I’ve said this a million times before, but let’s make this a million and one: Lime Crime doesn’t get enough credit for starting the craze of reddish-toned warm neutral palettes. Yes, Modern Renaissance has become a staple of every makeup maven’s collection and so many brands and influencers use it as a touchpoint for describing other products, but Lime Crime created the more vibrant and saturated Venus 1 palette more than a year before the Modern Renaissance and was way ahead of that trend. In fact, I also think Subculture is a clear descendant of the equally iconic Venus 2. Love the brand or hate them, you should still give credit where credit is due. Thank you for coming to my TedTalk.
Now, things derailed for the collection a bit with the Venus 3; instead of creating trends, they were chasing them, with the Venus 3’s pinky/mauve/lavender color story coming out after similar products like the Urban Decay Backtalk palette. Not long ago, the Venus Vivid palette dropped (you can check my review of that palette HERE) and while it was fun, it was also right in with the current trend of rainbow and neon palettes that have been coming for a while now. I’m going to ignore the Venus XL and XS paletets for now; I have all but one of them (the newest XS palette from the summer collection), and while I think there were some interesting things there, nothing was ground-breaking. In fact, I was convinced that Lime Crime had lost their ability to be ahead of the curve when they announced another addition – and apparently the finale! – to the Venus collection: Venus Immortalis.
This color story is so different than what we’re seeing right now (except for a very similar palette from the UK brand Makeup Obsession) and I think it’s actually really brilliant to have this one follow so closely on the heels of Venus Vivid: there are a million rainbow, neon, and brights palettes that have flooded the market the last couple of years, and Lime Crime’s was just one of those palettes. It was ok, but it didn’t stand out, it didn’t feel unique or particularly special, and it just seemed to be one of the pack.
But to immediately follow up with this palette is actually really unexpected. It’s kind of a neutral palette, but not the kind of neutral palettes we’ve been seeing. Usually brands release some beige-y brown mess (often with that ubiquitous pop of blue or teal) that looks like a million other things, and if there is anything cool-toned there is one sort of taupe shade. This is cool-toned neutral perfection. It’s gray and taupe and silvery and just really, really beautiful with a few surprises are you go through the shades. As with the Venus Vivid, the formula is a little inconsistent, and I did get almost instant hard pan with a couple of the shades (more details below with the swatches), but I’ve never been as inspired by a neutral palette as I was swatching this palette!
Swatches are done over the Crayon Case Glue Stick eye primer with a finger swatch on the left and a brush swatch on the right. The top photo is my studio lighting with no flash, and the bottom photo is the same lighting with a flash.
L to R: Unseen, Echo, Moth, Marble
Unseen is a matte black that was only so so with a finger swatch and developed hard pan when I used my finger, but the brush swatch is deep and black and absolutely beautiful. I never recommend using a finger for mattes unless they just refuse to work any other way, so keep your fingers out of it and you will be fine! It is pretty intense, so if you like a more blendable, sooty black this might be a bit much for you, but I love it. Echo is a taupe sort of champagne shimmer with a very silvery reflect. It was smooth and applied beautifully. Moth was the big surprise and I love it! Easily my favorite shade in the palette. In the pan it looks like a plain gray, maybe just the tiniest bit mauve-toned. But when you apply it, there is this lavendar-pink duochrome shift to it that is really subtle but pretty. It’s not a wham of color or pigment and may need a little building, but the color is absolutely gorgeous. Marble is a white shade with some pretty intense sparkle. I did get a little bit of hard pan with this one, but overall it was pretty good and the white base is almost as good as my old ride or die white, Tako by SugarPill.
L to R: Unveil, Ash, Hail, Cameo
Unveil is a deep blackened burgundy matte. It’s very pretty, just enough red to make it interesting but still totally cool-toned and amazing. Ash was the biggest problem in the palette. It got hard pan when I looked at it funny. The brush swatch turned out OK (if a little patchy and inconsistent), but the finger swatch was pathetic. See that swatch up there? That’s with three coats, and I scraped the pan before the last pass to try and break up the hard pan. I’m not sure why this shade is such a pain in the ass, but it’s a dud for me. Hail is a gorgeous silvery shade, like brushed nickel but still metallic and shimmery. Cameo is the sort of shade I usually hate, the ubiquitous bone shade for brow highlight or whatever, but this one fits the color story perfectly. I think the fact that they went full cool-toned with this shade saves it from being just your average beige or cream shade. It’s a true bleached bone shade and I love it.
Even though this is very neutral, I love that the cool-toned color story and the selection of colors is just elegant and refined. If you’re not inspired, let me show you a cut crease that Lime Crime reposted on Instagram, originally done by @rubina_muartistry.
I mean, shut the front door. I’m terrible at cut creases and they frustrate the fuck out of me – but this look is exactly why I try! I think it’s smoky and sophisticated, and I just wish that I could make my garbage clown face look like this!
And can we talk about the packaging? Most of the Venus palettes use the same image of the goddess Venus done up in a different punk rock color combo to represent (or only barely hint at – I’m looking at YOU, Venus XL 2!) the color story of the palette. For Venus Vivids, they redid the image to look like neon tubing. For this one, they went more classical: a marble statue with a seashell background and silver embossing.
They also added a gimmick to the palette packaging that is…kinda cool, maybe? But also totally useless. The Venus image on the front and also the cardboard piece that the pans are set into are both glow in the dark.
I mean, I love glow in the dark stuff as much as the next queen, but when are you ever even going to see this. The cover maybe, but who’s going to sit in their makeup room in the dark opening and closing a palette to see it glow? And you would have had to have opened it and set it near a light to let it absorb for a while. I mean…she cute, but she real dumb. But sometimes we love dumb and cute, right? It’s a fun little quirk, and the palette is good enough that I’m willing to forgive this frivolous addition.
What are your thoughts? Are you living for these shades? Are you ready for the cool-toned revolution?! Are you sad to see the Venus collection come to an end, or are you hoping they bring it back? Have you recreated that amazing cut crease yet? Tell me all your thoughts in the comments!
Personally, if they are bringing the Venus collection to a close, I’m sad but I’m glad they did it with something like this: they are back to leading the trends instead of following them. People have been asking for cool-toned palettes for a while, and brands act like the only way to do a cool-toned palette is just to go blue, blue, and more blue! Here is a stunning cool-toned neutral palette with not a single blue shade, and I think we’re going to start seeing color stories like this a lot more in 2020. So when ABH put’s out their cool-toned neutral version and everyone loses their shit, don’t forget that you saw it here first!