This is Part 2 of a 2 part series. Read Part 1 here.

After really loving the Illuminaré gluten free liquid foundation, I was excited to check out the other two products they sent:

Illuminare_gluten_free_eyeliner

Beyond Black Everlasting Eyeliner

I thought at first the Beyond Black Everlasting Eyeliner was a gel liner. Not sure where I got the idea because as it turns out, it’s a cream liner.

I’m gonna be honest- I haven’t often played with cream liners before. Pencil and liquid have always been my go-to. But there is something to be said about the creamy, blendable nature of Illuminaré’s cream eye liner. It’s easy to spread this over large areas, or deep into the lash line. Super creamy, super blendable. I really need to get better at using it because every little flick takes a streak of jet black product with it. But with excellent staying power and almost no smudge once dried, I end up turning to this liner quite frequently.

All Day Mineral LipColor

Initially, I was fascinated by this because this product is essentially Illuminaré’s lipstick. They have a gloss too, but this is the opaque, firmer, less glossy variety.

Unfortunately, I had an instant allergic reaction to the lipcolor, that lined up with the early symptoms of anaphylaxis. My throat began to swell up and I felt lightheaded. I immediately wiped my mouth clean, washed it under water, scrambled for homeopathic remedies and any real harm was completely avoided.
This happened to me only once before, with Arbonne’s lip gloss. But I never figured out why. It’s not gluten- I know what my gluten symptoms are, inside and out. Whatever it is, it’s just me and completely unrelated to the gluten factor. The is that this means I can’t actually review the product for y’all. 🙁

My sister, however, really likes the lipcolor. She found it to be decently lasting and simply loved the color. When I told her she could have it, she was quite pleased.

One thing I’d like to point out though: Most of Illuminaré’s products are paraben free, but this lipcolor is not. If parabens make you nervous, this is not the product for you. If you don’t mind parabens, the reasonable $16 price tag makes this an easy YES to try out. It’s tough to find reasonably priced, gluten free lip products and this seems to be a pretty good option.

 

All in all, I’m enjoying Illuminaré’s products. While their foundation is certainly their star product, the other products and tools I got to try were unique and interesting and I’m enjoying using them (minus the lipcolor, which my sister is now enjoying. Ha!).

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Congratz to Kimberly Chiles, our winner for the Calgary Gluten Free Expo ticket!

Thank you all so much for entering this giveaway! You’re all awesome! And lucky. Darn lucky that you are within reach of this Expo.

For those of you who did not get picked by the magic randomness of Random.org, there’s still time to snag a ticket for yourself anyway! Check out the Gluten Free Expo’s website HERE and don’t miss out on this amazing experience. There’s going to be some truly fantastic speakers at the Calgary event and of course tons of gluten free products to sample, buy and learn about.

Oh and do not fear: More giveaways can be seen in our near future! Even if you didn’t win this time, you might win the next!

 

Soooo on a slightly different note, would y’all be interested in more giveaways like this? This is our first event related giveaway, so it’s a bit more exclusive than, say, a product giveaway that can be shipped wherever. We had a lot of entries for this being a regional event, so my initial guess would be that y’all like this? 🙂

Do let me know!

And thank you again for entering the Gluten Free Expo Canada giveaway!

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Edit: This giveaway has ended and we have our winner! Thanks to all who entered!

Recently, I was asked to be a part of Gluten Free Expo Canada’s Gluten Free Bloggers Club. While I’m not Canadian (sorry y’all, but I do love my Texas), I jumped on the chance to be a part of such a huge and exciting gluten free event.

One of the benefits of being in the Gluten Free Bloggers Club is that I get a free ticket to the expo! But being here in Texas, that’s a long, loooooooong way for me to travel and sadly, I’ve had to forgo the fun.

This is the part where my loss is your gain!

I’m giving away my ticket to the Calgary Gluten Free Expo to YOU, my lovely readers!

By entering the giveaway, you agree to abide by the rules below. Please read them carefully:

Open to Residents of Canada and the US, ages 18+. Calgary isn’t that far from the border, so if you live waaaaay up North here in the US, you could still go to the expo!

