*This is probably the last post I’ll make on this subject here. I just wanted to publish this timeline outside of tumblr. I am continuing to write about Xenia and Lime Crime over on tumblr at Oh Dear Doe Deere. See you there!*
Reposted with permission, the links are not clickable at the moment, but I’m working on it.
Doe Deere & Lime Crime: A Sordid History
Last updated: September 16th, 2013
Disclaimer: This timeline was created to highlight the longstanding and problematic business practices of Lime Crime. Most of the content presented here was noted or discussed by other bloggers, LiveJournal users, people commenting on the Examiner thread, Doe Deere Blogazine posts etc. and I do not take credit for creating their contents. Links to original posts and sources are included for the sake of crediting the original authors. If there is an error in this content or how it was sourced, please contact me directly at doedeerelies [at] gmail [dot] com.
Xenia begins selling DIY clothing on eBay under the moniker Thunderwear!.
October – Xenia opens the invite-only LiveJournal community LittleBigGirls to create a community for DIY eBay designers to advertise their auctions.
Xenia releases a CD “I Belive in Fairytales” with her band SkySalt. She also begins hosting events to promote her band.
Xenia changes the name of her eBay store to Lime Crime and begins friendship with Amy Doan, who sells clothing on eBay under the moniker Shrinkle. Some of Xenia’s designs seem to be influenced by Amy’s designs and color palettes. She also launches her own website, limecrime.net, to promote her new line of DIY clothing and discusses dropping out of FIT to pursue her music career.
April – Xenia threatens to sue a 13 year old girl over how she credited her images and then the MeanestBastard community takes her to task with how she dealt with the entire ordeal.
A majority of the members of the Little Big Girls group leave. MissMeganMaude, a former member of the LittleBigGirls group, writes a blog post highlighting how Xenia ran the LGB group and how she would attack other DIY designers personally if she didn’t like them. Amy comments on Megan’s post letting her know she disagrees with Xenia’s actions.
May – Amy’s comments in another MeanestBastard post seem to suggest her friendship with Xenia is over due to how she treats other people.
Lime Crime the clothing line shuts down and Xenia focuses on her make up tutorials and begins selling repackaged glitter on her website. Her personal style changes from bold and bright colors to soft and feminine pastels as her website relaunches. She briefly returns to making clothing, relaunching with a collection called “A Little Country for an Urban Girl” , but many of her designs appeared to be heavily influenced by her friend Supayana’s work and Marc Jacobs’ Spring/Summer 2005 collection.
Xenia also starts reselling children’s party favor heart shaped glasses as if they were adult sized ones for $14.
January – Xenia begins holding raffle contests for prizes like a stuffed unicorn and a jewelry box.During the first raffle, the entrants money supposedly go to a local animal shelter despite no specific shelter name being mentioned.
April – Xenia says she raised $200 in a raffle for “The Brooklyn Shelter” during her second raffle; however, no animal shelter exists in New York City under that name. Her PayPal account is reported when the facts don’t add up.
May – Xenia’s PayPal account is suspended due to the fraudulent charity raffles.
July – Xenia posts a blog explaining that she only resold a fur coat because it was her mom’s and that she still will continue to wear furs she owns. She also begins supporting the charity Bid-A-Wee.
October – Xenia relaunches her music career under the pseudonym Doe Deere.
November – Xenia writes about teaching children not to be cruel to animals and not supporting the clubbing of seals; the blog post has a very different attitude toward fur and animal rights than her previous post in July.
Xenia begins promoting her single “SF Disco”, declaring it a “gay anthem” and describes how alluring she finds gay men in heavily stereotyped terms to shamelessly self-promote herself as a new gay icon:
“While on the subject, let me say something I’ve been wanting to say for a long time. I love gay men. It’s mutual – every single one that I’d met so far has been so incredibly nice to me. Gay men are mysterious creatures… Usually big on pop culture, they have immaculate taste and tend to latch onto artists of big talents and with big futures (Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Cher, Bjork). Simply put, gay men know good shit and do not tolerate crap. Which is why it is so amazing for me to have their support in this… Writing a song is the least I can do. Really, guys. Thank you for being the way you are and bringing color into the world.”
February – Xenia continues promoting her music and decides to go by the name Doe Deere primarily.
August – Xenia relaunches her livejournal blog as Doe Deere Blogazine and begins doing makeup tutorials again.
October – Lime Crime Makeup officially launches
The original collection features eye shadow, glitter, blush, primers, and brushes. Prices range from $12.00 USD to $25.00 USD.
November – Xenia reposts an old image of herself dressed as Hitler in a Halloween retrospective post (image since removed, viewable here).
