Have You Heard? Lime Crime Has Two New Venus Palettes!

Published on July 9, 2018 by   ·   2 Comments

Although they don’t always get the credit that’s due them (mostly because of the cult of hate that’s grown up around this controversial indie brand – for more on that, check out my 2016 post about the brand HERE), the Venus 1 and 2 palettes from Lime Crime were game changers.  People refer back to Modern Renaissance as the start of the craze for warm neutral palettes with a red/brown focus, but check it – Lime Crime had them beat with the Venus 1 palette by a year or two.  And if you were quaking for the 90s grunge of the Subculture palette from ABH, take a quick look at the Venus 2 palette – that mustard yellow, that burnt orange, and the overall vibe are very similar to the ABH palette, and Lime Crime did it first.

Lime 01

I’m planning to pick up those palettes at some point and do a review, but Lime Crime recently went back to their Venus line with two new options.  First up was the Venus XL, a larger size palette with 18 shades pretty firmly rooted in those warm neutrals that have been everywhere the last couple of years.  A couple of months later, they debuted the Venus 3 palette, another 8 shade palette with pastel pinky-purple vibes.  We’ll get into this more below, but my first impression with these two palettes is that Lime Crime has gone from setting trends to chasing them.

I played around with them and swatched them before I left for Days of the Dead Indianapolis, but I also decided to bring both palettes along to put together a soft, vintage feminine look for a photo shoot with Brooklyn Ewing from Dirt Candy productions.  Look for that gallery coming soon, but here’s a sneak peek:

Miss Jaye
I did end up using one shade from Venus XL (Goddess), but mostly stuck with the Venus 3 as it’s a little cooler in tone and stuck closer to the look I wanted to create.  From the Venus 3 palette, I used most of the shades: Dreamy, Heavenly, Rapture, Ecstasy, Bliss, and Beloved.  The other two shades are gorgeous, but they just were a little too purple for the look of the shoot.

Let’s dive into the Venus 3:

Lime 02
This palette is gorgeous – but so was the Backtalk palette from Urban Decay.  Although these are a little bit brighter and more vivid (Lime Crime’s signature), the color story is very similar to that and isn’t anything really new or ground-breaking.  That’s not a bad thing…necessarily.  But Venus 1 and 2 were so ahead of the game, it’s hard to see this new palette come out almost 6 months after Urban Decay launched a very similar color collection.  This collection is great, and the quality is wonderful, but it’s definitely not going to cause any big waves in the industry.

Lime 04
L to R: Dreamy, Beam, Heavenly, Rapture

Dreamy is a matte shade that’s a medium pink, not too bubblegummy, but not too brown.  It’s a perfect “dusty rose” kind of pink.  It should be noted that the formula and feel in both of these palettes can vary widely from shade to shade, but overall, the mattes feel much drier than a lot of other shadows – you won’t be using the word “buttery” to describe most of these!  Beam is a lavender metallic shimmer, and Heavenyl is a champagne metallic shimmer.  These are pretty intensely pigmented; I wouldn’t say they are quite on the level with, say, Juvia’s Place, but they are still really good!  Rapture is a pearly light peach shadow that has some shimmer but stays pretty subtle.  All of them swatch out really well, and I didn’t have any trouble using any of these on my lids with a brush while doing my look for the shoot.

Lime 05
L to R: Ecstasy, Paradise, Bliss, Beloved

Ecstacy is a lovely mid-toned toffee brown, nothing super special, but a good solid option for matte transitions or for smoking out a lower lash line.  Paradise is a fuchsia shade with lots of blue flash, giving it a strong purple sort of presence.  In fact, it looks pretty much purple in the pan, it’s when you swatch it that you see that actual color.  Bliss is similar to Dreamy, but warmed up and with some subtle shimmer.  It’s a coral sort of shade that is a nice, solid-performance matte.  Beloved is a cool brown metallic shimmer.  These have the same great quality as the first row, but tend to be a bit deeper and offer you some dimension in the looks you create.

To warm things up a little bit, here’s the Venus XL palette:

Lime 03

The Venus XL palette….what to say about this color story.  On the one hand, it seems to be a bit of a rehash of the Modern Renaissance (ironic, since the Modern Renaissance clearly takes some nods to Venus 1 in its color story) with some of the highlights of the Too Faced Peachy Mattes palette and Huda Beauty’s Rose Gold thrown in for good measure.  Obviously, those of us who are obsessed with the beauty world have seen everything 100 times over so it’s hard for anything to feel 100% fresh, but this seems to be a clear mishmash of those inspirations.  It’s not bad, and the colors are lovely, but the overall effect just feels a little uninspired.

Lime 08
L to R: Eden, Love, Passion, Fresca, Inspire, Idolized

Eden is a lovely red/brown hybrid that has a subtle sort of shimmer that I really like.  Love is a bright metallic copper brown and it is super smooth and emollient.  Passion is a bright, blue-toned red that looks like the cranberry color in Modern Renaissance…how the worm has turned!  Fresca is a light taupe that is cool-toned and a little inconsistent, though not unsalvageable.  It’s one of the driest shadows in the palette, and also one of the most finicky.  Inspire is a bright maroon metallic that isn’t the type of shade I normally gravitate toward…but it makes me wish I did.  Idolized is sort of a light baby poop tan brown (remember the light brown M&M’s that they got rid of?  It’s like that!

