These are all the makeup sponges I have. I was a girl who never wore foundation & now I find myself dealing with it all the time. I bought my 1st makeup sponge at TJMaxx, & I have been fascinated with them ever since. When I had a wedding reception for my side of the family (who are on the other side of the world) I had to do my own makeup. I knew someone who was a makeup artist in a wedding studio & I begged her to show me how to do makeup professionally. And I definitely had to put on foundation.
And ever since then it’s opened a pandora’s box. Now I wear them for special occasions, nights out with the girls, & other special events. I also went out & bought myself a set of makeup brushes, & a contouring palette.
Why have so many you ask? Whenever I see another version, it piques my interest; also sometimes I use a few at a time. The same with makeup brushes, I use a different one while another one sits and dries.
Instructions: All of these sponges you’re supposed to soak them, squeeze out the water. Place some of your foundation on your hand / palette & dab your foundation at the base (or the widest part) of the sponge. And then you can blend your foundation all over your face & neck. The pointed end you can use for the parts closest to your eyes, or nose. Honestly I’ve always preferred to put the foundation directly on my face with my fingers, & then I will blend it out with the sponge.
Tip: Honestly I find it more efficient if I just put foundation on the back of my hand, dab a flat foundation brush in it, & then lightly dab it all over your face. (This saves a lot of foundation.) Whether we like it or not, ALL makeup sponges absorb foundation. They ALL do. Putting on foundation with a brush is far more efficient; but many women like the effects of these makeup sponges.
Another tip: This is not just for foundation. You can use them with blush, concealer, & contouring. Look at how amazing this girl looks with the contouring on her face! I think that’s why there’s such a craze with them: they are multi-faceted & give you an airbrushed look (without airbrushing).
Here I’ll list all the ones I have here by price from lowest to highest, compare them to the original Beauty Blender, rate them, & tell you which ones are worth the money.
This one’s strange. It’s different than all the others, that you’re not supposed to soak it. I soaked it the 1st time I used it, & it went into the texture of a silly putty ball. No joke. Ugh how horrible! To use it, you’re supposed to slightly dampen it, & then you can put the foundation on your face. When dry, it is a bit hard. This hard to judge because the texture is REALLY different from the Beauty Blender. Think of it as a really soft handball that you can squeeze. Like the other harder sponges below, it makes a thumping noise when you pat it against your face. Sorry, don’t like it. My Grade: D
Below, you will see my review on the blender by Sonia Kashuk (also featured at Target). Up & Up, likes to make cheaper versions of many items featured at Target. (This is 1 of them) As a makeup sponge it’s not that great, you will find it pretty hard, & it makes a thumping noise when you pat it on your skin. Even when wet, it’s harder than your kitchen sponge! My grade: D+
Makeup sponges from TJMaxx or Marshall’s, $5
(Sorry they don’t sell beauty products online) They too are a little bit hard. But they do become softer & expand after you soak them. The 1st one I bought, after several uses, is starting to rip, which I don’t like. I guess here you get what you pay for. My grade: D
This one I also picked up while I was in Ulta & I happen to catch it at their Grab & Go section by their register. It’s a pretty good sponge, very soft & bouncy, and after a couple uses I have no complaints about it! I’m not crazy about these bumpy shaped sponges, but quite good! My Grade: B+
Ah this is a great deal! A quarter of the price of the beauty blender, it’s a really great sponge, & versatile! The round wider part you would use on your face, the flat end you could smooth out your forehead/cheeks, & the pointy end is for smaller areas like i.e. Around your eyes. Love it! My grade: A
I actually picked this up at Kohl’s. I was really disappointed, because it’s soft & fluffy, this is actually quite close to the actually Beauty Blender in texture, & expands to twice the size when wet! However, it started ripping after the first use! My Grade: F
I picked them up because I thought the colors of these sponges were quite adorable. But honestly, it’s what you see, is what you get. It’s a soft, contoured makeup sponge, doesn’t expand when wet, & actually is difficult to clean. I usually use dishwashing detergent, & it took me a couple times to get the thing clean! This is a very basic straightforward makeup sponge. My Grade: B
Another sponge also sold at Target, this makeup sponge is also pretty hard, AND also makes a hollow sound when you pat it against your skin. Here I give it a better grade because it is slightly softer than the Up & Up one. My grade: C
I really wanted to like this one. Sold at Ricky’s a well known makeup store throughout NYC. They too, sell the original Beauty Blender & their own variations of it. Touching it, I could feel that the quality is really cheap; it feels just like the disposable triangle shaped makeup sponges. And it too, started ripping after the first use. Don’t get this one. My Grade: D+
i had bought this at Ulta, where I had seen rave reviews about it on their website. I figure, it’s that good, I’d want to try it! What a piece of crap! Started ripping after the 3rd use! And doesn’t even come in a real box or container! My grade: F
I think Sephora saw all the business that the Beauty Blender was getting & decided to make a cheaper version for themselves. It is shaped differently than all the others, & according to the directions you’re supposed to use the flat end for your face & the smaller flat area for around your eyes & nose. Very soft & foamy, it also balloons up to almost twice in size when set. I do love the texture of this one; it has the softness of almost like a memory foam. I found the shape strange, but honestly it functions just like all the others. It does put on makeup quite well, & I can honestly say that it’s one of my favorites in the bunch! My Grade: A-
Yes. I know it’s a bit pricey. And for awhile I didn’t want to buy it because of the price. $20? For 1 makeup sponge? But it is so light, airy, bouncy & gives you a lovely airbrushed look when you’re finished. It looks small when you buy it, but once it’s wet it balloons up to almost twice in size! And 1 makeup sponge is said to last a whole year. Think of all the disposable ones you would save! My grade: A+
Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap, price & size varies, 4 oz for $7, 32 oz for $20
And finally, how to clean them? I’ve tried different kinds of soap, only to be aggravated because these sponges are a pain in the ass to clean. And there’s this fear that if you don’t get your sponge spotless, that you might transmitting bacteria back to your face? And the best soap I’ve found to clean them? Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap! Never heard of it? It’s being sold at your local Target! Vegan & cruelty free, they claim to have 18 uses in one bottle! And I find this is an amazing soap for brushes & makeup sponges!
How to do it: Squeeze soap onto the sponge, & smooth it down the sides of the sponge. If you get a bar of soap, you can dampen the sponge & rub it upon the service of the soap. Submerge the sponge in water (i.e. like in a container or your sink) & squeeze it a few times under water. You will start to see the makeup come out of the sponge! The amazing thing about the castile soap, is that it soaks right into the sponge, & you can see the makeup come right out!
Tip: avoid pressing your nails into it, for that can rip up the sponge.
Lazy Girl Hack On How To Clean Them: I came across an article in a magazine where a makeup artist said that she puts her beauty blenders, & velour puffs into a mesh bag & just tosses them into the washing machine! And make sure you put it on a gentle cycle, with a gentle rinse cycle afterwards. Here, I would cover them in dish washing detergent before putting them in the bag, & then let the machine do its magic!
And finally, make sure you squeeze out all the water or else they can mold, and then let them sit somewhere to air dry.
Summary? If you can afford the real Beauty Blender I think it is a worthwhile investment because it does last awhile. Great substitutes? The Real techniques Miracle Sponge, and the Swissco’s Precision Blending Sponge. Each one is shaped differently, & both of them are $6 or less!!! There you have it! Pick one & go with it!!
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