Raven Hair, Pale Skin and Cruelty-Free Red Lips

I don’t often post about makeup, but a colleague recently introduced me to Lime Crime and I must tell you all about it!

Veronica is based out of Brisbane and just launched an online fabric shop, Fabric Fascinations.  I met her at an event earlier this year and her concept of combining cool, quirky or hard-to-find fabrics with ethical cosmetics in one shop appealed to me.   It makes sense!  I wear both fabric and lipstick (occasionally together), why not pick it up from the same shop?

Old Standby Red on top, Lime Crime Glamour 101 below.  Edited to add this comparison.

Later, Veronica sent me a Lime Crime lipstick and eyeliner to review here at 3 Hours Past.  I had never heard of the brand, but you know I like new things so I agreed.  When Veronica suggested a deep red and told me it was vegan, I started to worry.  I’m not vegan!  I don’t wear deep red, I wear bright red!  There’s a sparkly unicorn on the tube- how old am I?

Glamour 101, Lime Crime

But the allure of New overcame my misgivings and I slicked my lips with Glamour 101 shortly after tearing into the contents of my Fabric Fascinations package.  Still shaking my head at the sparkly unicorn, my nose caught a rich scent of vanilla.  Sparkly unicorns and a pretty scent?  I rolled my eyes.  Obviously this is not a serious lipstick, I thought.  15 year old me would be all over this.

I thought wrong.  This lipstick is so much more than a sparkly unicorn.  I applied two coats, blotting between applications and went about my business.  Three hours later, my lips were still Glamour 101 colored!  What’s more, they were pliable and smooth.  Red-lipstick aficionados know the pitfalls of a red pout include lip dehydration, lip hardness and flaking, not to mention fugitive pigments.

This lipstick fits my criteria for “perfect wear” lipstick- I only need re-apply after eating or lecturing.  It feels neither slick nor sticky once applied.  Repeated, constant wear actually seems to improve the texture of my lips.  They feel softer and smoother, as if I’m constantly applying a light intensive moisturizer.  Veronica was right about the deep red- I do like it!

My Lime Crime lipstick actually replaced my bright blue-red (though I haven’t retired it completely), taking up the “heavy use lipstick” spot in my purse.  I took it everywhere with me for two months, sometimes slipping it into my pockets with my keys before going out purseless.

And then one day I opened the washing machine and to my complete and utter horror I saw the lid from my beloved lipstick.  I cursed my carelessness and assumed I’d ruined a load of favorite skirts.  I picked up each garment in turn, holding my breath during inspection and letting it out when I couldn’t find a spot or a smear.  Clean!  At the bottom of the load, I found my lipstick entirely intact without the lid- like new, no problem!  I couldn’t believe it.  Where have you been all my life, Lime Crime?

Smooth, beautiful lines. Easy to control. Stays put.

The eyeliner leaves absolutely nothing to be desired.  In fact, I’ve never been very good at applying liquid liner but this goes on almost like magic.  I don’t know if it’s the formula or the brush or both, but it’s very smooth and doesn’t run or dry too quickly.  I have “Quill,” a deep rich black, but this liner comes in a rainbow of fun colors.

Doe Deere, creative mind behind Lime Crime. Click for company information.

Lime Crime cosmetics are vegan; not only that, they do not test on animals.  This makes them a cruelty free choice.  Veronica decided to stock this line because she’s a stylish vegan lady herself.  I fell in love with the brand because it makes an extremely pleasant and useful product, but I wasn’t sure where I sat on the “cosmetic animal testing” debate.  So I educated myself-

This is a very tame sampling of what I found when I searched google images for “animal testing cosmetics.” Click for a graphic article and the source of this photo. I never stopped to think.

It’s gross.  It’s seriously gross that animals are bred for the express purpose of having various compounds rubbed into their eyes and skin while they’re under restraint, only to be killed after the toxicity data is collected.  I can’t believe I was so ignorant about these disgusting and abusive practices.

Black hair, red lips, and pale skin is a look I love to rock, but not if the price to be paid involves hurting gentle, harmless creatures.  It’s just not worth it.  Animal testing is not required or necessary for cosmetics produced in the United States, but it’s still done for some reason.  Why?

This logo on products in the EU means “no animal testing.”

In 2003, the EU passed regulations banning animal testing for cosmetics, effective from 2013.  Many other countries and companies have followed suit, but there’s still a few notable hold-outs.  It’s tough to strive for ethical consumerism, but at least we have some great consumer resources (listed below).

….also wearing a little something I cooked up from linen jersey. Shh! Not yet!

And Lime Crime.  At least we have Lime Crime!  Aside from the ethics, this lipstick passes my very tough performance tests- it even went through the washing machine and lived to tell the tale.  And it has a sparkly vanilla unicorn!  I’ve grown very fond of her.  What’s not to love?

Have you tried Lime Crime?  Do you wear ethical or vegan cosmetics?  What’s your experience?

More to Read:

PETA’s database of cruelty-free cosmetics and companies

Wikipedia entry on animal testing for cosmetics

Leaping Bunny (Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics)

List of cruelty free UK cosmetics companies

I saw this hat in a window, couldn’t stop thinking about it for two weeks, and went back to claim it for a measly $10!

Disclosure: Veronica from Fabric Fascinations sent me this beautiful Lime Crime lipstick (Glamour 101) and eyeliner (Quill) for review and gave me free rein to say whatever I like about it.  So I did.  And she has a loyal Lime Crime customer in me.

Australians: Can you tell me the name of the flower in my banner?  It’s blooming and fruiting just now right outside my front door.


  1. I thought it was a fuchsia, too. But looking closely, I am not so sure. If it is a fuschia, it is different from the ones in England.
    This lipstick looks lovely on you. The colour certainly suits your skin tone. Great find!

    • Weird… Maybe it looks like a dark fuschia if I squint my eyes?

      Thanks! She chose well for me, just a little bit outside my “usual” and pretty flattering. :)

      • The lipstick looks dark red on my laptop! (And lovely!)

        But the flower in your banner photo does looks a little like a plant called a “fuchsia” we have in England… which also gets berries. But the berries are usually coloured and to add to the confusion, the petals aren’t even always fuchsia in colour!

        • OoooooOoooh! Silly me! I was wondering about that… But the banner flowers do look a bit like a fuschia from GIS… hahaha. Some of the flowers have little darkish berries, I’ll cycle in a photo of that.

          Way to cotton on to the misunderstanding happening. ;) Hilarious.

  2. I love red lipstick, but so far haven’t found one that suits my red hair and pale, pale skin. I’ve tried many! This colour looks great on you.

    • OOoooh.. Makes me think of the line on Mad Men where Roger is describing Joan’s lips as a spoonful of jam in a glass of milk. Something along those lines… Hmmm… Maybe I’ll look around and see what I can do about reds for different colors… I need to write a Conversant in Color post soon anyway! :)

  3. Love that colour on you. And the new hair. Trés chic! Love the hat. And at $10?!?!…it would have been rude not to!

    • Thanks and thanks! The black… I’m getting used to it. I probably went “too black” but it does make my hair easier to pin… :)

      Rude indeed! I try to think before I buy, but that hat wouldn’t leave me alone… ;) I had no choice but go back, really.

      • I’m not brave enough for black but have today decided that after 30 years of colouring my hair, I have found “my” colour. It’s the one that feels most like me. It’s quite liberating.
        I do think if something is calling to you so loudly you really have to succumb…otherwise you’ll spend a ridiculous amount of time kicking yourself for not listening. Have a great weekend.

    • It’s very…. striking. ;) I’ll work it in next time I’m doing some photos and post it… I’m really enjoying this hat, part of me thinks the glee is a bit silly but.. but.. HAT.

  4. I’ll have to give this a try, I’m excited to see a recommendation for a red lipstick that wont send me to hospital. (The colour looks like a dark pink on my screen)
    And as for animal cruelty, it’s a total joke that it’s gone on for so long. For a surreal take on it, read Doctor Rat by William Kotzwinkle. One of the weirdest and most upsetting books I have ever read.

    • Send you to the hospital? Like some make you sick?

      Yeah… I don’t know how I dropped the ball and was completely unaware of animal testing, but it’s just revolting. I got teary and a bit sick reading about it. I don’t know if I could make it through a book like that…. And all that suffering for what? For face paint? And we call ourselves civilized?

