colour is slightly dulled and greyer. I would still wear it but it's nowhere near as nice as the website swatch.
It's quite obvious that the photos on the website are photoshopped. If you look at them all the same exact photo of lips is used for about 3 different colours of lipstick and... well you can just tell. All the website photos seem a lot brighter and lighter and just prettier colours than in real life.

Now onto the formula. Once you started adding layers of the lipstick it got quite hard to work with, i ended up pushing the colour around my lips leaving me with bare patches. However i managed to get it looking ok after a bit of work. The  finish was alright to start with, though not matte as Lime Crime used to claim (again i can't find it on the website but i definately remember seeing it, anyone else remember?). The main thing i notice about this lipstick is how incredibly drying it is. As soon as i put it on i just wanted to scrub it off, it felt like it was sucking all the moisture out of my lips. The worst culprit for this was Cosmopop which was as drying as Illamasqua Underworld (one of the driest and most uncomfortable lipsticks i have ever used) i managed to keep it on for about an hour because i wanted to test out it's longevity but i just had to take it off after that as it was driving me mad. You might be able to stop this problem by using a lip balm before the lipstick but i've never had to with other lipsticks so i wasn't going to give Lime Crime special treatment that i don't do with other companies. The other two were very drying and uncomfortable too but not quite as bad as Cosmopop.
Another very odd thing that happened was that when i wore D'lilac (this only happened with D'lilac) my lips started itching. Really itching. I don't know if i'm allergic to one of the ingredients or something, i've never had this problem before but it was really unbearable. It stopped as soon as i scrubbed the lipstick off.

After a while the finish goes really weird, even though it feels really drying it starts to look 'slimy'. It also begins to settle into every tiny line and crack in my lips, it's not very flattering. It makes my lips look very old and wrinkly and sometimes forms little 'balls' of pigment in the lines. It's weird because they all just seem to make my lips look worse instead of better. It's most obvious when i stretch my lips in a smile. If you have any dry or flaky skin on your lips this will show it up and Cosmopop and D'lilac look very chalky.

 D'lilac (you can see the lines in my lips)

 Airbourne Unicorn with a smile.

However the weirdest thing about these lipsticks is what happens after you remove them. They stain. Badly.

Here is my hand where the swatches were after i removed them with a makeup wipe and a cleanser:

As you can see Cosmopop stains a similar colour to the actual lipstick while oddly D'lilac and Airbourne Unicorn stain pink. I can only imagine that this is because the pink dyes or pigments in the formula stain while the blue don't. 
Here is what happens to my lips after i've worn the lipsticks (for about an hour or two) and removed the colour with tissues and a makeup wipe (no cleanser):

(check out my moustache and the cat hair stuck on the bottom right corner of my lip :P)


(i forgot to take a photo when i took off Airboune Unicorn)

As you can see my lips are lightly stained and even after i've scrubbed the lipsticks off with makeup remover the the grooves in my lips are still full of product. Bits of Cosmopop got stuck on my lips and the area around my mouth was stained light orange.

Some people think the fact that these lipsticks stain is a good thing because... honestly i don't understand why they think this is a good thing! If you scrub the product off obviously it means you don't want to be wearing the colour anymore, and if you don't remove your lipstick then  you can't see the staining! Also the purple colours don't stain purple, they stain pink. And imagine if you were wearing a bright, odd colour, say No She Didn't (which is bright blue) and then the next day you had to work, your boss might not be happy with you having zombie blue lips!

Then i thought that if these stain on my lips what would happen if you kissed a loved one? So i kissed Claire:
and then instantly scrubbed it of with a makeup wipe:
as you can see there is a big light orange stain left on her face.

So what are the goods about these lipsticks? Well the colour stays the same as long as you wear it, no fading and they do seem to last quite long. I couldn't stand how they made my lips feel so i always removed them long before they would have worn off if i'd left them on. At least i think they would have.

Personally even if these were the most amazing lipsticks i'd ever tried i wouldn't buy them because of my experiences with the company and the fact that they have been proved to threaten bloggers for giving them a bad review, encorouging their fans to spam other reviews, insulted people left and right and tried to sabotage another company. But the fact is these lipsticks aren't amazing, they're less than mediocre in my opinion (and that's being quite kind) and terribly overpriced, even though we didn't pay the full price for these i can't see i'll ever wear them again so i would be very very angry if i had paid full price. And when the mediocre formula is combined with colours that, while Lime Crime want to convince you otherwise, you can get from other sellers who do not come with shady pasts i would  recommend shopping elsewhere. I don't think they'd be quite so much to be negative about if Lime Crime just hadn't made so many claims about their lipsticks (opaque in one stroke, shades you can find nowhere else etc). Apparently the more 'normal' the colour of the lipstick is the better the formula (so the pinks and reds are less drying and chalky than the blues or purples) but as i haven't tried any i can't say myself. However i don't see any point buying an 'ordinary' colour like red from Lime Crime when you can get good quality versions of these colours anywhere for a lot cheaper when the whole point of the Candyfuture collection is meant to be that the colours are unusual and hard to find. The only colour in the collection i can't find a near dupe for is No She Didn't, which is also my favourite of the colours. I like the idea of a bubblegum powder-blue lip. However lip swatches i have seen online make the formula look absolutely awful, thick and chalky, still i would have liked to try it myself. Having said that you can get other shades of blue from many many sources.

