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Digital First Beauty Brand, Lime Crime Unveils First European Retail Presence in Selfridges

Lime Crime expects to triple their growth with their new London launch.

BEAUTY MARK: Cult makeup brand Lime Crime marked its 10-year anniversary with its first European retail presence at Selfridges’ beauty hall. The color cosmetics brand, known for its colorful, vegan and cruelty-free products, launched digitally around the time when beauty e-commerce was relatively new.

The brand became popular after being featured and reviewed by YouTube beauty bloggers. “We’re proud that we’re digitally native, but we have the need to get out there because it’s about our customers wanting to touch and feel the products, rather than about the sales,” said Stacy Panagakis, Lime Crime’s new chief executive officer.

The decision to launch in Selfridges was simple: The U.K. is the brand’s second largest market. “The London customer is superplayful, colorful and has the confidence to wear head-to-toe and pops of color,” Panagakis said. She predicts the ground-floor concession stand will help the brand triple its sales in the U.K. comfortably within a short time frame.

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“We only have a very small brick-and-mortar presence in the U.S., but being digitally native is amazing because it’s created our foundation and brings us closer to the consumer,” Bianca Bolouri, vice president of marketing at Lime Crime. “Having a physical presence and having consumers test our products is the conversion right there. You immediately understand what you’re buying.”

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Lime Crime’s Velvetine range of liquid matte lipsticks constitutes 40 percent of the business and Bolouri predicts this will also be the number-one seller in the U.K. In October, the brand will be making four new shades for their Velvetine, Plushies and Wet Cherry lip collections, which will be exclusive to the Selfridges’ concession.

Lime Crime is mindful of its expansion. So far, the business has been built solely on color cosmetics with four verticals — lips, eyes, hair and face highlighters. “In beauty, that’s maybe only 20 percent of the business. We don’t have complexion and concealers because we want to make sure we’re developing the right products at the right time with the right colors,” Bolouri said.

Social media engagement is Lime Crime’s number-one source for innovation. The beauty brand has 3.4 million followers on Instagram. At the moment, they are looking into launching a line of blush after witnessing a growing number of customers using their eye shadows as blush.

“We actually launched our Diamond Crushers (iridescent lip toppers) after we posted an inspiration photo of a glitter lip on Instagram and afterwards we got a flurry of comments asking us to create a similar product,” Bolouri said.

As the new ceo of Lime Crime, Panagakis has many plans for the brand. She plans to strengthen Lime Crime’s partnerships with Instagram influencers, beauty bloggers and vloggers and continue to expand strategically.

“We just hired a new p.r. agency to help us reach more people on social,” she said. “We will globally expand, but right now we will focus on the U.S. since we barely have counters there. For Europe, we are looking at Germany, which is also a very strong market for us.”