If you’re passionate about makeup and the makeup world you’ve probably heard of a Beauty Blender before. Beauty Blenders are so deeply ingrained into the (online) beauty world that we often use “Beauty Blender” to describe any makeup sponge, much like we use Kleenex for any type of facial tissue. And today, I want to talk about famous Beauty Blender and makeup sponges in general.
So, first let’s talk about what a makeup sponge is in case you haven’t used one. Makeup sponges come in a lot of different shapes and sizes but their purpose is the same: to help you apply makeup. I’ve pretty much used sponges since I started doing makeup, but I used them completely wrong for about the first two years. I used to buy whatever sponge I could find at TJMaxx (hey, if you can find a good one, I’m jealous of you) and I always used them dry. Might seem odd to get a sponge wet before using it for your makeup but would you ever use a kitchen sponge dry? Dry sponges soak up a ton of liquid so using it dry will often waste a lot of product. Now, let’s talk about what a sponge can do, which in my opinion is almost everything. You can use a sponge to:
- Apply your skincare
- Apply your primer
- Apply and blend your foundation
- Apply and blend your concealer
- Apply cream contour
- Apply cream blush
- Apply cream bronzer
- Apply cream highlight
- Apply powder
- Clean up any harsh lines from powder products
- Bake your face (future post coming)
So, basically you can do an endless amount of things with a wet beauty sponge and that is why I love them so much. I’m a big fan of them because I find they make foundation, concealer, and powder go on so much more natural looking. The key for me is putting the sponge under the faucet for a good 10-15 seconds and squeezing and releasing it until it is fully saturated, then gently squeezing it out in the sink and then in a towel. I find this helps it preform best as it is not overly saturated with water but it isn’t too dry either. Once it is ready to use, you can use it to apply pretty much anything with bouncing motions on your skin, not dragging. Dragging will lift up the product while bouncing helps to push it into the skin to make it look more natural and blended.
Now let’s talk about which beauty sponge is “best.”
I’ve only ever tried two beauty sponges in recent years, the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge and the original Beauty Blender. I’d say these two are the most well known of the beauty sponge and I have to say it’s for good reason. But, I’m getting ahead of myself, first I’m going to talk about each sponge individually.
The first sponge I got was the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (RT Sponge for short). I got it in mid-2015 and I thought it was OK but nothing life changing. I didn’t find it was any better than the sponges I’d been using from the drugstore. I ended up not religiously using it and kept lusting after the Beauty Blender (BB for short). In August 2015, I was going through a rough time and my mom, knowing how much makeup made me happy, gave me a little money to blow on some makeup. I ended up treating myself to the BB.
When I first wet and used the BB I felt like I finally understood why people used makeup sponges so religiously. It was soft, blended out my makeup effortlessly, and finally made my makeup look like “my skin.” For the first time, I actually sort of enjoyed how foundation looked on my face and my difficult under eyes (thanks eczema) looked less like a desert and more like skin. Ever since that first sponge I have been a loyal repurchaser of the BB. A con of the BB (and sponges in general) is that you have to replace them every so often, and with a $20 price tag that can get expensive. To me, it’s worth every penny, but it’s still a con. A pro, other than all the ones previously mentioned, is the fact that you can easily wash the BB after every use unlike a brush which can help sensitive or acne prone skin.
After buying my first BB, I quickly lost my RT sponge and did not look back until about a month ago. In December, while I was on Amazon I decided I wanted to try the RT sponge again. I remembered not liking it very much but I figured it would be nice to have a cheaper sponge for powder so my BB could be specifically for my concealer. Once I got the RT sponge, I ended up really enjoying it for powder, so I started using it for concealer on my face. I, to my great surprise, ended up loving the affect it had on my face. I was blown away, didn’t I hate this sponge? I don’t know if the RT sponge changed or if I was just crazy but I truly love the RT sponge now. I even started using it around my eyes, and while I don’t like it as much as the BB, using it after the BB for extra smoothing and blending is one of the most beautiful effects I’ve seen. The RT sponge is different from the BB in a few key ways. First of all, it is cheaper at $7 a sponge. Secondly, it’s a different shape as it has a flat bottom perfect for blending out big areas. I also find it to be somewhat smoother and less porous than the BB, which is neither a pro nor a con, just a difference.
Overall, I’m a big fan of having both these sponges in my makeup routine but I am a very ~extra~ person so I really don’t think anyone needs both. If your top priority is the price then buy the RT sponge. If you want to use the sponge to blend concealer around your eyes, I’d say get the BB, but get the RT sponge for blending makeup on the rest of the face. So in the end, the choice is yours, but I think they are both fabulous choices.
As a note: I recently tried the Real Techniques Miracle Mini Eraser Sponges as I thought it would be nice to have small sponges to get around my eyes, but I found them to be terrible and returned them.
And now I leave you with a meme: