Lime Crime, you're STILL doing it wrong.

*Please read here for my response to her blog post on the Chinadoll Campaign*

Oh I seriously cannot wait to talk about what's happened since my last update. I had a contingency post written out on the off chance that Doe did not contact me but now that she's had. Long story short, she's completely blown me off basically.

To recap, I posted my blog post on Wednesday, the Makeupbee collaboration contest was cancelled on Friday and later that night, Doe contacted me.

To prove that she did, here's a screencap of the Facebook Message from Doe Deere.
lime crime's initial outreach

I did verify her identity since clicking on her picture lead me to her real profile. I immediately responded back saying this:

my response to her initial post

Immediately following my correspondence with her, I wrote this update post, indicating that I had received a Facebook message from her saying that she wanted to announcing that I would neither accept nor purchase any Lime Crime products at this current time and in the future.

After that I waited for an email, for I had thought from her wording of her Facebook message to me that she had already had the questions thought up, or at least had the general idea of what she wanted to say. I also checked my Facebook inbox carefully to check if I had missed a message. I didn't get an email on Saturday so I sent her this message on Sunday:

second response
I still hadn't gotten a response by Tuesday so I wrote this comment on her facebook wall. Awkward cropping but I wanted to put a time stamp on when I commented.

save as my third try to contact her

I think by now, I've put a lot of effort into contacting her you know? I'll give her the allowance of not responding to me over the weekend because it's likely she was busy with her personal life. By Monday though, I would have already Facebook messaged twice, and she could have seen the messages on Monday. Then after that, I commented on her personal facebook. She had also been active on the Lime Crime Facebook wall.

So today, nearly a week since she had first Facebook Messaged me, I emailed her using the email I found on her Doe Deere Blogazine site,
my email to doe

Finally, this is the response I got:

doe's response

My first thought when I read that was "....that's it?" I mean seriously, that's it? After everything that's been said in my post and in the comments, not to mention the public outcry on the Lime Crime Facebook and Makeupbee Facebook, that's it? After I facebook messaged her twice and commented on her personal profile, AND emailed her, THAT'S it?

This is basically a thank you but kindly fuck off email. She completely blew me off. It doesn't address ANY of my concerns at all. From this, I feel like she obviously doesn't care about how ignorant the campaign was, she obviously doesn't care that her words help to reinforce Asian stereotypes and she obviously doesn't care at all because if she did, then she would have done SOMETHING about what I said but she's not and I don't expect she will.

If she expected me to be done with this, oh no I'm just getting started. In my opinion, it's obvious from her actions that her prior "apology" means nothing now since she's STILL not changing anything.

She has said this prior to my post:

"I'm very sorry to hear that some of you found the Chinadoll concept offensive. Chinadoll is inspired by a time and a place, and is not meant to depict any contemporary or even real person. My Chinadoll is strong but not afraid to cry, rebellious but in control, traditional and untamed all at once. She is a living contradiction and, above all, a *woman* -- she can never be, or will be stereotyped. I hope you guys can continue to support our independent brand, we truly do pour our hearts and souls into it. Thanks for your feedback!-Doe"

but a friend of mine summed it up best by saying that apologizing for the way SOMEONE ELSE feels isn't apologizing, especially if you aren't doing anything to fix it. You can't feign ignorance if you don't try to figure out why people are upset and it's also silly to REPEAT more stereotypes in your apology.

At the end of the day, her behavior indicates to me that she doesn't care about being ignorant, doesn't care about perpetuating negative thoughts about other cultures, it's all about the money and what she can sell. Three weeks before the release of the palette and there has been no news on whether production is being stopped or if the release date of the Chinadoll Palette is being postponed. At this point, she has yet to legitimately apologize for the campaign. You know those computerized "thank you for your response, we'll get right on that!" emails you get from customer service? Her email was basically that, except I expect better behavior from the owner of a cosmetics company.

I think the whole thing is just bullshit. Within American popular media, women are already being told to be and act a certain way and then I'm also told how I'm supposed to be and act a certain way due to my Asian heritage and culture. Living within these confines isn't fair and it's not fair to be inundated with these ideas how I should act just because I happen to be a member of a specific community. We're not in a post-racial America and the stereotypes represented in the Chinadoll campaign are hurtful to others.

I'd like this time to thank everyone who read, retweeted and commented on my post over the last few days and thank you to everyone who started following me! I'll take this time to fangirl a little bit because I was so astonished that Sam of Pixiwoo from Youtube actually read my post, and it showed me that it really reached a wide audience and I enjoyed the opportunity to discuss the topic of PC words and Asian Stereotypes, especially within different countries and their culture about it. I specifically wanted to give a shoutout to @MoonCave who took the initiative to tweet my post at Makeupbee.

