CLEANING: I will start by addressing the hard-to-get-clean / stained issue. I too had that problem when I immediately tried to wash it after applying makeup. It is as though the water "sets" the stain and it will not wash out completely.
As I found out by fluke, the trick is to apply the makeup, then let the sponge DRY with the makeup on it -- do not wash it yet. The next day, when you are ready to apply your makeup, run it under the water and by the second squeeze, the makeup will be all gone and the sponge will look good as new. Then you can add your soap and wash it before applying the new makeup. Afterwards, let it dry again with the makeup on it. The sponge (and this goes for the dupes too) will stay looking brand new by doing it this way.
Now for the review: I bought the Beauty Blender after having tried a couple dupes, which had also greatly improved the look of my makeup. Over the years I've had a harder time getting makeup to not look cakey or uh, plain bad... because my skin has become drier. Tried different moisturizers underneath, different makeup, all the same results. (Except I will say the Clinique Moisture surge did help a lot with the look of the makeup--I could even dab it over top cakey-looking makeup and it would make it look better). However, these sponges made enough of a difference that I decided to buy the real thing (BB). I can now put on makeup even without moisturizer underneath (I do spritz with some rosewater and glycerine first--Heritage Products) and this little sponge makes the makeup look like great skin. It is truly a game-changer for me. From seeing how these sponges work, I now think that all the makeup that I had returned to the store due to looking bad on me would have now worked with this sponge, because all makeup seems to look good now.
I will say though, that with some thinner makeups, the BB leaves more of a textured imprint because it has more of a porous texture than my dupe sponges which have a tighter porous structure. (Revive and Silk Naturals). The other thing is: when purchasing in a store, try to look at the flat end that puts the makeup on. My first BB had a dimple on it which made an imprint on the makeup, so I exchanged it for another. Those would be my only negatives. So I just use the dupe in this case.
BTW, the Silk Naturals black sponge is the closest one I found to the BB in softness, and it does a great job too. I alternate, and that will keep the BB in good shape beyond its 3-month life expectancy, which is fairly short considering the price of this thing.
There definitely is a difference with these sponges in looks and feel: they are not the same.
- The BB is very soft and squishy (easily collapsible when squeezed). The porous texture is a little more pronounced than the dupes--it kind of looks like mousse (the dessert). This sponge bounces on your face better than the others because it is so very soft. It does not "push" or stretch your skin but conforms to it.
- The Revive is more dense and firm, so does not squeeze as easily (not very squishy), and the texture is tighter (more than those triangle white sponges though--it's sort of a unique texture, really). It was the first sponge I bought. I noticed my makeup looked better with it than by using my fingers, which is what made me pursue this method. Its texture is good with thinner watery-type makeups because its surface is smoother than the BB, so with a thin makeup, it did not leave a texture thumbprint (at least in my experience). However with thicker makeup, it looked a little more pronounced. It seemed to do better with certain makeups (e.g. Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse looked good; Maybelline BB cream and Clinique Even Better did not).
- The SIlk Naturals one is not quite as spongy as the BB but much more so than the Revive. Its texture/porousness and firmness is in between the BB and the Revive. I would say it is the middle ground between the BB and the Revive. It does an excellent job with all the makeups I've tried, including the thinner watery ones. They look smooth and like skin.
- Bella is similar to Revive and looks much like the same texture except maybe slightly softer.
- CVS Essence of Beauty - much stiffer when compared to the others, and unlike any of these other ones - like a cheap latex-y sponge. It was awful, and so were the makeup results. I don't recommend that one.
All of them puff up to become quite large when immersing in water then squeezing out the excess (the way they are supposed to be used). The CVS one still stayed too firm, in comparison to the others. The Bella and Revive need to be soaked well or else they look a little bit like they have cellulite (when you squeeze them they dimple unevenly); but when they are fully soaked, they are fine.
If I had to choose a dupe, it would be the Silk Naturals first, because it is the closest I've found to the BB (even though it isn't shaped the same); then the Revive or Bella (bought at Marshalls or TJ Maxx). The CVS one was the only one I returned to the store.
This tool is worth the hype. Provides even, dewy coverage. If you want heavier coverage I might try using this with a primer to help hide pores, etc. My face doesn't look nearly as good compared to the beautyblender when I use my hands to apply foundation. A must-have for your makeup kit!
I've heard so many great reviews about this little sponge and I wanted to try it myself. So I went ahead and bought one at Sephora yesterday for $20. I tested it out with liquid foundation and it applies beautifully. Just dot the foundation all over your face with fingers first. All I did was bounce it all over my face with the beauty blender. The coverage was amazing and I love how soft it feels. It also felt less messier than applying with a brush. The only thing is the price of course. And I've yet to find an easy way to clean it and get all the foundation off. Overall, I love this sponge so much because it makes everything so much easier.
This is my favorite applicator for any foundation that i have used!! It makes my skin look flawless and it applies the foundation very quickly..
The ingenious invention that is the Beauty Blender beats in my opinion any foundation brush, hands down.
