Ever since getting my first beautyblender sponge, I have been on the hunt to find a cheaper alternative. I don’t even remember when I bought my first sponge, its been a long time, probably when it first came out. I think there was a holiday set with two sponges and a full sized liquid cleanser and that’s what I bought. Some people swear by these, I use them, but not necessarily everyday and not necessarily with every foundation, but I do use them. Sometimes I use it wet and sometimes I use it dry (more on that later), so I look at this as a pretty versatile product. I’ll be looking at the original beautyblender sponge today as well as two cheaper alternatives if you’re on the market for trying out a blending sponge and you don’t want to drop $20 on a small sponge for your face. #understandable (Also excuse my stained beautyblender sponge, it’s on the verge of needing to be replaced which I did buy the duo set from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!) FYI: All sponges talked about today are latex-free. #yay
First I’ll discuss the two cheaper alternatives, which are the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge (orange 1 for $7 or 2 for $11) and the Sephora Perfectionist Airbrush sponge (purple $12). My preference between the two is actually the Real Techniques sponge from a product and price stand point (at target for $5.79). It gets sufficiently plump (damp in above pictures) after you wet it like the beautyblender. It’s pretty close to the beautyblender in density, and softness as well. I also like the design, as you have the pointed end and on the larger end you have a flat surface to work with if you want to swipe or stipple. The Sephora sponge is not too bad either, I thought I could kill two birds with one stone as this is sort of pinched in the middle with a larger end and a smaller end (for the small areas of the face like under the eye). I thought that this could act like a beautyblender on one side with a micro mini beautyblender on the other, therefore preventing me from paying another $18 on the beautyblender micro mini sponges. I find this sephora sponge to be a little bit more dense than the actual beautyblender. It gets plump with water and is soft (damp in picture), but I also find that it holds onto the water, it’s difficult to get”damp” vs wet and it takes longer to thoroughly dry out. You’ll notice from the pics that I did eventually get the small micro neon green beautyblender sponges, so clearly it was not a replacement for those. #inmyopinion
Second thing I want to talk about is how to use your sponge for general application of foundation. Now these sponge companies have gotten smart and have started marketing them for everything- use them for your moisturizer, primer, sunscreen and even blush they say. We’re just going to focus on the regular old school way- foundation. These are all the rage because of the finish the sponge gives your foundation/concealer- an airbrushed finish. #whodoesntwantanairbrushedfinish Gone are the days of streaky foundation.
- You’re going to wet your sponge. You want it all the way wet, so squeeze it while it’s under the water and it’s going to get plump (see pictures in bottom row of dry vs wet sponges). You want a damp sponge so that it will not soak up your foundation when you go to apply it. #dontwasteyourproduct
- Next, you’re going to squeeze as much water out as you can in the sink, then you’re going to roll or squeeze it in a towel or even a paper towel to make it “damp” not wet. You don’t want it to make any squishy wet sounds.
- Then you’re ready to apply your foundation. I find it’s best to dot on the foundation one part of my face at a time (to prevent it from setting depending on the foundation) and either swipe the sponge or “bounce” the sponge off my face to blend it in. I also like to use this technique even if I’ve used a brush to put on my foundation because this prevents any streaking and in deed gives you the air brushed look.
Using it Dry: Sometimes I use my sponge dry after I have blended my foundation with a brush. I use it to take off excess product if I accidentally put on too much foundation or it looks cakey. I like to do this especially around my hairline, around the nose, and upper lip- any place where foundation may look heavy.
Cleaning your sponges: I have both the solid and the liquid beautyblender cleanser. Both work well on the sponges, but I have to say I favor the liquid cleanser that comes in the bottle because it is great at cleaning my brushes too, better than the solid. I’ve been using the liquid cleanser for years and have not looked back in terms of what I clean my brushes and sponges with even though I have tried others. Nothing has gotten my brushes cleaner than this cleanser- it gets everything out and you don’t even need to use that much. I will say the solid is good for travel though- it’s small and compact #plusnotsapatdowns.
Apparently I jumped the gun on getting those micro mini’s because look at this sneak peek of what Real Techniques will be releasing soon! Some of them are already available on realtechniques.com- look at those adorable mini miracle complexion purple sponges (pair for $6), there will also be a diamond shaped swirly sponge (available Aug 22nd) and the funky shaped pink ones- Miracle Sculpting sponge for highlight and contour ($6). Real Techniques, I feel, is always putting out quality products at affordable prices and I greatly appreciate that!
Do you use any of these sponges? Do you use a blending sponge that you love that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments!
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