      • I’m really allergic to carmine (also known as cochineal). It’s essentially crushed up beetles. I found out by eating red velvet cake and having to go to A&E. The best/worst cake I’ve ever eaten.
        It’s in almost all lipsticks and also a lot of eyeshadows too, so I’m always on the lookout to expand my very limited make up collection.

        When I was a little kid I remember thinking it was so weird why make up was tested on animals when they didn’t even wear it. A little naive, but I still think I had a valid point. It’s so unnecessary and so wrong I can’t even begin to go into it or I’ll be typing for hours.

        • Yikes, that’s tough; carmine is in tons of stuff (I’ve seen it on the ingredients list of grapefruit juice!?!). One of my favorite lippies is colored by alkanet from Jenulence.com. It’s a wine/berry red color.

  5. That’s a beautiful color on you. I think red lips are sometimes really jarring visually, but you pull it off with aplomb–it fits you perfectly color wise. I’m wishing they had something in a translucent sort of peach. Thankfully, 100% Pure does, and though I haven’t tried their lip glazes yet, I’m loving their pot rouge at the moment.

    I have ultra sensitive skin–7 years ago I started doing research about skin care and makeup and I decided to go all natural and organic. It has not been easy–it is tough to find options on the fair end, and most companies are online only and do not offer samples like my previously beloved Estee Lauder, who kept me in great supply and looks while probably poisoning me too. I’ve come to the conclusion that I will not buy from anyone unless A)they tell me EXACTLY what’s in their products B)I can eat what’s in it/don’t need a chemistry degree to understand what’s in it. I’ve watched my skin heal and I feel really empowered by the knowledge I’ve gained. I’m really sad to watch women throw all these chemical cocktails all over themselves all the time–having to use more to negate the effects of others. Pure Skin: Organic Beauty Basics by Barbara Close is a really good primer on this subject. EWG’s Skin Deep Database is also invaluable for evaluating ingredients and their effect on you (though it used to be more useful).

    Animal testing is something that has never made sense to me. Rabbits don’t have skin like us–I don’t know too many women who will pass on the opportunity to test out cosmetics, so why hurt the bunnies? I’m not a big animal rights person, but needless cruelty is well, needless.

    • Thanks! They may well have a peachy color, I don’t tend to notice because I can’t wear peach… ;)

      I think most of what I use on my skin I could also eat for breakfast. Yogurt, oats and egg white are simple things I use on my skin regularly with good results.

      It’s just not right to torture animals in the name of female vanity…

  6. Your review sold me on this sort of lipstick. I’ve only, occasionally, used coloured lip balm so far; because I did not feel good even trying on lipstick.
    But, alas, Lime Crime has no Raspberry! The Glamour 101 is the only one that seems sort of like my colour, but it also seems too dark for me. *sigh*
    Looks great on you, though!

    Animal testing is an issue I’d successfully avoided for most of my life; because early on in my life (and I mean really early), we had a hair product that proudly proclaimed not to be tested on animals, and since then I’ve kind of taken it for granted… and when Legally Blonde 2 watched with my sister recently made me aware that it was actually a big issue, I was surprised. *another sigh*

    • I thought the glamour 101 would be too dark for me, too, and it’s not… I was really really surprised…. :)

      It does seem a shame animal testing goes on… Really shameful.

      • Good for you; but I don’t have your raven hair (even if it’s artificially enhanced), so I’ll keep looking elsewhere first. Though I love the colour, the thing is, I love my eyes and do not want to draw too much attention away from them with my lips. :D Unfortunately, most of the vegan cosmetics I’ve found about in the Czech Republic only sell things like shampoo and hand cream. The whole “natural” cosmetics thing…

  7. I very rarely wear lipstick. Can’t find a red or even a pink that doesn’t make me look terrible, so I just use whatever I can find in the same colour as my lips. Just adds a little shine. Animal testing concerns me, vegan-ness really doesn’t, but I’m glad there’s the option for people it DOES matter to. And I’m excited about the eyeliner.. it is HARD to find a decent liquid!!

