To keep up with the collagen lip implant craze of the 1990s, DuWop created Lip Venom in 1998, which quickly became one of the biggest makeup phenomena of the last 20 years. I used it religiously for a while and loved how it made my reed-thin lips look ten times more glamorous almost instantly. It increased circulation with essential oils and silicones, plumping up lips, while also minimizing the look of fine lines around the edges. Plus it had that addictive spicy smell and fab gloss finish. I was an instant convert, and I still love it today.

Now, DuWop has come out with Cheek Venom, which contains the same ingredients as Lip Venom that, in theory, have a similar reaction on cheeks—increasing circulation, smoothing out lines, plumping, firming, and hydrating. It smells just like Lip Venom, cinnamon spicy and strong, and it feels like it, too, very tingly and warm. You can really feel it working.

I’m not sure, however, if it’s as essential as its predecessor. It is not a bad product: The naturally pretty sheer colors went on smoothly and added a little “umph” to my cheekbones, without looking overdone. It comes in two shades, Sidewinder, a nude-pink, and Diamondback, a warm coral tone. The consistency is somewhere between a cream and a powder, and it goes on smoothly and lasts through the workday. So far so good.

But firming and tightening the skin? Reducing fine lines? Well, it didn’t for me. It contains a product with debatable anti-aging properties, that is probably not very beneficial in the low concentration found in makeup. Though on the positive side, Hyaluronic Acid is proven to be an excellent moisturizer—not a bad feature to have in a blush.

DuWop states that Cheek Venom is “sulfate-free, petro-chemical-free, free of synthetic fragrance, free of synthetic dye, free of pthalates, contains no GMO's, no PPG's, no MEA's, DEA's, TEA's and is formaldehyde donor-free, and triclosan-free.” For the chemically sensitive, this may be a good reason to choose this blush over another.

In the end, Cheek Venom is no Lip Venom: It is not going to do for blush what Lip Venom did for gloss—it is not a must-have. And as for making skin look younger, I think that it’s probably no better or worse than what you’re already using.

Ingredients in Diamondback:
Phenyltrimethicone, Isododecane/Dimethicone Crosspolymer-3, Cyclomethicone, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Polyethylene, Cinnamomun Zeylanicum (Cinnamon) Leaf Oil, Vanilla Planifolia Extract, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Black Currant (Ribes Nigrum) Seed Oil, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate/Butylene Glycol/Caprylyl Glycol/Hexylene Glycol/Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben. May Contain (+/-): Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

Ingredients in Sidewinder:
Phenyltrimethicone, Isododecane/Dimethicone Crosspolymer-3, Cyclomethicone, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Polyethylene, Cinnamomun Zeylanicum (Cinnamon) Leaf Oil, Vanilla Planifolia Extract, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Black Currant (Ribes Nigrum) Seed Oil, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate/Butylene Glycol/Caprylyl Glycol/Hexylene Glycol/Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben. May Contain (+/-): Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).