The Comeback Kid: Will Lime Crime Be Able To Redeem Their Superfoil Shadows?

Published on May 6, 2017 by   ·   No Comments

Ah, Lime Crime.  I feel like I write about them often, and most of the time it’s because I love their products.  I know they are one of those brands people love to hate – seriously, hating Lime Crime has low key almost reached cult status – but most of it is just self-indulgent stupidity and people not understanding how the world works.  If you haven’t checked out my lengthy review of some of the Lime Crime “scandals” of the last few years, I’ll just leave this right HERE.

When I first received the Superfoils (I ordered 4 of the original 6 duos), I RAVED about them.  They were gorgeous and metallic and with only minor application issues, they were almost everything I could have asked for in beautiful metallic eyeshadows.  If you want to check out my rather fawning review, you can do that HERE, and then watch this swatch video that shows just how yummy and delicious these eyeshadows were right out of the package:

It wasn’t too long, however, before trouble appeared on the horizon: people started posting on social media that their shadows had black spots, possibly mold, appearing in the pans.  Others indicated that their shadows smelled like rust.  The internet started going wild, and the Lime Crime Hate Clubs started banging their same old drums.  But despite Lime Crime’s social media posts claiming that the shadows were perfectly safe and that the black spots were just “glycerine bubbles” naturally working their way out of the product, the shadows were soon pulled from the website (and right after 4 new duos were launched – I think it was only a matter of days, but I could be wrong).

I only ever used one of the Superfoils in my actual makeup: last August when I appeared in Hairspray, I used the purple shade Tutu to jazz up Edna’s makeup for the Corny Collins Show finale scene.  I remember it being a little fussy to work with, but the payoff on my lids was perfection.  After the show closed, and once I started seeing all of these reports of possible mold and rust, I gave them a quick once over, noted some problems of my own, and tucked them away in a drawer with plans to do my own follow up post.

That post never happened (obvi) and probably never would have if I hadn’t been shopping on Lime Crime’s website recently and seen this:

Foil 01

Reformulating, you say?  I was fairly certain that this was a product that would quietly disappear into the shameful and dark corners of cosmetic history, destined never to be spoken of again except by the anti-LC cultists.  But right there on the website in living color was a claim that they were working on the formula and would be bringing it back.  I was intrigued – I really did love the color selection, and the one that I used was bomb – but I wasn’t sure if they’d be able to successfully resurrect this messy and problematic product.

First of all, let’s talk about what the problems with the shadows were:

First, the product contained glycerine which, in and of itself, is not a problem.  Glycerine is sometimes used in cosmetic products and its not unsafe, but it has a tendency to drawn moisture to itself.  This is a problem when you consider another ingredient featured in many of the shades in this collection: Iron Oxides.  When something rusts, super smart sciencey people call that process “oxidation.”  So while Iron Oxides are used as pigments in cosmetics, it’s not a super great life choice to combine them with glycerine, a product that draws in moisture, in a product that is designed specifically to be used wet.  The video below talks a bit about the Iron Oxides and shows some of the pans with the shadow removed (foreshadowing for my own shots, which I’ll include below!):

Second, they compounded this problem by putting the product in tin pans.  Tin is a cheaper option for cosmetic pans and is used often, but it rusts easily so again it makes it a bad choice for something that includes glycerine, which will draw in moisture from the surrounding air.  Many people reported that the mirrors in their compacts were foggy, a sign that the glycerine was drawing in moisture that was then condensing on the mirror’s surface; my compacts had varying degrees of this condensation as well.

Finally, as you will see below that there are some shades that seem to be reacting to something – the tin pan? the moisture? the glycerine? – and causing problems with the integrity of the shadows.  I’ll being going more in depth with all of the shades below, but the worst of the worst in the ones I had was Malibu, the bright blue shade, which turned a greenish color.

In order to see how mine were affected, I decided to scrape all of the product out of the pans (usually called de-potting, but that doesn’t feel particularly accurate as I had NO intention of keeping and using this product given the problems that I was seeing!) and document any of the problems I found.  First, let’s start by looking at the shadows in the pans.

Foil 18Foil 15The images above show the ten duos that were released (like I said previously, I’m not sure how many of the second batch actually went out to customers, because I remembering it being pretty soon after that second wave was released – like maybe a few days – before everything was “sold out” on the website and they were no longer available).  I haven’t really seen any videos on YouTube where people got any of the four “second wave” duos: Lucid/Dream, Squad/Goals, Crystal/Halo, and Miami/Gator, so it’s possible that they pulled them before many/any went out?  In the promo pics, all is right with the world.  Now let’s look at some of the problems:


Foil 04

This one is probably the most concerning to me, because the problems with the blue shade, Malibu, can’t really be chalked up to the pans rusting.  There seems to be something wrong with the shadow itself that has caused it to take on a greenish tinge.  If you look carefully along the bottom of the pan divider, you can see the greenish color, and that continues all the way around the border of the pan.  Along the edges, there are also several small black spots (less pronounced than in other shades, but still there).  The color change is even more evident once I scraped the product out of the pan:

LC 19

While the greenish color seemed to be limited to the border of the pan, once you scrape out you can see that it was affecting a great deal of the product throughout the pan.  The pink shade has a similar discoloration, though in this case it just has a sort of blackish tinge to it and it isn’t as prevalent as in the blue (you can see it best int he upper middle to upper right in the pile of product).

