Red Apple Lipstick - Eye Shadow (City Starter Palette) Review

July 21, 2014

I do love a good make up post, both as a reader and a writer. Although I count myself as a 'newbie' at make up what I lack in experience I make up for in enthusiasm! I may still struggle with exactly 'matt' 'cool toned' 'sheer' and 'undertones' mean I am gradually getting a grop on those whilst exploring the amazing world of 'natural' and 'non toxic' make up.

One thing I've really struggled with is finding some GOOD pressed shadows - lots of colour pay off and no cheap fillers or scary ingredients. Enter, Red Apple Lipstick. Don't let the name fool you - these guys know their eye shadows as well. 

These are quite difficult to get hold of outside of the US, with high international shipping costs and customs fees you will end up paying through the nose for these I'm afraid. If you're in the US then you are very lucky!

I was sent the City Palette - Starter* by Red Apple Lipstick (RAL) after writing to ask them about more affordable shipping option to the UK... So unbelievably generous of them! But, dear reader, you know my affections cannot be bought, the following review will still be 110% honest, I wouldn't ever compromise the integrity of my self or my blog... you know that by now surely?!

Red Apple Lipstick City Palette - Starter

This is an excellent starter palette, very wearable and versatile for every day looks. I think you can go for something very light with Porcelain and Iced Mocha, something every day with the three lightest colours or go for a darker, smoky eye effect using Espresso and Brownie Points.

The shadows apply beautifully, they are very smooth and have great pigmentation - what you see in the pan in what you get on your eyes.


Natural Day Light, not edited
Obviously Porcelain doesn't really show up as it is a very light colour and close to my skin tone! 

I love to use Iced Mocha across the lid, Porcelain on the brow bone, Brownie Points in the crease and then Espresso in the outer V and as a liner.

Amazingly I have finally found the perfect eyebrow colour! Brownie Points is an exact match... I've been searching for a natural and Cruelty Free replacement for my Rimmel pencil and this is perfect.

I think the palette is perfect for travel, like I said you can create so many different looks with just those four colours, you could take it away with you and easily go from day to night. You would save packing space too as you wouldn't need to take separate eye liner or eye brow items. I think most people would find a match for their eye brows with one (or a mix) of those two brown colours.

Because 3 out of 4 of the shadows are matte you really do get a lot of wear out of it.

Let's talk prices and 'value for money'. The full price of the City Starter Palette is $68.75 (£40.00) but there are nearly always offers on for 10% or 15% off if you sign up to mailing lists, join their VIP club and/or are a returning customer.

If you are buying in the UK or Europe you would need to consider international shipping plus customs charges. I figured out the following:

$68.75 for the palette - 15% ($10.31) discount = $58.43/£34.11 

+ $23.92/£13.96 shipping = $72.39/£48.07 
+ approx 20% customs charges (£40.93) and another £8 if Royal Mail add their fee = Approx: £40-50 total cost.

Now that is not cheap. But, if you are in desperate need of a good quality, natural, neutral, pressed palette then you may be willing to stretch.... maybe??

The good news is RAL are working on their international shipping policy to make their products more accessible to those of us that are 'overseas'. 

If you are in America, you will likely qualify for free shipping you lucky so and so's! 

If you use a discount code and don't count shipping or taxes I think £34/$58 is a very reasonable price for the high quality of the shadows.

RAL have a good selection of pre-made palettes for you to choose from and they also sell their shadows as individual pans. They are priced $18.75 (£11) each or 3 for $46.88 (£27) 


Let me outline the main great points about the shadows:
  • Long lasting
  • Don't crease easily
  • Invincible with a primer 
  • Very pigmented
  • Creamy application
  • Super easy to blend
  • Lovely colours to choose from
Highlights specific to the City Starter Palette:
  • 3-4 complete looks in one place
  • Can be used for eye brows
  • Can be used for eye liner
  • Includes a highlight, all over lid, crease and liner colour
  • Could create day or night looks
So there you have it, I am a big fan of the shadows, I think the palette is a perfect neutral, starter palette for those looking for a high quality natural option.

Although the price is quite high (especially for non US customers) I do believe that the quality of the shadows support the price... and you guys know I don't say that lightly!

I plan to buy more shadows from RAL very soon, I hope they have a new international policy soon!


Red Apple Lipstick kindly sent me the palette as a very generous gift. It was my decision to write a post dedicated to it and my opinions are very much my own.  
The links are not affiliated. 
All opinions are honest and my own, any suggestions made are based on my own experiences and are meant as a guide. Please always take care when making any DIY products and patch test to rule out an adverse reaction.


  1. Iced Mocha for the win! Very cool, thanks for showing them on your arm. :0) Nice way to see what it looks like on actual skin!

  2. Eek expensive but love the colours especially Iced Mocha & Espresso! Can't wait to see if they come to the UK :)

  3. I'm with the majority and love the look of Iced Mocha, that would be a colour I could gravitate towards if I wore eyeshadows :)

  4. It is a gorgeous colour!! :-)

  5. I know, I keep trying to hook them up with stockists haha! xx

  6. I know, gorgeous colour right?! :-) xx

  7. Yup I'll also go for the Iced Mocha!<3 :D xx

  8. We have a lot of Iced Mocha fans! :-) xx

  9. Excellent review! So informative! RAL is my favorite all natural makeup brand.

  10. Thank you! I am gradually becoming a big fan of theirs... basically every time I try something of theirs I fall in love!! :-)

  11. Hi Rachel. Thank hou for this review, wish it was easier to get this to Europe. I am also looking for good pressed natural eyeshadows and have been meaning to ask you for a while if your Lily Lolo ones smell bad? I have the quads and a duo in their old packaging that I got in February this year and they stink. I have been using natural products for years so I am used to things smelling "natural" but this is very different.

  12. It is so funny you should say so but... yes! Unfortunately I had to send mine back a couple of weeks ago for a full refund as it had clearly gone off. Someone else has also had the same problem... looks like there may have been a faulty batch?? I suggest you contact Lily Lolo customer services, explain the problem and request a refund. Good luck!
    Rach xx

  13. Thank you so much for your answer. Happy to hear that it must have been a bad batch, I have been really disappointed and on the fence about trying some more of their pressed products. I will contact customer service now :)

    I love your videoes by the way, your channel has been my favorite for a while now. Thank you!

  14. Thank you very much! That is lovely to hear :-)
    And you are very welcome x

  15. These look super pretty! Have you tried their lipsticks? I just did a review on them! They are AMAZING! I have lip swatches as well.

  16. I've only tried out a sample but I was really impressed even by that!! Have been over to your blog, great post :-) xx

  17. Iced mocha for me too! Love their shadow collection, but I just can't bring myself to pay that much... Good tuning I made my own palette! ;)

  18. Yeah it is a bit pricey, even worse for those outside of the UK! xx


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