Lime Crime True Love Set: Swatches, Review, and Dupes!

Update 2/27/16: As of Friday February 26th, the True Love Trio is sold out on however they said on their instagram they will be restocking the trio and possibly selling them as individual lipsticks. You can sign up for an email notification if you’re interested!

Last week I did something I said I never would. And that was purchase something from Lime Crime. Yes, I’ve read the blogs. I’ve heard the rumors. I know all about Lime Crime’s shenanigans over their last 8 years or so as a company. If you’re someone who knows anything about the online makeup community, I’m sure you’ve heard all about it too. I’ll get into that towards the end of the post for those of you who haven’t heard of it and I’ll include links to all the articles, blog posts, and screenshots you need to catch up on the Lime Crime drama.

That being said, if you’re an adamant LC hater, move on. I already purchased the makeup and the damage is done. This review is of a product that I purchased with my own money and after a ton of research and consideration. All opinions expressed are my own.

Finally I got time to  make another full-length beauty review! I swear, if I reviewed products at the rate I consumed them my blog would probably get much more traffic. I wanted to start with the LC True Love trio because it’s their latest release and hopefully it can help people who are on the fence about purchasing make an informed decision.

I first heard of Lime Crime about two years ago when I made my Instagram account. I, like many others, was wooed by their bright colors and packaging and drooled over the then-brand-new Venus palette which was sold out for months and months so I never got my hands on it. The more I read the comments on their Instagram, the more I noticed many people distrusted the company which led me to researching their business practices. (see the segment at the end.)

When I first saw the True Love Trio I was in love with the True Love shade; It was the most beautiful pinky-red I had ever seen and I wanted so badly to get my hands on it. I wasn’t stoked about the price though. $60 is steep for a shade that only comes in a trio when I’m not that wild about the other two colors. I really don’t like how Lime Crime releases shades in trios so you have to spend more money on shades you don’t want to get the shade you do want, only to find out later that some of them become part of their permanent line and you could have paid less. The status of these three is currently unknown, though there has been some talk about making Saint part of their permanent collection. Time will tell.

After all my research and weighing the pros and cons of purchasing from Lime Crime, I decided I want to see what the product is like for myself. I see people rave about the products (though these women are often given the products as free samples for review) and others bash the company saying the products are defective and have quality control issues. The only way of finding out the truth and forming my own opinion was to give it a shot. The trio was on sale for $44 with free shipping on Valentine’s Day so I paid a total of about $50 with tax.

The box came two days later. I was impressed with the shipping time! Granted, I live in LA county so it really only shipped about 25 miles, but still that’s quick for not paying expedited shipping.

The box came in traditional Lime Crime fashion with floral lining and pink tissue paper. My first impression of the Velvetines was that the colors looked… weird. Cupid looked pretty brown in the tube and True Love looked dull. On the plus side, they were pretty big in comparison to other liquid matte products I’ve bought. I can’t find the exact amount of product in the tube (Amazon says 1.3 ounces?) but it’s reasonable for how expensive they are. They contain more product than Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick, which contains 0.22oz, for the same price.

Here is the description available on the Lime Crime website:

True Love… is truly loving yourself. This Limited Edition Trio is inspired by the luscious shades of rose petals. Comes in a giftable pink box.
Cupid – soft petal pink
True Love – vibrant pinky red
Saint – deep cranberry red

Here are some swatches to see how they compare to each other in different lighting. I’m pretty much the definition of medium-skin toned, I wear a NC30 in Mac foundation (if that helps).


I think this set was a good choice to start with because it contains light and dark shades which can affect the formula and I’ll describe the differences below.



This was the first shade that I tried of the three. My first impression was that it was incredibly flattering. I tend to stray away from barbie pinks because they look chalky and trashy on my skin tone, but this color worked surprisingly well. In the photos below, it doesn’t look too far off from my natural lip color, but it’s much brighter in person.

The first thing I noticed while applying this color was that the formula mattes up immediately which is a huge plus. I’ve had some experience with liquid-matte lipsticks taking forever to dry. When I buy a matte product, I want it to be matte. Not sticky or slippery and I DON’T want to wait 20 minutes for it to set.

Cupid is very long wearing. I took these pictures after eating buttery pancakes while driving to school.