Doe Deere Blogazine continues to feature new tutorials, outfits of the day, and editorial pieces. Xenia also gets interviewed quite frequently about her music and make up line.
August – The repackaging of TKB micas by various companies breaks in the indie cosmetics blogging community; Anastasia of Lipsticks and Lightsabers writes a blog post comparing the Lime Crime magic dusts to TKB and Beauty From The Earth micas, supporting the claim that Lime Crime’s products were repackaged. Lime Crime responds by claiming that TKB is copying their products despite TKB’s line of pop micas existed before Lime Crime had even launched as a cosmetics company. Beauty From The Earth later confirms that they had repackaged said micas directly from TKB and would label them as such along with discontinuing the practice.
September – Jessica Allison compares TKB micas, Lime Crime eye dusts, and eyeshadows from other companies on her blog. The swatches she provided again suggest that Lime Crime’s eye dusts were repackaged TKB mica and provides the price per ounce breakdown that shows how inflated Lime Crime’s prices are.
October – Lime Crime lipsticks launch
Lillian Low discusses her earlier experience with Lime Crime as a fashion label. Her mother purchased a dress from Lime Crime that was poorly hemmed with gaffers tape and when the dress was posted to MeanestBastard, Xenia then calls Lillian’s mother an “asshole” for purchasing something with such shoddy workmanship.
The Examiner Article “Is It A Crime to Look This Good?: Lime Crime Makeup” is published and it soon becomes a forum to discuss all things related to the repackaging scandal anonymously.
The Mineral Make Up Mutiny (now defunct) launches and the make-up blogger community begins demanding more transparency about repackaging.
November – The news of the repackaging scandal continues to spread and a member of a make-up LiveJournal community calls Xenia out for having re-sold basic glitter for an inflated price when she first began doing makeup tutorials.
A gallery of comparison swatches between Lime Crime and TKB mica is posted to the Examiner thread, providing strong evidence that at least some of the eye dusts are repackaged TKB.
LeGothique posts a review of Lime Crime’s lipsticks, which results in Xenia threatening to sue her for defamation and eventually forces her to retract her original review and post an apology.
In response to the blog posts and comments about the repackaging scandal, Xenia writes a blog post and makes a video speaking out about her “haters”. While the post has been deleted from her blog, it is still available here via the Internet Wayback Machine. The post claims speaking out against Lime Crime’s customer service and requesting refunds via PayPal are fraudulent and she will not stand for it. Her post also encourages her fans to use social networks and blogging to refute these claims on her behalf against the “bullies”. The comments under the blog post also show that Xenia was actively censoring certain comments from fans disappointed in her actions and wanting more transparency from Lime Crime.
In the meantime, Afrobella interviews Xenia about the on-going controversy. Xenia denies all wrong doing; the comments on the post highlight that Lime Crime does not allow returns and that there are multiple sources confirming similarities between TKB micas and Lime Crime magic dusts.
Lillian Low responds to the “haters” video by saying that not everyone is lying and her experience with Lime Crime/Thunderwear! shows plenty of reason for people to criticize her customer service.
December – A Youtube beauty vlogger, proudchapina, posts a video criticizing Lime Crime’s eye dusts for underperformance and the size of the jars she received not containing the amount of product they were advertised to hold. Two days after posting the first video and receiving legal threats from Lime Crime along and racist attacks from Lime Crime fans she made this response video.
In collecting information for the “Lime Crime: A History” post, someone comments on the post saying that she was sold child sized sunglasses marketed as high-end designer glasses. When confronted over this, Xenia blames the buyer for not asking questions before making her purchase. No refund or return was offered to the buyer.
January – Ana from Lipstick and Lightsabers writes a wonderful post explaining all the repackaging drama and discusses Lime Crime’s legal action toward Grey of LeGothique for her review of their lipsticks.
Lillian Low blogs/vlogs comparisons between TKB micas and Lime Crime magic dusts, giving further proof that the eye dusts are merely repackaged mica.
February – Xenia congratulates Amy on the launch of Sugarpill via twitter.
Soon after Sugarpill Cosmetics launches an anonymous poster on the Examiner thread claims Sugarpill is simply repackaged LaFemme and supplies links to a Flickr account named princessmoth with pictures as evidence. Another anonymous user on the Examiner thread makes note of identical features between the camera details of princessmoth’s pictures and Xenia’s from her public Lime Crime flickr account, most notably that the camera date was set to 2027. The identical Exif details from the flickr accounts show that Xenia had not only been posting to the Examiner thread anonymously, but that she had intentionally gone out of her way to sabotage the launch of Sugarpill by trying to suggest that Amy had repackaged products.
