Today's review features three lipsticks from Red Apple Lipstick lipstick ($23.50, 4.5g), a mineral-based brand in Texas.
I had my eye on Boys N Berries and Petal Pusher, but those colors have been out of stock for a few weeks. Instead, I chose what appeared to be three cool-toned shades:
- Red (Cranberry Magic)
- Deep pink (Mix & Mingle)
- Muted pink (Pinkle Twinkle)
|(L-R) Cranberry Magic, Mix & Mingle, and Pinkle Twinkle photographed in natural, midday light, no flash|
|(L-R) Cranberry Magic, Mix & Mingle, and Pinkle Twinkle photographed in indirect sunlight|
I believe all three of these lipsticks, which are newer in the RAL lineup, all have the same formula. They are reported to be free of gluten, soy, fragrance, and parabens. There is no ingredient list on the box.
Texture: Smooth and creamy with a satin dry down. My lips felt moist for the first couple hours.
Finish: Satin. I'm not sure now many formulas Red Apple Lipstick makes, but from what I have read, some of their lipsticks are glossy, some are sheer, and others have enough shimmer to make them appear metallic or bronzed. Some are also lightly fragranced, but you can filter results for nut and fragrance free lipsticks of those ingredients bother you.
Longevity: When the color faded, it did so fairly evenly, not from the center. A single application lasted around 4 hours before the color needed refreshing. The two darker colors left a modest stain with no bleeding or feathering; however a couple samples I purchased did feather—badly. I will describe them in an upcoming post.
RAL suggests applying their lipsticks at 1/4 to 1/2 intensity (e.g., not straight from bullet to lips), but I found that difficult to do with Cranberry Magic and Mix & Mingle, as both are extremely pigmented. Using a lip blush and blotting put to a stain left some seriously vibrant color. I found the easiest way for me to wear the darker shades was to dot the bullet a few times directly on my lips and then blend/sheer out with my fingertip and some balm. I used their Rallye Balm (reviewed here), but I prefer Julie Hewett (here).
The following photo shows Cranberry Magic, Mix & Mingle, and Pinkle Twinkle blotted on white paper, to show the colors and undertones as accurately as possible.
None of the three lipsticks matches my 12 Tone True Summer palette, but I do like the colors, all of which are cool or at least cool-neutral. Cranberry Magic, a red berry, seems to harmonize best with TSu hues, but its saturation pushes it over to the Winter side. It also has the most shimmer of the three, but it isn't that detectable when worn sheer.
Mix & Mingle is fuchsia, whereas I prefer a clear hot pink. Yes, there's a difference. Fuchsia has red undertones, which add warmth. Mix & Mingle does not harmonize well with the True Summer roses above, but it fits in fairly well with the Light Summer pinks below. Applied full strength from the bullet, it might even suit higher-contrasting Bright Winter/Bright Spring complexions. I wish I had Petal Pusher to compare, as I have the feeling Petal Pusher might be more flattering on cool, low/medium-contrasting complexions.
Compared to one of the Light Summer sleeves, Mix & Mingle is fairly good at the mid range of the sleeve. However, the deep pigment makes me think it's more suitable for the Bright seasons.
|Lipsticks compared to 12 Tone Light Summer fan|
Pinkle Twinkle is a mid-toned, blue-based, greyed-pink lavender. I was disappointed in the gold shimmer, which adds warmth. The color reminds me a bit of Dior Lip Addict Extreme in Incognito, although I see no obvious beige in Pinkle Twinkle, so it isn't quite a nude. Overall, this color seems to harmonize best with the more muted Soft Summer palette. Its gold overtones definitely direct it toward the autumnal season.
|Pinkle Twinkle compared to the 12 Tone Soft Summer fan|
Next to the Soft Summer pinks and roses, only Pinkle Twinkle harmonizes. Cranberry Magic and Mix & Mingle look garish by comparison.
|Lipsticks compared to 12 Tone Soft Summer fan|
Buying lipstick sight unseen can be hard, though most of us have done it. Red Apple Lipstick lets you create your own sample pack. Each pack comes with an instruction card and a brush. I found the brush useless, though I did use the non-business end to scoop the lipstick out of the bubble.
Red Apple Lipstick samples cost $3.50 each. They are 1/8" thick and contain slightly more product than a sample from White Rabbit Beauty, which Jean sends in an airtight pot for $1. One RAL blister is enough for one day if sampling a sheer color. Theoretically, I could have gotten a few days usage out of the more pigmented RAL lipsticks, but the "seal" on the blister is just a paper sticker. Once peeled off (easy to mangle/doesn't re-stick), the lipstick is exposed to the environment. If you have empty screw-top pots, such as sample jars used by most mineral brands, consider transferring your RAL lipstick samples to the pot to keep your $3.50 sample from drying out.
Bottom line: A worthy new entrant to an ocean of lipstick choices. I wish the company were more transparent with their ingredients—especially as the are claiming to be a certified gluten-free company. No ingredient list forces consumers to take it on faith, which is not an ideal business model.
All photos taken by me. All items purchased by me.