Review of beautyblender the sponge by girlndocs
Originally my review here was of several different Beautyblender dupes. All the dupes I have tried have been usable, but now that I've tried the actual BB, I have some bad news for ya: it's definitely better.
Quick dupe rundown: FantaSea (from Amazon) and Studio 35 (from Walgreens) gourd-shaped sponges were really quite firm and felt a lot like bopping a handball onto my face. It took a lot of "bouncing" to get them to blend. They were difficult to wash out and rinse thoroughly. Soho football shaped (from Walgreens) and Essence teardrop shaped sponges were much softer, but both started ripping apart as soon as they got wet. The Soho lasted a grand total of 3 weeks -- not being used everyday! -- before the shreds were too small to continue using. I stood there with a piece in my hand and realized I had spent $7 on a sponge that lasted 3 weeks, so if I spent $20 on the Beautyblender and it lasted me more than 9 weeks I would be coming out even.
So I ordered one, and YES. It really is better than the dupes. It is softer than any of the dupes I tried. It soaks up less foundation than any of the dupes I tried. It washes and rinses out more easily than any of the dupes I've tried. And it does blend better than any of the dupes I've tried. $20 for a sponge may sound ridiculous but if you're interested at all in using a sponge to blend foundation or concealer, you might as well skip the cheap dupes and go straight for the real thing. It's refreshing to see a product that at least does what it claims without being identical to any of dozens of knockoffs.
I wear my foundation pretty light so I can't comment on the full coverage achievable with the Beautyblender. But It really does a fantastic job at applying MUFE Mat Velvet+, of all things, in a sheered out layer over my sunscreen. I have some flakes from Retin-a that the bouncing motion does not raise up/call attention to, and it also does not disturb my sunscreen layer, which I worried about when I used a brush to finish my foundation.