Now none of these are dupes but i thought i would mention some similar shades to the 3 i recieved because Lime Crime has constantly stated that no other companies (at least none that they know of) make shades this bright and unusual which just absolutely isn't true.

cosmopop, NYX orange soda. I think Orange soda is actually a lot more similar to the website swatch than Cosmopop itself.

OCC vapid, d'lilac, stargazer 115. Not the same but i think the OCC and Stargazer are more wearable and brighter.

A few more coming tomorrow.

So there's my review. I've tried my best to be absolutely honest however as you probably know if you follow either my blog or the Lime Crime drama i really hate this company. The colours are pretty and I would wear every one of them, while they certainly aren't unique some of them are definately hard to find and wouldn't be found in many drugstore brands. However the formula is awful and i personally am not pleased with it at the price we paid, let alone the £14 you will pay for them instore. You can get at least a similar shade to every one of the colours elsewhere if you know where to look and in general you will get a much better formula for a cheaper price.

On that note if you do want to buy one of these lipsticks and you live in the UK i suggest you purchase from the Lime Crime website itself and not Space NK (If you're near one you could always go to swatch the colours and then purchase online) as they cost £14 in store but just $16 (about £10) online, sometimes Lime Crime have discount codes and Lime Crime accept returns while Space NK don't.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Nice Review! I appreciate how honest you are.

  3. OH man! I think that it stains because it's so pigmented. personally, when I saw some youtubers say that they loved the packaging, I was revolted. It looks like something I'd play with if I were 10. I would be so embarrassed to use it becuase it's humungous and also I'm not 10. I'm almost 20.

    Those lip colors on the website aren't remotely close to the color on your lips.

    1. AGREED! I thought I was the crazy one cause I thought the packaging was just very childish and looks REALLY cheap....but everyone was raving over how cute and great it is.....I really don't understand ._. Glad someone else agrees.

  4. Bravo on giving an honest review for a company who certainly doesn't deserve it. I can't even imagine paying so much for a single makeup item, but if I did, I would damn sure want it to be better quality than this.

  5. Great review! I thought you were pretty impartial considering what has happened between you and the company.

  6. great review, and i do appreciate how honest you are about the whole drama.
    Ow i also remeber reading about her stupid "opaque in one stroke" bullshit ages ago...funny how shes pulled it down now.

  7. I'm 25, almost 26, and there is no way in hell I would want to be caught dead using that ugly lipstick. Part of the reason that I love MAC so much is their sleek classy packaging.

    Imagine pulling that out at work?! GOOD LORD! LOL

  8. Ive read this with intrigue- its kind of hard to write an honest review when you have a bias! i appreciate your honesty though, at least you have tried them, albeit if you didnt buy them yourself! i can say i dont think id give her the benefit of me wearing one of her lipsticks!

  9. Lime Crime sounds soo familiar. The swatches are so pretty. I agree with you. I like the unique packaging. I wouldn't mind busting this out at a party.

    by the way, i love your honesty.

  10. I have Stargazer 115 (lavender), 110 (black), 130 (dark purple) and 127 (red). I didn't try Stargazer at all before their reformulation but what they have going now is so creamy and opaque, not drying at all! I usually wear 127 to work and the coverage and longevity is amazing.

    115 and 130 are too light and dark respectively for my coloring, it looks strange, BUT mix them together and I can create a beautiful medium purple just like Airborne Unicorn should have been (I bought one out of curiosity, hated the formula and the lippie broke off at the base in a week).

    I just got Fyrinnae's Fanservice in the mail this morning and it's my p-e-r-f-e-c-t lavender shade, doesn't make me look corpse-y like straight 115 does.