The Giveaway will run from today (March 11th) to March 16th. So enter NOW or you may miss your chance!

The winner will be chosen at random using Random.org’s engine.

I will announce the winner Monday, March 18th. The announcement will be publicly here on my blog, on Facebook, on Twitter and on Google+. I will also at the same time contact the winner via email and if I absolutely must, Facebook or Twitter.

The winner must reply within 24 hours of announcement and contact or a new winner will be drawn. There will be no exceptions. Please keep an eye on your email in case YOU have won.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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If these gluten labeling laws pass, Gluten grain derived ingredients will be outlawed in all food.

Also, 20ppm gluten will be the limit of gluten in a gluten free product.

On one hand, this makes me happy. I’m so glad that this frightening practice of removing gluten from a gluten grain and calling it “gluten free” will be outlawed in more than just beer (I wrote about that here). On the other hand, I’m very unhappy that 20ppm is still in place.

First off- if this is from the FDA, how does it affect gluten free cosmetics?

Well as far as I know, no country has gluten free labeling laws for their cosmetics. What ends up happening is that the gluten free laws for food simply become the gluten free standard for all products that need to be gluten free. The country cannot police it once it’s outside of food, it just keeps everyone on the same page.

So legally, this does not affect anything gluten free cosmetic related. It will affect everything in how people view gluten free.

Case in point: Both Mineral Fusion and Arbonne have products they advertise as gluten free with ingredients that are directly derived from gluten grains. If this new law passes and outlaws that practice in food, it will pull the rug out from under these “gluten free claims” by saying that it isn’t good enough for gluten free food. So it follows that it’s not good enough for cosmetics either.

This is something I have a history of fighting for and I firmly believe that outlawing it in food is an excellent thing.

But 20ppm gluten allowed in my food?

WheatI have a very simple problem with this. Celiacs and gluten sensitive can still react to <20 ppm gluten.

How do I know this? The FDA told me so.

Here’s an excerpt from an extremely well researched, well written article about the issue of <20 ppm:

The final sentence of the FDA Health Hazard Assessment report (Ref. 2, p. 46) states that:

In sum, these findings indicate that a less than 1 ppm level of gluten in foods is the level of exposure for individuals with CD on a GFD that protects the most sensitive individuals with CD and thus, also protects the most number of individuals with CD from experiencing any detrimental health effects from extended to long-term exposure to gluten.

It is important to note that a 1 ppm threshold would be beyond the capabilities of current assay, which creates a quandary for the FDA.

[…]

As explained earlier, there are remarkably few clinical studies which actually address the question of the specific dose of gluten that is safe for a celiac. Two publications were of particular concern to the FDA. One widely cited paper by Catassi et. al. (Ref. 10) was a small pilot study which attempted to define a safe intake of gluten. Thirteen celiac patients were tested with 50 mg gluten per day and showed a statistically significant level of mucosal damage compared to placebo. At the lower dose of 10 mg per day (which would correspond to 400 g food containing 25 ppm gluten), no statistically significant effects were observed. However, the authors noted:

The gluten microchallenge disclosed large interpatient variability in the sensitivity to gluten traces. Some CD patients showed a clear-cut worsening of the small-intestinal architecture after ingesting only 10 mg gluten/d[ay]…

and cautioned that:

Because of the limited number of patients, we were not able to reach firm conclusions about the potential toxicity of 10 mg gluten/d[ay], which remained a “gray” area.

You can read the whole article HERE. They pretty sum up all my conclusions, opinions and strong beliefs on the matter of gluten free labeling.

But in short, we have evidence that extremely small amounts of gluten, down to 1 ppm, can cause Celiacs to react.

So <20 ppm may simply not be good enough to keep all Celiacs safe.

