Amyleigh. Winchester, England.
An archaeologist & RE specialist with an abundance of love for makeup, nature & architecture photography, comics, taxidermy & a good cuppa.
Battle of the Beauty Blenders
If you're remotely interested in the beauty blogging/vlogging world, you will know by now that one of the biggest breakthroughs in modern cosmetics is without a doubt the revamp of beauty sponges. Long gone are the days when the little white triangles that just soaked up your foundation and made it streak across your face were the only available sponges and in their place has stepped some absolute gems. With the release of the original Beauty Blender, it seems that countless brands jumped on the bandwagon and released their own sponge of wonders to try and compete. That being said, there's only ever two that I see people, including myself, go back to time and time again no matter what they've tried and those are always the original Beauty Blender and the Real Techniques Sponge. These two sponges seem to be put up against each other in KO vs fights by many people in the blogging and vlogging communities and most people seem to prefer one to the other. As a girl who actively uses both, I thought I'd share my thoughts and let you know if the budget option is just as good as the original expense.
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge | £5.99 - Okay so let's talk about the more purse-friendly option of the two and that is the highly-praised Miracle Complexion Sponge from Real Techniques. This bright orange sponge is a big love of mine because a) it's pretty darn good and b) I fully appreciate it's orange shade as it matches a lot of my current base and eyeshadow brushes (shallow I know but when your makeup tools match it's a pretty special thing and makes you feel like you've got your shit together). The sponge has a pointed tip at one end and a flat side making it great for not only storing on your makeup shelves or dresser, but it is also great for getting coverage on both small and larger surface areas as the different ends of the sponge can be used for different areas of the face or even the body. The sponge itself fits nicely into the palm of my hand and when wet or damp, it still is a good size to work with. Using it dry, it quite solid and therefore really needs to be bounced against the skin in order for it to blend products well, but when it is damp it becomes softer and more malleable. A lot of people seem to like the Real Techniques sponge because of this but it took me a long time to get used to it and like it.
I still think this sponge has a tendency to soak up more of the product that the Beauty Blender does so for that reason, it gets demoted often, but since I've stopped wearing foundation, I do enjoy using it dry just to quickly buff in my concealer every morning. It really works products into the skin at lightning speed and you don't have to pay much attention to it so if you're a lazy, half asleep girl like me when you're applying your makeup, you have the comfort of knowing your foundation or concealer won't be orange streaks once you leave the house and you see yourself in daylight.
Beautyblender Classic Sponge | £16.oo - Oh, the original B.I.G. The original Beauty Blender is *so* popular and it's clear to see why. Even if I have used a brush to first apply a base and begin buffing it in, I will always finish off the job with this sponge. The Beauty Blender is a classic teardrop shape so it is tapered at one end just like the Miracle Complexion Sponge but instead of having a flat bottom, it has a curved base. Now, I personally prefer the curved base - it doesn't give as much surface area as the flat base of the Miracle sponge, but the curve of the BB makes it easier to create a seamless blend. It's also much softer to squeeze than the Real Techniques sponge. Even dry, this sponge is really squishy to use which I prefer as it means you don't have to bounce the sponge on your skin with as much pressure which is perfect for someone like me who has quite sensitive skin or sometimes extremely sensitive and sore acne patches. It is pretty much the same size of the Real Techniques offering so again, it fits nicely into my hand and when wet/damp, it doubles in size just the same and is still a good size to use. I find this doesn't soak up as much product as the other and in turn, this also means I don't have to wash it as often meaning my Beauty Blenders often last longer than my Miracle Complexion Sponges.
The one drawback of this sponge is that it costs almost 3 times the amount of the Real Techniques sponge and I've also wondered how those £1 dupes fair up in comparison. I personally will always repurchase the BB, but it does make me wonder if there's even cheaper options out there and if to be honest, I could just rely on my RT sponge instead.
So, which is best?
All in all, I think the Beauty Blender always just takes top spot. Despite it costing more money, it is the sponge I find most satisfying and comfortable to use, it has longevity over the Real Techniques sponge, and I love the fact that you can now get minis which are perfect for getting right into the eye area or for creating a really strong contour. The Real Techniques sponge is in no way a bad option though - I personally do think it soaks up more product but on the other hand there are plenty of people out there who argue the Beauty Blender is a ball ache for doing the same thing. I personally find the BB great to use both damp and dry whereas I would only really use the RT damp if we were talking about applying bases. As I've only been wearing concealer for the last few months, I'd say they both do a great job - damp and dry - of blending the concealer into the skin beautifully but the BB is still the nicest to use as the sponginess and softness of it makes getting into my inner corners much more comfortable and less of a task.
Another thing I think is worth a mention here is the fact that the Real Techniques sponge always seems to go first. If I have longer nails, or I haven't been as careful as usual when cleaning it, it tends to dent and thus fall apart much quicker than the Beauty Blender. I think this has a lot to do with how compact and sturdier the sponge is but again, some people have said the same about the Beauty Blender so who knows! Overall I will always continue to buy both as I tend to use one when the other is out of action when it's getting cleaned etc. and I like them for different things. If I happen to be using thicker consistency products I will reach for the Beauty Blender over the Real Techniques as I think it sheers out products much more effectively which is what I like however, if I have a lot of texture going on (e.g. I have flaky skin where old spots are healing) I will choose the Real Techniques sponge as somehow, it glides over those patches better than the Beauty Blender. I think the pros outweigh the cons with both of these tools but if I had to use just one for the rest of my days, I would always spend that little bit extra and go with the original B.I.G.
Which beauty blender sponge do you prefer? Or has a brush taken over your life?