“What’s the difference among these sponges, anyway?” As you can tell, I played the skeptic for years before giving in to the Beautyblender (USD 20; PHP 995 at Glamourbox). I even tried purchasing two sponges that kinda looked like suitable dupes, but I was left dissatisfied by their perfomance. That’s why I shrugged off any more talk of makeup sponges until my beauty junkie friends emphatically raved about how one-of-a-kind BB is. I took advantage of a holiday sale, and here I am.
Quick Specs: made in USA
At first, I was surprised by how tiny the Beauty Blender looked in its clear plastic container. Wait, whaa… Oh, right! It’s supposed to be soaked in water first! Duh! And when it expanded to twice its size and felt super soft/squishy to the touch, I had to figure out just how much water was to be left behind (i.e. how much I had to squeeze out of the sponge). I was able to use it both wrung out and almost soaking, and the former is the right answer.
So how does it compare vs. me using my fingers to apply liquid foundation and cream concealer? Take a look:
With 2 layers of sheer-medium coverage foundation, I notice that the coverage is fuller when using my fingers, BUT the BeautyBlender applies more smoothly and evenly. It definitely has that second-skin look that you can’t tell where foundation ends and skin begins. Another plus? The pointy tip of the BeautyBlender gets to the sides of my nose (a.k.a. my nightmarish hard-to-reach spot) and the under eye area without any trouble. With a creamy/sticky liquid concealer, applying with fingers requires a certain amount of pressure that still has a little drag on the sensitive under eye skin, and use of a BeautyBlender eliminates that wrinkle-inducing pressure.
I do notice that I tend to use 1.5x more foundation with a beauty blender than I do with just fingers, since the sponge still absorbs some product. If you are very frugal about using foundation, you might find this wasteful. However, try and remember that the BeautyBlender dispenses just the right amount on the face for a healthy, diffused look.
As for maintenance, that’s pretty much the hardest part in owning any makeup sponge. But the softness of the BeautyBlender made it easy to work the cleanser/soap in. I use dishwashing liquid to clean my pink BB and a little bit of VCO (virgin coconut oil) to loosen the stubborn makeup stains. It works well enough, but the VCO scent is strong. If you can’t stand that, switch to olive oil. I have yet to thoroughly deep cleanse it by microwaving, but you can check out this tutorial I did for Project Vanity for tips and tricks.
Verdict: For the seamless application it affords, the Beautyblender is a worthy splurge in my book. While the non-stop bleeding of its dye is a little annoying and not something I experienced with my other reusable makeup sponges, the remarkable second-skin effect is a reasonable trade-off.