Battle of the Sponges | A Beauty Blender Debate.

The debate isn’t as old as the question of the chicken and egg, but a plethora of posts and videos dedicated to this topic indicates that there is a healthy debate surrounding the question. After years of looking, ignoring, wanting, and finally, having the coveted Beauty Blender, I think I can finally offer my two cents on the two products.

One is priced roughly as the same price of a Starbucks latte ($7) where the other is priced at an eye-watering price of $28, it’s quite easy to balk at the price difference and make a beeline for the other well-known dupe. I spent a long time using each product, purchased at least 3-4 backups of each and have gone through all of them to form a solid though on each product.

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Dampened Beauty Blender vs. Real Techniques Sponge

Beauty Blender

The mother of all “perfecting” makeup sponge, this product was the one that started the trend and inspired immitations right, left and centre. The egg-shaped sponge doubles the size when dampened – which is how it’s meant to be used – helps to melt your makeup, when applied on the skin. Foundation, irrespective of the coverage or texture (i.e. liquid, cream, powder) applies so much better with a light bouncing motion. The sponge doesn’t absorb too much of the product, and makes even the creamiest, and thickest product (think of a concentrated concealer or a full-coverage foundation with a creamy texture) a breeze to apply on the skin.

The benefit of using this sponge is that it doesn’t leave foundation gunk around the crevices on the face like around the nose. I’ve found that my foundation and concealer lasts so much longer and looks fresher on the skin compared to other brushes or sponges I’ve tried. The pointed tip is excellent to pat concealer under the eye or get to the harder to reach areas.

I could continue to wax lyrical about this particular sponge, but suffice to say that it’s changed my make up game completely. The only 2 things I regret after using this sponge are: 1) I should have purchased more backups (currently at 4 spomges), and 2) What am I going to do with my other brushes?

Real Techniques – Miracle Sponge

The budget-friendly alternative to the original beauty blender, this product received immediate warm accolades upon its launch given that the beloved pro makeup artist/Pixiwoo sisters developed it. This alternative also comes with a very unconventional shape that supposedly has more functionalities than the original beauty blender.

The sponge retains a very similar pointed tip to the original beauty blender, but has a flat and rounded side on the other end that is meant to increase the functionality and versatility of the product by allowing different bouncing motions and techniques to apply products on the skin. The sponge only comes in one colour, orange, but I suppose as long as it works, the colour doesn’t matter.

I’ve waxed lyrical about this product before, saving my beloved Dior Star Foundation from getting into the reject pile. I’ve gone through 3-4 backups of this sponge, and only throwing it out once it’s reached a sorry state of no return.

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Relative size of the dampened Beauty Blender and Real Techniques Sponge vs. Other Beauty Products

Both products will no doubt, change your makeup game for the better particularly if you want an “upgrade” from your brushes. Ultimately, I think the difference between the two comes down to quality. If the Beauty Blender is the best in class example, I think the Real Techniques one comes very close, but not exactly 100%.

There are two things that I dislike about the Real Techniques sponge:
1) After purchasing multiple backups, I tend to get inconsistencies in the “pores” of the sponge – some would be more porous, and others not as much. This might not matter for most people but for me makes quite a difference. The less porous sponge absorbs less makeup, and is less prone to getting ripped/torn (i.e. nails) and thus requiring fewer replacements.

2) I find that the Real Techniques Sponge tends to completely dry out when left for 3-4 without use that it started cracking on its own and can’t be reused.

In Summary

You should choose the Real Techniques Sponge if you…

  1. Have never tried using a reusable sponge to apply makeup and want to try it without breaking a bank
  2. Willing to replace the sponge more frequently
  3. Don’t care about the brand name
  4. Enjoy using the flatter side of the sponge to apply makeup (which covers more area in a shorter amount of time
  5. Don’t care about inconsistency of the sponge quality

You should choose the Beauty Blender sponge if you…

  1. Care about quality, and not willing to replace as often
  2. Care about consistency in the quality of every sponge you purchase
  3. Willing to make an investment in the sponge

Have you tried either the Beauty Blender or the Real Techniques Sponge? Do you have any favourites?

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