Lime 07
L to R: Aphrodite, Nu Classic, Burnt Gold, Flora, Scallop, Celestial

Aphrodite is a deep maroon matte that swatches a little patched but is fairly easy to manipulate and blend with a brush.  Nu Classic is a metallic coffee brown and the shimmer is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.  Burnt Gold is another matte, though this one almost looks like it has a sort of satin finish.  Same with Flora, a bright peachy coral matte.  Scallop is a lighter shell pink, and was another shade with some patchy issues that weren’t as easy to blend away with abrush.  Celestial seems like a matte with glitter in it; I don’t know why people keep thinking that’s a good idea, but here it is.  I didn’t notice a ton of fallout from the glitter, but I haven’t given this a full wear test.

Lime 06
L to R: Ethereal, Triumph, Supreme, Blank Canvas, Boticelli, Goddess

Ethereal is the only shade that really counts as a duochrome in this collection, and it’s subtle.  It’s a light beigey pink base with pink/orange reflects.  It’s pretty, but not terribly unique.  Triumph is another bright, matte red with a blue base.  Supreme is an interesting cool brown that almost turns a little plum – this is one of my favorites, even if I am a little intimidated by it!  Blank Canvas is that basic bone shade for an underbrow highlight.  Ugh.  It’s fine, and it swatches well and blends with a brush, but it’s total basic bitch starter kit.  C’mon Lime Crime – you can do better than that!  Boticelli is a deep wine matte that also seems to get a sort of satin finish as you build it.  Goddess is a slightly darker take on the shade Dreamy from the other palette (or I guess Dreamy is a lighter take on this, since technically this palette came out first?), a pretty shade but not entirely necessary if you’re buying both palettes.

So what’s the verdict?  On their own merits, these are great palettes.  A few of the mattes feel drier than a lot of us have come to expect these days, but they generally blend out well and look lovely alone and blended together.  A couple were a little patchy, but could be worked with; there were no just full on junk shades that I couldn’t work with.  I really like the quality – Lime Crime has once again (or maybe I should say twice again?!) delivered palettes that have amazing and workable formulas with vivid, pigmented colors.

What’s disappointing is the color stories.  The Venus 1 and 2 were way ahead of the game, and it’s terrible that Lime Crime doesn’t get the credit they deserve for helping to kick off those trends.  These new palettes are lovely, and the colors are pretty and will work well for a lot of people, but they just aren’t anything we aren’t already seeing in the current cosmetics market.  Even if there is nothing new under the sun, as some people argue, Lime Crime could give us a new interpretation of something that could become the next trend.  Instead, they’re giving us more of what we already have a lot (enough?!) of.

What do you think: are you dying for these colors?  Are they everything you ever dreamed of?  Or are they going to stay off your list because you’ve already got plenty of dupes.  Do you like the color stories Lime Crime is putting out?  If there was a Venus 4, what color story should they tell to push things in new directions?

I love Lime Crime’s shadows, and I’m generally a big fan of the brand, as they keep coming up with high quality releases and innovative formulas.  Now if they can just keep their concepts and color stories just as clutch as their technical execution, they can continue to be one of the hottest and on trend indie brands in the market right now.  Sadly, these two palettes won’t be pushing them in that direction.  Even the goddess of love couldn’t get us to completely lose our hearts over these palettes…

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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Readers Comments (2)
  1. Brida says:

    I LOVE the Venus palettes. I’ve had 1 & 2 for quite a while and adore them. Just before XL & 3 came out I started designing what I wanted 3 to look like, fully assuming there never would be one as 1&2 had been around forever with no sniff of a new sister. And it looked VERY much like how it ended up looking, just with a blue/white duochrome like the shade NY in the Violet Voss x Nicol Concilio Palette (palette is worth it for that amazing shadow – a perfect melting into skin buttery highlighter and shadow – no glitter just GLOW) and a cool light greige. Basically my dream palette is Kylie’s Purple Palette + Venus 3 + NY from Nicol palette, set out like an 18 pan Huda palette. My Venus 3 should be here any day now and I will swatch my frankenpalette to see how it looks in person (in mica?). And with that, ive just invented a new series for my IG – Frankenpalettes! I passed on XL tho, I’m bored of those colors and I already have Venus 1 (like how I don’t want Kylie’s Bronze Extended as I have Bronze – it reminds me of when people still bought CDs and artists would do similar shit to us) plus it looks just like J* Blood Sugar in every way. I’m now extra excited for my V3 and mentally constructing more Frankenpalettes…..

    • JanessaJaye says:

      I love Frankenpalettes! lol I haven’t written the post about it yet (just the intro post a while back) but I recently did my first ever custom palette, using Coastal Scents singles and inspired by Friday the 13th! I’m still working out how I’m going to do the actual palette decoration, but once I have that done a post will be soon to follow!

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