This review is going to do double duty as I am not only reviewing the BB, but also comparing/reviewing it to the SoHo Beauty dupe that a lot of folks have been talking about.
I finally bit the dust and purchased 3 BeautyBlenders. I also went ahead and purchased the London SoHo dupe at Walgreens for under $6 (on sale as it's d/c) In my pic, the SoHo is on the left and has been used about 4 times. In the middle is my BB that I've been using for about a month. On the right is my brand new/never used BB.
The SoHo is denser and while soft, is not as soft as the BB (altho it is softer than Sonia Kashuk's sponge). It performs about the same as the BB - takes a few more stipples to get my liquid foundation blended in as nicely as the BB. I actually did the left side of my face w/ the SoHo and the right w/ the BB = 10 more bounces w/ the SoHo to get that side of my face to look like the BB side, which you know from other glowing reviews is an airbrushed look. :)
The SoHo is already showing a few tiny tears after 4 uses. The BB started showing the same little tears after my 4th use too - WHAT IS UP W/ THAT??? For the amount of $ BB is charging, these sponges SHOULD NOT be showing such signs of wear/tear after only 4 uses (and yes, I wash gently w/ my DIY cleanser and I do not have long nails) I deducted 1 lippie for the crappy construction.
Of interest is that I have found once I have used the BB, it never goes back to its original size. Its hard to tell from my pic, the the used BB is definitely fatter and taller than the BN BB.
I got pink coloring discharge thru the first 5 washings of the BB. (I have not yet washed the Soho). The BB is permanently discolored by my foundation no matter how much washing I do = kinda annoying.
Both sponges give my skin an almost flawless, kinda dewy finish. If too dewy = lightly dust w/ powder. I use the BB and the SoHo for both my powder and liquid foundations = love that versatility. I have temporarily retired my foundation brushes as my becoming-slightly-drier-skin seems to like this application method more currently.
Bottom line - I was all set to recommend getting the SoHo over the BB, but since the SoHo is d/c...I guess until someone else comes up w/ another decent dupe, I will stick to my BB in spite of the aforementioned drawbacks because, frankly the pros definitely outweigh the cons. :)
BTW - SoHo made a 2nd version of the sponge - it was the exact softness/denseness of the BB, but shaped like a football = kinda useless shape IMO. It too is d/c.
UPDATE 05-29-12 - so, I was recently watching the House series finale in which the 1st hour was a tribute/backstage access to the cast/crew and the 2nd hour was actually the final episode. During the 1st hour, whilest interviewing one of the show's make-up artists, (and I can't recall which actor she was working on during the short interview), I did note that she was using a BB sponge to apply the foundation - SWEET!
For a bigger pic of the 3 sponges side by side, please see my review for the SOHO sponge - for some reason, I can't get that bigger pic to work for my BB review...sorry.
I have to admit that I am a creature of habit. I am running out of the cleanser, so for a while, I have actually been contemplating purchasing more. But then I thought, why, do I even like the beautyblender? And I came to the shocking realization that I donít. Hereís why:
1.I donít like to have to wet them. You really have to do this at the bathroom sink to evenly distribute the water, and I donít do my makeup in the bathroom;
2.I find that they soak up too much product;
3.I find it disconcerting that after several years of use, washing every 2-3 days, the water still turns pink when I wash them. I also somehow tore one of them. Not sure how since I donít have long nails;
4.I find it obnoxious that the cleanser is the only thing that cleans them. And it doesnít even work that wellóyou have to find the spots of foundation on them and then blob the cleanser on the spot and rub it--- too time-consuming and the cleanser is expensive;
5.Most importantly, I donít like how my makeup looks when I use them. It looks too watered down and unpolished, almost like I didnít bother putting on my makeup. This happens regardless of whether I squeeze the water out really well.
So when my cleanser runs out, I will be retiring my beautyblender.
Best makeup sponge I ever used. Its a lot softer and doesnt absorb as much product as a typical makeup sponge. When its wet it is spingy and smooth which feels really nice against skin. It makes applying your liquid or cream foundation easy, It never leaves streaks, and the shape is great for different areas on the face. Takes me less time than with a brush, and I find I clean it more often than brushes because I dont have to wait for it to dry, so its more hygienic than makeup brushes for me. I also think the moisture in the sponge helps make foundation look more natural on skin, it gives a finish that I just cant get with a brush.
It is way more expensive than normal makeup sponges, however it is close to what I would spend on a foundation brushes anyways.
I know what your thinking, over $20 for a sponge? I just received the beautyblender with the blendercleanser in the mail today, and I supper excited to try it out! I wasn't disappointed at all. I was surprised how well and evenly it blended my foundation. I like how there's a fat part of the blender to get your cheeks and forehead, and the skinny top part to get in creases like your nose and under your eyes. My foundation is the part which takes the longest I find, and with this tool it cuts it in half! - LOVE it.