    As for the plant, is it this: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ochna_serrulata

    There was one growing in our neighbours yard, spilling over the fence to our side when I was a kid. I always knew it as birds eye and loved it, so bright and cheery, but now Wikipedia tells me its invasive :(

  8. I love a good red lipstick. I’ll be trying out this brand; though, when I looked them up, there are some really scary lip colors available in their line. Some of them are very reminiscent of what I recall as trendy/edgy in the early ’90’s. I’ll stick to the dark red.

    • Everyone is different, C. ;) Do you mean the bright blues and mint green? I think it’s fun… I really love inappropriate makeup colors… ;)

  9. I’ve never used Lime Crime but a blogger I follow (stalk, really) Esme and the Laneway features it a lot. That, and all of her Australian shoe company shoes have me seriously envious!!

    I don’t have much in the way of makeup, but I haven’t checked my products for safety. It honestly never occurred to me. Will definitely do so, now.

    PS- tomorrow is the day for Tira photos!! I’ve been super busy, sorry.

  10. I’m a big fan of red lipstick too. I usually go with Mac for my red lipsticks. But this vegan brand sounds great. I wonder if Lime Crime is available in the US? I’ll have to find out. Thanks for an informative post!

  11. You’d be the second blogger-ette I’ve heard praise Lime Crime – I think I need to get on it!! Such a glorious shade of red for you, too!
    And when I’m in Brisbane next, you can be sure there’ll be an email in your inbox from me before hand. I’d love to see what Brissy has to offer for fabric/coffee shops :)

  12. You are lovely! I have never worn make-up really. Just mascara for special occasions, and as much as I ever tried lipstick it always made my lips feel aweful. I seem to remember knowing about animal testing from very early on- maybe an elementary school lesson? Not the worst of it too, I’m sure. So that was always a reason for me to steer clear of cosmetics. I never quite ‘got’ how so many women could spend so much time and energy and money on using products that were made that way. It didn’t occur to me that they didn’t know something about animal testing. Glad to know there are better options out there!

    • No, just didn’t make it on my radar… I keep track of things like politics, human rights struggles and environmental legislation/innovation… Animals are nice, but for whatever reason they’re not really a topic I’ve ever found particularly interesting.. Maybe part of the problem is that people who often go on about animal testing are strident, angry, frustrated types… Not always, but often. Which is fine, yes, we should be angry but as activists it’s important to realize that honey attracts more flies than vinegar… If someone just wants to shout and lecture me I’ll go find something else to do, right? Maybe I just knew the wrong kind of hippies… ;)

      That and “cosmetic animal testing” brings to mind images of rabbits wearing eyeshadow..

      But that’s just not the way it is… It’s torture, truly reprehensible…

    • Thanks! I really, really love it. After finding my old lipsticks on the animal testing list, I tossed them out and replaced the bright blue red with another Lime Crime… Retrofuturist! Super excited…

  13. I have been looking for a good red lipstick forever, and it’s not easy to find products that are ethical and actually work. I am considering the dark red glamour 101 but i find some reds make my teeth look yellow. Did you find it had a blue undertone or more of an orange/ yellow?

  14. Uh, I just learned something new. I never in a million years even considered applying two (or more) coats of lipstick. I got into wearing this pretty vintage pink shade from…some company, and while I loved it, it never lasted that long. Maybe I’ll try the double coat thing, see if that helps. (It also has a moisturizer in it, so my lips stay soft. I really notice a difference when I wear other brands of lipstick.)

    Anywho, the Lime Crime lipstick sounds lovely, and the colour looks fantastic on you (love the jet black hair too)! Maybe once I’m working, I’ll look into buying some. If shipping to Canada isn’t too gutting. lol

  15. Red is such a tough colour to wear. Finding the right shade for your own colouring, then a formula that stays put, the risk of bleeding is so much higher… sounds like you found the ideal red, it really does suit you.

  16. Thank you! I am a red lippy girl from WAY back, but will not wear anything tested on animals, and also don’t want animal products in anything I use. I’ve always avoided stuff tested on animals, but am taking that commitment further – am now vegetarian and working towards vegan in my diet and lifestyle. Red lipstick has been a problem, as most manufacturers use crushed cochineal beetle to make red. Not for this little black duck! I’m off to check out Lime Crime. I think I’m going to love your blog – found this on my first visit!

  17. Pingback: OCC Lip Tar Sampler Giveaway! « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

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