Many people also got referred to the post thanks to links from fellow bloggers and other sites (please read Lillian's commentary on the situation in addition to Robyn's discussion on what it takes for you to boycott a company).

Thank you for reading, commenting, and being respectful during this whole endeavor.


  1. Of course she doesn't care. I think we all know what sort of person she is already, and I don't think she'll ever change. She seems set in her ways and I'd love for her to ACTUALLY turn over a new leaf and improve, but I just don't think it's going to happen =(
    But your post was great, and the discussion over this campaign has been wonderful, so at least some good has come of her insensitivity!
    You win <3

  2. I'm not trying to defend her or anything, but if I were to consider her position on the matter, she probably doesn't want to re-work any of promo for the release. if we were to consider the Chinadoll campaign (initially) as an innocent and hopefully inspiring idea, a photoshoot in itself involves much preparation, equipment, and dedicated time from all parties involved. plus, I'm sure they have plenty of palettes made already, and to even think about all the repackaging work with making new labels, new boxes, or what have you--just imagine all that waste! (okay, that last bit may come off a bit snarky..) in her eyes, it probably doesn't seem worth it simply because people were "offended," because any sort of naysayer can be censored, while promotion for the people who blindly (or not so blindly) stan the company and their products will continue. Lime Crime isn't exactly known to take responsibility for their actions, so the ultimate response you got from Doe was not a very surprising one. if I were you, I would be rather furious with being blown off like that. not to respond back to you (even to just notify you that she didn't have questions anymore) is rude, especially since she reached out to you first. I hope you don't feel bad about it for too long. to me, it seems like retracting the promo, or even apologizing for it ends up being too much work 'wasted' and honestly, what could she say to defend herself? she's obviously going ahead with the promo as of now, and apologizing at this point would not be meaningful, since even with an apology, continuing on with the Chinadoll campaign would then be even more contradictory--and worse than the lack of acknowledgment?

    although I do find the image itself pretty, I disagreed with the message behind it, as it felt very superficial. I also think the campaign has been promoted the wrong way, including how the backlash from it is dealt with. if we were to give Lime Crime the benefit of the doubt, perhaps we are being too critical of a beauty campaign they honestly imagined to be very creative and inspiring for others. but in the end, it just seems like there isn't much room for what other people think if what others have to say is disapproval or even constructive. she doesn't want to acknowledge that, or take responsibility for the fact that it offended so many people. even if it did offend one person, I think it's important for an indie company (especially) to deal with their decisions maturely. coping with backlash for poor decisions, along with accepting honest and constructive criticism is part of the process of developing into a great company. being straightforward with customers, fans, and critics alike should be a top priority. a good reputation for a company is earned with a lot of hard work behind the scenes, and with a commitment to those who support it. there will always be ups and downs, I can't imagine running an indie business is easy, and maintaining one is more difficult than not, so being able to man up to one's decisions should be an important aspect for any kind of company (or person, for that matter) in order to be respected with integrity. just dusting something like this under the rug is unprofessional at least, and similar behavior keeps the company from growing into something great. time and time again (it seems), the general issue is the same. I understand that it's really hard to come back from a preconceived negative reputation, but the company doesn't seem to learn from its mistakes. so it stays stunted, doesn't develop properly, and instead maintains the bad reputation.

    1. I actually considered what she was going to ask me when she first messaged me and from that I talked it over a little bit with my boyfriend to postulate what was possible to do at this point (a little under a month before the palette's release) and I understood that from a business standpoint, she wasn't going to withdraw the palette.

      I know with MAC with the Rodarte Collection, they decided to not release the products at all and they took a financial hit but I know they're large enough to absorb the loss. Lime Crime on the otherhand, I knew was not going to be able to do that.

      I thought that she might have asked me what she could have done and after giving it some thought I would have liked if she dropped the campaign and apologized, for real. It's late in the game to completely abandon the product and not cost effective to try to reprint new labels.

      I agree with everything you said about their business practices! I also didn't find what you said snarky at all.

  3. This to me says that she just doesn't care at all, and that she knows they were ignorant. If she thought that she wasn't being ignorant, then surely she would have some defense, you know, and want to defend it? I'm sure that it was all innocent and they didn't mean to cause offense (I don't think ignorance is a good excuse, really, but I don't think there was anything malicious about it.) They could still keep the promo image and release the palette if they changed the names and the campaign name - I mean, I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with a picture of white girl in a kimono, myself - because you're right.MAC/Rodarte, they could afford to retract but LC probably can't.