The formula lasted about 5-6 hours before it needed to be touched up and during that time I ate and drank without it transferring. I took a gif of this after I applied it (and did the same with the other two colors) to show that once it dries, it doesn’t budge from your lips but the only way I could upload it was by uploading it as a video, so here ya go. Sorry it’s so big. I’ll figure it out!


True Love


I was most excited for this color and I really love it so far. As you can see, indoors it’s really REALLY bright. Like, neon red. This red isn’t for the faint of heart; it’s an attention grabber. I love how it makes my teeth look really white!

This is the only color that I put under the “stress test.” I work in a restaurant that gets crazy busy on the weekends so I do a lot of running around, talking, and sweating. It’s a great way to test makeup’s longevity because if I can get through a shift without my makeup looking tragic, it’s usually a keeper. The bottom two photos are after a 6 hour shift with no touch ups. All the color is still there! This one was the least drying of the three. It felt velvety on my lips and didn’t cause crusting or clumping.




Saint is my least favorite of the three colors that I tried. It looks beautiful in sunlight, almost exactly like the swatch on the LC website (above) but indoors it looks more brown than dark red. I wasn’t really looking to buy a brown lipstick because that’s not my thing, but some people might like it! It reminds me of a color Monica from Friends would wear in the 90s.

My biggest problem with Saint is not the color but the formula. Remember how I said the darker formulas can be a bit different than lighter ones? This formula is SUPER drying and my lips were a flaky crusty mess after about two hours. I went to the bathroom between classes to see how it was looking, and after only an hour the color was uneven and patchy with some areas lighter or darker than others. This shade also bled all over my lips and didn’t stay put. It took me about ten minutes to get it in place, and 20 minutes later it had feathered again (you can see this in the photos on the right side).


As soon as I placed my order, I found this chart of dupes for this trio, and I was pretty upset about it. But here is the image I found in case you like the colors but don’t like Lime Crime, or maybe you’re just looking for a more inexpensive option.


More about Lime Crime

Here we get to the good stuff. This post is long enough and so I don’t want to write an essay on the wrongdoings of Lime Crime and Doe Deere, so I’ll provide a list of links if you’re interested in further reading.

  • I personally think Encyclopedia Dramatica is a great resource for internet famous people because they keep such a detailed record of people’s internet presence even if they try to delete posts or pictures. The page on Doe Deere starts from the beginning of her repackaging scandal and goes all the way up to the credit card scandal of 2015.
  • several years ago LC came under fire for their now-discontinued eyeshadow palettes for using a racist ad campaign (google Lime Crime Chinadoll) as well as possibly knocking off the Sugarpill Heartbreaker palette.
  • Speaking of Sugarpill, Doe Deere was caught sending anonymous hate on a forum accusing Amy Doan (Sugarpill CEO) of repackaging her cosmetics.
  • The previous link also includes a review posted by the blogger Gothique that was eventually taken down because she didn’t write a favorable review of LC and later received a cease and desist from Doe Deere’s lawyer in addition to a pre-written apology.
  • Last spring there was a security breach on the LC website and many customers had their identities stolen resulting in them losing the trust of customers affected.

You can google “lime crime scandal” to fill in all the details, but those are the main points. The ED page is the most extensive page written about the Doe Deere drama.

Overall Thoughts

LC internet drama aside, Velvetines are a realIy solid product. I’ve tried liquid-matte lipsticks from about 6 different companies and the formula and pigmentation of these is superior to all others I’ve tried. They’re long wearing, they don’t dry out or transfer, and the color stays vibrant even if you eat or drink.

I know a lot of people suggest getting dupes because they don’t want to support the company, and that’s fine, but know that when you get a cheaper dupe you’re getting a different formula and often times an inferior There’s just no way a $2 lipstick from Wet n’ Wild is going to give you the same longwear or color payoff than a $20 lipstick. The decision is ultimately up to you.

Yes, Lime Crime Velvetines are expensive, but if you’re looking to invest in a good red or pink or staple color that you’ll wear a lot, it’s worth every penny.

My final thoughts on their online drama as a company is that every company, especially big corporations, has some shady stuff in their past (or even now!) but they’re still successful because they create a quality product that people will buy. I just think other companies haven’t left such a sloppy trail on the internet so we’ll never know about these things. And people change. Who knows, maybe Doe Deere is a better person now, maybe not.

Sorry this post ended up like 4x longer than I intended it to! Please like and share and let me know your thoughts on Lime Crime in the comments below!


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