Review: Beautyblender Sponge

By Voxy  

Do you need, and I mean really need, a little neon-pink egg-shaped sponge to have in your makeup bag?

What a silly question. Of course you do. It’s pink and egg-shaped!

This little gizmo (if you can call something that’s pink and squishy a “gizmo”) is something about which I was originally a skeptic, but about which I have had a voxalicious change of heart. I will not be running through the streets bearing Beautyblender banners (ooh, alliteration), but I will quietly enjoy the Beautyblender in the privacy of my own home.

Oh, come on. It’s a sponge, for heaven’s sake. Get your minds out of the gutter.

Like other cosmetic sponges, the Beautyblender can be used to apply liquid and cream products such as foundations and cream blushes. I have not been quite brave enough to try it on eyeshadow, but they say it can be done. The Beautyblender has a face-friendly design and a texture that is almost like nubby silk — grippy but soft. It’s easy to clean and easy to control in terms of precise application of product.

Some people use the Beautyblender to apply foundation directly: they dampen the sponge (it works better when slightly wet; run under water and squeeze out), swirl it around in the foundation — or dunk it if it’s liquid — and apply directly to the forehead whole face. After some experimentation I have found that this isn’t quite the right approach for me. I still prefer to apply my cream foundation (MAC Mineralize Skinfinish) with a brush, and use the Beautyblender afterwards to help create the “airbrushed” effect that is All Teh Rage now on the cosmetics scene. I used to try to get this look with a skunk brush (MAC 187 or the like), but frankly, it took forever. My little paws were getting very tired. This way I can apply the foundation with a regular foundation brush (which also makes it easier for me to mix in some extra moisturizer with it), and then stipple afterwards with a slightly damp Beautyblender before setting with HD setting powder. This yields a result that is, for me, even better than stippling with the MAC 187, not to mention considerably less exhausting. Both the shape and the texture of the Beautyblender make it easier to get this effect with this product than it is with regular cosmetic sponge wedges.

The pointy end is very good at getting into corners and crevices of skin: around your nose, under the eye, in the inner eye, etc. The other end, which is round and squishy, is good at applying cream or gel blushes and blending them in a very natural-looking way. I have used other cosmetic sponges in the past, and of course I wondered whether it was really worth the price tag. But I think it is. It is intuitively designed to fit the contours of the face, it is easy to clean, and it dries quickly and retains its shape.

One of the things that did surprise me about this product was its diminutive size. This is no ostrich egg, nor goose egg. It is, at best, the egg of a slightly anemic Cornish hen. Most pictures of this product on the web show it out of context, so you don’t realize its size. The picture at right shows the Beautyblender in comparison to a standard-sized Clinique lipstick. It is horrendously overpackaged: I can’t think of any reason at all that there needs to be that much plastic and wasted space around the product.

The Beautyblender comes with a small packet of its own cleanser (to wash the sponge itself, not your face), but your regular facial cleanser should work just fine, provided it’s of a non-scrubby variety. The Blendercleanser (and by the way, someone should tell the folks over at Beautyblender that this is not German and you can’t just shove words together, wrap some duct tape around them, and hope they stick) retails for the astonishing price of $17.95 for a 6-oz. bottle. That’s more than my facial cleanser, so in the end using my facial cleanser is not just easier but cheaper.

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Beautyblender: $19.95 at Sephora and other retailers

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (poor/fair/good/excellent): Fair. It’s a really nice product, but $20 is a lot. Plus it’s overpackaged.

Purchase again? Probably, though I’ll certainly look for a coupon or sale.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

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One Comment

  1. avatar marigolds
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Now I want it. I love the *notion* of airbrushed finish (why, even? I cringe when I see the actual airbrush spray guns on Sephora’s website), but in reality, it’s more of a pointillist effect – which is less exciting. Unless you’re willing to do a whole lotta brush-dabbing.

    The travails of the made-up. Sigh. It’s exhausting being so lovely, isn’t it?

      (Quote)

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