    What a shame.

  4. *sigh* okay forget being rational and nice and civil..and hoping for a response..

    *clears throat*
    What a bitch.

  5. Part of me is angry that she couldn't be arsed to enter into a meaningful dialogue with you, and part of me just isn't surprised at all. I'll definitely be following this until and after the palette is released. She gets away with *WAY* too much. *frustrated sigh* >:(

  6. I've really enjoyed these posts from you, more so because you are really giving LC the opportunity to at least apologise sincerely. I hate to say it, but I don't think you'll ever get it!
    I was so annoyed by people's comments on the LC Facebook basically be-littling anyone who felt offended and/or saw that this campaign is not PC! I am not Asian, but I can see clearly why this would offend people. We don't live in times of old stereotypes anymore so why are people not keeping up with changing times and attitudes and more so - why are businesses not researching thoroughly!! The majority of the people on the LC facebook are obviously only bothered about the palette itself, not the campaign, BUT this is more than just makeup guys, people are being offended and that is not acceptable.
    I applaud you Mai, I think it's great you've (repeatedly!) reached out to Doe and LC, and have been true to your feelings and kept all of us out of the dark over what's happening.

    I am pretty disappointed, I recently bought a load of LC products and although I like the products themselves, I'm pretty shocked by this whole fiasco and what bothers me most is nothing has been done. Clearly Makeupbee regard their reputation by pulling out of the competition.

    I agree with your comment above, MAC could obviously afford to take a bit of a loss as they are a well-established global brand. Lime Crime on the other hand is still pretty new and pulling the palette would probably hit them massively financially.

    Laura xx

  7. Mai,

    She had nothing to write back because the only question she wanted to ask you was "Have you ever tried Lime Crime?" Followed by an offer to send you some for free in exchange for a good review and for you to shut the hell up.

    She has used this tactic several times before. Offer freebies to obvious critics. When you immediately posted that you would not accept freebies, this left her with no other tactics.

    Also, she contacted you after MakeupBee disassociated themselves with Lime Crime and Duh needed a PR fix. However, after that it was confirmed that Nikki Minaj used Lime Crime in her music video and the Bust magazine came out. The issue of racism was long and gone and she no longer needed to pretend to care.

  8. Blech. I find it extremely distasteful that she asks to e-mail you and discuss some things and then blows you off. Not only did her eventual response just come off rude, but you had to bug her to e-mail you, when she is the one who asked to e-mail you in the first place! I was going to purchase a couple LC lippies to try out for myself, but now I think I'll just save my money for someone who doesn't have their nose so high in the air and actually gives a shit about their customers. I have kept my nose out of the LC drama until now, and this just rubs me the wrong way.

  9. What a freaking bitch. Sorry. but seriously? She pandered to the crowd by pretending to care and made a huge show about "emailing you privately to talk about it more" which was clearly just a total famewhore move so she can claim she "made an effort."
    It's pretty sad that she obviously doesn't care about being an ignorant fool who just cares about herself and how much money she can squeeze out of people. I also highly suggest you contact BUST, if you want, to let them know that that's the kind of person they're supporting. I thought BUST was supposed to be a feminist magazine, but I guess not.

  10. Somehow I'm not surprised. I was really hoping she would at least try to open it up for discussion with you or make some effort to clarify her thoughts, maybe give an actual apology or something... But I knew that was too optimistic considering my past interactions with Doe. I am baffled and appalled by how she has handled this, and I have over $200 in Lime Crime product that I will be sending back for a refund. Maybe that will get her attention.

  11. Honestly, I am not surprised at her response, or lack there of. There has been a lot of drama surrounding this company since they began. Knowing some of the nasty things she has written and said about other bloggers and beauty guru's, I haven't purchased from this company. And do not plan to. I'm disgusted in how unprofessional the owner of this company can be.

    I also want to thank you for your posts on this issue. I've read them all. And me being non-Asian, it was very well written and informative.

  12. Here's a really great quote from a tumblr post on exotification of Asians:

    "The origin and perpetuation of this stereotype is a perfect example of sexualization as a means of asserting power and control over another race. The U.S. has trampled through countries like Vietnam and then further insulted them with sexualizing and stereotyping the countries’ inhabitants for years later. Patriarchy is a game of power and objectifying women of color is one of its favorite ways of ensuring that they stay in their place. Do you think wartime rape happens because the men are just lonely and looking for sexual gratification? No. It’s a way to assert power and control over them and so is this statement."

