Rarely has a makeup gadget caused a thundering response the way that this little pink sponge has done. The Original Beauty Blender needs no formal introduction. If you've never seen the real deal then you've most definitely encountered various spin-off of the "magic" foundation sponge. Now days, these sponges come in various shapes, sizes and price points.
Brand: Beauty Blender
Product: The Original Beauty Blender
Price: $26 CAD
Availability: Sephora, Beauty Blender online
Would I repurchase: Only at discount.
The Beauty Blender is the reinvention of an old product redone with modern technology. Simply put, it is a makeup sponge that is generally used to apply liquid or cream foundation products. Its tear drop shape was certainly unique on the mass market at the time and it's claim to produce an air brushed finish without the muss and fuss of complicated tools made professional results accessible, even for the makeup novice.
Packaged in its own dashing plastic display box (which also doubles as a drying stand of sorts), the Beauty Blender is designed to be used damp by wetting the sponge completely under water, squeezing out any excess and then squeezing it further between a towel. A fully dry sponge is about the size of a medium egg while a probably towel squeezed damp sponge grows almost twice as large.
Then, with a few dots of foundation applied to the skin, the sponge is pounced on the skin for a seamless blend of your liquid foundation, concealer and even cream blush. This method is designed particularity to avoid stroke marks that can easily be left behind when using a brush and with a little practice of the right motion, large areas of the face can be done much more quickly than a traditional flat shaped brush.
I find this to be especially usefully for blending thicker/creamy products that can cake up easily if not spread evenly over the skin. The Beauty Blender makes it easy to apply a thin layer of product at a time and is excellent for quick layering in problem areas such as dark circles or a blemish patch. The pointed end can be used around the eyes, edges of the nose and other facial contours so it's been my go-to product when I'm short on time.
Now having attempted a few blending sponges from other brands with less than satisfying results, I was eager to finally try the Beauty Blender just to see exactly what was the crucial difference. The answer? It all came down to the material. The Beauty Blender is non-latex but does have a rather porous foam like surface with a suede feel. It's very easy to squeeze yet restores its shape immediately when you release it. So while many products have a similar shape and function, its indeed the proprietary material of the sponge that makes the real difference.
My only concerns with this product is that it's very slow to dry. Even when I leave it sitting in its container stand, it could be a full day or two before it returns to its fully dry form and that worries me due to potential bacterial growth. Also, sponge itself is very delicate, meaning if you squeeze it too hard in your palm, chances are you are going to nick it with a fingernail and I've heard plenty of laments over a ripped new Beauty Blender.
THE FINAL VERDICT
In terms of function and ease of use The Original Beauty Blender delivers impeccable solid results. When pressed for time, its a great one product wonder that applies and blends your product all in one go. I've used it successfully for liquid foundations, cream foundations, cream blusher and concealers and what has really impressed me is the sponge's ability to make layering products so much easier. I often have a hard time blending concealer without it caking up and this makes the task easy and flawless. If you're a frequent traveler, this one tool will replace the need for multiple brushes. Personally, I am still reluctant to pay full price for the Beauty Blender as I can (albeit with a little more time) achieve the same result using my other tools. The price point coupled with its unhygienic potential makes this just short of a perfect product for my normal everyday use. However if neither of those things concern you then its absolutely a high performance beauty tool worth trying.