I really do like my beauty blender, I'd heard great things about it for years but kept putting off buying it because of the cost... but I'm really glad I decided to try it. Yes, it is expensive for a sponge, but I honestly don't really consider it a sponge, it's so different than any other sponge type applicator I've ever used. It's such a soft, smooth, fluffy applicator, it really doesn't feel like a sponge at all, especially once it's wet. It gives a very nice, build-able, natural finish when using liquid foundations, I never feel like my make-up is over done when I use this. I get it soaking wet under warm water, and then wring it out about 4 times to get it as dry as possible, then I dot my foundation over my face with my fingers, and use the rounded, bottom part and bounce it all over my face to get an even, beautiful coverage. I like the pointed tip too because it can get into the corners of my nose, and under eye area very nicely. I would say that the coverage and finish I get with the beauty blender is slightly better than any of the brushes I've used, like the MAC 187. However, I wouldn't go so far to say that this "revolutionized" my make-up, because I think there are foundation brushes out there that can give almost as good results in less time. I don't use the beauty blender every time I do my make-up, only when I really want my make-up to look perfect, since I find it sort of time consuming to use. I wouldn't say this is 100% necessary for everyone, but it's a great tool to have around, especially if you do a lot of face make-up, and work with a lot of liquid products. As far as cleaning goes, I put some baby shampoo on it when it's dry, and then wet and squeeze it to get all the product out, and so far that's worked for me. I got a pack of two of these from Sephora for just under $40, I've never tried a dupe so I can't comment on that, all I can say is I like my original beauty blender, and would recommend to anyone who uses lots of liquid products, and wants a natural, but build-able finish. I store mine in a little glass jar with a lid to keep it clean.
PROS: Works so well to get foundation into my wrinkles/pores/etc and blending. I like the little plastic case for letting it dry in after washing/rinsing (I leave the lid off.)
CONS: Not the cheapest. I'm always paranoid the pink one is possibly getting a pink tone onto my skin (when I rinse the pink one, a bit of pink seems to still come through, even after many rinses with brush shampoo.) So see alternates regarding the white one.
APPLICATION TIPS: As I said in the "cons," I use brush shampoo and then rinse this and let it dry in its little plastic case, without the lid. I like to apply my foundation with fingers, and then I use a tapping motion to blend the foundation into my large pores and wrinkles, using the moist sponge. (I generally wash this right before using it, each time. But if it's dry, I squeeze it under the running faucet and then squeeze it almost nothing comes out.) I like to use this to apply my hg foundation, LM tinted moisturizer. (But I apply Loreal's Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting base as a primer before foundation.)
CLEANING TIPS: I like to put this under running water and squeeze so it will soak up water. I then use a brush shampoo (or very gentle baby shampoo) and "squeeze" it into the sponge. I then rinse by squeezing multiple times under the running faucet until it rinses clear/clean. I then squeeze it until almost no water drips out.
ALTERNATES: I've tried some of the cheaper alternates, and they just don't perform the same at blending. I really prefer the white ("Pure") version of this because I'm paranoid the pink one might be bleeding a pink tone onto my skin, even if it's slight.
I put off purchasing this product for a very very long time. I thought it was not worth it and a waste of money. However, I decided for some reason to cave in and give it a shot.. and boy am I glad I did! This little sponge is magical and I'm not exaggerating. It makes my foundation go on very smooth and gives it a nice flawless look, something I never thought a sponge could give me. I always thought a brush would be way better, but honestly the Beauty Blender applies my foundation in less time than any of my makeup brushes. The tapered point allows you to get into the corners of your nose and eyes, which is helpful especially if you want to use this for concealer, which you totally can; I do.
The only con about this product is the price. $20 for a sponge just sounds ridiculous in my opinion, but then again if I lost this I would totally go out and purchase another. (It also looks super cute on my vanity :) )
Oh, and I don't use the cleaner they suggest to use. I just use baby shampoo (like I do with any other makeup brush) and gently clean it with lukewarm water.
Also, one last thing, the packaging is great because if you want you can keep it on your vanity and put the sponge on top after you wash it so it can dry, or put it on top after an application so the only things the BB touches are you fingers, your foundation and your skin and not anything else!
Not much more I can say to add to the rave reviews. I have been using these for at least 4 years both for myself and professionally. I decided to not spend the $$ to get a new one when I retired my last one.....after 2 months I broke down and bought more. The dupes just don't compare and what I spent on trying multiple dupes I could have just bought another 2 pack. Brushes can't give the finish this does. Can be used with liquid foundation, creme, powder, creme blush, concealer, the possibilities are endless. Yes they stain. MAC's Cleanse Off Oil gets everything out better than any other cleanser (including it's own). A cheaper alternative is the Eucerin Shower Oil. It has emulsifiers like the Cleanse Off Oil does but takes a little more effort than the COO but it will still come out looking like new.
