Sunday, March 3, 2013

Do I Need This? Beauty Blender sponge (and a comparison with cheaper versions)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Here is the second installment of "Do I Need This?", a series about new and trendy beauty products (or just those that might be unfamiliar and baffling to both of us). I'll offer my experience and opinion about whether or not I think the product under consideration is worth shelling out for. Obviously, you don't need ANY beauty products, so the answer is always going to be no, a little bit. But is it going to change your life (or face)? Is it going to make things easier? Are you going to notice any difference at all if you use it? That's what I'm getting at. You may disagree with my verdict, because we all have different bodies/faces/brains/desires, but I'll try to give you a starting point at least.



Short answer: Maybe. If you wear foundation, it's nice, but a cheaper version will also work.

What is it?
Beauty Blender and its knock-offs are soft, dense sponges that you use damp for blending foundation and similar types of makeup (BB cream, tinted moisturizer, concealer, etc.). They're rounded so that you don't get any marks/lines left from edges like you might with a triangular wedge sponge. They're meant to be used by patting against the skin to stipple the makeup, rather than by rubbing it across the surface to spread it. This also helps to avoid streaking and makes your makeup look more natural. You're supposed to soak the sponge in water before you use it, and then squeeze it out so that it's just a little damp. When you wet the sponge it expands up to twice its original size.

Beauty Blender also sells a special cleanser for cleaning out the sponge. It gets pretty full of makeup pretty fast. Some people clean it after every use, but please, ain't nobody got time for that, as they say. Except, apparently people do. Not me. I clean it when I get around to it - that's a decision you have to make for yourself. Also, you do not need a special fucking cleanser for it. You can use whatever liquid soap you have handy. I've used Dawn dish soap, and it worked beautifully. Shampoo or hand soap would also work. You just wet the sponge, work the soap into it, and watch the gross skin-colored water pour out. There are actually YouTube videos that show you how to do this, if you are confused. These things are really durable. I don't know how many times you would have to wash it before it wore out, because mine shows no signs of wear yet, after months and months of use.

Why you might need it:
It really does do a nice job of blending your makeup. I think you can get an even finish faster with one of these sponges than with a wedge. That said, my preferred method for blending my tinted moisturizer is to set it with some translucent powder and a flat top brush (I talk about it toward the end of this post). I have one of the original Beauty Blenders, which I got in a BirchBox once, and what I most often use it for is blending my concealer. I just use it dry. I pat it against spots of concealer, and it does a really nice job of making them disappear into my skin. The pointier end is good for doing small spots and tricky places like around your nose or eyes, and the bigger end is best for doing larger areas like foundation on your cheeks.

I've also tried cheaper similar products. I have one for Avon that I got for $4. They don't carry it anymore, but it appears to be identical to this one, which sells for around $2. I have to tell you, the original Beauty Blender is better. It is, however, also $20, and I'm not sure that it is 4 times better. Its advantages are that it is a little softer and less dense, so it feels a bit nicer and blends things just slightly better. It also has a smaller point on one end, which is easier to get into the grooves alongside your nose, etc. I haven't been using the cheaper sponge long enough to know if it is less durable. So far it seems just about as good in every other way. I don't think I'll spend the $20 to replace the Beauty Blender when the one I have is dead. The cheapie does the job.

From what I've heard, though, not all the knockoffs are equal. I'd recommend looking at reviews so that you don't end up buying 4 different shitty ones before you find a good one and spend enough money that you might as well have bought the fancy thing in the first place. This one (same as the above link) has good reviews, and I like it too. (Or there is another option for excellent reviews, which looks just the the Beauty Blender, for $1.10 on Amazon. Has anyone tried it?)

I do think one of these can make your foundation application more even and natural-looking and possibly even faster. Like I said, it also does a good job of blending concealer. So if those are important parts of your makeup routine, it might be worth trying.

If you must have it, it's actually a better deal to buy 2 for $30 or so, but if you're not sure you're going to love it, it might be smarter to save the extra $6, since they don't seem to need replacing often. Though really, if you're not sure, you should just get the cheap one for a test run, and then upgrade if you're really into it. Or not, because if you're really into it, why would you get something different?

24 comments:

  1. Is it similar material (for lack of a better word) to triangular makeup wedges or like more spongey? It expands so obviously somewhat spongey but I'm curious.

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    1. I'm not sure how to describe it. More spongey, but a very dense sponge. It's softer, but more durable. Less rubbery.

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  2. do beauty blenders work if one uses really creamy foundations?

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    1. Oh, I'm sorry, I never saw this comment! But I'm not sure what you mean by really creamy.

