Sunday, January 27, 2013

Red Apple Lipstick

Being the beauty junkie that I am and this being a month of new beginnings, I thought I would take a moment to write about a cosmetics company that is doing great things.  I discovered Red Apple Lipstick several months ago via Twitter and am hooked on their amazing products!

Red Apple Lipstick is based in Houston, Texas, and all of their makeup is gluten free.  Not only is it safe for Celiacs, it is also free of dairy, soy, and other major allergens.  For those who don't have food allergies but are worried about chemicals, Red Apple Lipstick is also paraben free and lead free.  I have several food allergies and do not like putting chemicals on my skin; therefore, Red Apple Lipstick is the perfect makeup for me.  I like that I do not have to read a tiny ingredients list to wonder if a product is safe for me to use.

Red Apple Lipstick offers lipstick, lip gloss, an amazing balm & exfoliating stick, lip pencils, and eye shadows.  Not a full line of cosmetics but they are working hard every day to create new items to add to their already fabulous line.  A foundation is in the works, which is very exciting, and I am hoping for a mascara soon.  

My first purchase of RAL was a lipstick.  Their lipstick is the creamiest, most moisturizing, full color I have ever tried (and believe me, I've tried numerous brands).  A person really doesn't even need a balm underneath.  

However, if you do use balm, Red Apple's Rallye Balm is the bomb.  Ultra-moisturizing, soft, SPF 8, and glides on like a dream.  It comes in a tube or tub depending on your preference.  Something new that I have tried is their Exfoliate Stick.  For those of us who live in a harsh, cold climate and have issues with flaky, chapped lips, this stick is awesome!  It rids your lips of the flakes, prepping and smoothing it for balm and lipstick.  This product is something I didn't think I needed until I tried it.

Red Apple Lipstick's eye shadows are long-lasting, rich and vibrant in color, and easy to apply.  I've been using loose mineral shadow for a long time so it was a little weird going back to a pressed version.  I love the colors and the ease of blending.  The shadows come separately in their own little pans or you can buy a palette and store your pans in it.  The pans are magnetic and clip into the palette.  A very neat idea and you can reuse the palette once your colors are used up, ready for new ones.  Red Apple really has thought of everything creating their fantastic products.

In addition to Red Apple Lipstick's revolutionary products, their online community is one-of-a-kind.  Their website ( is full of informative blogs, how-to's, customer comments, and more.  The Twitter (@RedAppleLipstic) and Facebook ( media sites are active every day with new product info, customer feedback, and more.  I have found the staff to be very helpful on Twitter in helping me pick out colors and combinations.  They even have a VIP Club for members to receive 20% off every month.

You can't find RAL in stores.  Right now they take online and phone orders.  Some people may find this inconvenient, but their products are well worth the wait.  For those of us with food allergies, it's peace of mind knowing that these products are safe, allergy free, chemical free, and vegan.

With this being January and a New Year full of promise, do yourself a favor.  Throw out all of your old, toxic makeup and treat yourself to some new and beautiful Red Apple Lipstick!

Monday, January 21, 2013

January 2013 State Of Country Music

As January flows along as slow as a frozen river, so does the state of mainstream country music.  With the New Year upon us, I had hoped that some new songs would be released worth listening to.  Never fear, however, because there are a whole slew of substantial releases on the Americana/Red Dirt/Texas side.

As I look through the Billboard Country Songs chart, I am disheartened by how many songs are about trucks, beer, and nothingness.  Given the amount of these types of songs being churned out of Nashville in the past few years, it does not help country's image.  The stereotype of simple, hayseed people will never cease if the genre continues to process this image.

I'd love to call out the horrible songs and artists on the mainstream chart, but I'd rather spend my time giving credit to the artists who are doing excellent work.  Songs that I'm digging on the mainstream chart are Gary Allan's "Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain)," "Merry Go 'Round" by Kacey Musgraves, 

"Say Goodnight" Eli Young Band, and "Mama's Broken Heart" by Miranda Lambert.

Looking at the Texas Regional Radio Report, the songs and artists are superb.  Reckless Kelly's excellent "Pennsylvania Avenue"

 is spending a second week at #1, followed by another fine entry "I'll Sing About Mine" by the Josh Abbott Band.  The latter is actually a song about the state of mainstream country radio.  

Other Top 10 favorites on this chart include "Worth The Fight" by The Departed, "Travelin' Kind" by Stoney Larue, Mike Ryan's "The Cold One," and the Eli Young Band appears on this chart, as well.  The Texas chart is full of exceptional compositions.  Chris Knight's "In The Meantime" checks in at #19, a tune that is about real people who live in the country, not the ones singing about trucks, tractors, and beer.  Kacey Musgraves checks in on this chart at #69 and one of my personal favorites, Micky & The Motorcars comes in at #72 with their brand new song "A Thousand Tears."

Some people in the Texas music industry feel that their genre is in a slump.  There are some less than stellar songs right now, but it's nothing like the depression going on over in Truckville.  Many of the Texas artists sound a lot like mainstream; however, the edgy artists who aren't considered "country" but more of roots rock/Americana, are doing the best work.  The Departed, Reckless Kelly, Micky & The Motorcars, Turnpike Troubadours, Josh Abbott Band, Chris Knight, Stoney Larue, the list is endless.  These artists don't sound like anyone else, their sound is unique, the songs are about real life, and they don't adhere to "rules" set by the Nashville music processing machine.

If you're in a mid-Winter funk, do something different and treat your ears to some new, refreshing music.