I appreciate that the FDA is not trusting our tests that can go down to 5 ppm, which is their cited reason for going with <20 ppm. But I’m not at all happy that they are willing to put this into law before they find a test they trust to go lower than <20 ppm. It sets a precedent that may be difficult to overturn as time goes on. You’ve seen how long it’s taken for this to even go into final review. It’s been 9 years, folks!! More and more people are being diagnosed as Celiac, not less. This is something that will continue to gain importance as more of the population requires gluten free food. Is it really worth letting the very dubious <20 ppm sit as our law for potentially another decade?

 

So this news puts me somewhere in between ecstasy and anger. Heh. Yay/grrr?

What is your take on this? Do you think the FDA has it right, or are you unhappy about it?

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What’s your favorite confidence boosting makeup product? Is it mascara? Bold red lipstick? Bright blush? Well for me, it’s liquid foundation. I do love a bold lipstick, but nothing boosts my confidence like knowing my skin looks perfect. But finding the perfect gluten free liquid foundation has been nothing short of a challenge. I’ve tried some I like before- some of them very much so. But I hadn’t found one that made me say “Perfection has been reached”. Until now.

You have almost certainly heard of Illuminaré before. They are beloved by celebrities and makeup artists of every age and every style. I finally checked them out after seeing Emily Deschanel wearing it, but they have also recently been seen in Harper’s Bazaar and Fitness Magazine. Plus their foundation is being used in TV shows “Bones” and “Touch” (and Miss Touch-Fangurl here had a mini freakout over the latter). You can see some of their press appearances here.

It’s pretty rare for a company with clients like this to be safe for gluten sensitive. But Illuminaré is.

I read somewhere that this is a natural makeup. Well, I don’t know a whole lot about natural makeup, but Illuminaré does use parabens in some of their products. Not in the foundation, I’m happy to say. But they are not an all natural brand. What they are is a mineral based brand. I was told by customer service that Illuminaré uses nothing that once was alive in any of their products. Therefore it’s both vegan and gluten free.

The question is: Is this hype really true? Is this really such an amazing brand? And is this really some gluten free liquid foundation to get excited over?

Well… Read on and find out.

Here’s what I got to try:

However, in this first part of the review I shall only review the three different liquid foundations and the application sponge. Stay tuned next week for the rest of the review!

illuminare_gluten_free_liquid_foundation

Gluten Free Liquid Foundation

There are three different finishes for the gluten free liquid foundation, however they all have the same colors.

Overall, I found the liquid foundations to be fantastic. I loved them. They cover well (especially the extra coverage), they stay all day long, wash off easily and best of all, look shockingly natural on the face.

However. Illuminare has perhaps one of the worst sets of shades I’ve ever seen. 5 total colors. The shades are not bad in and of themselves, but it’s simply not enough variation. I had to carefully blend the Porcelain and the Fair to get the right shade for me. It’s a bit annoying and I wish they would expand their color line. It especially stinks because this would mean I have to buy two tubes of foundation at once, causing me to hope I use it all before it goes bad. With as concentrated a formula as this is, I’m not sure I’d use it all in time. Then again, I use liquid foundation as a confidence booster, not a daily foundation. Perhaps if I used it more frequently, it wouldn’t be a problem to use up in time.

Now for the specific formulas:

Fantastic Finish Gluten Free Liquid FoundationMoisturizing (Fantastic Finish)

This has a gorgeous silky, dewy finish to it that leaves a fresh faced look. It’s moisturizing, but not overly so. The coverage is good, but I liked to use the extra coverage over anything I really needed to cover.

Concealing (Extra Coverage)

Of the three formulas, this is easily my favorite. Because I use liquid foundation when I truly need flawless skin, typically when I need coverage, I need coverage. And this gives it to me. It’s amazing. Powerful magic-like coverage while maintaining a naked appearance.

Mattifying (Ultimate All Day)

No joke on the mattifying! This cut down on any hint of shine and did away with the need to finish off with some sort of powder. The coverage is quite good, better than the Fantastic Finish, but not as heavy as the extra coverage.

