If you have discovered that you have a medical reason to avoid gluten/grains, there are a daunting number of places to consider as possible sources for cross contamination. Makeup is one of these. You can read more about why this is an important source to consider here. If you think about it, many powders and pressed powders pouf into the air, which you breathe in, and eventually swallow some along with the mucus in your airways. Products that you put on your lips (or that are on the lips of those you like to kiss) are also of particular concern as they are easiest to lick off and swallow. I used to get eczema and horrible burning rashes from most makeup before I was diagnosed. I even noticed that when I used mascaras that contain gluten or corn, my eyes would twitch, burn, and itch. No fun at all!
Then I got diagnosed with Celiac disease and discovered a wonderful company called Red Apple Lipstick! It was founded by the husband of a Celiac, who saw his wife’s frustration with the available resources and wanted to make an alternative as good or better than the other things on the market. Better still, they have made their products grain free, cruelty free, paraben free, and without nasty chemicals! There are even a significant number that are specifically nut and fragrance free (this is only an issue to be mindful of with the lip products). They have since expanded to include eyeshadows, eyeliner, eye primer, mascara, blush, glosses, and more. Let me break down a review of the products I’ve tried.
Their mascara is a little bit different than the average stuff you buy at the drugstore, but if you follow their application tips, it goes on beautifully without lumps or clumps and lasts all day. It also has a built in lash conditioner that leaves your lashes, long, luscious, and healthy. Some Celiacs may find their eyelashes start growing back longer and thicker after they make the switch. I also love how easy it is to remove! I can take off all my makeup at the end of the day with just warm water and a washcloth, and it still stays where I put it all day long. On occasion I’ve had a few flakies, but that was true of every mascara I’ve ever used. They don’t currently have a waterproof version – in my experience it holds up against minor crying or water exposure, but not to a fully ugly cry or swimming.
They make a lovely eye pencil in several colours (that would work as a brow pencil if they have the right colour for you). They’re easy to sharpen, mine has never broken, and always goes on smooth. If it’s been a while since I’ve used it, the outer layer can be a teeny bit dry, but if I doodle on the back of my hand, warm it up, or sharpen the tip, it’s good to go again.
Red Apple makes a beautiful array ofcolours of pressed powder eyeshadows. The other fun thing is that they have reusable magnetic cases that fit either two shadows (the twosie), or up to nine (in the Z Palette)! You can choose your own combinations, or choose from the preselected combinations they’ve created. They also offer discounts when you order multiples, making it a little bit more affordable to get started. I love Iced Mocha, Minx, En Pointe, Twinkle Taupe, Like U Latte, Violet Vintage, and Dirty Girl. The descriptions and pictures give a pretty close idea of what the colours are like, and I appreciate that they have the ability to be used as wet or dry shadows, and you can layer for more or less intense looks. They blend really nicely, and I’ve only had issues with creasing when I’ve applied them to damp moisturizer, or on a really long hot day.
I had never used an eye primer before, and I’m still not sold on using it as a base for my eyeshadow, but being the fair skinned human than I am, it actually works amazingly well as an under eye and spot concealer for me! All you need is a wee dab patted on (you can layer for more coverage). It’s a similar consistency to the MAC all in one face base compacts if I’m remembering right… more like a cream powder with a silky finish. It can crease and settle a bit, and can irritate my eyes and dry out my skin at times…but on days when the dark circles are there in all their glory, I’m very grateful to have it.
This is one of their newer additions, and it’s everything you would expect of a silky finish, pressed powder blush. I personally love the colour called M’Lady, and have been impressed with how long it has lasted. Red Apple also posts handy tutorials like this one on their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2r8WJxm8mw.
There is a reason the lipsticks have remained their flagship item! They’re creamy, dreamy, moisturizing magic! I’ve never had a problem with bleeding colour, but they definitely transfer onto your beverage or the recipient of your kisses! The colour lasts for hours, and I only ever need to touch up after eating (or a lengthy kissing session). The colours are rich, and easy to blend if you want to combine two or more for a custom colour. I wear Maven Mauve and Unpinkable the most (love both!), and also wear Hollypeno, Sweet Coraline, and Naughty (though I mostly use Naughty as a nude to tone down other colours).
I tried a lovely light pink one with a bit of glitter and added mintyflavour. The label has rubbed off from living in my purse and the packaging has changed since I ordered it, but I love it, and have even had positive feedback from those I have kissed while wearing it. It’s not too sticky or intense, just a nice bit of shine. It would be perfect for the young lady in your life who is just starting to experiment with makeup. They also have an assortment of coloured glosses if you prefer them to lipstick.
This is the one product that I haven’t loved. It is a completely effective, healing, moisturizing lip balm. I found that I went through it faster than I would have expected, and I really didn’t like the taste. I got the Lip Exfoliator once in a promotion, and it definitely came in handy when I had a bad flare and needed therapeutic grade lip care… and it has a nicer minty flavour. Overall though, I would choose to reach for Badger Balm at times when all I want is a moisturizing lip balm. I also haven’t tried their lip liner… it’s just not a thing I would think to reach for, but I’m sure it’s lovely given the track record of the eye pencil and lipsticks.
And there you have it! A full overview of all the magical products at Red Apple Lipstick. These fabulous products can be noticeably more expensive if you’re used to buying drugstore brands, but they have several major sales in the year (Black Friday being one of the best), and if you join their loyalty club, you get 10-15% off coupons each month. You can also save by teaming up with friends or family members who might also appreciate these lovely products.
You might be thinking it’s sort of nuts to order makeup off the internet… and you’re right, it can be a bit of a gamble. There are a few stores that carry their products so you can check for one in your area on their website. Also know that they have fabulous customer service and a great return/exchange policy so if you order something and realize it’s just the wrong thing, contact Jay and Andrea as soon as you can and they’ll be happy to help you sort that out.
***Full disclosure, the links I’ve included to their shop are affiliate links. What that means is that if you shop through the links I’ve provided a tip gets sent back to me. There is no additional cost to you, and it allows me the financial support to keep making great resources for you!***