I have several expensive foundations that I was not using due to the difficulty in application (they looked heavy and very obvious on the skin when applied with fingers, streaky when applied with a brush - hello Dior Forever) but now applied with BB these jumped to the top of the list of my absolute favourites!
I cannot agree however that this is much different to some much cheaper make up sponges. Before the BB I was using one from Essence (a German brand that I unfortunately cannot get in UK, it was a gift from my friend) that I've left accidentally behind in a hotel room and I also have another by Real Techniques, that lives in my travel makeup bag. Personally I do not see much difference - there isn't any difference in the quality of sponge, the way it applies makeup or washes after use.
Luckily I do not own many expensive brushes because I would have been jolly furious - this little pink utensil works with a flawless application of the trickiest of foundations, as well as concealer (that pointy tip is such a wonderful idea!) and all of my cream blushes.
There are two gripes with this sponge imho - packing it for travel and an outrageous price at Sephora if you would need to replace one. I would however buy it back in a heartbeat hence 5 star rating.
I've tried multiple foundation brushes and sponges but they just don't give me the finish I'm after - too streaky. So for the last year I've just been applying with fingers. This is the first foundation 'tool' I've purchased in a long, long while, and they only reason I wanted to try it is because of the fantastic reviews it endlessly receives. I use this with Revlon Colorstay liquid in Ivory. The slight moisture in the sponge really helps with the application, especially because Colorstay is known for being a pain to blend due to fast drying times. For people worried about too sheer a coverage, don't worry - I have acne scarring on my cheeks as well as some active acne. The coverage is TOTALLY buildable to whatever you require, and I find it does the job perfectly for me. I'm a full coverage girl. You can add another layer on problem areas while having it more sheer elsewhere without your face looking "patchy". I've only used it a handful of times and I can confidently tell I will not be going back to using my fingers! I have pale, highly sensitive skin and this product has not irritated me at all (some people were having reactions to the pink dye). As others have mentioned, the one and only negative is the unnecessary high price. For $26 you feel almost ripped off, but then you try it and it's so good it seems justifiable.
With over 400 reviews already, this product is obviously a must try for anyone who wears foundation.
I, like most people - made the mistake of buying a knock off 5 dollar beauty blender from Ulta. I used it twice and then threw it into the deep dark abyss with my other failed beauty buys. It was hard, uncomfortable to hold, and didn't blend well. It wasn't until hearing at least 5 youtube gurus say 'YOU HAVE TO USE THE REAL BB', that I realized I had made a mistake.
I found a 2 for 25 deal on ebay, which is a STEAL.
Needless to say, it has become my foundation application staple. I was previously using a RT brush which has now been set aside. The BB truly does give the most soft, flawless, natural looking foundation application hands down.
I will say, it blends your foundation out to a natural/medium coverage. For me, this is actually a life saver. I found that with the brush I would often pack on TOO much foundation and look cakey.
Wet it and ring it out before use. Its the way to go.
It might bug me a little bit that I cant get it too look entirely clean after washing it. But, oh well. I haven't had any breakouts so I think that I'm cleaning it thoroughly enough!
Get blending :)
Bought this item at my local Sephora and could not WAIT to get home to play with it! It is amazing. Applies foundation so flawlessly! & I can appreciate the pointed tip for concealer application because it put my under eye wonderfully as well. I will repurchase if needed. It is a little pricey $20 but totally worth it!!
I had those cheap BBs but boy-oh-boy this one is the King of BBs! The big, damp sponge makes the foundation look seamless and the skin baby soft. I have never been so satisfied with a buffing brush as I am with the BB.
The huge downside is that the sponge is EXPENSIVE! I hope I'll manage with one for a year, because it's not a good investment: if you replace it 2 a year, you end up spending more than for a HQ brush.
Ugh this is a product I wanted to hate cause it's so expensive!! About a year ago I decided to try one of the fake ones cause there was no way that a cheap $5 sponge could not be just as "great" as a $26 one. Of course the cheap one sucked so I got over my want for one. After seeing some of my favorite YouTubers raving about it and how the fake ones don't compare I've decided to bite the bullet and try it. My exact words while purchasing it was that it better make my foundation look so amazing that unicorns and mermaids appear. Holy crap the sponge truely it magical. I don't even have to look in the mirror while I'm doing my foundation and somehow it's still perfectly blended. I am in love with a tiny pink sponge.
Now I have tried some other fake ones still hoping for a reasonably priced dupe. Only one that comes close is one by quo a brand that's sold at shoppers drug mart in Canada it only costs $5. It's a different shape and tends to stay wet longer which I don't like but it's just as soft and does a decent job blending.
For people who prefer a more full coverage application what I find best for this is before I get in shower I wet the beauty blender and let it dry for about 20 mins. This is a little trick that the beautiful makeup by alli suggested on her YouTube channel.
I also have no issues getting it clean, I use antibacterial dish soap and it comes out spotless. I usually wash after every 3rd use.
Only complaints is that you will need to repurchase unlike a brush that will last years. Also I have long nails so they tend to dig into the poor beauty blender which will most likely shorten it's life span :(
Believe the hype people especially when people tell you nothing compare. Cause really nothing does.