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Beauty Cosmetics

Red Apple Lipstick Review

April 28, 2017

Red Apple Lipstick happened to be one of the first brands I found on the internet webs when I started looking into “cleaner” beauty. I’ve always been curious about Red Apple Lipstick’s lipsticks since I’ve never seen gluten-free beauty products, only pastries at that given time. I was such a “clean” beauty newb.

Fast forward a year later, I’ve been given the opportunity to try Red Apple Lipstick products after applying to their blogger program after showing some credentials and credibility in my review abilities. That said, everything was provided to me based on my selection and all my opinions will be kind, tactful, and honest. So, let’s get this show on the road.

Extra super long review here because I’m reviewing FOUR products, please bare with me!




I’ve been eyeing this RAL Lipstick in the shade Hibiscus since the dawn of my clean beauty time. I naturally gravitate towards berries, pinks, and sometimes, I will dabble in dark shades since life is too short to play it safe.


The lipstick is encased in a sturdy, matte black case. The cap comes off with ease and has a nice “click” that’s reminiscent of childhood memories of Mom closing her lipstick tube. The bullet that holds the actual lip product has a nice texture meant for grip and minimal aesthetics. And obviously, the outside packaging itself is cutely made of paper and completely recyclable.

Swatch of RAL Lipstick in Hibiscus


At First Swipe

This lipstick is 100% opaque upon first swipe applied with the least amount of pressure. It is described as a true, vibrant raspberry. On me, because my lips aren’t naturally that pink, the color definitely raspberry but with a touch of mauve. It’s not outrageously bright as other raspberry shades you might have used in the past, so it is definitely wearable for day time, at the office, at Trader Joes, or like me, to go pick up my child from preschool without looking weird being paired with sweats.

The consistency is not like a balm, so there’s no shine or sheen. It’s the most matte lipstick that I’ve tried, yet it’s not in the least bit drying. When I rub my lips together, there’s no grittiness or tugging, but there’s no gliding sensation either like you would expect from a balm-like formulation.

The weight of the lip product is something that I always seem to notice. If it feels goopy or heavy or just disgusting on, I can’t deal with it even for the sake of beauty. With this particular RAL lipstick (since it’s the only one I have lol!) is pretty much weightless and Vaseline (yeah yeah I know I shouldn’t be using it because cancer or whatever, but I like it for overnight because I wake up with soft lips. Also, huge tub for like 50 cents) feels heavier on.

The taste of lip products is also something else. I don’t want to taste it nor do I want to have it taste like anything. I’m ok with balms tasting like coffee or having some kind of faint flower-like aroma, but gag me should it be that overpowering vanilla scent. Being devoid of that lipstick taste is key and if it should taste like something, that’s just gross. RAL Hibiscus lipstick is tasteless, practically odorless, and that’s how I like it. There’s a *hint* of lipstick scent that is associated with any lipstick.

I do have to warn you that if your lips are chapped in any way, no lipstick will actually look good on them, not even this one, and not even the balm-like ones. Take care of that pout with some sugar scrub (or drink more water), then apply your lipstick, and then give it a fair evaluation.

Overall Wear

My lips have a knack for reacting to all lip products by immediately burning or eventually becoming super chapped within a few hours. That’s when I know the lip product needs to go back. That said, I have only been able to wear very few brands comfortably all day without even noticing it on my lips. I wholeheartedly recommend you try this lipstick color and this particular brand. It’s on par with other brands that you might be more familiar with like Bite Beauty and Axiology.


RAL Lip liner in Blush



Lip liners are a new thing for me. I literally only have two in my entire hoarding collection of makeup. I know its purpose but I also don’t see it’s purpose? I hate to use that lame excuse of being lazy (because with makeup, I refuse to be), but I guess it’s more like I’ve never had any interest in them. I don’t want to overline my lips and I don’t think I experience feathering because I am picky about the lipsticks I use. I think it’s an unnecessary step if you are already using a stellar lipstick. I kind of think it’s a scam if you don’t actually need it? More on how my thoughts have been corrected in a second.


Clean, sleek, matte black that doesn’t get greasy if you touch it with greasy fingers. The product comes out smoothly with the twist top. I love that you don’t have to sharpen it because of how the product is housed.

RAL Lip Liner in Blush swatch


At First Swipe

Given that I only have one other lip liner to compare this to (the new Bite Beauty Lip liner pencils), I’ll say that it’s comparable. The product applies very smoothly and doesn’t tug at your lips. It has a great opacity at the first swipe that’s not too overpowering.

Overall Wear

I tried to pick a shade that would be the perfect your-lips-but-better but alas, I’ve failed again. I have a weird color to my lips that I can’t quite explain. It’s not very pink, nor very red, but this weird berry shade naturally. However, I think this Blush shade came pretty close to achieving a suitable nude if I wanted to wear it by itself underneath a clear gloss.

