About two months ago I was sent a couple of lipsticks to review from Red Apple Lipstick, a cruelty-free brand that makes paraben-free and gluten-free cosmetics. As I’ve been making the shift away from mass market makeup to “green” cosmetics (due to my dry skin issues), I’ve started paying more attention whenever bloggers and vloggers mention natural and green brands and Red Apple Lipstick happens to be one of the brands that I’ve noticed lots of people raving about lately. In fact, one of my favorite YouTubers, makeupTIA who reviews not only high end but drugstore makeup and everything in between, has raved about Red Apple lipsticks several times in her videos. So when Red Apple Lipstick offered to send me their lipsticks to try I was super excited.
All Red Apple Lipstick cosmetics are Made in the U.S.A.. The company is based in Houston, Texas and owned and operated by husband and wife team, Jay and Andrea Harper. Right off the bat I have to say the customer service is top notch. I had an issue and a few questions about their products so I emailed the company and Andrea herself responded quickly and was really helpful. Shipping was extremely fast. I placed my order with them on a Friday, it was shipped the following Monday and I received it that Wednesday.
I received my lipsticks in a padded envelope via USPS First Class Mail. It took four business days from the day I placed the order to when the package showed up in my mailbox.
The lipsticks came in a cute cotton drawstring pouch with the Red Apple Lipstick splashed across the front along with the words “gluten free, paraben free, toxin free.” Within the pouch, bright, Granny Smith apple green tissue paper cushioned the individually boxed full sized (4.5 g) lipsticks and lipstick sample pod.
According to RAL, all of the lipsticks I received, including the sample, are Vegan, Vitamin E Enriched, Gluten Free, Allergen Free, Paraben Free, Cruelty Free, corn free, lead free, soy free, and contain no GMOs. Their main concern is making safe lip products with high quality ingredients.
The lipsticks come packaged in lightweight, matte black plastic. The bottom portion of the tube has tiny raised dots/nubs that provide a better grip.
Visually, I like it. It’s simple and unique but not gaudy or flashy.
The top of the tube features the RAL apple and lips logo and printed along the side is the brand name in glossy black.
As always, the biggest challenge in selecting lipsticks online is picking the right shade but RAL has taken a lot of work out of it by posting plenty of swatches. On their website, if you click on any of their lipsticks you can how each color looks on their models who range from very fair to deep skin tones.
When RAL asked me which shades I wanted to try I knew one of them had to be Audrey, the shade that makeupTIA raves about. For my second lipstick I wanted to give a nude shade a try. I went with Naughty, a darker shade than I’d normally go for but I have fairly unpigmented lips and I figured I should probably go with something deeper if I didn’t want concealer lips.
I based my choices solely based on color. It wasn’t until I received the lipsticks and tried them on that I realized that RAL’s lipsticks come in different formulas. My mistake, not theirs.
Naughty is described as a red based tan color without any shimmer and is completely unscented. It’s nicely pigmented but a lot browner on my lips than I’d anticipated. Naughty’s not the most flattering shade for me but I think it would make an awesome nude lipstick on medium to deeper skin tones.
I have extremely dry skin so I’m always on the hunt for moisturizing products, including lipsticks. Unfortunately, Naughty didn’t measure up to my expectations. Naughty belongs to RAL’s X-Series line of lipsticks and although it contains lots of great, moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, avocado oil, and jojoba oil, it doesn’t have quite the creaminess and slip that I’d hope for. Plus, I don’t think the drier formula does my lip lines any favors. It doesn’t make them look any worse but it doesn’t diminish their appearance either which is something I personally look for in a lipstick.
It doesn’t tug on the lips or anything like that but if you like the drier, waxier feel of something like Revlon Super Lustrous or Maybelline Color Sensational lipsticks — in other words, more of a traditional lipstick formula rather than the creamy, emollient feel of a lip balm/lipstick hybrid — but have been searching for a lipstick formula with more natural and moisturizing ingredients, I think you’ll feel right at home with the the X-Series lipsticks.