  11. Hey, if I mix my acrylic paints with some lipbalm and stick it in a pretty pink tube, can I have my own lipstick company too? *bats eyelashes*

    The D'Lilac swatch looks like you pressed your lips in lavender house paint. I've seen the lipsticks look like that on some, and oily on others. I wonder if that has to do with the batches not being tested prior to shipping, and therefore some get sent out even after being overcooked. That can be blamed on the lab. But... Xenia did state in a video that it's best to exfoliate your lips with a toothbrush, put balm on, line your lips and *then* put on the lipstick. Then gloss. Then take a picture. Take lots of them. Upload it to photoshop. Adjust the color until it looks good. Oh wait, she didn't mention the part after the gloss ;)

    Also, even if the lipstick only costs £10 on her site and £14 in Space N.K., there's still shipping costs and possible customs so it probably winds up being the same. She only had that "trapped in the UK" sale that one time, and it only lasted for a couple of days. The other time she had a sale was when she was trying to get rid of her tiny sample size jars of eyeshadow. Several customers were upset when she rolled out the next week with jars double the size.

  12. I tried D'lilac and I was let down, MAC's Blooming Lovely over one of Illamsaqua's taupe pencils look beautiful, really lilac and pretty but wearable.

    I think airborne unicorn looks alot like MAC's Up The Amp.

    Centrifuchsia looks like MAC's Girl About Town in the online swatch but it's different in real life, I almost bought it based on the online swatch but if I'd bought it, when I received it it would have been super disappointed.

    Cosmopop looks pretty, but apparently stargazer have a really good dupe of it, if I find it I'll send you it.

    Thankyou for the review, I was expecting these to be like MAC's amplified cream lipsticks but when I tried one on, I was let down, I also wanted to get it off my lips as soon as possible and soothe them with something!


  13. Great, honest review, they sound like they combine eveything I hate in a lipstick! I do think they should have priced themselves lower for the UK market, I think they would fit better in stores like Superdrug.

  14. Ever since I first saw Lime Crime lipsticks I had always been intrigued by them - in theory I love the colours and I personally love the packaging (anything tack-tastic gets my approval) However, I've been completely put off by both the bad product reviews and the way the company has conducted itself. I would hate to have to scrub my lips like that to remove colour (and even then it doesn't remove the colour properly!) And I don't think they fade to a very nice colour at all.

    Thank you for such an in-depth review, you've just confirmed everything I thought previously :) xxx

  15. This is such a fantastic review! You've had a similar experience to me!


  16. Ew they even look like they'd be uncomfortable :( it looks kinda tight when you smile!

  17. I think your review was fair considering all the drama. I can tell from your swatches that the lipsticks are horrible.

  18. Thanks for this detailed review!

    Although I'd read others beforehand, this is the first LC lipstick review that I've read since I went into Space.NK myself and swatched all the lippies, just on the back of my hand. Hot water, soap and scrubbing gets rid of the stains but who wants to be doing that with their lips!?

    Having said that, I think Airborne Unicorn and Cosmopop actually look good on you with just one stroke. Enough to show the colours (which I think are pretty anyway, and they suit you) without showing up the results of the crappy formula.

    And I totally remember Xenia's pre-lipstick-launch hype about how the lipsticks were going to be matte!

  19. I love the review style of these lipsticks, especially the little foibles that you picked up on, that's the kinda thing I'd spot.

    The colours don't appeal to me at all, I would look a right idiot wearing them with my skintone and the fact that they stain just further sours the deals.

    I'd be interested to see how many SpaceNK have managed to shift since they started selling them.

  20. Nice review!

    I wanted to have a red one but finally gave up after reading terrible stories about Xenia. But "Made in LA Distributed by Lime Crime" sounds really odd to me because she certainly said she made all of her products include lipsticks in the video. If she was making all of her products, it would be "Made in New York"

  21. I sent a tweet to Lime Crime the other day saying that I was unfollowing her. Then she replied saying that I was stupid in the nicest way possible. She said it was gossip. But there's photo evidence everywhere. How mean :'(

  22. Great review, good on you for doing such a fair review, they don't deserve it!
    Lollipop26 mentioned that she'd bought a Lime Crime lipstick in a recent video and she wasn't impressed either.

  23. I don't think you let your past experiences influence your review. It was thorough and fair, and says similar stuff to the other reviews I've read.

  24. Re: Meowcake

    In Xenia's defense though (ugh, and I really don't want to defend her!), your tweet was harsh. Validated, but harsh:

    You called her stupid as well, in the most blatant way possible. Not trying to accuse you of anything, just trying to make it all fair.

    Now some people would accuse the way Xenia responded as her "breaking character," but I think she responded in typical fashion. She wanted to draw attention to someone "hating," so she could take the stance of a victim. For more twitter followers or blog hits, I guess. Much like when she used to try to get people to defend her on LJ communities, even when the posts weren't about her.

