Champagne or Beer? : Beauty Sponges

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hello fellow bloomers! (Does that sound like we're about to go through puberty together? I just want to find a fun and fitting name for my readers goddamnit! Feel free to leave suggestions...)

Anyhoot...

I'm sure by now you've all heard of the Beauty Blender. If you haven't, well this little device has pretty much changed the way a lot of women apply their foundation. Something about it just gives you that flawless, airbrushed look. It also makes the application incredibly fast and easy, blends in perfectly and is pretty much fool proof. For that reason it's been often imitated but never duplicated...Or has it?

The thing is, with most beauty sponges that have the same allure, they just don't have the same density. It's all about how the Beauty Blender bounces off your face. Most "wannabe dupes" just feel like your beating your face. I don't care that it's cheap, it just don't work the same girl, and it hurts! Hell nah!
picture of a generic beauty supply store Deluxe Face Sponge
Generic beauty supply store Deluxe Face Sponge
Here's the issue...The Beauty Blender is a steep $19.95 US/ 26$ CA. For a sponge. Yes I know! Is it worth it? Well I love it, and I always try to make it seem reasonable by comparing the price to a quality foundation brush, so that it comes out a steal! With the Beauty Blender you can also apply your concealer and powder and make sure all your face products are blended in seamlessly. So really it's multiple brushes in one, and no other sponge comes close. When you look at it THAT way, it's not so bad right? Wrong. Because today in the ring we have a new match of Champagne Vs. Beer!

On the right side, our Champagne fighter, THE Beauty Blender, never previously challenged by a worthy opponent.

On the left side, introducing a possible game changer, our Beer contender, the ridiculously affordable Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge! This sponge retails for about $5.99 US (I'm not sure about the Canadian price but you can find Real Techniques products at Wal Mart).

Let's get ready rumble!

Beauty Blender :
PR description:
Beautyblender features an open cell structure that fills with small amounts of water when wet. This allows the sponge to be “full” so that the makeup product sits on top of the sponge rather than being absorbed, allowing you to use less product every time. (Source : Sephora.com)
a picture of a dry and dirty Beauty Blender
Dry and dirty Beauty Blender*
a picture of a clean and wet Beauty Blender
Clean and wet Beauty Blender*

Performance - 4/5:
It does expand more than the Real Techniques, so maybe does soak up less product, but it's not like the other one is exactly soaking it up...This sponge gets so large though, that sometimes I don't find it 100% ideal for my under eye area. The pointed tip makes it easy for blemishes and "spot covering" but I need something in between for my under eye concealer. I usually combine the sponge and my fingers for that...But in the end, my makeup ends up looking pretty flawless. N.B : It does not work all that well with water based foundations so beware!

Maintenance - 4/5 :
I'm used to cleaning wedge sponges (back in the day) with liquid soap and that did NOT work for this guy. But turns out you just need solid soap (you really don't need to invest in their brand cleansers) and it comes out squeaky clean with no leftover traces of makeup. Bottom line, it's pretty easy to clean, and therefore can last a very long time.

Price - 2/5: I mean, sure it lasts forever and sure and does a lot for your makeup, but let's face it ; it's nearly 4 times more expensive than the Real Techniques one...

Final score : 3.3/5

Miracle Complexion Sponge:

PR description:
  • Rounded sides blend large areas of the face with a repeated dabbing or “stippling” motion.
  • Precision tip covers blemishes and imperfections.
  • Flat edge for the contours around the eyes and nose.
Its versatile design evenly blends makeup for a smooth, enhanced finish. (source: realtechniques.com)
a picture of a dry and dirty Miracle Complexion Sponge by Real Techniques
Dry and dirty Miracle Complexion Sponge*
a picture of a clean and wet Complexion Miracle Sponge by Real Techniques
Clean and wet Complexion Miracle Sponge*
Performance - 4/5:
It doesn't expand as much with water therefore doesn't cover as much surface area at a time...Maybe it also lets more makeup seep through the sponge, but on the other hand it can also be used more successfully with water based foundations. The flat section is PERFECTION under the eyes. Really does a stellar job at applying and blending my face products flawlessly.

Maintenance - 4/5 :
I'd say this one is a bit harder to clean. I feel like there's always traces of makeup lingering that just won't get out. So for that, maybe you gotta change it a bit more often but it's not even that much of big deal...

Price - 5/5: I mean, $5.99!! The ghetto cheapo sponges that don't work for shit are around $2-4 sooooo ya know!

Final score : 4.3/5

* All shots are on the same scale for comparison 

Final verdict : Garçon! Get me a can o' beer son!

Kind of a no brainer. Yes the Beauty Blender works great and I've raved about it forever, but having discovered the Miracle Complexion Sponge I can't really recommend it anymore or justify splurging on the original. Real Techniques offers a quality product that works just as well and is ridiculously affordable! Just sayin'.

What do you guys think? Have you tried either? Hope this was helpful!

Talk to you soon,

-Val

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