Monday, February 17, 2014

Red Apple Lipstick's Rallye Balm ~ Review

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. 


  1. Thanks for the review of Red Apple Rallye Balm. Sounds like a great product. I don't know how many of the products you sampled but can you tell me if the following are good for TSu's? Pinkle Twinkle or Hibiskiss lipstick, Pink Lady or Metropolis lipgloss, and Pixie Dust or Violet Femme eyeshadows.

    1. Pinkle Twinkle—a cool-toned, softly-muted, lilac-based pink—does not harmonize seamlessly with either of the pink/rose/red sleeves on my 12 Tone Cool Summer fan (I matched it to one of the lightest chips on my SSu fan). I still wear PT often and find it cool enough for me. How it looks on you depends on existing lip and skin pigment. I wear it to the office, and I also use it to lighten more vibrant shades without warming them up, as a regular nude lipstick might do.

      Hibiskiss was too warm for me. And although I haven't tried any of the RAL lip glosses, I am tempted by Metropolis. Whether it works for TSus ... I cannot say.

      I highly recommend you take advantage of Red Apple Lipstick's sampling program and create your own sample pack. Each button holds enough for a full day's wear, maybe more. I bet you could try ALL of the more obviously cool-toned shades for the cost of a single lipstick. Then you could test (and mix and blend) the shades that work best for you. I sampled Hibiskiss, Love My Kiss, and Vogue, none of which complemented my skin tone.

      As for the eyeshadows, I wear Pixie Dust every day as a base. I'd call it cool-neutral, as it has a white peach undertone. My skin does not mind, as PD seems less warm and is lighter than MAC Yogurt. PD is also cooler than Alima Daphne. I'm fine with the slight peachiness, which more closely mimics my sun-damaged eyelid skin with its yellow/light brown overtones (not my 20 year old eyelid skin, which was porcelain-pink-lavender). With the sun damage, overt cool-toned pink eyeshadows (like elea blake Bashful) can look a bit too ... pink. Bashful is still flattering—I just prefer a more natural "no makeup" look for my eyes. I also absolutely prefer pressed makeup over loose so, if given two comparable colors, I will choose pressed every time. As far as I know, Red Apple Lipstick and Jane Iredale are the only mineral-based brands that offer pressed.

      I don't yet own Violet Femme, but I'd probably order it, as it doesn't appear red based. You can see Ashley do an EOTD using Violet Femme on Youtube. She also features VF in her "how to make a lavender eyeshadow" video. As for RAL's Clean Slate, it's everything (and more) I always wanted MAC Scene to be--an eyeshadow I never quite warmed up to.

      I'll definitely work on getting the first series of swatches up this week with more to come, as I have now made three purchases from RAL in less than 6 weeks. I didn't post immediately because I prefer to give new items an extended trial. I hate to mislead readers, so I want to make sure my immediate excitement has worn off so I can be more objective :)

  2. Thanks Zuzu for your quick response! I went ahead and ordered several items including those I asked you about. I'm like you in that I prefer pressed makeup over loose minerals. The EB Bashful is perfect on me as I don't have any sun damage, it really blends in with my coloring. I'm very porcelain. I ordered several samples of the lipsticks and can't wait to get them. I'll let you know my thoughts.


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