It’s the battle of the makeup sponges!
The Beauty Blender is quite possibly the most talked about, raved about, makeup sponge of its kind. It’s famous for changing the game of makeup sponges worldwide, it’s famous for it’s blending (making its name appropriate), it’s pervasive on youtube and instagram and it’s used by world class makeup artists everywhere.
The Beauty Blender brought about numerous dupes. A lot of companies have been trying to sell makeup sponges that look similar. Personally, I’ve tried quite a few makeup sponges over the past couple of years and a lot of them don’t blend as well as the beauty blender. A sponge that deserves a comparison to the Beauty Blender is the Real Techniques Miracle Sponge.
So here are our stars of this post!
The Beauty Blender costs £13.14 on Amazon.co.uk
The Real Techniques Miracle Sponge costs £4.99 on Amazon.co.uk
The Beauty Blender is more than double the price of the Real Techniques Miracle sponge BUT … It does come with a small bar of Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser. I love the Beauty Blender Cleanser for washing makeup brushes but it doesn’t do great with removing stains from the Beauty Blender itself.
Both of these sponges should be used damp. You put these under running water and you squeeze out the water until the sponge expands. When it’s expanded, you squeeze the sponge to get rid of excess water then you can start using it.
Both sponges expand in similar proportions. The Beauty Blender certainly starts to feel softer than the Real Techniques Miracle Sponge while damp. Does this mean that it blends better?
Will it blend?
So I guess the real test between these two sponges is how well they blend. I will outright say that they both blend makeup beautifully but they are certainly NOT dupes in this regard.
Both sponges have a pointy end and an end with a wider surface. The Beauty Blender is an egg shape but the Real Techniques sponge has a flat surface. The pointy end of the Beauty Blender is thinner that the one of the Real Techniques sponge and this makes it easier to get into the inner corners of my eyes, around my nose etc. For the wider surface of both sponges, I prefer the flat surface of the Real Techniques sponge, simply because it’s a wider surface and covers more area.
With regards to the actual blending ability of the sponges, I found that although I end up with similar results by using either of these sponges, it takes a lot more time to blend my makeup using the Beauty Blender. Comparing how both sponges blend the stripes of concealer I paint on my face to contour, the Real Techniques sponge certainly wins because of the shorter time that it takes. It seems to do a great job at picking up and dispensing the product with each pat.
Both these sponges retain some product but I couldn’t tell whether one retains more than the other. I use one pump of foundation and one pump of concealer with either sponge and I get the same coverage with both.
Both sponges work similarly for picking up any excess product on my face. I just roll a clean side over where I tend to crease to pick up the excess product.
After using setting powder, both these sponges are also great for rolling on your face to blend the setting powder with the layers of makeup underneath and to look less powdery. They almost behave like a setting spray in this regard (but of course, they don’t make your makeup last longer in the same way that setting sprays do).
Durability & Longevity
I have two dead sponges and this is what triggered this post. Here are pictures of the tombstones and the corpses. (everyone makes tombstones for their dead makeup things, right?)
Yes, the Beauty Blender is wrecked and in a much much shorter time. 1.5 months. I used the Real Techniques sponge for 6 months and it remains in a usable condition. I changed it up because I wanted to try the Beauty Blender and it’s probably not advisable to use a makeup sponge for so long.
So what the hell happened? And why on earth is the Beauty Blender so beat up?
I don’t know whether this is advisable or not, but before each use, I spray on some surgical spirit (rubbing alcohol in the US) then wash them both with a liquid Beauty Blender cleaner that I’ve owned for ages and rinse them out. They get into they puffed up and damp state and I can use them.
Every once in a while, I soak the sponge in oil, then place it in a bowl with warm soapy water (I used dish washing soap for this). This is a deep clean that breaks down and really gets rid of any product that’s inside the sponge.
As you can see, the Real Techniques Miracle Sponge still looks good shape wise after 6 months of use and has little signs of wear and tears in the material. Some of the sponge holes (pores?) look wider but the sponge behaved the same. I’ve used several Real Techniques Sponges and never had a problem cleaning them etc. although I do find it quite hard to remove stains even with the deep clean.
After about a month of using the Beauty Blender I was noticing a hard lump on the end with the bigger surface. I thought that it felt like some foundation wasn’t rinsing out of it and it hardened. I gave it a deep clean (this was its second deep clean) and while I was rinsing it, the bit that felt hard popped off.
Yep, I was horrified, terrified. My Beauty Blender was dead.
Needless to say, in my experience, the Real Techniques Sponge can withstand a beating (from me) much better than the Beauty Blender and I’m very disappointed in the Beauty Blender’s longevity and durability. For this reason alone, I’m very put off and won’t be repurchasing another Beauty Blender and I’ll be sticking to Real Techniques Miracle Sponges from now on.
In summary, I put these two sponges up against each other in a table. This has of course been my own and personal experience with the two sponges. Personally, I’ll be sticking to the Real Techniques Miracle sponge and will continue to purchase the Beauty Blender Cleanser (both solid and liquid) to clean my Real Techniques Miracles Sponge and my other makeup brushes.