It is not drying and it definitely stayed on an entire day after drinking coffee and eating. It didn’t become uncomfortable to wear throughout the day. I think if this is how lip liners are supposed to perform, it did an excellent job. I now enjoy lining my lips before and even after applying lipstick. I can absolutely see its purpose now and see what a difference it really makes in the overall look for crisper, cleaner lines. I’d definitely get more lip liners from RAL as I want crisp, clean lines for when I wear darker shades of lipstick.


RAL Eye Liner in Black



I have a cautionary tale about pencil eyeliners here. Everything smudges on me, even if it’s waterproof. My skin is dry but my eyelids apparently produce enough oils to sufficiently fry bacon on. I don’t understand. With that said, I don’t think I can really give a fair assessment for this eyeliner. I’ve tried Urban Decay in the past, smudged. I’ve tried the new Marc Jacobs waterproof eyeliner and that thing smudged within 30 minutes. So, please take this section of the review for what it is based on my eye lids.


Standard black eyeliner pencil packaging. You will need to sharpen this over time.

RAL Eye Liner in Black Swatch


At First Swipe

If you’ve ever used Urban Decay eyeliner at any given point in your life, then you will know what I’m talking about when I say this is your answer to the all natural, gluten-free, vegan-friendly dupe. It doesn’t tug on your lash line, it’s opaque, and has potential (for the right eyelids) to wear all day.

RAL eyeliner in Black Closeup

Overall Wear

The biggest thing for me is that with oily lids, I also have very sensitive eyes so I can only really use one eye product right now (Physician’s Formula Eye Booster Eyeliner in Black). My eyes are easily irritated, turn red, and itchy with mostly ever single eyeliner on the market (lucky me). That said, the RAL eyeliner did NOT irritate my eyes whatsoever.

Even though everything smudges like I said earlier, the RAL wore on my eyes for a good 2 hours before the Panda eyes started showing up. I was able to wash this off easily with my Nooni cleanser and it came off completely clean. I didn’t need to clean it again after I got out of the shower.

I honestly feel like if you don’t generally have a problem with eyeliners that this would be a stellar choice for you. I believe that because of it’s cleaner ingredients, even the most sensitive eyes like mine will feel comfortable all day long. Having red, itchy eyes isn’t the best look for anyone.

I am giving this a 5-star rating based on how the eyeliner did not irritate my eyes, didn’t pull on my eyelids, and was as opaque as the Marc Jacobs liner. This 5-star rating applies to someone who typically doesn’t have problems with smudging, smearing, and irritation. However, because I have finicky eyelids and everything on earth smudges, I am disappointed to say that I cannot use this product. This translates into the fact that it is NOT the products fault, it’s really my eyelids fault because I would use this daily in a heartbeat.


RAL The Lash Project wand in Black



If you’ve made it this far, bless you. I’ve saved the best for last as there’s no mascara like this that make my lashes look amazing. I’ve already given away the direction of this review, so please continue for the rave.


The packaging is like any other mascara you’ve seen so I don’t have any special adjectives to use to describe it other than nice, black, matte packaging.

At First Swipe

The formulation is on the drier side meaning that your lashes don’t stay wet for years while you’re waiting for it to dry. That said, if you are a double-applier, then you can apply it again almost the second you’re done applying the first coat on your second eye.

The wand and the formulation must be magical because, at first swipe, it separates my lashes and lengthens them immediately. It is as black as you can get without feeling like you’re applying smoke ashes to your lashes.

The real test was in the overall wear because just like my eyelids, my eyelashes also don’t like very many products resulting in smudging, tearing, and regretting I even tried to make my lashes look decent.

Overall Wear

In short, WHERE HAS THIS BEEN MY ENTIRE LIFE?!!?!??! I have ceased to look for the next mascara that might work kind of well for my eyelashes. I’ve found the one, the #LOML right here. I feel like every girl is always searching for the one and praise the Lord when you’ve finally found it after 15 years! Let me tell you right now, this gets a 10-star out of 5-star rating. If you have eyelashes like mine, short, sparse, and thin (apparently, typical “Asian” lashes), then this mascara needs to be buried with you so that you can look amazing in the afterlife. It is that amazing.

The claim with this RAL mascara is that it’ll strengthen your lashes over time and improve the health of them. I’ve tried tons of lash products promising the same thing and I’ve never seen any great come out of it. With RAL mascara, my lashes don’t fall out as much if, at all since using this product and OMG, my lashes look amazing. My bare lash line on top even looks “fuller” in the mornings. The craziest thing is that I don’t really have bottom eyelashes (read microscopic), but this mascara is able to pick it up anyway and suddenly, I have a full set of lashes like everyone else!

