In this day and age of internet precedence uber alles, it happens that a cosmetics company can run itself quite successfully with only a product line, an e-commerce website, and several social media accounts (twitter, instagram, pinterest, facebook, and tumblr, to be specific). Enough internet presence gained, and products can be sold online without IRL stockists. Lime Crime is one brand, perhaps the exemplar brand, that’s done this to great success.
The trouble with buying cosmetics online, however, is that we’re never quite sure how they’re going to look on us until we sample them. But I was feeling both brave and flush one day and decided to be adventurous. Not quite adventurous enough to try Lime Crime’s signature Easter Egg blues and greens, perhaps, because apparently the only lip colors I ever wear are red and nude, but adventurous enough to buy into Lime Crime’s enthusiastic instagram hype (man, do they have a way of getting you excited over a lip color!) and decide to order a few for myself.
I am incredibly predictable when it comes to lipstick. Unless I’m wearing an everyday translucent pink balm (usually Sugar Rose by Fresh), I’m either in my favorite vampy red (MAC Viva Glam I, which as far as I’m concerned is absolutely the only red lipstick in history that matters), or my favorite Gareth-Pugh-runway-I-have-no-lips-because-I’m-actually-a-fembot nude (MAC Honeylove, occasionally topped by their limited edition Lady Gaga gloss that you can only find on ebay nowadays). So for me to break out of my norms, it would take a remarkable lipstick indeed.
So I ordered from Lime Crime two reds, Glamour 101 and Red Velvet, and two nudes, Coquette and Babette (the recently hyped new addition to the Lime Crime lipstick canon), with a sparkly Candy Apple gloss thrown in for good measure.
Glamour 101 is described as a deep, vampy, Snow White kind of red. I have a thing for Snow White so naturally I picked that one. Unfortunately, the rich color doesn’t have very good sticking power, so as amazing as Glamour 101 looked when I put it on, it kind of slid around my lips and ultimately ended up looking like a glossy rose, which is a fine lip color, but is not the deep vampy red that I’d been promised.
Glamour 101 after a few blots
So that one was out. Despite its creamy vanilla birthday cake texture and scent, I need a lipstick that is going to be wine glass- and, ideally, kiss-proof. This is Seductress Life, after all. We must be practical with our lip color.
So onto the nudes. I tried out both Coquette and its peachier cousin Babette. They’re definitely the high-gloss opaque that they promise, but I felt that their colors, despite both being nudes, were so bright that they almost made my teeth look yellowish. Lime Crime definitely delivers on its almost cartoonish portrayal of color. I was almost ready to pass them onto friends, but then I took photos of them in the mirror for this blog, and somehow in photos they both looked awesome. So now I have to reconsider keeping them, or at least bleaching my teeth (not a bad thing to do every couple years anyway).
Onto the final color, the popular Velvetine, Red Velvet. Lime Crime Velvetines achieved fame with their promise of going on like a gloss and drying into a matte, with excellent staying power. On this, Red Velvet absolutely delivers.
Red Velvet was so awesome that it almost made me question my loyalty to my beloved MAC Viva Glam I. It’s brighter and bluer than my MAC, but it does dry matte as promised and it stays beautifully with minimal dryage of my lips. Ultimately I can’t break myself from the awesome brickiness of the MAC red, it’s just so dark and rich, and I need a red that is slightly orange-y as my particular body chemistry tends to turn most lip colors more pink/bluish once they warm to my lips, but I will add Red Velvet to my arsenal and I’m sure it will get very good use.
I took a photo of myself in the Candy Apple gloss layered over the Red Velvet, but by photo it was difficult to tell the difference. Basically Candy Apple is a gloss with tiny red glitter in it, reminiscent of the glitter that so many burlesque performers I know layer onto their lips directly from the jar but slightly more accessible.
Red Velvet topped with Candy Apple gloss
So what have I learned from this grand experiment? With the internet coaxing us to buy products like makeup without the ability to test them out first, it might happen that we buy five lip colors in order to find the one that we truly love, and four others that sit within our drawers until we’re feeling adventurous as we were when we first ordered them. Buying makeup on the internet is kind of weird, actually. I’m not sure why we do it. But businesses like Lime Crime prove that we do, and will continue to, even if it’s just because we can no longer stand to see all their enthusiastic fan instagram pics without giving in and trying them out ourselves.
Oh, and speaking of ordering things on the internet, for the awesome Sex Geek t-shirt that I’m wearing in all the photos above, you can visit my buddy Reid Mihalko’s site ReidAboutSex.com. Unlike many internet-ordered cosmetics, it will definitely be true to color when you put it on.
Pretty awesome if you ask me.
P.S. Pardon the obviously iphoned pics in this entry. I’m in the process of deciding what kind of camera/lighting equipment to purchase in order to take perfect product-blogworthy makeup selfies, so if you have any recommendations, do let me know!