    The article linked in that post, The Orientalism of Nicki Minaj, is also very relevant.

  13. I expected her to at least write a sincere apology. I understand why the products and campaign wouldn't be pulled completely but she could re-write the description on the website. The only thing we can hope for after this is for her to learn something and research more before launching another product. I think that we all know it is not going to happen, but we can all hope for the best.

    I don't buy Lime Crime because it is too expensive for me. I can get high-end cosmetics for the same price here, so I don't even bother with them. I do like their aesthetics and I was tempted to get a Carousel Gloss, but $27 USD (lip gloss for $10 shipping if I remember correctly) for one lip gloss was too much for me (specially with the exchange rate being $1 USD = $13+ MXN).

  14. Mai, could you start a petition of sorts? That way, when a company associates itself with Lime Crime, we can make then aware of Xenia's past along with 1,000 supporters.

  15. I'm not sure if I'll start a petition, but I may just compile several links of objective reviews and opinion posts to email to editors and such if Lime Crime starts getting more press!

  16. Hi Mai,
    I read your posts on the Lime Crime Chinadoll propaganda. I'm not going to lie, at first I thought "why do people make a big fuss about things like this?"
    Before you get upset or anything, let me explain that thought: I was born on a little island called Curacao (maybe its the first time you ever heard of it) In my childhood I had to hear alot about slavery this slavery that. If white people would say anything they would immediately jump on their feet and say its about racism. It would make me sick to my stomach, because why would you put everything in a racist aspect? Those people would keep themselves down.
    Looking at myself; I'm fully mixed race and both my parents their great great grandparents where 100% chinese. But after a while they got thmselves involved with other cultures, black, jewish, native indians (from Suriname, South America. Thats where both my parents are from) To get to the point: even though my great great great grandparents where a 100% chinese, me coming from a black father and a white mother (with chinese blood) will NEVER EVER be accepted by the Chinese community as one of them. Neither will i be accepted by the black or white community, because i'm either too dark or too white.
    Sad (not for me cause i dont let it hurt me) but true, I do not belong any where, because I'm a 100% of nothing, too mixed up. Maybe if i looked more chinese i would be accepted, i don't know..... you tell me.
    Now with me having myself explained, thats why my first thought was, why make a fuss of anything? But rethinking your posts, I can understand everything you wrote. I find it sad that Doe reacted like the way she did. But your posts weren't written for nothing girl, they reached all the way to the Netherlands, where i'm from and want to give my support. Your post really made me rethink my thoughts and have myself debate with myself haha, Lime Crime isn't very big over here, But i'm thinking to repost (with your approval) your postst about the Lime Crime Chinadoll. Thanks for writing about this subject and putting your effort in it.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read what I've written and being able to objectively form your own opinion! You can definitely link back to the post!

  17. I wish I could be surprised, but Doe doesn't exactly have the best history of caring about customer service, does she? This isn't exactly new behaviour for her.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Sorry, I actually posted a comment in the wrong space! (I have a habit of posting in three different spaces at the same time... sigh.) Sorry about that.

  18. I don't think Doe had much to do with the advertising, really.

    It is culturally insensitive, but it's also rather sexist. (The "Make Chinadoll Mine!" thing is rather... bleeeeh. Like she's some kind of object.) Really, she should KNOW better by now...

    1. Unfortunately her blog post has indicated that she did. She said that she had worked on the campaign for nearly a year now so I can't say that she didn't have much to with the advertising.

      It's sad, a year's worth of work yet she can't even apologize sincerely.

    2. I know, right? Thankfully I found out about that before I got too invested in it. (Sparkly unicorns are nice. What can I say?) A couple of good things happened because of this: I was introduced to companies like Morgana Cryptoria and Shiro Cosmetics, both of which have vegan products and great customer service, and I was introduced to the fact that... people actually write about makeup. o.O

      I wish that kind of information was more widely available. People need to make informed choices about their makeup.

  19. your coverage on this topic are commendable and fantastic.

  20. "You can't make everyone happy," as they say. Some Asians, myself included, don't look to the media and especially not to cosmetics to tell them who they are or how they should look. Really, have you seen how many "I'm Asian and its so hard to be happy with my makeup" commercials and articles get shoved down our throats. Have some gumption and define yourself. Lime Crime makes great products and I plan on buying the China Doll palette with my next purchase. Beautiful colors that I will use in my own way to express my story and my heritage.

  21. This is a great post! I have written an in depth blog post about the Lime Crime scandal here: if you're interested x


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