Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Lime Crime launch - thoughts and impressions

The Unicorn Queen appears, without ceremony, among the bloggers and PRs standing around in the white light of Space NK.

We are early. Only a few of us are here, and she is introduced to us much like anyone else in the room, a small figure in elegant fancy dress. She's remarkable perhaps for her flame-red hair (curly but without a hint of frizz), her flounced and ruffled outfit, her sage green suede heels, or the flawlessness of her skin. But certainly not in the way she's presented to us. There are no fanfares or chariots. She stands before us motionless for a second before I reach out and shake her hand, and she begins to speak in a quiet dreamy voice.

As we small talk, I observe the unusual perfection of Doe's makeup and outfit. So much effort must have gone into this look, and yet the result betrays no sense of artifice at all. She wears long false lashes, and two black beauty spots are painted onto her face. It should look affected and yet it doesn't at all. It's part of her.

When I think of internet "celebrities", I think "hunched over monitor", I think "unkempt, delusional" and I think "sense of self that has no bearing on reality". I certainly don't imagine a person who looks just as boldly stunning in person as she does on the Photoshopped pages of her website. But Doe Deere lives this persona utterly, looks the part completely, and is perfectly at home in her fairytale. Her fantasy IS her reality, and is expressed with every inch of her body. She lives her dream. Whether that is a good thing or not is open to question.

From what you've read about her scheming ruthless business practices and underhand blogger-muzzling tactics, you'd probably expect Doe to be something of a diva in the flesh, and for her personality to be as distinctive as her outfit. However not even the most ardent of her detractors could have made that accusation after seeing her at the launch this evening. If anything she's, well... vague, and spaced out. Perfectly nice, pleasant to talk to, but she doesn't make a splash in the room. She's happy to chat, and there's no sense of snootiness or reserve, but she is still somehow quite detatched.

The PRs lining the walls make sure everybody is fed and watered (cupcakes and bubbly) and shepherd us all into trying on the Lime Crime lipsticks and having our pictures taken (a professional photographer has been drafted in, and we're told we'll get the pictures for use on our blogs).

Our own pictures are shown here. 

There's nothing much more to be said about the lipsticks - Temptalia's review (to give a good example) is exhaustive. The colours are bright, but some are lacking finesse - some colours stain the lips and are drying. The tubes are bright pink, the unicorn print is fun but not to everybody's taste. They're probably not worth the £14 Space NK are selling them for, although they're by no means bad lipsticks. The red is lovely. The blue would require serious lip-prepping to look good. I like the orange, but I am probably in the minority.

Nobody at the launch discussed repackaging with Doe. Nobody uttered the words "duct tape dress" or "animal shelter" in her presence. No-one reiterated any of the accusations from the now-infamous Examiner thread.

Maybe we should have taken Doe to task, tried to get some answers for the many fellow bloggers she's upset. But at her own launch? Surely she's entitled to enjoy her own party, and we as guests would be acting pretty shoddily to deliberately make her uncomfortable in that context. And to attack such a mild-mannered, whimsical being just wouldn't have seemed OK, even if we had had the will to. (Maybe that was an intentional effect - I don't know.)

We asked one of Space NK's PRs if they were aware of Lime Crime's reputation online. Yes, was the answer - but it's the products that are important, and the brand itself. Lime Crime's ability to recruit hordes of young fans has a strong appeal, it seems, as Space NK look to branch out to a new demographic of shoppers.

For the many wishing Doe Deere comeuppance for her various reported misdemeanours, note the track record of Space NK's new brands in recent years. We've seen niche ranges launch with a Space NK exclusive, sit on the shelves, and disappear in months. Think Sonia Kashuk brushes. The Lime Crime/Space NK allegiance may too be short-lived.

Only time will tell.
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  1. That was one of the best posts i've read in a long time. I wish i had been there! Time will tell but to be honest i don't case really :) were the cupcakes yummy?

  2. Love it. Totally love it. It's a great peace of honest writing.

  3. Thank you both. The cupcakes were very tasty indeed, and the edible glitter on top added a certain je ne sais quoi to the lipstick finishes.

  4. She sounds actually quite nice in person, and you did a good job of writing a balanced account here. In SpaceNK today an assistant came over and asked if I'd heard about the brand, and I said I had, but mainly negative comments. I suppose out of context of the internet drama, and without the much discussed 'repackaged' shadows, the products will be able to be judged for themselves, and we will see if they last on their own merit.

    The red did look nice in the tube. I guess MAC and Urban Decay have shown there's a market for high-end wacky colours, but at £14 I think they're going to struggle to pull in a younger audience. The last time I wore unusual-coloured lipstick was when I was shopping in Affleck's.

  5. Wonderful write up, completely accurate based on the evening.I'm really interested to see what happens next with the Lime Crime brand in the UK.

  6. Great write-up, I love how you're secretly hoping for the worst ;]

  7. It was hard to belive she could look as gorgeous in real life as she does on her promo stuff so it's great to read first hand accounts! Your write up is brilliant as always.
    As to the product....I haven't seen one set of lips look good in that blue..... x

  8. @Gillian she was nice, very friendly. You can have at the lipsticks I got when you visit next.

    @Beautyjunkieldn thanks, I appreciate you saying so. Let's see what happens...

    @SilhouetteScreams I'm not hoping for the worst so much - I'm just noting all factors.

    @Sparklz and Shine - She is absolutely undeniably beautiful. Like a doll. Thanks for your kind words. Re. the blue, Richie Nickel pulled it off quite well, and also mixed it with black to make a teal colour that matched his eyemakeup, looked good on him.

  9. I really meant I'd never seen it look good as a stand alone colour. I can well believe it looking good mixed with the black...having just watched his video the black looks quite awesome in comparrison. Do you have a link to the teal look, or was that yesterday? x

  10. He wore it alone and with the black too, both cases at the launch. There were MUAs around who were letting/helping us try all the shades in turn. Pics were taken so Richie may well be posting some in the near future - he's mainly on YouTube though. Link here

  11. This is a great post, it's a perfect reflection of the evening. More posts like this, please!

  12. Luciana Costa1 May 2010 at 01:57

    I've just received "My Beautiful Rocket" and "Airbone Unicorn" from the postman this week. I had read (and laughed) many posts about Xenia's practices before, but really wanted to try out the lipsticks.
    I'm not going to buy any Magic Dusts because they are so expensive. I don't know if she really repackages TKB or not, and I never expected her to grab mica from the earth and crush it with her bare hands... but I'd rather buy from Coastal scents than paying for LC eyeshadows, just for the price factor.
    About the lipsticks: I really think the colours she offer are unique, and I REALLY LOVED the ones I bought. Well, I don't have much to add to what has been said about the lippies: they don't work "from tube to lips in one stroke", but that doesn't bother me at all. The formula really is a bit drying and you may get stains in the lips.
    Shipping price to Brazil was OK, but she really should work better her lipstick formula; unfortnately, it's not worth 16 dollars.


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