I am a self proclaimed lip balm junkie, as you might have witnessed on this blog here and here and here. I recently picked up Red Apple Lipstick (RAL) Rallye Balm ($15) after searching for certified gluten-free companies.
The lip balm is firm and creamy (not greasy), and it claims to be vegan, gluten free, soy free, and paraben free. Its Vitamin E is suspended in cold-pressed castor seed oil to nourish lip tissue and ward off free radicals. It also has an SPF of 8. Unfortunately, I have to take it on faith, as no ingredient list is provided on the packaging. Only this:
My lips were already in good condition, considering it's been one of the coldest, driest winters in years. I have been using Julie Hewett Camellia Lip Balm for a few years, and if my lips get a bit flaky after wearing matte lipstick for several days, I exfoliate by applying a bit of balm on a cotton swab and gently rubbing the cotton over top and bottom lips—a trick I learned from a Lisa Eldridge video.
The reviews for Rallye Balm were so overwhelmingly positive, I couldn't wait to receive it. Was the love real or hype? The minute it arrived, I practically bathed in it. I swiped it on my lips and outside the vermilion border. I also used it around my nose, which was sore from a recent cold.
|Bottom half of the tube has a nubby texture for a no-slip grip|
After a few days, the raw skin around my nose healed very quickly, but within a week of daily use on my lips, I was disappointed to discover that something in the ingredients, perhaps the physical sunscreen, irritated the skin around my mouth. To be clear, my lips felt nourished, smooth, and flake free. It was the skin surrounding my lips, in the corners to be precise, that became red, itchy, and crusty. Thinking this issue must be related to something else, I used even more Rallye Balm to help heal the area. The more I used the more irritated that area became.
If I contain Rallye application to just my lips, I find it to be a very good lip balm. I also like to use it to sheer out highly-pigmented satin and matte lipsticks, such as RAL's Cranberry Magic.
Rallye Balm has no color or scent.
I also tried some of Red Apple Lipstick's suggested application tips.
Blush: I mixed Rallye Balm with Red Apple Lipstick's Mix & Mingle lipstick on the back of my hand. Then I used my fingertip to dot onto my cheeks and blend. I liked the result, which dried down to a satiny (non sticky) finish. Just a hint of clear, sheer pink that did not last more than an hour.
Eyeliner: I used the technique shown in the following video to make a "gel" eyeliner. Although it worked well, it smudged off within a couple hours. I also don't know how my eyes would react if I used Rallye balm at the lash roots every day. Maybe it would be fine—a lot of people use castor oil as a lash growth serum. But given how the skin around my mouth reacted, I don't feel up to the experiment.
Eyelid primer: It seems counterproductive to apply an oil-based product under powder eyeshadow, but I tried it nonetheless. I rubbed the bullet directly over my clean eyelids, let it sink in, smoothed it out with my fingertip, and then patted RAL's Pixie Dust eyeshadow as a base. If your eyelids are very oily, this method might not work for you. It worked OK on me, perhaps a touch tacky. I probably won't do it again, already loving how my Paula Dorf primer performs (reviewed here).
Bottom line: Rallye is a good lip balm, but I wish Red Apple Lipstick listed the ingredients on their packaging. For that reason, combined with the skin irritation, I won't repurchase.
Rallye Balm purchased by me. Photos taken by me.