There’s absolutely NO smudging, smearing, irritation, and the level of curl that my lashes are able to keep with this mascara is unbelievable! Wearing the mascara by itself, I look like I have “natural” false lashes. When I use it with the Jane Iredale eyelash primer (another holy grail to bring with my in the afterlife), my lashes practically reach the top of my eyebrows. Remember how I said I have the typical Asian eyelashes? Well, this kind of eyelashes doesn’t reach anything anywhere close to even showing up even being thisclose to a magnifying mirror.

You won’t be disappointed if you have lashes like mine by grabbing this product. You needed to get this like yesterday. It needs to be in your makeup arsenal. Actually, it needs to be in your life arsenal. Quit spending money on the stuff that just doesn’t work. I’m absolutely and thoroughly floored by how stellar this is especially for being a product with “cleaner” ingredients. It seriously just doesn’t happen this way. I’ve tried 100% Pure Mascara and that smeared in 3 seconds. Seriously, thank you to whoever made this formulation and picked this wand over at RAL, you need to win the Nobel Prize for this.



Ok, it looks I literally gave everything a 5-star rating and obviously, I need to narrow some things down here. Here’s my overall ranking of things in the order of “you must try right now or you’ll really be so sad forever”.

1. Mascara
2. Lipstick
3. Lip Liner
4. Eye Liner

I hope this review was helpful! There are many, many choices out there for great makeup that’s natural and cleaner if you are in the market for such items. It can be inundating and intimidating. I can tell you that my communications with RAL have been very kind and enjoyable. They seem very helpful and interested in making sure their customers are happy with their products. They also have a great money back guarantee! Again, the mascara, there’s nothing like it!!!

If you’ve tried anything and loved it, please share with me! If there’s something I haven’t tried but must, please let me know! I’m absolutely impressed by the quality and performance of RAL products and believe you will be, too!

Thank you for reading!


Mother’s Day 2016 Gift Guide

May 4, 2016

My first annual Mother’s Day Gift Guide up 4 days before Mother’s Day 2016. Great job, Kate.

Seriously, what do you give a human being who gave you life, birthed you DRUG FREE because she didn’t want her 1 second old newborn to be groggy, then took care of you and all you probably did was cry and poop for a good 2 months of life, and then you tried to give her an aneurysm when you were a teenager because were you rebelling?? As that wasn’t enough, she gave up her flourishing nursing career to take care of you because she wanted to see you grow up, she wanted to see you be a jerk to her, and she still loved you for all of it anyway? Seriously.

Well, if I put it that way, my gift guide actually is mediocre. Like what I can’t afford to get her is obviously isn’t this picture. This human who endured so much pain because of me is my mom. And she deserves the world and all I can give her is some notebook with my psychopathic looking writing and some really good skin care and makeup. Of course, she’s going to say “Too much, what is this? Just give me that notebook.” Then this is going to happen:

Mom: *Calls Kate because I can’t read this angry chicken scratch* Kate, what’s this say on page 6?
Kate: Uh, I don’t remember. Can you send a picture?
Mom: *sends picture and calls again* What is that?
Kate: Oh it says I’m sorry for all the crap I made you go through and then I spilled some water on it.
Mom: *click*
Kate: Hello?

So, I chose the items below for a few reasons:
* I REALLY like this stuff and I’m like 95% sure my mom would love it, too.
* I ACTUALLY use these products so I’m not giving it to her so she can be my guinea pig.
* I can’t give my mom stuff from companies that are just bad people. I like these companies. The people behind these brands are just so nice, kind, and cool humans. I mean, they owe nothing to me. I am just a little blogger with like 8.5 followers. But, they treat me with so much respect & kindness that I am proud to share their products with my family. They care what they put into their products and are honest. So, I can assure you, the consumer, that they will appreciate you.

Let’s not forget people who raised us who may not be our biological moms. They may be an aunt, a grandmother, a sister, a cousin, a lady from church, or a woman who adopted you which then makes this lady your mom, people. Moms don’t necessarily have to be someone who birthed you, they are someone who took care of you for your whole life and never asked for anything in return. Cherish these women.

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2016

Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2016

1. What I Love About You, Mom: This journal is everything. It makes you go back all the way to your first memory of your “mom”. It has you write about your favorite things and makes you really think about all. the. times. she was there for you. My mom, she was always, always there. Never was there a time she wasn’t there. OMG, MY EYES ARE SWEATY. Just get this book and fill it out. Trust me. You’re gonna get brownie points and maybe even real brownies. P.S. Mom, as of May 4th, I’m still filling this out, Um you may get it after Mother’s Day.