LC 18

LC 21

The blue pan appears to have a small amount of rust/discoloration while the pink has little to none.  There is a medium amount of condensation on the mirror.  Given the discoloration of both shadows, I would be very nervous to use either of these anywhere on my face but especially on the eyes.  There has been some sort of reaction here and although it doesn’t seem to have the problems with rust or black spots that other shadows have, there is still clearly a problem here.


Foil 09

This one is the hardest to talk about; my obsession with green makeup is well-documented and this is legit the perfect shade of metallic green shadow that I have always searched for.  It’s lovely, it’s pigmented…and it’s got black nastiness happening all around the edges of the pan.  The black spots occur in several places on the pans for both Lawn and Flamingo and the shadow seemed to harden a bit in the pan.  The mirror had a little bit of condensation, not a lot.  Here’s how the shadows looked out of the pans:

LC 14Lawn, overall, didn’t look too bad coming out of the pan, except for that weird piece you can see in the upper right corner: it’s sort of silvery black and came out in a long, flat chunk.  Only mild discoloration, but with that and the black spots it was enough to convince me that this lawn needed to be mowed – right out of my collection.  Sorry, that was a bad attempt at a pun.  I’m still in shock at the loss of this gorgeous green!

LC 13Overall, not really any discoloration except for the black bits that were scattered throughout.  You can see some minors spots where the color has clearly changed, especially in the far upper left of the pile as well as the upper right, but not as bad as some of the others.  But the black dots (which don’t look like anything that should be called something whimsical like “glycerine bubbles”) are definitely a concern.


Foil 10

I’m happy to say that this compact seems to be the least impacted by any of the problems described in any of the YouTube videos and in this post; I’m happy to say that, because this is the only one I’ve actually used on my face, and I used it pretty much nightly for two weeks!  It’s in somewhat rough shape, because of that heavy use, and you can see that the pink has started to break apart a bit and is spreading into the purple pan, but I didn’t see any evidence of black spots, discoloration, rusted edges, etc.  When I scooped out both shades, the piles of product looked reassuringly uniform.  I guess I got lucky that my end of show gown was purple!

LC 12LC 10

This one also had the least amount of condensation – the mirror was practically untouched.  I really do feel lucky, because some of what I was seeing in these shadows was downright nasty – and the nastiest of all what what I found in the next compact.


Foil 02

I really thought this one might turn out to be OK – there weren’t any clear discolorations just looking at the pan, no black bubbles, no greenish color changes.  The mirror had the most condensation of the group, but with no outward evidence to suggest problems, I had hope.  What I saw when I scraped out the pan, though…oh hell.

LC 15

I had the hardest time getting all of the product out of these; on the pink side, the color seemed stuck to the bottom, but I could immediately see and smell rust.  I’ll show a picture a little further down where I show all of the pans after washing them out, but I’ll tell you now – it wasn’t pretty!

LC 17Because this shade started out as a more muted pink, it’s hard to tell the change in this photograph, but there’s a lot of black pieces floating around in here as well as little bits of reddish rust from where I scraped the pan.  The pink also seems to have faded a bit from its original hue.

LC 16The gold also started off with a darker undertone so it’s hard to notice all of the little black flecks in it, but you can see some of the discoloration in the middle bottom of this picture where the gold has turned a sort of muddy brown.

Here are the pans, once I washed out the excess product.

LC 05

The three in the back had minor problems – some discoloration here or there, product that was stuck in the corners or along edges – but the compact in front, Electric/Barbarella, showed significant rust.  The gold pan also had some rusty spots, especially in corners.

This whole experience has really left me with a bad taste in my mouth – the worst part, of course, being that I scraped $72 dollars worth of eyeshadow (each duo retailed for $18) onto a piece of paper and then threw it away.  A moment of silence please for our fallen friends:

LC 26

So why revisit these products and the well-documented problems almost 10 months later?  Because I really do hope that Lime Crime can get their shit together and reformulate these shadows so that they look beautiful, perform well, and won’t be toxic when applied to some of the most delicate and sensitive skin on the human body.  These metallic shadows were like the technicolor dreams I had when I first dove into to being a fabulous drag performer.

I still have hope that Lime Crime can turn this ship around, and the fact that they are still advertising these shadows on their site this long after they were pulled suggests to me that they really are trying to save this product.  They could have easily pulled the page down and pretended like this fiasco never happened, but they didn’t.  Now we just have to see if they can truly deliver on that project.  I’m wishing them luck…but I’m also not holding my breath.

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!


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