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  3. Yeah, i use dream creamy foundation and it works but it works better with my liquid one, so its not really necessary but i like it

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  4. Will it absorb my foundation? Do i need to worry about my foundation getting used up early?

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    1. It will absorb more foundation than other methods, like your fingers (obviously) or a brush. I've used it for foundation several times, so I know that - but I don't use it regularly, so I can't say how much faster you will go through your foundation this way. To avoid losing too much, make sure the sponge is thoroughly damp, though not too wet (it can't absorb as much if it's already full of water), and just add a little from the back of your hand at a time.

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  5. When should i purchus a nrw one if i use it often?

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  6. Will the £1.00 versions work as good as the expensive ones? xx

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  7. came across your blog when I was researching about the Beauty Blender sponge, this sponge is phenomenal it is made up of hydrophilic sponge material which will hold up to a hundred times its weight in water will keep its shape once it's been washed and it also gives you an airbrushed finish without having to use an airbrush contraption. and regarding the cost of this item I don't see this being any more expensive then going out and spending 70 to 80 dollars maybe even 500 on a brand new brush. the knock off version, those are made up of a material closer to the sponge in your kitchen sink that you wash your dishes with, no I don't know about you but there's no way I would want to be putting my makeup on with that EW!!!! 😉 everybody has their own opinion of everything just because you don't like something doesn't mean everybody else doesn't like it as for me well I'm keeping it real all the time not just on a blog... So I'll pay $20 for all 12 of my beauty blenders and you can use whatever works for you. but I gotta say the disposable sponges or exactly what they're called disposable

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    1. I just bought one, but haven't tried it out yet. Sephora said I can return it if I don't like it. Just curious, but why do you have 12 of them?

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    2. That comment is a bit confusing. She says she found this while researching them, but already owns some and clearly has a strong opinion about. But I think getting from somewhere with a good return policy is a great idea.

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    3. It sounds like she works for Beauty Blender.

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  8. I just purchased one this evening, and haven't tried it out yet, but incase anyone was wondering, the lady at sephora told me if I don't like it I can return it, apparently you can return anything thee if you don't like it. So I say, go for it and get the $20 one, and if you don't like that one, return it. Chances are you definitely won't like a cheaper one if you don't like the original.

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  9. I bought one at dollar tree for a dollar, is that one a good choice? ?

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    1. Well, I haven't seen that exact one, so it's hard to say. But my impression is that most of the cheap ones are pretty similar.

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    2. If you are referring to the Dollar tree Sassy and Chic brand beauty blender knockoff then NO! I usually LOVE a majority of dollar tree products but like everything at the dollar tree its usually always either a HIT or a miss... this product is definitely a miss. This sponge compared to the beauty blender and even most beauty blender knock offs in my opinion would score a 1/10. This sponge does not expand when dampened and is hard and does not blend well at all! However I would give it a 1/10 because it does an OK job applying concealer over the top of blemishes but does not do well at all with applying foundation or under eye concealer. I purchase my knockoff sponges on eBay. I just recently scored a crème shop blending sponge for $3( very soft and durable) and also a Be Bella sponge for around $3(very soft and durable). In my opinion these two sponges are the closest I have found to the original beauty blender. Hope this helps and hopefully one day soon The dollar tree will come out with an upgraded version of their beauty blender knockoff sponge. ;)

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    3. Thank you, Katie. That's really helpful! When I originally wrote this post a couple of years ago, there weren't so many knockoffs available.

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  10. I bought a knock off and it expands when wet as well as blends well! I absolutely love it and it only cost me 4$ lol

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  11. THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! I have been going back and forth on buying one and at the end of the day, $20 is ridiculous for a sponge. I'm going to try one of the nicer less expensive versions and see if it makes a difference with my daily bb cream before upgrading. This was exactly the article I was looking for to help me make my decision!
    -Kristin
    countdowntofridayblog.com

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  12. I've used several other knock off versions and I honestly should have bought this a long time ago to save the money I lost on the others. It's so soft and spongey and blends amazingly well, better than any other sponge I've ever owned. It's works great with any kind of makeup, powder, liquid, cream, it does it all and does it all incredibly well. I recommend this to anyone who wants a more perfected and professional makeup look.

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  13. I will say this, If you choose another soap that is not the beauty blender soap to clean your beauty blender, make sure you use an anti bacterial soap and clean it really really well. I have seen some blenders where people haven't cleaned them properly and the inside turned black with mold.

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  14. Try the Ulta brand they have blenders (orange) that are $5 and feel the same as the original

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