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With POP Beauty‘s products being all about standing out, this one was no different! The U.K-based company introduced their newest product to make your cheeks and nose happy. With a title that makes its purpose self-explanatory, “Apples of the Cheeks” gel blush even smells fantastic – imagine a basket full of freshly picked apples. And, with two shades, Au Natural and Rouge, the product can be used on fair to dark skin.

I tried the Au Natural, which looked to be ideal for my fair/olive complexion. As this product boasts that it’ll give you a “sun kissed, natural look,” I was convinced that this would soon be a part of my daily mascara-and-bronzer routine. As soon as I took it out of the packaging, I fell in love with the twist-to-apply feature, which makes it way easier to put on, especially when you’re in a rush.

Now, I don’t wear much makeup, never really have because of my ultra-acne-prone/sensitive skin, so, being the novice that I am, I took the wand out and quickly read the instructions on how to apply. It said to, while smiling, make an “X” on the highest point on your cheek; okay, sounds easy, right? With my biggest smile displayed in the mirror, I painted an X on either side of my cheek and then blended in the make-up with the applicator.  However, I looked as though someone punched me on the side of my face; it looked neither “sun kissed” nor “natural”.

I took a napkin, wet it with warm water, and scrubbed my cheek, which wasn’t the best of ideas: the right side of my face looked like I slept on it, it had a big red mark on it. So I tried the other cheek, but this time I blended the make-up in with my finger. Still nothing!!  It just didn’t look “au natural.” Maybe it was the color, or maybe I just don’t know how to apply makeup, but this definitely did nothing for my face. Just as I was about to call it a day, one of my coworkers walked in, and I asked her if she would be a test dummy for this product. Her skin is darker than mine, and it seemed like it would be a perfect match.  She gave me her biggest smile, blended the make-up on her cheeks, and voila: nothing but a slight shimmer.

Alyson tried the rouge shade and loved it; maybe that shade would have looked a little more natural on me instead, seeing as how my cheeks get red when I blush, not brown. While it scored in handiness, fragrance, and concept, Au Natural was not a one-size fits-all product.

$18 each, sephora.com

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