Let's talk about Lime Crime. Arguably the most controversial indie beauty brand of all time, this label has been accused of so much wrongdoing there are entire online communities dedicating to taking it down.

But is this cause really worth it? Read up on everything it's been accused of and decide for yourself.


Shortly after launching Lime Crime in 2007, founder and owner Doe Deere (legally Xenia Vorotova) dressed as Adolf Hitler for Halloween.

There is no documentation of her apologizing for this costume (which is offensive even by 2007 standards), by the way. She deleted the image itself from the blog long ago, but not before the internet got its hands on it and spread it like wildfire.


Lime Crime is frequently accused of repackaging products, and then denying it.

In Lime Crime's early days, the small and dedicated beauty blogging community began to notice the brand's eye shadow pigments were nearly identical to that of wholesale retailer TKB Trading. While it's very common for brands to sell wholesale products in its own packaging for a higher price, Lime Crime denied all claims of repackaging. In fact, Deere allegedly uploaded a YouTube video in 2009 showing her "hands-on" developments process, but she deleted it shortly thereafter.

This continues to happen in 2017 — multiple Instagram users have noticed Lime Crime's new mermaid brushes appeared on Ali Express before Lime Crime had even announced its collection.


Lime Crime has threatened legal action against countless influential bloggers who have made these claims or criticize the brand in other ways.

lime crime lipstick
photo: Lime Crime

In 2009, a beauty blogger known as Le Gothique claimed she was legally threatened by the brand, with Lime Crime demanding she remove her negative review and replace it with a provided apology. There are many other unverifiable claims from bloggers stating Lime Crime sent them cease and desist letters.

But in 2014, Lime Crime sued Michelle Jascynski, who runs Doe Deere lies — a blog dedicated to providing receipts for Lime Crime's alleged wrongdoings — for damages totaling $250,000 on the basis of copyright infringement and defamation. The suit had no legal grounds and was dismissed.


The brand even allegedly sent a critic's personal email address to customers in a newsletter.

In an interview with Racked, Christine of the very popular blog Temptalia recalled this experience: "I wasn't impressed with a lot of shades, so it wasn't a glowing review. Lime Crime sent out an email to their customers and gave out my personal email address and asked customers to email me and tell me how great their lipsticks were."


In 2012, Lime Crime released the culturally appropriative China Doll palette, the imagery for which used a white model wearing Japanese garments.



And in her apology, brand founder Doe Deere (aka Xenia) apologized — while calling cultural appropriation "a little silly."

"What is cultural appropriation anyway?" she wrote on her blog. "To summarize, it’s the borrowing of certain cultural elements by another cultural group. To be honest, I find the notion a little silly. Not all that pertains to race has to be racist, just like not every cultural reference has to be met with opposition. What matters is intent. As an artist and a human being, I have the right to be inspired by and wanting to explore, adapt, and otherwise express myself through things I find wonderful."


Customers lost amounts of money up to $10,000 due to Lime Crime's 2014 server hack.

This occurred thanks to a compromised SSL certificate, which allows the secure passing of customer information on web browsers. The brand denied the certificate's hacking for months before finally addressing the issue.

A multitude of Instagram and Reddit users still claim they've never been refunded.


Lime Crime failed to email its customers immediately following the hack and opted for an Instagram post instead.

"Thank you for bearing with us as we further investigate the recent hacker attack on our site," read one of Lime Crime's now-deleted update posts. "We know it's important to keep you in the loop! Many of you are wondering why we didn't disclose this earlier. The simple answer is: we didn't have any solid facts and couldn't see the magnitude of the situation. Based on just a handful of early complaints, we immediately initiated an investigation. It wasn't until very recently that a cyber forensics company retained by us found malicious software placed on our servers by hackers. Please know that as soon as we had more solid information, we shared it with you promptly and openly."


The FDA investigated Lime Crime in 2015 for including potentially toxic ingredients in its Velvetine ingredient list.

lime crime scandals
photo: Lime Crime

The warning letter requested that Lime Crime explain the reasoning for its Velvetine formula listing the ingredients ferric ferrocyanide and ultramarine. Lime Crime publicly attributed it to an unfortunate labeling error, and was cleared by the FDA after correcting the ingredient list.


Although Lime Crime has always claimed to be vegan and cruelty-free, customers have noted beeswax and other animal byproducts in its lipstick formulas in the past.

Several bloggers documented Lime Crime's non-vegan ingredients mysteriously disappearing from its website in 2014 and still question whether or not those ingredients still remain in the formula itself.


Lime Crime could not secure a booth at IMATS LA 2016, most likely due to a #BoycottLimeCrime petition with more than 12,600 signatures.

"We humbly implore anyone who feels the same way to sign a petition stating they will be boycotting all of Limecrime's products from now on, and not attending or supporting IMATS/IMATS NYC if Limecrime is to be given a booth," plead the petition.


After launching Super Foil eyes shadows in late 2016, numerous customers discovered rust and/or mold at the bottom of their shadow pans.

According to several Instagram users' screenshots, customer service claimed the mold appearing on the shadow's surface was merely due to water and shadow pigment creating "bubbles."


Instagram users have accused the brand's account of editing the photos it acquires directly from bloggers.

You can find multiple instances of the editing here.


Just a few weeks ago, Lime Crime's official Instagram account posted and deleted a photo of what appeared to be a real person's Hello Kitty coffin.

The post, which was deleted mere minutes after it was posted, read, "Bury me in #HelloKitty. #WhatAWayToGo."