Beauty Blender vs The Competition

So before I actually purchases the "REAL" deal, I bought and used a couple of other brands. The very first sponge I bought was from Ulta (I believe Sephora has one too) and then I moved on to the popular Sonia Kashuk one and then I got with the program and invested in a Beauty Blender.

For all of you who aren’t familiar with blending sponges, they are meant to give you a flawless and natural finish with any foundation.  How it works, you wet the sponge with warm water, ring it out, and while its damp you apply your foundation.  You’re supposed to dab the foundation into your skin, rather than using the sponge to spread it over, kinda like a stippling method. 

I've tried a couple of different methods with the sponges. I've tried applying foundation on my face or hand first and then blending it into my skin with the sponge and I've also tried applying foundation directly to the sponge and blending it that way.  I like the first approach the best, the second one just soaks up too much foundation before it gets spread to my face.

U L T A  E L L I P T I C A L  S U P E R  B L E N D E R
A re-useable make up sponge.
$4.99 at Ulta

I bought this on a whim bc I was in the same isle buying cotton rounds. The only great thing about this sponge is that it's super affordable and that's about where it ends for me.

Application: Like most other sponges, you're supposed to wet the sponge so that it soaks up less makeup and helps with blending. I did that and it still didn't help. I know $5 isn't much money, but you can invest in those little white wedges and I think they do a better job of blending.

Shape/Texture: I like the shape of the sponge. It has a slight groove in it and makes it easier to hold. It also has a point at the tip that's good for small spaces like underneath your eyes and side of nose. Once the sponge is wet, it does gain a little size but not much. The texture is a lot harder than the Beauty Blender.

Cleaning: The sponge is so dense that the product never completely rinses out. I normally use a brush cleaner or my Dr. Bronner's soap. 

- Price
-  Shape

- Stays the same size when damp
- Harder to blend with than other brands
- Hard to clean

S O N I A  K A S H U K  B L E N D E R
A re-useable make-up sponge.
$9.99 at Target

Application: I also use this sponge when slightly damp. It takes a little bit more effort than a brush, but the finish it creates is pretty amazing. It's natural and dewy. 

Shape/Texture: The shape of this sponge is very similar to the Ulta one. Instead of a bell shape, it's more like a tear drop. The sponge is hard and denser than the Beauty Blender and does increase in shape when wet. The only complaint is that it has a faint latex smell when it comes out of the packaging (which by the way is exactly like the Beauty Blender).

Cleaning: The sponge never regains it's true blue color. The foundation stays even after numerous washes with baby shampoo and with my Dr. Bronner's soap. You gotta be careful too because too much heavy duty washing causes the sponge to peel and crumble.

P R O S 
- Super affordable
- Reusable
- Easily found at Target

- Stays the same size when damp. Gains a slight bit of weight too.
- Smells like plastic out of the package.
- Size is a awkward. Slightly too big
- Hard to clean

B E A U T Y  B L E N D E R
A Non-latex, re-useable make-up sponge.
$20 for 1 or  $25 for 2

Application: Yup like I said before, I use this sponge when damp. I like the shape of the tip for use when blending around my eye area or for blending around my nose. I just put foundation on my face and dab until I see the finish I want.

Shape/Texture: The shape takes a little bit of getting used to. It's about the size of an egg and also shaped like it so it has no grove in the middle like the others for you to hang on to. The sponge feels really soft and light, like a cotton ball. When damp, it gets to about twice it's size. 

Beauty Blender makes their own cleaner. I heard it works for brushes too.
Cleaning: So I've watched youtube video after video on how to clean this darn thing. I can not manage to get all the foundation out. There are still slight stains on the bottom. I've tried the cleaner that it came with as well as Dr. Bronner's soap. I do not really recommend the Dr. Bronner's soap for this sponge because it does wash the hot pink color out of it. My sponge is now a dull pink and because I tried so hard to get the foundation out, it has started to tear. I haven't talked about the packaging it comes in, but it's really useful because after you wash it, it's a holder to let it dry.