Lillian Low also pointed out that “princessmoth” was the title Xenia gave to a makeup tutorial she had done several years ago, making it even more undeniable that the princessmoth flickr account was run by Xenia. Sugarpill also did not begin sending out packages until the 15th of February, further indicating that the products posted on Febuary 14th by princessmoth were not Sugarpill products but something photoshopped to look like they were.
Lime Crime also begins promoting their products as vegan, despite still having beeswax in the lipsticks. Xenia then asks on twitter why vegans don’t use products containing beeswax. It is speculated that Xenia’s interest in veganism is a possibly a result of Sugarpill’s launch, which specifically emphasized their commitment to developing vegan products.
March – Temptalia publishes her review of Lime Crime lipsticks, giving them a C- grade overall. Xenia comments on the review thanking Christine for her critiques and responds to some of her concerns with the lipstick formula. However, Xenia then sends her street team Christine’s personal email address to send her their opinions on how wonderful Lime Crime lipsticks are to her directly or comment on her website. In response to having her email put in the newsletter and Xenia’s lack of professionalism, Christine decides to not review any more Lime Crime products on her blog.
April – Xenia travels to London for a promotional event for Lime Crime at SpaceNK. The blog London Beauty Review attends the event and provides this description of their Xenia, all while being fully aware of all of Xenia’s misdeeds:
“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.”
And more importantly :
“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.”
In contrast to London Beauty Blog’s decision to be civil in person, in Xenia’s 13 Things I Learned In London post, she takes the opportunity to insult British bloggers Anastasia (Lipsticks and Lightsabers) and Lillian Low (Funnyface’s Place) by including that she learned “trolls and haters only have the guts to troll anonymously”. Not only is this statement passive-aggressive, but it’s completely inaccurate in and of itself as both Anastasia and Lillian were not posting anonymously when they each wrote about Lime Crime. When asked specifically what #6 was in reference to, Xenia again takes no issue passively referring to anyone who has called her out online, as in her mind “trolls had the opportunity to show their faces in person, but they much prefer keyboard heroics.”, only to have the same commenter reply with “=\ Doe I love you lotsss and what you do but I think that’s a little immature. There are haters every where, and if they -did- show up in person, that’d be rather immature of them as well.”
August – A commenter named Rosalie calls Xenia out for her treatment of Christine of Temptalia and Grey of LeGothique. In response, Xenia says that Christine’s review wasn’t objective and that she has evidence to prove otherwise. Despite being requested to provide proof that Christine wasn’t fair in her review, she never posts anything supporting her argument. Christine respondssimply by reiterating that she didn’t find Lime Crime’s actions to be professional and that she has no interest in working with them in any capacity again.
September – ModCloth interviews Xenia as the blogger of the moment and the comments again go back to the repackaging controversy and other questionable business practices. Mod Clothapologizes for disappointing their fans in choosing to feature Xenia on their website.
November – Amy’s twitter is hacked and just happens to re-tweets a Lime Crime tweet.
December – Xenia announces the launch of gel eyeliners
January – Xenia answers a Formspring question (now deleted) about the duct taped dress that was sold to Lillian Low’s mother and again insinuates that Lillian made it all up. In response to this, Lillian fully explains what happened between her and Xenia, including posting emails they exchanged that refute what Xenia said in her answer.
February – Xenia and Mark relocate to Los Angeles
March – Xenia goes to Japan LA charity event for the tsunami victims; she is accused on the Examiner thread of only being there to take pictures with Amy’s friends – several of whom look uncomfortable with being photographed with her or are only in the periphery of the shot.
The Pop Romance collection of lipsticks launches; however, the promotional images are found to be heavily edited (as pointed out by a commenter named Justine) but Xenia denies photoshopping the photos for anything beyond artistic purposes.
Xenia and Mark foster a pair of bonded Persian kittens, but decide to only adopt one despite the recommendations of the shelter that the pair be kept together. Fans reiterate that it’s important to keep the two together, but Xenia insists that it’s okay to keep only one of the cats and names it Smoosh.
April – Xenia pens an article about the “lies” written about her and attempts to reframe her legal issues with Grey of LeGothique. Comments in the post call her out on many things, including dressing up like Hitler. Xenia claims that she can dress up like Hitler because her “grandmother is Jewish”.
In response to this post, Doe Deere Lies launches.
July – Tragically, Smoosh the adopted cat passes away suddenly only four months after being adopted. Xenia for some reason includes some discussion of how she’s been treated by people in Los Angeles in his memorial post, but eventually it is edited out. Fans and animal lovers alike again emphasize that Smoosh should have never been separated from the other cat he was bonded to.