    P.S. You're adorable :)

  25. Great review! I wouldn't buy anything from the company either, firstly because I think it's too expensive for an indie brand. But I don't like the lip swatches I've seen online, and the shadows...well, she does photoshop her images alot so I wouldn't be 100% sure about what I'm buying. That's my two cents :)

  26. Great review!Super informative!!! I couldn't stop laughing at the stained kiss mark on the cheek. Too funny.

  27. I'm shocked that Space NK is carrying them especially with all of the negativity surrounding this brand.

    I admire you for writing this post and for being honest!!!

    I think a lot of bloggers sugar-coat things for fear of getting bad comments or something.

  28. Lillian, I love your blog and how REAL you are. Thanks for the awesome review and I don't care if you're biased. =) I would be too!

    I just wanted to let you know I've given you an award on my blog. Click here to accept:

  29. I have noticed that a few days after I use Lime Crime lipsticks I get zits around my mouth. I have never had this happen with any other lipstick before. Anyone else notice getting zits after using Lime Crime?

  30. Hey i'd love if youd read my home made primer tutorial~

  31. so glad i read this. i almost bought some. thanks for saving me time & $$$$$$$.

  32. I'm so sad you feel this way about the lipsticks! I absolutely LOVE Lime Crime and honestly, I don't want to buy any other kinds haha. I didn't have any of the issues you had! To each their own, though :)

  33. I buy some LC lipsticks and i haven't received yet because of postal delays(...)didn't know when I bought, about all these scandals of the LC and now I'm sorry I spent my money on it. I spent US168 and I live in Brazil so that's a LOT of money here(like twice)...and bought some eyeshadows past months, they're way too different of the photos of LC website...

  34. Hmm, I'm with Donna, I've found them to be the best lipsticks I've ever tried. No kipstick seems to stay on me but this does. I love the colours & the packaging & I'm 32!!!! But not everything works the same for everybody...although the Airbourne Unicorn is my altime favorite of any lipstick ever!!!!

  35. Hey there :) I'm a big fan of Airborne Unicorn, and I do love the Lime Crime packaging myself, and have had a good experience with the one time I bought from Lime Crime, but I just this week found another company that does VERY similar shades and they are a fraction of the price!

    The company, BYS, is Australian and the lippies are less than $4 each. Look at this one called Electric Lavender. Looks pretty similar to Airborne Unicorn right?

    I bought it for a friend, as I already had the colour (from Lime Crime), but I did pick up an orange one for $1.50 on sale which is very similar to an orange Lime Crime had on their website (they don't have it listed currently).

    This is the BYS one.

    I have yet to try it, but I have other lipsticks in this brand - namely black and a very dark plum purple and they are a bit cakey but not too bad if you prime and put on a lip balm before hand (like I have to with Lime Crime lippies). The ones I have are very similar in retrospect to Stiletto and the new Poisonberry.

    So the upshot is, I do think Lime Crime rebadges their lipsticks from cheaper products, and now that I know that, I'm probably not going to buy from them any more unless they have something spectacular I can't find elsewhere(purely on price).

    Thought you'd find this interesting! :)

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  37. No offense Lillian, but if you can't spell 'pedantic' then the spelling of 'beeswax' on the packaging shouldn't bother you too much. Sorry.

  38. You probably don't like them because your products are fake. I could tell right away. Google the auntie packaging and label at the bottom. Also your unicorn on the tube is off because your closing it wrong.

  39. Purple anything seems to stain really badly, I'm in love with pretty much any purple shade (bar fluro which triggers my migraines), as a result I've got purple hair and a nice collection of purple lipsticks. Pretty much everything stains, you should see my towel! I also find that any purple will stain more pink then blue, it's quite possible the Lime Crime ones stain badly simply because purple and red tones always do. I always use a lip pencil and balm under any lipstick I ever wear and so I've not had staining as an issue. However I did find that my Lime Crime lipsticks where difficult to get to spread evenly.
    I'm also horrified that I didn't know about the whole drama surrounding Lime Crime before buying my lip sticks, I stop looking up brands once I find out if they're cruelty free which Lime Crime is. I love the Poisonberry shade but I've already decided when I run out I wont buy from them again.
    I'm also pissed to find out that in the US the lipsticks are only $16! Mine where $24.50 (AUD) each and she's left a lot of Aussie stockists in the shit because she's just pulled all her products from our market. Apparently she'd made companies buy promotional stuff (like displays) as well as the actual products only months before deciding to pull out of the Aussie market. Those shops will never make back the money lost because of this. What's even stranger is that Lime Crime is really popular in Australia so it makes no sense to pull the products.
    (P.S. Sorry for kidnapping your post to vent.)


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