2. Maya Chia The Super Couple Ultra Luxe Face Oil: This oil smells like my mom. I love my mom so much so I just won’t live without this serum oil. Like how I can’t live without my mom. It’s easy as that. Plus, it’s a really amazing oil that honestly improves skin tone, brightens, and just makes you look like a baby’s butt.

3. Jewelry: Moms like shiny things. Like, really shiny things. My mom doesn’t really and so maybe I lucked out at how simple she is. I didn’t get this trait from her, I like shiny things.

4. Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick: OH MAN, if you haven’t tried this brand and this line, you need to before you leave this world. The best lipstick I’ve ever tried!!! The color payoff and moisturizing level is out of this world. ALL the colors. But, this one here is called Jam. It’s become my Jam! #badjoke

5. Natural Face Moisturizer Cream 4oz Advanced Healing 10-in-1 Non Greasy Formula with Organic Aloe Vera, Manuka Honey, Coconut Oil & More. Best Face Cream for Oily, Dry, Damaged & Sensitive Skin: I am a huge fan of the Era Organics line that I found on Amazon. Great company and amazing products. They are such a hidden gem. I’ve turned many mom friends over to this brand. This cream is so amazing for dry, sensitive skin. Every time I stop using this, my skin dies. Highly recommended and this is why my mom looks 40.

6. Clean Living Collection Whipped Body Butter in Citrus Blossom: Remember those companies who have nice people behind the brand and all that? This is one of them. I’ve been “stalking” this company for some time, trying to feel out the brand, the person, before I went and spent money on them. Confession: In the past as an eager blogger, I went and bought stuff from brands and though I have no regrets of my few purchases I made, I am now more aware of where I spend my money. Ariel is the creator here and she’s really become a friend I’d like to have coffee with. We interact and chat albiet on Instagram. But, we have a good thing and I don’t foresee her pushing sales and then unfollowing me on social media because she decided I wasn’t of any value to her. So, I respect her and her company. But more so, I appreciate her real humility and is a good human being. I wouldn’t be embarrassed to introduce her to my mom. Not that my mom is scary but I don’t want my mom to think I make horrible friends. Anyway, This particular item is just delicious and when I put it on my dry patch on my face, overnight it went away. I love the smell- uplifting and peaceful. What I love best is that I see real results and Ariel likes to drink coffee, too.

7. Pure Rose Water Mist Toner ? The Best Moisturizer for Acne Prone Skin ? Reduce Blackheads, Pimples & Adult Acne While Restoring Hydration Even to Overly Dry Skin ? Preps Your Face for Serums & Other Anti Aging Treatments: I really like Amaki Skin Care! They are affordable and every time I have used, the bath salts, body oil, and this rose water has been such a pleasant experience! Sure I got sent these items, but the thing is I am actually using them, daily, for weeks now. No inflated review here and they have a wonderful package going on for Mother’s Day:

Mother’s Day Gift Set $37 plus free shipping, valued at $51, includes:
Jasmine & Rose Nourishing Oil 4 fl oz
Rose Water Hydrating Mist Toner 4 fl oz
Konjac Facial Wash Sponge 2 pieces – charcoal sponge + green tea sponge
Gift Package with hang tag

8. Eye Cream Chlorella Edelweiss Stem Cell Acure Organics 1.0 oz Cream: Ok, I am a true Acure Fan. When they were available at Target, I bought everything. #damnyoutarget I have used this eyecream and this is my second bottle. I’ve called my mom and told her “BUY THIS…and also the night cream and day cream.” Another big but great company to talk to. I’ve called them and there’s a real person on the line who actually cared what my feedback was. They also are so pleasant on social media and I’d really be happy to have coffee with them.

9. Gressa Skin Minimalist Illuminating Serum: Ah, Gressa. She makes really great products. My mom is a no fuss, no heavy makeup, actually no makeup kind of gal. And this is serum is something I think a simple kind of mom would like. It has enough bling to brighten up your face but is so simple to use that it takes 0.5 seconds for application. It’s healthy, it’s good for skin, and it’s from a company with kind, good people. I like that Svetlana is a real cool mom, the kind who keeps it real and doesn’t pass judgements as moms sometimes do. She’s fun to talk to and has a good heart. I mean geez, she’s famous and she takes time to read my texts about coffee. So, of course, Gressa all the way.

What’s on our gift list for your mom, aunt, grandma, sister, cousin, lady at church this Mother’s Day? Oh yeah, don’t forget those I’m sorry cards.

P.S. I bought everything myself except Amaki Skin Care and Maya Chia. I used all the products at length. All my opinions are honest and my experience has not been shaped unbiasedly by bribes, money, or photo likes/follows on Instagram by the company.
P.P.S. This specific post is supported by adverts and affiliate marketing links. This means if you click a link and/or buy a product, I could possibly earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Regardless of this, all opinions are my own. Swear on Charlie.
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