Beauty Blenders-Hype or Necessity?
Are all beauty sponges created equal?
Have you tried a Beauty Blender makeup sponge? I have been using these egg-shaped sponges for a few years now (on myself, not in my kit. More on that later). And I can’t imagine living without them, haha. I have tried applying my foundation with different shaped foundation brushes, even my fingers, and the BB sponge is always my go-to. Every time, the result is just a flawless application. The BB is easy to use, easy to clean, and you really do use less foundation because of the design, everything stays on the surface.
I cut open an old Beauty Blender, to see if they truly did keep the product on the surface, and as you can see, the inside of the sponge is still perfectly pink!!
To use a BB properly, you need to saturate it with water, until it has expanded in size, and then squeeze out the excess. To some, this seems like a weird step, but you need to do that to ensure the sponge doesn’t absorb your product, and to get a smooth bounce, when you apply. Once the water is squeezed out, you dot your foundation around your face, and then lightly bounce the base of the sponge, spreading the foundation evenly.
Because of the porous nature of sponges, it is important to wash and store them, in a well ventilated area, so they can completely dry. This will prevent mould and bacteria growth. You should also replace them fairly regularly. BB recommends every three months.
I have been testing out different makeup sponges, to see if Beauty Blender is really worth its hefty price tag (I mean, she does cost $26 at Sephora). I bought two “dupes” to test, one from amazon, and another from an online retailer in the US, called Shop Missa. This sponge (the AOA) is supposed to be the closest to the real BB, according to other makeup artists.
Side by side, when they’re dry, they’re all pretty similarly shaped. When they’re wet though, oh man...things quickly go awry. Both dupes expand a lot larger than the BB, and the amazon one has a huuuuuge base. The texture is a lot different, too. Especially in the amazon one. Below you can see them and their size differences when wet. The purple is the amazon find, pale pink is the AOA sponge, and faded hot pink is an original Beauty Blender.
Not that this was a scientific or official test or anything, but to keep things on a level playing field, I used the same skincare routine, and foundation for all three tests.
The purple amazon guy is the one I used first, in this three-day test. The sponge base was massive, and changed shape, and became flat on the bottom. And it was so big, I felt like it overtook my face!! I really didn’t like the texture of it either, it felt pretty dense, and the application was patchy and foundation didn’t blend in very well. Plus, because of the massive size, I couldn’t get into smaller areas, like around my nose, or under the eyes. Foundation really seemed to soak up into the sponge too, so in the end, you’re using more product.
Day two was the pale pink AOA sponge, which expanded quite a bit too. The texture was pretty similar to the real deal. Application wise, it was better than the amazon guy, but because of the size, there were slight issues getting into the smaller areas too. I felt the application went a bit longer, because you have to work a bit more to blend it in, but in a pinch, it’s passable. If it were a pricing competition, this one would win, hands down. It retails for $1.55 USD, a teensy fraction of the OG BB.
Day three was the real deal, a brand new original pink Beauty Blender, since the other two were new too. These guys do “bleed” a bit of dye in the first couple of washes, but I have never had a problem with that changing the foundation colours, or transferring to skin or anything! After using the other two sponges, it was a treat using this. It expands to a perfect shape, the texture bounces foundation evenly on your skin and delivers a perfectly flawless base. Because it is so soft, you don't need much effort to get into the small parts around your nose, and the pointed end easily applies and blends makuep under the eyes. I also use the BB to apply setting powder, and blend out blush, contour, and highlight, so there is no beginning or ending to the makeup, it's seamless, blended, and beautiful.
Beauty Blenders are a perfect tool to add to your makeup bag. If you keep them clean, and let them dry thoroughly, you will have a long lasting relationship, before having to replace them. It is important to note though, there is zero way to properly sanitize these, so sharing is a huge NO-NO! I know they're popular amongst some makeup artists, but there is no way to guarantee that the sponge can be sanitized or clean enough to use on multiple people. There are many states and provinces that actually ban the use of sponges on more than one person. The risk of disease, passing along potentially dangerous germs, and the like, is just not worth it. If you see your makeup artist about to use one of these on your face, ask them if they have a disposable sponge, or foundation brush they can use instead. This is YOUR face!! You don't know how many other faces those re-usable sponges have been used on, or what it has come into contact with.
With that being said, Beauty Blender really did create the ultimate tool when they created this sponge. For personal use, it is a definite must have!! Many may copy it, but there really is no comparison in quality.
See you in the next blog post!!