August – The controversy causing magic dusts are finally reformulated and new, smaller packaging is introduced.
In response to having posted other artists’ images without permission, Xenia tweets that taking their work is a compliment and shouldn’t result in legal action toward her.
September – The Lip Noir collection is announced.
Lime Crime begins sending out glitter stickers and working with singer Kerli, seemingly mimicking Sugarpill’s contest with Kerli earlier in the year and their glitter stickers.
October – Lime Crime starts following all of Amy’s/Sugarpill’s followers on Twitter; Amy states that she doesn’t know why Xenia is doing this.
Xenia befriends Kandee Johnson as a way to be “introduced” to Amy at the Beautylish event in Los Angeles, despite knowing who Amy is since 2003. The interaction between Xenia, Amy, Christine and Kandee does not go over well and Kandee apologizes to Amy for getting caught up in Xenia’s plan. Kandee later deletes her post about Lime Crime products after Beautylish is over.
November – Xenia deletes the comments entirely off of her blog after criticism continues to crop up, effectively erasing many of her less than professional moments.
The Carousel Glosses launch and the swatches appear photoshopped; once fans receive the product they look quite different in real life and have application issues.
December – Lime Crime discontinues their Pro program with little warning, upsetting many professional make up artists.
January – The China Doll palette launches and immediately receives criticism for their usage of racist and sexist stereotypes and inaccurate representations of Chinese culture and clothing, along with the ubiquitous problems with the promotional images being heavily photoshopped. Criticism also arises from the palette’s similarity to Sugarpill’s matte pressed eye shadows.
Discussion on the Lime Crime Facebook about the campaign also devolves rapidly.
Mai writes a blog thoroughly discussing exactly what is offensive about the ChinaDoll palette. Initially, Lime Crime reaches out to Mai and says they have read her post and would like to discuss it with her. However, after Mai contacts them several times, Xenia brushes off the discussion.
February – The China Doll palette launches and the PR release includes the phrase “whether you like it or not”, likely a response to the criticism the China Doll campaign received.
Lime Crime formally defends the China Doll palette and declares that what people are calling cultural appropriation is actually cultural exchange. Not surprisingly, there several critiques (via Lillian, via Mai, and via Magga) are written in response to what is seen as a dismissive response. A boycott of the palette and Lime Crime is launched in response to Lime Crime’s statement.
Xenia also mocks people who called her out for cultural appropriation on her own Facebook page.
The blog Panda Tells All reviews Lime Crime lipsticks and Carousel Glosses – finding that there was debris/hair in one lipstick, quality control issues with how the lipsticks are set in the tube, and a defective lipgloss brush in her order. When Panda asked what to do about the brush, Xenia tells her simply to trim the defective brush instead of offering a replacement. Eventually Lime Crime’s customer service rep Emma contacts her and says if Panda ships back the defective gloss, a new one will be sent but Panda would have to cover the postage – which Panda finds disappointing. Only after posting this review does Lime Crime comment on her review that they’ll cover shipping and the replacement gloss.
March – Lime Crime attempts to pass of a similar looking photo featuring Sugarpill Cosmetics as being their own products; Jangsara, the original artist, has to publicly clarify that the look did not use Lime Crime products.
April – The Palette D’Antoinette begins being promoted along with a new line of nail polishes.
May – Uniliners launch; Lime Crime starts buying likes on Facebook.
June – Lime Crime uses a random image off of DeviantArt from 2009 to promote the ChinaDoll palette; only after many people call them out on using an image they didn’t have permission to use nor uses their products do they apologize.
July – Magic dusts are discontinued completely
The Aquataenia palette launches; it immediate gets compared to Sugarpill’s Heartbreaker palette that was being promoted back in April.
September – Promotion of the Alchemy collection begins.
October – A promotional image for the Alchemy Palette are found to be stolen from Eclectic Enchanments, a store on Etsy. When Storm Eldermoon, the owner of the image, confronts Lime Crime over this she receives a very unprofessional email from Lime Crime’s “legal team”.
An image from Christine’s original review is used without credit on the Lime Crime facebook page, prompting Christine to have to personally ask for her image to be taken down.
November – Velvetines liquid lipstick and Zodiac cosmetic glitters launch, along with the introduction of a “fairytale mirror”. The mirror is quickly found on Ali Baba.
December – The fairytale mirror is found to be wholesaled at $3.35/piece but retails for $29.99. Bree confronts Lime Crime about this, but her comments are deleted from their Facebook page.
