The two sponges I am comparing today are the classic Beauty Blender, a much hyped product in the beauty world, and the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, which boasts a flat edge and a much lower price tag. Both of these sponges are meant to be used damp; I like to run them under the tap until completely saturated then wring out and give a good squeeze in a clean cloth to absorb extra water before using. You can see in the comparison image above how much they expand in size after dampening – this makes the sponge less dense and bouncier in texture. While they both boast the same finished product, I will say right off the bat that I like them both, but for different reasons.
The Beauty Blender: I prefer this for actual foundation application. It’s bouncier and a bit less firm, which seems to really give that airbrushed like effect. I like to dot my base on my face (rhyme not intended!) and then use the wider end of this egg shaped sponge to pat and press the foundation in. I find this works especially well for thicker textured foundations that don’t blend as seamlessly with a brush or for sensitive or dry skins that don’t tolerate a ton of buffing. I know some folks like dipping their sponge into the foundation on the back of the hand, but I found it ate up way too much product that way.
I also really like this for concealer under the eyes. I will again, apply the concealer to the area needed, and then use the more pointed end of the sponge with the same pat and press motions to blend it in.
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge: I don’t actually love the shape of this one for full face application, the texture of the sponge is a bit stiffer and doesn’t seem to do as much work for me, like the Beauty Blender does. What I do think this is ace for, is setting my foundation with powder. The flat end is genius for patting powder under the eyes (yes, I still use it damp!) and along places that need setting, like the top of forehead and cheekbones where I plan on wearing contour/bronzer/blush and don’t want any patchiness.
The flat side also works really well for adding another layer of product where you need more coverage. I find you can really press it into the skin and because it is firmer, it builds additional coverage really well. The pointed end works a treat on adding coverage over spots – just pop a bit of concealer on the spot with your finger and then use the pointed end to stipple directly on top. Because it is more precise, it doesn’t spread the product to places you don’t need it (which is what you want when applying foundation, but not when spot treating)
As for cleaning, I have the Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser, which smells lovely and cleanses well (though I will say the Real Techniques Sponge came cleaner, faster!) but have used the Liquid Blender Cleanser and prefer that. It’s just less mess I find (though the solid is fab for travelling)