 

Fast Application Pad

Fast Application Sponge

Applying the liquid foundation flawlessly and yes, quickly, this sponge turned out to be a fun and easy way to put on the foundation. It really helps to blend the foundation and allows you quite a bit of control over how you put on. I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy the sponge this much, but I do. Fantastic tool to have in your kit.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed the Illuminaré’s gluten free liquid foundation, and of course the application pad. I’m deeply impressed at the quality, love love love the textures and coverage and love how gentle it is on my skin. If they were to add more colors to the line, I’d say it was pretty much a perfect foundation. As it is now, Illuminaré is close anyway.

This fulfills all those things I need in a liquid foundation to give me that boost of confidence.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Illuminaré review! Now that we’ve covered the gluten free liquid foundation (see what I did there?), we’ll move on to the lip color and to the everlasting cream eyeliner.

What is your favorite confidence boosting makeup?

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Woo-hoo!!! The March/April edition of Simply Gluten Free Magazine is HERE! And this is the first edition to use pictures from my super-awesome “new” camera. I keep calling it new but I actually got it in December. So it isn’t really new. But it is. And I love it. And it looks AWESOME. Really made a difference!

Simply Gluten Free Magazine Mar/Apr 1

Simply Gluten Free Magazine- The Spring Fling March/April 2013!

The entire issue is focused on Spring and children. Fresh and light recipes, travel logs, gluten free summer camps and several talking about children and the way Celiac and other autoimmune diseases affects them.

Simply Gluten Free Magazine Mar/Apr 2

Does that look yummy or what??

My favorite of the articles in this issue would have to be the one by Dr. Vikki Peterson about children with spectrum disorders and how they may benefit from a gluten free diet. This is a topic that fascinates me, though I couldn’t really explain why.

Dr. Peterson address how studies have shown that the gut is directly connected to the brain, and how Celiac disease could actually be a cause for disorders like autism.

Woah, can you imagine the impact this might have on our emotionally challenged children if this method of treatment was more widely experimented with? It boggles my mind and excites me to no end.

 

And of course, here is my article. I had a lot of fun with this! It’s inspired by a runway look that translates surprisingly well into real life and gluten free makeup. It’s different, unique and colorful.

Simply Gluten Free Magazine Mar/Apr 3

My article! And look- the text is blue! I like blue. It’s my favorite color, in fact.

Yup, that’s right, I’m not gonna show you pictures of the look. Muahahaha! I’m such a tease

Go find Simply Gluten Free Magazine in stores next week, the first week of March 2013!

Or better yet, get a discounted price by subscribing HERE and never miss an issue.

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You have been asking and asking and asking for this… So here it is! A review of Honeybee Gardens‘ gluten free makeup! And hairspray too, to my infinite delight.

I’ve had so many questions about Honeybee Gardens, it’s not even funny. When I first looked into them, they were not safe. But they have recently reformulated to become 100% gluten free. I’m really excited about this! And that’s for two reasons:

  1. Because I’m glad to have good news for y’all, my lovely, amazing, sweet, smart readers.
  2. Because I’ve always thought Honeybee Gardens looked like a good and fun company.

To my delight, I was absolutely right about the second part.

Here’s what I got to try:

Honeybee Gardens Gluten Free Makeup

Gluten Free Mascara

I’m a bit of a gluten free mascara nerd. My lashes are kinda puny (gee, thanks Mom 😛 ), so good mascara is a must for me. The trouble is, good gluten free mascara is hard to find.

THIS is good stuff. It’s buildable, not clumpy and light feeling. It does takes a few seconds to dry and it pretty sticky until then, but I didn’t have a problem with it after the initial drying process. Nor did it try to smear everywhere before it was entirely dry, for which I am grateful. It doesn’t give super oomph, but that’s part of the reason why it’s so light and gentle.

The end result is very natural looking, with great definition and a silky look. In fact, I keep having to hunt around for it because someone or other is always borrowing it. (Why does everyone keep stealing my precious gluten free makeup!? Get your own, y’all! 😛 )

Gluten Free Lipstick

Lipstick is another of those tricky gluten free makeup products. So often gluten free lipstick has no lasting power and just ends up melting into your lips. I like those balmy kinds, but let’s be honest y’all- tinted lip balms are fab, but only when you want tinted lip balm.