The Zodiac Glitters launch – but concerns are raised about whether or not Lime Crime is abiding by the United States’ FDA standards that does not permit cosmetics manufacturers to sell glitter specifically as an eye product and must warn customers to not use glitter as an eye product. The glitters originally were advertised to be used primarily with nail polish, but eventually became listed as an eye product. Presently, Lime Crime’s warning is listed under the ingredient list for the glitters, which is hidden unless it’s clicked on.
January – A customer reports receiving a Carousel Gloss containing hair in the product.
March – Lime Crime is accused of stealing earnings from their affiliates as a former affiliate comes forward with her experience and emails from Lime Crime’s customer service.
April – A customer reports having an allergic reaction to Lime Crime’s eye primer; more customers begin reporting their experiences with Lime Crime products directly to the FDA.
May – Lime Crime is again caught using uncredited images – this time blogger Lanah Grace’s photo was used to promote their products on their official website without asking for permission or compensating her for the use of her image. When she contacted Lime Crime about this, there was no apology offered nor was she given any compensation for helping advertise their product. The image, however, was removed after the complaint was sent.
At the end of May, Xenia announces she will be giving a talk at PHAMExpo called “Don’t Quit Your Daydream”, as a motivational talk and how to on turning one’s individuality into a business.
June – In doing some research to update the blog, I ended up coming across an old blog post by Xenia in which she presumes a reader is Asian by her last name and demonstrates her stereotyped views of Asians yet again by including this in her response:
“From your last name, I’m assuming that you are Asian. Unfortunately, Asian parents – especially fathers – can sometimes be authoritative and overbearing. They have a set vision of how they want their kids to turn out and often leave no room for exploration and experimenting. It’s saddening, and makes me appreciate my liberal upbringing all the more.”
While doing continuing to do research, another older blog post on Doe Deere Blogazine definitively proves that Lime Crime was selling their products as vegan when they still contained beeswax and carmine.
Despite the initial idea that Xenia’s talk was going to be focusing on how to take your individual interests and turn them into a successful business, her comments and Instagram pictures about the speech take on a hostile tone and suddenly focus on “haters” and how much money she has, and herslef rather than actual advice for people looking to start their own business or get more direction on how to approach the working world. On discussing the upcoming speech she wrote this
“Haters: the subject I’m aching to address in my speech on Saturday! In my 10-year online career, I’ve had my share of them. They all fit the same profile: sad, broken people who feel trapped in their own life, so they chose to bully others who appear to be doing better than them. I say: screw ‘em!!! Don’t let some anonymous asshole on the Internet stop you from pursuing your ambition! Kick ass and prove them all wrong! #HATERS: Having Anger Toward Everyone Reaching Success”
“For me, being ME turned out to be not just good, but great business. By age 28, I was completely independent, working from home running my own website, making my own hours, and paying bills easily. By 30, I moved to the city of my dreams, rented a condo and established Lime Crime Head Quarters in Beverly Hills. By 32, I’ve bought a house and am moving my ever-expanding business to the most prestigious building in the valley. I did all of this with no debt and no help from investors. More importantly, I DID THIS BY BEING 100% ME”.
However, with some simple research, it’s easy to find that many of these statements aren’t true and that Xenia’s financial status several years ago did not appear to be as stable as she was making it seem to fluff up her speech.
Xenia’s emphasis on money and the purchase of a new home also lead many to speculate that this speech is going to be the starting point for a new venture for Xenia that involves teaching people how to run a small business and emulate her success in a way similar to Gala Darling’s Blogcademy.
The speech at PHAMExpo ended up focusing a fair amount on “haters” ; small segments of the talk can be found here and here ; isolated audio and partial transcript of the Q&A session are here.
Lime Crime’s website and promotional images are redesigned in a style very similar to that of Betsey Johnson’s branding and illustrations.
July – Babette Launches; reviews note that the color is not the same as the shade seen in the advertisements
Lime Crime announces that price increases have begun and will soon occur across their entire product line
Xenia responds to a fairly sexist comment left on her Instagram picture; however, the inclusion of the person’s username results in a giant flame war and an onslaught of Lime Crime fans attacking the original commenter.
August – Xenia posts an Instagram video of her new home’s bathroom and then responds to a comment on that video about how she must be rich by declaring stating “I am rich, but I wasn’t always”, setting off another debate in the comments about her choice to even respond to such an innocuous comment and if it is polite or not to discuss one’s financial status as something that’s achieved by “wanting” it bad enough. These comments lead to more speculation that the soon to launch “Doe Deere: Celebrate The Power of Individuality” may be marketed as a way to easy money and success through purchasing her advice.