LIPSTICKS – X-SERIES. – New York, Foxy, Rebel, Drama, Naughty
Ingredients: Ricinus Communis, Citric Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Silica, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Copercnicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Gluten Free Tocopheryl Acetate, May Contain Titanium Dioxide CI 77891,Mica CI 77019, Manganese Violet CI 77742, Iron Oxides CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499
As for the formula, now this is what I’m talking about! The difference between Audrey and Naughty is like night and day. Audrey feels incredibly smooth and creamy on the lips and glides right on. Some of my favorite lipstick formulas include It Cosmetics’ Vitality Lip Flush lipsticks, Clinique Chubby Stick Intense, Lipstick Queen Jean Queen, and Too Faced La Creme lipsticks because of how creamy and glossy they are. If you like any of those lipsticks, then you’ll love Audrey. It’s the perfect everyday pink that feels so comfortable, lightweight and moisturizing on the lips. Texture-wise it has quite a lot of slip, similar to Lipstick Queen and It Cosmetics’ lipsticks. Too Faced La Cremes have a little less slip with a more cushiony texture.
My all-time favorite lipstick formula is Too Faced’s La Creme. Audrey doesn’t have quite the cushiony feel or smoothing effect on my lip lines that that has but it’s right up there with Lipstick Queen, Clinique Chubby Stick Intense, and It Cosmetics’ Vitality Lip Flush. When it comes to minimizing lip lines I’ve found that lipsticks with glossier finishes work better than ones that are more matte or shimmery. Ideally I’d use lip glosses which in my experience fill in and smooth out lip lines the best but oftentimes, depending on the formula, I can’t deal with the stickiness or heaviness of glosses which is why I tend to reach for glossy lipsticks most days. Although it’s not the best at diminishing the appearance of lip lines, I have to say that out of all the lipsticks I’ve ever used I think Audrey’s probably the most moisturizing which, as a person with ultra dry skin, is something I really appreciate.
LIPSTICKS – SUMMER PASSION LINE. – Reddy or Not, Sunkissed, Beach Peach, Berry Blast, Summer Sands, Pinky Promise, Petal Pusher, Boys N Berries, Paris, Sugar Sugar, Audrey, Vogue
Ingredients: Ricinus Communis, Ozokerite, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Synthetic Bees Wax, Olive (Olea Europea) Oil, Theobroma Grandiflorum (Cupuacu) Seed Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate from an all natural non gluten source, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis leaf Extract, may contain Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Iron Oxides
RAL also threw in a sample of French Skirt from their vanilla scented Original Series line of lipsticks for me to try.
French Skirt is a very frosty sheer pink which isn’t really my cup of tea. I’m thinking it would probably look prettier on someone with smoother and more pigmented lips but on me French Skirt doesn’t add much color and the frostiness draws attention to my lip lines.
The texture’s nice and creamy with plenty of slip. I think I like the feel of French Skirt almost as much as Audrey but the frosty finish is dreadful and emphasizes all my lip lines. That’s the main reason I usually stick to creme lipsticks and avoid shimmery/frosty/metallic lipsticks. I’d be open to trying another Original Series lipstick but I’d go for a color without any frost or shimmer next time.
LIPSTICKS ORIGNAL SERIES – Red!, Love My Kiss, Ruby Slippers, Strawberry Lips, Flirt With Me, Crush On Me, French Skirt, Mauve Me, Secrets, Plum Sexy Crazy.
Ingredients: Ricinus Communis, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Cera Alba, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate from an all natural non gluten source, Prunis Dulcis (Almond ), Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Peel Oil, Essence of Vanilla, May Contain: Titanium Dioxide ,Manganese Violet, Mica, Iron Oxide.
RAL’s lipsticks fall in the mid/high-end price range at $23.50 a pop but they have a fantastic return/exchange policy: if you buy one of their lipsticks and lip glosses and don’t like it for whatever reason you can return it for a full refund or exchange it for another lipstick/lip gloss within 6 months. That’s crazy! It goes to show how confident they are in the quality of their products.
I actually decided to return Naughty for Vogue, a lipstick from the Summer Passions line which I really enjoyed, so I’m waiting for that in the mail. And based on my positive experience with Audrey, I went ahead and placed an order (this time with my own money) for two more of their lipsticks. I plan on swatching everything as soon as I get them, so keep an eye out for that blog entry.
Last but not least, RAL also has a makeup trade-in program that I’m thinking about partaking in with whatever doesn’t sell from my blog sale. If you send them your old lipstick from any brand, you’ll receive a discount on a Red Apple Lipstick. Too cool!
Overall, I’ve had a very positive experience with the brand. Their customer service and return/exchange policy are fantastic and the quality of their lipsticks, specifically Audrey, is wonderful. My favorite RAL formula so far is definitely Summer Passions but no matter which lipstick formula I use, I always notice an improvement in the condition of my lips after using their lipsticks. Red Apple lipsticks are so moisturizing. They honestly feel and work like a high quality lip balm but with the added benefit of color. Highly recommend!