I’m happy to say, this is genuinely lipstick! I wouldn’t say it has super staying power, but unless you eat something it doesn’t require constant reapplication. The scent is interesting. I’ve never had lipstick that smells like herbs… But it’s pleasant and not at all overwhelming. The bombshell color is beautiful and the color payoff is quite satisfying. The packaging is kinda cheesy feeling, but I haven’t had an issue with it yet. Plus that funny little cutout is fun. Combining all that with an $11.99 price point (or LESS if you buy from Amazon) and you simply MUST try it!

Eye Shadow Palette

Honeybee Gardens' Gluten Free Eyeshadow Palette

The Cosmopolitan Eye Shadow Palette

This is perhaps the most fun, most adorable and most super awesome gluten free makeup product I got to try.

Have you noticed that the gluten free makeup world doesn’t have a lot of “cute” products? I’m wildly envious of MAC users, for instance. Not fair y’all, not fair. But maybe Honeybee Gardens can give them a run for their money.

With high quality, gorgeous, feminine and wearable colors, adorable packaging and a lovely little brush, this is literally a perfect palette. I’m thinking gifts- like stocking stuffer, “I’m sorry”, “thinking of you”, “Happy Birthday”, “girl’s night out”, etc. Or how about an “I deserve something adorable” gift to yourself?

We’re obsessed with this palette. I say “we”, because this is another thing that keeps getting stolen. In fact, I don’t even know where mine is as I type this… Someone carried it off. Trust me though, I’ll get it back.

There are several other palettes besides this one, and I think it highly worth the time to collect them all. They are all lovely!

Alcohol Free Hairspray

Last but not least, the elusive gluten free hairspray! This product is so incredibly hard to find, it’s not even funny. I’ve been without hairspray for a year now, after I found out that my old supposed “gluten free hairspray” really did have gluten in it.

I honestly wasn’t sure what to think of a non-aerosol hairspray. Being just a normal spray nozzle, this is a much heavier spray than I’m used to. However, it ended up not being a problem at all. It doesn’t weigh down my hair too much and it has good holding power. It smells really interesting, like an herbal supplement, but the scent fades quickly.

Now, if you look for this hairspray, make sure it’s the alcohol free version, the new formula. The old version had straight wheat in it. It has recently been reformulated. However you may still see old bottle in stores, or on other websites. If you get it straight from the Honeybee Gardens’ website you should be fine. If you look for it elsewhere, just be careful and pay close attention to exactly which formula you’re getting.

All in all, I’m very much enjoying Honeybee Gardens’ gluten free makeup and hairspray. All the products are high quality, gentle and reasonably priced. I’m so glad they are all gluten free now!

Check out Honeybee Gardens!

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When I first made the switch to gluten free skin care, I thought my options were narrowing. I thought I would be stuck using one or two brands of gluten free skin care.

But I was wrong.

When you turn your gaze in a new direction, you see things you’ve never seen before. When pushed out of your comfort zone, you’re forced to try things you’ve never tried before. And that leads to leaning new things, finding new roads to take and making surprising discoveries.

Such as…

Did you know that awesome gluten free skin care can be formulated with 4 ingredients or less?

It’s unheard of, I know! And I was kinda skeptical. But you gotta admit- the concept is intriguing.

Arigato Gluten Free Skin Care

 

I got to try 4 different products from Arigato:

Honestly, the ingredients used in these gluten free skin care products are radically different than I’m used to seeing. Velvet for instance has, of all things, broccoli oil in it. Broccoli oil? I didn’t even know it existed. And Pumpkin Seed Oil- Well, pumpkin seeds are one of the most nutrient packed foods in the world, so I guess it makes sense to go in skin products. I’ve just never heard of it before. Helichrysum Flower Oil, what’s that? It’s a pretty name, but again I’ve never heard of it.

If the only thing good about these products were the unique and creative ingredients, it would be an interesting product to me. But that isn’t the only good thing.