I dislike the fact that I like this little booger so much lol. I tried a couple of knock-offs first and liked them ok, but they don't compare to the BB. Not the ones I have tried . I think this is way overpriced though. Come on, it does't cost that much to make this sponge. It should be half as much. I will continue to look for a good dupe. I just haven't found a dupe made with the same light weight material the BB is.
You can now add me to the long list of the "Beauty Blender Hype". I typically always use a make up brush. My favorite is the dense, flat top brushes. I actually have NEVER used a sponge when applying my make up. Not even as a beginner. I just didn't like the idea of a sponge, I didn't like the results. I used my fingers before I'd even think about trying a sponge. I don't know what it was about the sponges that I've despised so much, but they never caught my interest. Until now. I've been hearing/seeing/reading about the beauty blender for about 2 years now. I have seen it multiple times in Sephora and saw the $20 price tag and laughed. Up until a few weeks ago. I was standing in line at Sephora and they have a bunch of little "Beauty To Go" products and I saw the BB. I actually was getting ready for a photoshoot and my make up brushes were dirty. I decided to give the BB a try. I followed the directions and ran my BB under some water. It grew like 10x the size and it was SO soft to the touch. I loved the soft yet pliable texture. The shape is also genius for the large parts of your face and the smaller areas like the inner corners of your eyes and around your nose. I put dots of foundation around my face and kind of spread it out with my fingers first, and then I started "blending". The instructions tell you to lift and bounce the BB, sort of stippling. I was absolutely amazed at the coverage and the airbrushed finish that the BB gave me. Every time I have used any sponge it doesn't give me any coverage and it just eats up all of my product. Not with the BB, it utilizes the proper amount of product and absorbs the very small extra amount you didn't need anyways. I use a very high coverage foundation (Mac Prolong Wear + Kat Von D Lock It) and it kept the coverage but made it look so natural. It literally looked like my real skin, just flawless. It doesn't give as much coverage as my brushes, but I think that's the beauty of it. It still let some of my natural skin peer through and if I had any blemishes /imperfections still showing I just slapped some concealer on them and I looked so perfect. My photographer even complimented my make up and he said my skin looked so amazing that he didn't even have to Photoshop it. I rest my case!
I'm not going to be very popular for my opinion of the Beauty Blender, but here goes...
I think this sponge is extremely over priced and over-rated. There. I said it. I don't dislike the Beauty Blender, but I feel like the same results can be achieved with any cosmetic sponge.
I generally use it wet to thin out heavy foundations like Colorstay. Also, it comes in handy when working with cheek stains such as Benetint because it's dense and can cover a lot of space a lot quicker than my fingers...this helps prevent streaks.
But, again...any sponge can do the same thing. The drug store is crawling with BB dupes and every one of them work just as well as the Beauty Blender. I've owned the real deal and the dupes, and there really is not much of a difference in my opinion.
I bought the generic kind at Kohl's for only $5.00 and I will never, ever use any kind of sponge ever again. This is the best beauty tool in my kit. It can provide medium-to-heavy coverage in under 5 minutes, blends beautifully, and the tip can reach into my facial crevices (such as my eye wrinkles especially) much better than any of my fingers or under eye brushes can.
I always thought this sponge would apply like a regular, square sponge at the Dollar Store. I could never understand or even believe the hype surrounding it. But no...this sponge works wonders and I will never go without it, ever again.
I can't think of any cons to this product as it seems it can be universally used whether your skin is oily or dry, is cheap, durable, and easily washable.
Best cosmetic purchase I've made in the year of 2013.
If I could give this thing 10 lippies, I would! Ok, so I had been reading about this "miracle sponge" thing for awhile and I get pretty skeptical about products I read about on blogger websites for the fact so many of them receive their products for free or even paid in return for good reviews. But after buying pretty much every kind of foundation brush on the market and not having my ideal end result, I finally broke down and decided to splurge on this to see what the hype was all about. I was able to get 2 Beauty Blenders for $25 on the makeupgeek website, which I figured was a pretty good deal. I watched a few YouTube videos on application to make sure I used it correctly (I'm a bit clueless when it comes to reading directions, thanks Mom!). Needless to say, THEY WERE RIGHT! Why oh why did I wait so long to purchase this wonderful pink miracle?! I now have at least $100 worth of foundation brushes I will most likely never use again thanks to this product. If you use it slightly damp and press in your foundation (don't swipe, it makes it look weird) I promise you it will look like you're not even wearing foundation yet your face will look flawless! I can finally start using drug store makeup again and get the same results just from using this!
Lord have mercy, JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON. It is worth the hype. I know it seems silly to pay a relatively expensive amount for a sponge, but I promise you, it will make the crappiest foundation look good. I use this with my Covergirl Outlast Foundation (see review) and they are perfect together, as the beautyblender tends to make things natural looking, and the foundation is full coverage/matte.
My only con is that for me, it does not give me as full of a coverage as if I used a dense brush, but I rather have some of my acne showing and look natural then be caked up.
I did not buy the cleanser, I just use some gentle face wash.