I received my first ever official Beauty Blender as a gift for subscribing to Birchbox over three years ago. I hate to seem dramatic but it literally changed the way I apply my makeup. Up until this point I either used my fingers or a brush, I never even considered using a sponge, let alone a damp one. I mostly buy dupes now such as the Eco Tools Perfecting Blending Duo or Real Techniques Miracle Sponge, however, it’s become a bit of a tradition over the years to splurge on one as a birthday treat or whenever they’re on offer. Fads come and go in the beauty industry and due to the worldwide success of the Beauty Blender, makeup brands are constantly churning out new tools for us to apply our foundation with.
The Rise of the ‘SiliSponge’
A few years ago, it looked like the silicone sponge could steal Beauty Blenders much sought after crown. The ‘SiliSponge’ was featured heavily across YouTube for months and even sold out due to the high demand. I think the original silicone makeup applicator was created by a Hong Kong-based company called Molly Cosmetics, however, within weeks a flurry of copycats flooded the market. Even though you don’t often see them pop up on YouTube these days, brands such as Revolution, Milk Makeup and e.l.f. continue to sell their own versions in a variety of shapes and colours.
The concept has never appealed to me. They look like a cross between chicken fillets and gel insoles for your shoes. However, when I was waiting in line at Primark curiosity finally got the better of me (only 2 years late to the party) and I quickly grabbed a packed for only 30p. Believe it or not, they actually have many advantages over the Beauty Blender.
1. No Wastage – The non-porous surface doesn’t soak up any product so, in theory, you end up wasting less product and save money replacing your favourite foundation.
2. More Hygienic & Less Time-Consuming – It’s incredibly easy to clean and doesn’t take an eternity to dry.
3. Gets in Hard to Reach Places – The flexible rounded edges actually reach areas like the contours around your nose and under eye area more effectively than a sponge.
4. More Affordable – I picked up a two pack of silicone sponges for only 30p. The original Beauty Blender retails for £17 and, in my experience, an effective dupe will still set you back at least £5. You do the math.
So we all converted then, yeah? There’s only one major problem: they don’t blend! Trying to apply and buff my foundation with this little guy was, unsurprisingly, a complete nightmare. You can dab, press and literally slap the foundation on with the silicone sponge but ultimately all you will do is smear it across your face. It has the talent of making even the sheerest of BB Creams look cakey and, as there’s no moisture to help blend them out, matte foundations seem to dry down within seconds making them appear uneven and streaky. The only way I could make it work was for dabbing my concealer in and even then my fingers do a better job as they actually warm up the product. I’m not surprised that this little experiment didn’t pay off but at least I’ve satisfied my curiosity.
How do you prefer to apply your foundation?