 

Velvet Gluten Free CleanserVelvet Ultra Soothing Cleanser

My first thought on trying this was how interesting the scent is. It’s not strong smelling, not overly herby, not really like anything I’ve ever smelled before. Then again, the ingredients are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. :p

I have a lot of gluten free skin care products sitting around in my bathroom, especially cleansers. I like most of them (the ones I don’t like I get rid of). So with all the choices I have, why is everyone stealing my Velvet?

Yep, we love it that much! It cleans well, but is super gentle. Like, seriously gentle. It is gentler than some waters I’ve had to use in my lifetime. Yet it removes dirt, makeup and dead skin without problem.

 

Heli Water Gluten Free AstringentHeli Water Organic Soothing Astringent

Being a gal whose skin tends more towards oily and blemished, astringents have always been a favorite of mine. They brighten my skin very well and tend to bring the clarity that we all seek for.

This astringent is perhaps one of the most gentle I have ever used. It doesn’t sting to use at all. It’s bracing, like an astringent should be. But no sting.

It isn’t as powerful an astringent as I’ve used before. But I think that’s part of it’s gentleness. It strips far less than other astringents I’ve used in the past.

And yes, it actually is soothing! It makes my skin feel calm and invigorated, in a way that I’ve never before experienced with astringents.

 

Xcrema Hydrating Butter

This butter is designed to use anywhere- from eye area to hands to any part of the body. It’s olive based and so perfectly gentle enough for use wherever you need powerful moisturizing. And it is powerful.

This may be the most hydrating product I have ever used.

I don’t tend to need much hydration. Just a wee bit after I wash my face and I’m good. It’s extremely rare for me to need much more. When I spread a tiny bit of this stuff over my face, it was oily for 2 days. No exaggeration.

On the other hand, my sister (who also needs gluten free skin care) always struggles with dry skin. And she LOVES this. She tells me that finding a product powerful enough to deal with her dry skin is nearly impossible. But this does the trick.

Considering that I’ve never had a product over moisturize my skin for an entire 2 days, I absolutely believe her. This is an incredibly powerful butter.

 

Wake Up Organic Revitalizing Oil

With a strong, wintergreen and citrus scent, this oil does a pretty good job of “waking you up” with it’s smell alone. But it really does help to dissolve dead skin cells and freshen the skin.

However, this oil does double duty- as a revitalizer and a blemish treatment. And it’s with the blemish treatment that I’ve seen the most remarkable success.

Wake Up has helped to blast some of the worst breakouts I’ve had in a very long time. Stubborn ones that just wouldn’t go away until I began to apply this nightly. It was with a startlingly fast turnaround that the blemishes came to the surface and just healed up. Even ones I’d been fighting for a week.

I love all these gluten free skin care products, but Wake Up is easily my favorite. Anything that puts the smack down on those nasty breakouts! And so thoroughly!

 

I honestly had no idea what to expect from Arigato. It is like nothing I’ve ever seen. But one thing I know now- awesome gluten free skin care can come from 4 ingredients or less.

Check out Arigato’s Gluten Free Skin Care!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!!! I love you all so much. This year, will y’all be my valentines? Any kisses I give will be with gluten free lipstick, I promise.

What is Valentine’s Day to you?

Sweethearts? Candy? S.A.D. (Singles Awareness Day)?

For me this year… Well, it’s a bit of downer. It’s the first one without my little buddy Pippin the Italian Greyhound in 7 years. He was always my Valentine. I’d pick him up, squeeze him and snuggle him and ask “Are you my Valentine, Pip?” In reply, he would drop his head against my chest, or thrust his little nose under my chin, and snuggle me back.

 

Not that anything could ever replace my baby, but, I have to say… This limited edition little box from Red Apple Lipstick is awfully cheering. Bright packaging, luscious colors and fantastic gluten free lipstick and makeup products.

This was made to give away, but sometimes we need to give ourselves a little something when we’re feeling down.