- Non latex
- Reusable
- Quality
- Has a specialty cleanser
- Packaging can be used to store or dry sponge

- Expensive
- Needs to be replaced every so often

Overall after using all three sponges, I can definitely see the difference in quality. I would still recommend the Sonia Kashuk sponge first to try out if you even like sponges and then if you do, go for the Beauty Blender.

I have a hard time creating that smooth, airbrushed look and I think these sponges help with that a lot. Just dab a little foundation on your forehead, nose, chin, and a couple dabs on your cheeks and stipple. There really isn't a way that this can go wrong.

If you aren't about the beauty sponges, I don't blame you. I used to use those little white wedges for the longest time and those run about $3 a bag and you get about 20-25 and they work just as well.

These are just the three sponges that I own. I know that MAC, Sephora, and all the other beauty brands have made their own sponges up. Any of you ladies have a preference to your sponge? Any favorite brand I should check out?


Lucy said...
March 5, 2012 at 7:18 PM

I tried the Sephora sponge and then I splurged on a Beauty Blender.. BB wins, it's soft, expands when wet and works so much better.... Sephora one was too small, and dense, and stayed the same size when wet... BB was pricier but I got two for $28CAD (one usually retails for $26) so I felt justified with my purchase :) no regrets

Gayle GWishlist said...
March 5, 2012 at 8:35 PM

I've been thinking a lot about buying the beauty blender but I'm not a heavy foundation wearer. I have 2 tinted moisturizer and my favorite is from Tarte. I bought a flat Kabuki (F80 from Sigma) to apply it, but I find that the finishing is much better blended with my fingers than with any tool. I guess I'll skip on any kinda beauty blender for a while.
But thanks for the review, very useful!

Dyno Pretty Pup said...
March 5, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Ahhh interesting! must go purchase lol I;m also using a sponge thingy from cosmopolitan and totally love it! P.s for the sleek stuff, they do international delivery and are reliable xx

Amber said...
March 5, 2012 at 9:55 PM

This post came at the perfect time for me! I just bought a sponge like these, it is by Soho London and I had coupons for it at walgreens so it ended up being like $2. But I do love using a sponge for foundation so I thought I would try that before spending big bucks on an official beauty blender one! Mine was a huge pain to clean and yes it is stained already which annoys me, so I need to definitely learn to clean it the appropriate way. But I do like how they help apply foundation!
<3 Amber

ShinyPrettyThings said...
March 5, 2012 at 10:16 PM

oh, i had no idea Ulta had one of these sponges too! i personally prefer brushes to apply foundation. sponges like these take so long to clean LOL

i found a super cheap one at F21 but they've stopped selling them. they worked pretty well for the price ~$1 i think lol

alanyskpl said...
March 6, 2012 at 9:47 AM

i just won a beauty blender from a giveaway and i had NO idea it was such a hot item!!! i am dying to try it now!

Hunter87 said...
March 6, 2012 at 10:51 AM

I LOVE my BB Great Post.

Pop Champagne said...
March 6, 2012 at 2:24 PM

this is neat, I've never tried these sponges before but from how they look I'm so curious to use them at least once just to see what it's like!

Aimee L said...
March 6, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Ahhhh I've been wondering about these!! Particularly the BeautyBlender. I too used to use the white wedges forever, but now I just use my fingers to blend.

I like that I can kind of warm my foundation up a bit in between my fingers before applying; seems to make it go on smoother, plus it's more hygienic I think since I would reuse the white wedge sponges a few times before tossing them.

Maybe I'll try the Sonia Kashuk though just to see if I like it...

Kumiko Mae said...
March 7, 2012 at 8:16 AM

im very disappointed w professional sponges as they require heavy attention to cleaning!! but definitely a go-to tool if u want superb flawlessness

Mariyam ABAG said...
March 7, 2012 at 12:41 PM

I reallyu like these types sponges for applying foundations give an amazing finish :)

Anonymous said...
March 9, 2012 at 8:07 PM

You may not have caught the new Essence of Beauty version at CVS, but for my $5, they win hands down. Better shape, great foam, great finish - would love to hear your thoughts on how it stacks up vs. the others.

Anonymous said...
March 9, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Found it!

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