The Beautyblender is amazing! I've never come across a sponge like this. I didn't really like make up sponges as for the wedge sponges because they'd soak up so many foundation. The Beautyblender is soft, easy to use and gives an amazing finish to your foundation. I use this with cream foundations, concealers and blushes and it blends everything together so nicely. I even use it wet with the Ben nye loose/translucent powders and it works like a charm! Definitely a HG product!
Living in Canada, I'd never seen one of these available retail and then I was at the check out at Sephora, where they have all that stuff to tempt you while you wait and THERE IT WAS!!!
Like a lot of women, I'm obsessed with getting foundation coverage that hides my skin imperfections, but also looks natural and even. So I have a lot of brushes, some pricey and some cheap, some good and some not so good (and price isn't necessarily an indicator of how good a brush will be - the Real Techniques brushes are among the best I've ever tried). I've rated the Beautyblender a "3" for price because I'm comparing it to brushes I've purchased and compared to some of those, the price isn't all that bad, though for a "sponge", it may seem a bit high.
Mine came in a plastic case with absolute NO instructions but I've known about this sponge for so long and seen it used so figuring it out wasn't a big deal. The results with this sponge, though, are amazing. I dot my foundation around my face and sort of "roll" it into my skin with this sponge dampened and squeezed out well. The end effect is the look of perfect skin, rather than the look of really nice foundation! No other sponges I've tried - wedges, round sponges from MAC and even natural sea sponges - reliably give such a flawless effect. I am concerned to read that other MUAers have had their rip and fall apart - at these prices, this baby should last a few years, in my opinion. I'll endeavor to be gentle when cleaning this and using it generally but I am very, very pleased and wouldn't hesitate to repurchase.
I've been using this for a month or so. I definitely like the foundation coverage this sponge can provide. The application is very even and makes my skin look great. I just don't like cleansing it. It's extremely difficult to get all the foundation (even if you wash it everyday). I can see lots of residue on the sponge. One time I tried to wash it too much and I ended up having a rip on it. I would probably buy this again until I find a cheaper version. If I find a cheaper one, at least I don't mind throwing it out say once a month and switch to a new one.
I have a few of these and notice there is a difference in quality from the ones I purchased years ago. When I first began purchasing this sponge, it was rather expensive (and still is), but the sponge lasted a good 3+ months with daily washing and never bled any dye.
I recently began to run low on my supply (I originally purchased by the dozen during Sephora FF sale) and have found the newer ones to bleed a bright pink dye during the first 5-6 washings, in addition to tearing upon inital wash. This still applies my foundation just the same as before but I question what chemicals have made their way to face due to the dye. I know that this will not last 3 months after the inital tear, as a week into using the newer sponge another new tear has appeared. I am by no means rough with this sponge and clean daily to minimize any bacteria that may form during the drying process.
Anyway, this does give a very natural finish to almost any liquid foundation I have used. For foundations with a thicker consistency, this works beautifully---helps when applying a light layer, allowing you to build coverage where needed. I find light layers to be particularly difficult with a brush or even fingers, especially with foundations like Revlon colorstay.
I typically use the bottom (largest end) on my cheeks, forhead, and chin area, use the pointed end for my eye area, around the nose and hairline. With very thin liquid foundations, this can soak up product...to curb that, I dot the foundation all over my face with a clean fingertip and then distribute the rest with the sponge. I only dip the sponge into a drop of foundation on a clean palette if it is of a thicker consistency, as I find they don't soak into the BB.
For those in Canada, you can order online directly from beautyblender, or retailers such as theshoppingchannel.com, ebeauty.ca,or even cherryculture.com. If you live in BC (Vancouver area) you can purchase these at Sephora stores in singles, and BeautyMark in yaletown.
I went and purchased the London Look version of this sponge (London Look Precision Makeup Sponge) which is also pink. Upon initial comparison, the London Look sponge visually appears the same but is a tad different. It is more dense and not as spongey as the BB when dry---it is not hard but just firmer than the BB, and it not as soft. The BB has a velvety touch to it, while this is soft it is not as soft. When soaked, it triples in size and is actually larger than the BB. One thing to note is that when squeezing out the water, I suggest squeezing as much as you can and then rolling in a towel to remove remaining. The London Look holds much more water than the BB and because it is denser it requires a bit more work to squeeze out the excess. Application wise, this work just as good as the BB. Once it is damp it soft, spongey and has the bouncy quality that BB has. I like that because it is larger, the base covers more area quickly than the BB. The pointed end is about the same size as the BB when damp and thus works the same IMO.
I don't know how long this will last in terms of overall quality, but it did not bleed nor tear in the first few washings. This dupe retails for $9.99 and I would suggest giving this a try if you can't/don't want to spend the money on a BB. I honestly don't see myself repurcashing the original BB now.
This sponge is simply amazing. It literally gives the face a beautiful airbrushed finish. I have almost every brush from every brand and nothing compares to this! You have to get it!
I followed the directions to the tee and ended up with a poor makeup application (forget an airbrush finish...it wasn't even close to that). I now store my lovely pink egg in the back of my makeup drawer as a constant reminder to myself that High End isn't always a guarantee of a great product.