Red Romance Gluten Free Lipstick

Included in this kit are:

 

Gluten Free Lipstick

Y’all already know how much I love RAL lipsticks. Red! is a particularly gorgeous bright color, as you see above. Plum Sexy Crazy I’d never tried before, but it’s a luscious wine shade, with copper highlights. Wearable during the day when on lightly, plus can easily be carried over into the evening when applied more opaquely.

In the look I did above, I only used Red! However, I’ve heard tell that combining the two lipsticks creates an amazing color combination.

Mint2B Gluten Free Lip Gloss

The spearmint oil in this gives it a tingle when you apply it, but in a very pleasant way. The icy freshness of it is fun to wear and the color is just gorgeous. I hope RAL begins selling this outside of the kit! The strong warm red, high pigmentation and crisp chill of the spearmint makes this a really lovely product.

I layered this on top of the Red! lipstick and the result was absolutely gorgeous.

Pressed Mineral Gluten Free Eye Shadows

Red Apple Lipstick's Valentine's Day Kit - Gluten Free Lipstick

I am very fond of RAL’s eye shadows, because of the staying power, the blendability and the gorgeous shades. Both Buttercream and Champagne I’d tried before and loved. Both are the kinds of colors every gal needs in her makeup kit. Versatile, gorgeous and easy to use.

Chocolate Martini however is brand new and I’ve been curious to see what it looked like in person. It’s a cool, deep, pretty brown, with big flakes of copper shine in it. It’s interesting, because the eye shadow itself appears to be pretty much matte and only the flecks have any shine. The flakes are so big that most of them tend to fall off before I’m even done blending the shadow. A few do cling on and what remains is an interesting, but pretty color.

I’m not hugely fond of any shine in the crease, because the whole point of using a dark color in the crease is to add dimension to your eyes. If the crease color catches light, it brings that entire area forward, visually. That at least partly negates the idea of deepening your crease.

However, the end result of this color is not overly shiny. As such, it does turn out to be a nice and unique crease color.

Z-Palette

I love this little thing. It’s pretty sturdy, bright green so you don’t ever miss it and has an open magnetic bottom so you can fit up to 9 little eyeshadow pans in that tiny space. On top of that, it comes with magnets with sticky backs so you could put a magnet on anything and slap it in there! The organizer in me cackled with glee over that one. Haven’t done it yet, but it’s such a good idea.

 

All in all, the Valentine’s Day Kit is full of fun and safely gluten free lipstick products that you’ll use waaaay past Valentine’s Day.

The price of this kit is far, far less than it would be bought separately. So if-

  1. You’re needing to stock up on Red Apple Lipstick’s gluten free lipstick and other cool products

  2. You’ve just had a bit of a bummer Valentine’s Day (like me *le sigh*)

Grab a kit and give yourself a Valentine’s Day gift this year.

 

Update: This Limited Edition Kit is no longer being sold as a set. However, all the individual products are still available, so feel free to build it yourself via the links above!

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ATTENTION: Buddha Balm quietly went out of business some time ago. Their products are no longer available for purchase. I’m terribly disappointed by this…

 
 

If you’re looking for a good replacement, check out Keeki’s Lip Balms.


 

 

When someone tells you about their favorite product, then someone else tells you about theirs and both these unrelated people’s favorite products are the same… One should take notice. Then when multiple, unrelated people come to you asking “is this gluten free lip balm?? ‘Cuz I reallyreallyreally wanna try it!” one really takes notice.

A brief while later, sure enough, I found out that Buddha Balm is gluten free. They do not test for gluten, however their ingredient suppliers are certified gluten free. Therefore testing has been done, at some point down the line.

Thus comes about this review of Buddha Balm’s gluten free lip balm.

Some of you are probably thinking “Wait, hasn’t she already reviewed them?” Nope, my friends. This is an entirely different company. Just with a very similar name.

Buddha Balm Gluten Free Lip Balm

The balm arrived in a little brown paper padded envelope, made with 95% recycled content. There was a lovely little hand stamped logo for the company in the lower right front corner of the package. There was no mistaking who that package was from.

