It’s fairly difficult to spend much time in the indie community without hearing about Lime Crime. There have been accusations and scandals aplenty, and it seems as if no one simply feels ‘meh’ about them, it’s either love or hate. I’m not here to discuss any of that, though. My curiosity about the products’ actual quality got the best of me a few months ago, and I ordered the China Doll palette from Lime Crime.
The website is slick and easy to navigate, if a little too saccharine for my tastes. (Note, the site has since been updated.) I chose China Doll, paid $35 for it and six dollars for shipping, and about a week later, the palette arrived. The boxes Lime Crime sends their merchandise in are quite cute, a pretty brightened lavender with “Lime Crime” on the longer sides and their logo on the top, all in white. However, if the decorative box is part of why regular shipping was six dollars, I’d honestly prefer a plain brown box.
The box the palette was shipped in.
The palette was surrounded by and wrapped in tissue paper. Not really the best way to send pressed shadows, but none of the shadows in the palette were broken, so I won’t dwell on that. Unwrapping the palette revealed its outside packaging, a golden cardboard box printed purple inside, with an old-school wax-stamp sealed envelope design.
Opening that brought me to the tin itself, purple and bare-metal colored, about six inches long, two inches deep, and a quarter inch tall. Smaller than I was expecting. A logo with “Lime Crime,” a unicorn, and a ribbon banner are stamped into the middle of the lid, with brocade-like patterns enclosed by swirly designs on either side.
The tin itself.
On the back is a large sticker with the brand name, palette name, the shade names in a somewhat confusing order that doesn’t match their placement in the palette, and the fact that the palette is vegan and wasn’t tested on animals.
Inside sat five pans of pressed shadow, each a bit bigger than a quarter. Again, much smaller than I expected for $34.99 plus shipping. A plastic protector with more swirly designs sat over the shadows. One thing that struck me immediately was that the holder the pans sat in was cheap black plastic, causing them to tilt. It seems Lime Crime wants to present itself as a lux brand, and that’s a perfectly okay thing to do, but if you’re going for lux, don’t use cheap plastic.
The palette, with an American quarter for pan size reference.
The other thing I noticed is that the small glitter from the gold shade, Goldfish, had spread to the other four shades. This is easy enough to dust off with a fan brush. Every time I’ve opened the palette since, the gold glitter has spread again.
The five shades:
Fly Dragon Fly - Described as a fiery matte red. Applies a little darker than what I would call a ‘fiery’ red. When applied with no primer, it applied a little unevenly. When applied over primer, it applied evenly. Blended well for a matte.
Parasol - Described as a sky blue matte. Applies a little more muted than what I would call a sky blue, but I suppose everyone thinks of a different sky. Had good pigmentation, and applied evenly without and with a primer, but had basically no blendability.
Goldfish – Described as a metallic bright gold. Applies like a medium gold, and has tiny glitter as well as a metallic finish. Applied slightly unevenly with and without primer, the shadow seemed like it wanted to stick to itself more than anything else. Blended moderately well.
Jade-O-Lade – Described as a rich jade matte. Applied more like a forest green than a jade green. Applied fine over primer and on bare skin, and blended well.
Lotus Noir - Described as a blackest black matte. This shadow was honestly abysmal. I own a number of black matte shadows, both pressed and loose, and I have never encountered a black that was so difficult to get to look.. black. Without primer, it took four thick layers to finally achieve a smooth black look. With primer, it took two thick layers. I’m not sure how it’s possible to mess up a black matte, but Lime Crime did it. Zero blendability. At the bottom of the swatch in the photo below, I put a single, hard brush stroke underneath the built-up, over-primer swatch to show how.. not great this black is.
I noticed a few other things. The first applies to all five shadows, and comes down to this; fall-out and powdering like crazy. Just lightly running a small brush over any of the shades resulted in a small poof of color, as well as quite a bit of loose shadow around the edge of the pan. I didn’t take scientific measurements, but I bet more product went poof and ended up balled up on the plastic insert than actually on the brush. Another thing I noticed is that the four mattes stained my skin when applied lightly without primer. I’ve long suspected that some of Lime Crime’s problems are due to over-pigmentation. High pigmentation is a good thing, don’t get me wrong. It’s definitely possible to have too much, though, and get to a point where there’s not enough of the other ingredients to balance things out.
In my opinion, this palette was a waste of money. I can or have purchased all of these shades, in better quality, for a better price. I’m going to do a separate post where I list those, with swatches. Another thing that bothered me personally was inside the box was a two-page, full-color, glossy advertisement for Lime Crime’s Velvetines, with the owner of the company, Doe Deere, on the front, large shots of the product on the inside of the first page, a cut-out stand-up doll on the third page, and another shot of the product on the back. This strikes me as an unnecessarily expensive thing to produce, and I’m sure some of my money paid for it.
So, after careful consideration, $41, and watching myself for bias, I’ve come to the conclusion that Lime Crime Fantasy palettes are not worth the price. Obviously I’m assuming the other palettes are similar, which is something I, as a consumer, have to assume, since I can’t afford to purchase the other three palettes hoping they’re better. Please note that I’m saying I don’t recommend the palettes only, as I haven’t had a chance to try any of their other products.
Since this is a Lime Crime product, I feel it necessary to add something. If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine. If you think I missed something or did something wrong, please point out what that thing is in the comments, politely. No name-calling, insults, implying that I don’t know how to use makeup, etc will be allowed. The nice thing about life is we can all have different opinions, and it doesn’t hurt anyone!