A quick note: I know that there is a lot of controversy surrounding Lime Crime and Doe Deere (the creator/owner of the company). Do a quick google search of “Lime Crime” and “controversy” and you’ll have tons of pages to read through. I know very few people who choose to support Lime Crime. I was aware of all of this before I ordered the Velvetine. I really just wanted to see what all the fuss was about, since those who do use Velvetines seem to really, really like them.
The leaves are turning here in NorCal and I absolutely needed another fall lipstick. The 8-10 dark lipsticks I already own just aren’t enough. So, I bit the bullet and ordered Lime Crime Velvetine in “Wicked.” The Velvetines are similar in concept to the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams or Kat Von D’s Everlasting Love Liquid Lipsticks. It goes on liquid, like a gloss, and dries to a matte finish. The lasting power, on these specifically, is supposed to last all day. People who own Velvetines go on and on about how mind-blowing these are, and I just had to see if it would live up to the hype. The bad news…I absolutely hate buying things online. One, because I’m impatient and I like to have things right away. Two, because I like trying things on or testing them out. That, unfortunately, keeps me from checking out a lot of cool indie brands – Lime Crime included. After much deliberation, I made my order and waited. And waited. Luckily, it came in a day earlier than it said it would and I was ready to dig in!
I immediately ran to the bathroom to put it on. The formula out of the tube was much lighter than I was expecting. It was almost like water on my lips! It applied beautifully and was incredibly pigmented. I held my mouth open for about 30 seconds to allow it to dry. Then I gave it another 10 seconds, just to be sure. I pressed my lips together and…it was so sticky. I couldn’t believe it. It was like I’d rubbed a glue stick all over my lips. I went to get dinner started and just stood in the kitchen with my mouth open like an idiot, hoping it just needed a bit longer to dry. At this point, 5 minutes had passed and it was still incredibly sticky. I felt like I had to exert effort just to separate my lips after pressing them together. I was baffled. I kept running to the bathroom mirror to see if it at least still looked good. By now, less than 10 minutes in, the product had completely rubbed off on the inside of my lips. It was upsetting, but not terribly surprising when you consider that’s usually the first place that fades. I went back to cooking dinner and hoped that, despite the stickiness, the lasting power would be as amazing as advertized. I ate dinner, then went to check how it was looking.
The left picture is how it looked immediately after application. The right is how it looked after only 1 hour, a bowl of chicken soup, and 2 pieces of sourdough toast. Definitely not good. It was a disaster. I’ve heard people rave about how the Velvetines last all day. I couldn’t even get mine to last an hour. I went to bed, utterly defeated.
The next day, I tried again. Maybe it was all a bad dream? But alas, it was just as sticky, and it didn’t last longer than an hour.
I asked my aunt (who swears by her “Red Velvet” Velvetine) how she applies hers. She said she scrapes all the excess product off the doe foot and applies it in thin layers. It sounded easy enough, and at this point I was desperate for a resolution. I tried this method and I felt like it was even worse. Applying in layers made the color patchy and uneven. And it was still sticky on my lips.
The left picture is how it looked after application. The right is how it looked after 2 hours, a bag of sour cream and onion chips, and a Capri Sun (don’t judge me). Better than the day before, but still not great. Again, I went to bed defeated.
I spent all of the next day eyeballing the Velvetine sitting on my bathroom counter. What was wrong with it? Was something wrong with me? I was almost afraid to try again. Almost. I grabbed it, hastily applied (without the scrape/layer technique), and waited a second for it to dry. I pursed my lips angrily and it didn’t stick. I froze. What if I imagined that? I cautiously pressed my lips together again. No stick! At least, not as much as before. The outer edge still had that wet feeling but the inside of my lips was nice and dry.
The left picture is how it looked after application. The right is how it looked 3 hours and 2 celebratory Krispy Kreme donuts later. The wear was only on the inside of the lips. That night, I went to bed victorious!
Today, I decided to wear my Velvetine out and about, to give it a real stress test. This time when I applied it, it went perfectly. No stickiness whatsoever. I headed to Pizza My Heart, since they have some of the greasiest pizza in the world.
As I was eating, I could see it coming off all over the place. On the pizza, the napkin, my straw. But I didn’t take a look until I was done with lunch.
(Sorry for the lighting. I took it at the pizza place.) The left picture is how it looked before I went to lunch. The right is how it looked after a slice of pizza and a garden salad (healthy eater alert). I decided to quickly reapply to the faded areas before heading out to run errands. This is how it looked after 5 hours (and a Capri Sun, duh):
I have no idea what went wrong those first two days. I’m assuming the product just needed to be mixed up inside the container? Or the Velvetine needed me to prove myself worthy before it allowed itself to work for me? Either way, now that I got it to work the way it should, I can give an honest opinion of it.
The immediate fading on the inside of the lips is annoying. There are plenty of lip products that don’t have this problem, so the fact that this cost $20 but fails where the $6 NYX matte lip creams succeed is a bit upsetting. This probably won’t be an issue for everybody. My lips have a natural pout, so I’m always aware of my inner lower lip. It’s also very drying. As soon as the product dries, I can feel it bringing out the wrinkles in my lips. I give that a pass since that’s a common issue with matte creams. As for the good, the color is a beautiful burgundy-red that I think would complement a lot of different skin tones. It’s not as dark as you’d think. I was expecting (and hoping) for something really dark. Instead, “Wicked” is a very pretty wine color. This is great for people who want to get into a darker lip but still want something wearable. The formula, when applying, is very easy to work with. Also, the matte finish is absolutely perfect.
All things considered, I’ll say this: I’m glad I bought it, but I don’t think it’ll be an everyday lipstick for me. This will likely be relegated to occasions where I will be sitting still and not eating. I have friends getting married in November, and this will be what I wear during the ceremony. Not so much the reception. I’m incredibly tempted to buy the similarly colored NYX matte lip creams for comparisons sake, so that will probably be happening soon.
If you want to give it a shot, you can buy it here. Let me know how it works for you! Here’s the quintessential swatch and selfie: