Thanks to Birchbox I was selected as a blogger to be given the chance to try this palette out after having been sampled a tiny bit of one shade in last month’s Birchbox. This palette by theBalm is multifunctional, as its contents can be used on your cheeks or as a lip color. I’ll admit, I am not always a huge fan of the combined lip and cheek products as I tend to find they will excel far more at one than the other. I will also admit that based on the printing of the included shades on the box I was concerned that the shades looked a tad too orange for any of them to look good on my skin. These several factors made me a little bummed that of all products, I was selected to get this one. Once I got my hands on it and opened it, I realized my assumptions were very wrong.
First, let’s talk about packaging. The palette comes in a sleeve with an adorable vintage looking pinup-type girl (a trait that I believe is common to the brand) that you slide it out of to reveal the cover of the palette with the same image. When you flip it open, you see the cream colors each with a sexy looking cowboy with no shirt on next to it. Slightly scandalous? Maybe. Enjoyable, sure.
“How ’bout Them Apples?” is a palette that contains 6 different shades of the cream color: Cobbler, Cider, Crisp, Pie, Caramel, and Candy. Clever names, right? I was pleasantly surprised by how much more wearable the shades looked when I saw the actual product rather than when I saw a printed picture. I was even more surprised when I swatched them. The formulation is very water-like which makes the product incredibly buildable and blendable.
It turned out that even the shade I was more afraid of, the deep red Cobbler, turned out to be amazingly wearable without shouting “Look, I’m wearing bold red!” Being someone who is very in to natural looking products, this discovery was huge. I’m comfortable wearing every single shade in this palette! Happy day!
Applying your color of choice is (in theory) quite easy. Dab your finger (or a stippling brush) into the color you want and the pat and blend it into the apples of your cheeks (hence the name…get it?). The application on my cheeks is still something I struggle with, figuring out exactly what blend, build and perfect place to apply, but while I play with that I feel safe knowing that if I go too far, I can easily blend it in and fade the color to my desired pigmentation. The more I wear it, the more I’m learning how to best wear this product for my cheeks. Application on the lips can be anywhere from incredibly natural to a glossy, strong pigmentation. I love to just use my finger and blend a tiny bit of color with a natural, basically matte finish. You can use a lip brush for more precision if you’d like.
On the Cheeks: Because this is a cream product (not a cream to powder) it will have a slightly dewy look on your skin. It can be set and the dewy finish can be muted out with a translucent powder.
On the Lips: I found this product to have a very water-like feel on the lips. It’s great for blending and leaves a slightly hydrating feel, but I don’t find that the hydration lasts too long.
Caramel- a warm brown color, but not too brown. It kind of reminds me of the shades I go for when I’m looking for a darker “my lips but better” shade.
Candy- A bright bubblegum pink. I think this one is quite fun to wear, especially with spring and summer colors upon us.
Crisp- The only color with a shimmer added to it, this is a frosted coral with a gold shimmer. I find that this shade accentuates lip dryness or imperfections more strongly than the other shades. When blended out, the shimmer is not as overwhelming as you might suspect it to be.
Pie- a very bright reddish pink color. Again, turned out to be not nearly as overwhelming as it looks in the pan.
Cobbler- The brightest of the bunch, this is a bold red color with orange undertones.
Cider- This shade is the most natural looking in the palette. It’s a light peach color that is a little on the pink side
While this is not my preferred product type for lips nor blush, I was pleasantly surprised by this palette. I have found myself reaching for it way more often than I would have anticipated and I’m LOVING it! I have not had any skin reaction issues with it either, which is great news because I was really afraid I’d breakout from this product. I am really enjoying the looks I’m learning to achieve with it and am regularly surprised at how perfect and natural each shade proves to look when I get it blended correctly. If you are looking for a cream blush product, or a combo lip/cheek product, I would highly recommend this palette by theBalm. “How ’bout them Apples” has made me question my dislike for products like these, which I have regularly avoided in the past. This palette retails for $32 and you can find it in the Birchbox shop. Thanks again Birchbox for giving me the opportunity to give this palette a try. It was a pleasant discovery to find I enjoy using it as much as I do 🙂