I don’t really get makeup sponges. I just don’t and I’ve spent my entire makeup life staying away from them. Even when what seemed like 95% of the beauty world raving about the Beauty Blender, I was not convinced. I just cannot understand how one could part with $25 for a sponge and realized that the hype was best left ignored. Then the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (USD$5.99 / CAD$9.99, available here) came along, and I was intrigued. Firstly, the price point is highly attractive. Secondly, I’ve always been a fan of the brand and usually find their products to always exceed my expectations. I was curious to see and test Sam Chapman’s interpretation of the makeup sponge, and I was not disappointed.
Spoiler alert: I don’t think I will be trading my buffing brush for this permanently, but the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge is a fantastic option for those who are interested in trying out the Beauty Blender without spending too much money on it. If you are a fan of make up sponges, this will probably something that you will enjoy.
There is no one word to describe the shape of the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge; best thing I can compare it to is probably a football (ball?) with one of its side sliced off. There are three different surface areas to cater to different areas of the face. There is the rounded side (similar to the rounded bottom of the Beauty Blender, great for buffing in foundation or complexion products), and a precision tip (again, similar to the pointed tip of the Beauty Blender, excellent to apply products in the crevices and natural contours of your face). My favourite part of the product though, is the flat edge which the Beauty Blender does not have. It beats out the rounded side when it comes to buffing in foundation, and the buffing motion is similar to the the finish I would get using my regular buffing brush.
I start by applying the foundation all over my face with my fingers, and dampen the sponge. Just like the Beauty Blender, it expands to twice its size once dampened. Then I buff in my foundation using the flat edge, which spreads the foundation evenly across the face. The moisture inside the water mixes well with the foundation so that the finish on the skin is very skin-like, and naturally dewy. I’m not sure if that translated well, but even with a full-coverage, thick foundation prone to the dreaded mask-like effect, this sponge will bring back that skin-quality, and texture back.
I find that the sponge sheers out foundation and concealers, so application of a light coverage foundation will seem to have no effect. On the other hand, it works wonders with thicker, full-coverage concealer or foundations as the moisture breaks down the thick consistency of the foundation and deliver a natural looking finish.
The sponge is excellent to use for either foundation or concealer. It is easy to clean and residue washes off easily from the sponge. Even if I have foundation residue that is a week old, a little bit of facial cleanser removes the residue quickly and leaves me with a bright, brand-new-looking sponge, ready to use again.
Before I tried the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, I’ve purchased a couple of dupes including the one from Sonia Kashuk (What was she thinking!? The sponge was hard as a rock and so difficult to clean!) and MAC – none of them (despite costing more) came as close to the real thing aside from the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.
Real Techniques products can be found at Wal-Mart, select Pharmasave (for Canadian readers), or Ulta for US-based readers. For Canadian readers, you can purchase Real Techniques products directly from the Canadian official distributor, Farleyco – shipping is free with orders over $50. For international-based readers who may not Real Techniques readily available, a good option (which I have tried before) is iHerb. If you are a first-time customer, you can save $5 off $30 or $10 off $40 order with this code (which I used for my purchase so I can vouch for its validity): BLC424.
I don’t think I will be trading my buffing brush for this permanently, but the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge is a fantastic option for those who are interested in trying out the Beauty Blender without spending too much money on it. If you are a fan of make up sponges, this will probably something that you will enjoy. The sponge is a lot easier to wash and re-use than brushes (where you have to wait for it to dry before using it again). Even if you are a through and through brush user your whole life, this sponge might be of interest since it definitely changed my mind about the use of makeup sponge.
Where to Buy: Farleyco, iHerb, Ulta, and Real Techniques website (USD$5.99 / CAD$9.99)
What about you? Are you a makeup sponge or brush user? Have you tried the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge? Do you like it?