Upon opening it, there were pretty, glossy company brochures and of course, the gluten free lip balm. Packed neatly into a what I can only best describe as a mini-burlap bag (y’all feel free to correct me on what type of fabric that is in the picture lol). Also stamped with the company logo.

The presentation is flawless, the packaging bright and cheery, the flavors intriguing sounding.

But how was it?

The Moisturizing

It soaks slowly into the skin and feels just. So. Good. I recently had a terrible allergic reaction to something (and y’all will actually be hearing about it soon, because it was makeup 😯 ) and my lips burned and itched and turned red. It was horrible. My first instinct was to get something to soothe it with and Buddha Balm was handy. I smeared globs of it on, because seriously, who cares about overkill when you’re in pain? I felt the coolness of the balm begin to work it’s healing right away. About 15 mins later there was little trace of the irritation left. I had of course been taking remedies as well, but Buddha Balm helped make my lips feel better instantly.

Even when it’s not quite such a drastic moment, Buddha Balm feels fantastic on my lips. Soothing, moisturizing and long lasting.

The Overall Flavors

What’s really interesting about the Buddha Balm flavors to me is how incredibly sweet they are. It’s stevia, so technically it’s about as healthy a sweetener as you can get. So no worries there. It’s just sweet. The kind of sweet that surprises me when I absentmindedly lick my lips an hour later. Or that makes my water taste oddly sweet.

I’m a notorious hater of Sstevia. Only because I just can’t staaaand the flavor. I wish I liked it! I just don’t.

However.

This does not taste like stevia. It just tastes sweet.

 

Besides being sweet, every flavor is very fragrant. But in a fantastically delicious way. Nothing artificial smelling or tasting in them, which I absolutely love. If I’m going to have something sitting on my lips for hours at a time, I want to like how it smells and tastes. Buddha Balm is absolutely likeable.

Speaking of  flavors…

Mandarin Orange Ginger Gluten Free Lip Balm

Mandarin Orange Ginger

This is the one flavor I can say “Yes, I smell all the flavors that are in the title”. The others kinda blend together, while the Mandarin Orange Ginger is distinctly spicy and citrusy. And sweet. Very sweet. Anyone, male or female, could wear this with ease.

Lychee Pomegranate Gluten Free Lip Balm

Lychee Pomegranate

Very sweet and fruity, but with grounded earthy undertones that keep it from floating off on a pink cloud. However, it is distinctly girly in it’s extreme fruitiness. Not a problem if you’re a girl, but if you’re a manly man needing gluten free lip balm, you might wanna pass on this flavor.

Crushed Mint Pineapple Gluten Free Lip Balm

Crushed Mint Pineapple

Being a mint flavor, this is perhaps the most familiar of them all. It’s sweeter and more complex than most- dare I say all? -traditional lip balms, but familiar. A guy could use this very easily.

Burnt Sugar Fig Gluten Free Lip Balm

Burnt Sugar Fig

I really have no idea where the fig comes into this… lol But it’s caramelly, rich, round, sweet and vanilla-y. Absolutely delicious. I think a guy could get away with this too, but my Dad tried it and won’t use it, saying it’s too girly. LOL! Sugar and vanilla, doesn’t seem overly girly to me…

OK, sooo, which flavor is best?

You’re gonna make me choose!? For real, y’all! Be nice! 😛

In all actuality, it’s hard for me to choose. I think my two favs are Burnt Sugar Fig and Lychee Pomegranate. But some in the house love the Crushed Mint Pineapple, some love the Lychee Pomegranate and still others love the Burnt Sugar fig.The only one somebody doesn’t passionately claim is “THE BEST!!!!” is the Mandarin Orange Ginger. That is probably because none of us are enormous citrus fans, in any application. It bears no reflection on the actual “tastiness” of the flavor.

Bottom line: They’re all good.

I’ve really enjoyed Buddha Balm. Their flavors are fantastic, they moisturize well and they are very well priced. 4 for $12.57 with free shipping? That brings it to a little over $3 a tube. For all natural, gluten free lip balm, that’s practically a steal.

Go check out Buddha Balm!

 

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