As you may have noticed, I have expressed some concerns about reviewing products from companies with less-than-savory reputations like Lime Crime. Having crowd sourced opinions and thought it about it carefully, I decided to add this general review to my blog in the hopes that it will be somewhat helpful. While I have expressed most of my thoughts about the company's practices in this post, I want to add a footnote: there are plenty of large companies whose owners have done pretty terrible shit. We don't think about those companies and their ethics as much as we do a smaller company's, however, and that has a lot to do with how closely we associate a brand with its owner. The smaller the company, the more likely we are to focus on the owner.
My compromise is to, as always, invite you to leave your thoughts in the comments, and to not assign these products a rating.
So let's talk about the Velvetines. The retail price is $20 for each 0.088oz/2.6mL tube, although they're sometimes sold in kits at a reduced price and are often on sale at discount sites like Hautelook. This makes the Lime Crime Velvetines a bit pricier than most other matte liquid lipstick offerings. Here are some comparisons to other popular formulas:
Lime Crime Velvetines -- $20 for 2.6mL = $7.69 per mL
Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks -- $20 for 6.6mL = $3.03 per mL
Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipsticks -- $20 for 3.25mL = $6.15 per mL
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks -- $24 for 3mL = $8 per mL
Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipsticks -- $20 for 5mL = $4 per mL
Natural light on top; flash on the bottom.
The tubes are frosted plastic with standard doe foot applicators. I find the doe foots pretty easy to control, but they pick up a lot of product, so you have to wipe a ton off on to the mouth of the tube before applying. The formula is very thin, has a vague silicone/powder-type feel, and smells strongly of cake batter. I don't smell it when it's on my lips, but it's definitely potent.
I received a small assortment of Velvetines as gifts and swapped for one, so I've managed to get a decent range of colors. True Love is a bright red pink. Saint is a deep brown plum. Bleached and Cupid are nudes on my skintone; the former is a soft beige peach, while the latter is a warm pink. Utopia is a true violet shade. Suedeberry is a saturated coral, and it might just be my personal favorite of the bunch.
From left to right: Bleached, Saint, Suedeberry.
No matte liquid lipstick is going to be hydrating, because lacking moisture is kind of what helps the product stick to your lips. That said, I find that the Lime Crime Velvetines are some of the most lightweight and least drying liquid lipsticks I've ever used. I get true color right out of the tube with no patchiness. The one exception to this is Saint: its formula is a bit more drying and needs some extra smoothing out. This isn't totally surprising, since vampy shades and pastels are often much harder to formulate than brights and nudes.
I'll also note that, as much as I like the look of these in real life, they don't always photograph well, at least in HD. The three FOTD photographs above look decent, but trust me, the lipstick looked much less "flat" and far more saturated in person.
The way the Velvetines tend to wear is what impresses me the most. The above photos show Seudeberry after it's been freshly applied, after 4 hours and a big meal, and after I touched up with a second layer. Not only does this formula not shrivel up my lips the way so many other matte liquid lipsticks do, it barely wears even through eating. Seriously, I've had a picnic lunch and a giant sandwich with these things, and they didn't smear or flake off. There's just wear at the very inner part of my mouth. They always feel just as weightless and look totally fine if you touch up by adding on a second layer.
Obviously, these being so tenacious means you're going to have to remove them with a heavy-duty, oil-based makeup remover. I use oil to remove my sunscreen and makeup anyway, but if you prefer to use gentle cleansers or micellar waters, these might be too apocalypse-proof for you.
If you are interested in purchasing the Lime Crime Velvetines, but are concerned about website security, I would recommend waiting for the next sale at Hautelook.com, or ordering from generally reliable vendors like DollsKill.com.