Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Review: theBalm How Bout Them Apples? Lip and Cheek Palette

The Purchase

How Bout Them Apples? retails for $32. I first traded for a sample of Pie, and when I liked it, I went to Birchbox to purchase the full palette and have all the colors! I got this palette for free using Birchbox points. You can purchase it there and use the code welcomeoffer20 for 20% off (you might have to spend $35 to use it, but if you spend $35 you can also get a free mystery sample pack). Even if you're not a subscriber, you can still make an account and shop the Birchbox shop. You can also purchase it from theBalm's website, or from Kohl's (which offers 3% cash back on eBates [referral link]). TheBalm is also sometimes on Hautelook, with a lot of products being half off or better, so you can sign up here [referral link] and wait for it to show up there if you're patient!

The Packaging

The packaging is adorable! Just look at those designs! So cute, kitschy, and retro, just like everything from theBalm. I guess it's a love it or hate it kind of aesthetic, but personally, I'm in the love it camp. It's a cardboard palette (but a pretty sturdy-feeling one) with a magnetic closure. There are six shades of lip and cheek color included. There is a pretty good-size mirror in the lid. I appreciated that this is a palette with all cream products; a mixture of cream and powder products is not my favorite because fallout from the powders can mess up the creams. I'm also a big fan of blush palettes; I know they don't make sense the way that eyeshadow palettes do (I mean, I usually just use one color of blush each day), but I like to have options when I travel, and they're good for that. Plus, look at all the pretty colors! Anyway, packaging-wise, this is a win for me, even though I'd prefer sturdier plastic packaging instead of cardboard.

The Performance

All these shades are really pretty! Crisp is the only one with shimmer (although of course, being cream products, all of these have a rather dewy finish when applied), and Crisp and Cider are a bit sheerer than the other shades. All have good pigmentation, though. Crisp is the driest shade but still easy enough to work with. I think these are best when worn on the cheeks; I set them with a translucent powder and they last around the same amount of time as any other blush, no more no less. They blend out nicely (I use either my fingers or elf Small Stipple Brush from the Studio line).

I like the idea of coordinating lip and cheek products, and I think, overall, these do a decent job on the lips as well. Cobbler is my favorite when worn on the lips; it seems to have a decent amount of moisture, and doesn't settle into lip lines. From there, some shades do better than others, but I find them all to be wearable. Pie, Caramel, and Crisp all work well for me. Cider is not a good color for me on the lips; it makes me look kind of dead. Cider and Candy also emphasize dry patches more than I'd like, though. Mixing them with a little lip balm can help if they feel too dry to you. They don't last a super long time, but I don't find them to last a significantly shorter time than any similar products, either. My lips were pretty dry/chapped when I did the lip swatches, so please excuse their condition! And the sometimes inexact application...these were quick, on and off, and looking at the pictures, I haven't done a great job on some of them. Oops! Anyway. Now, on to the swatches:

First, the arm swatches. First is two swipes with a finger. Second is one swipe, blended. L-R these are Cider, Pie, and Candy.

...And these are Cobbler, Crisp, and Caramel.

Now, the lip swatches. Cider:






Phew! That was a lot of swatches. Now, on to....

The Verdict

Overall, I think this is totally worth $32. The performance, on average, is good (if not amazing, particularly on the lips), and you get six grade shades to choose from - plus, that packaging! These are some of my favorite cream blushes, and I think most of them work well if you want to coordinate lips and cheeks.


  1. I have nominated you for a Liebster Award! (this is not spam, promise)

    1. I'm honored, thank you so much! (I just saw this, I was taking a bit of a blog hiatus as you may have noticed.)