Showing posts with label Sponge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sponge. Show all posts

Friday, October 24, 2014

beautyblender sponges - my new favorite beauty tool


Beautyblenders are one of the most raved-about makeup tools I've read about. I've looked at them in Sephora stores numerous times but couldn't bring myself to spend nearly $20 on a sponge that I would have to end up throwing away within a couple of months. I finally caved and decided to give beautyblenders a try during the Sephora VIB Summer Surge event back in August. I purchased the Original Beautyblender version ($19.95) and have been really impressed. If you're late to the game with these (like me), Beautyblenders are an egg-shaped sponge with what they call "an open cell structure." It's a porous sponge that fills with small amounts of water and expands to about 1.5x in size when damp. The sponge provides amazingly flawless foundation application that I've found to be streak-free. You can use it with primers, foundations, powders, cream blushes, concealers and any other complexion product. I can't believe it took me so long to try these.


The sponge comes in a small plastic case with easy to use instructions. It works best when slightly damp. I run it through water entirely and then squeeze out the excess. The texture of the sponge is very cushy with a bouncy feel. I usually pour foundation onto the back of my hand first and then tap the sponge into the product before applying onto the face. Just tap and bounce and it blends in foundation perfectly. It also works wonders to blend out concealer.




dry Beautyblender Pro vs. damp Beautyblender Original

After featuring some of the sponges on the blog, several of my readers have asked what I use to clean the sponges. I can usually get 2-3 uses before I need to clean by using different areas of the sponge. I read reviews online at numerous message boards and customer reviews on retailer websites and decided to try the Beautycleanser Solid and Beautycleanser Liquid. I expected to like the liquid version better but the Solid does a much better job at cleaning the sponge all the way through. I'll use the liquid one up, it works ok, but won't be repurchasing. The solid is something I'll keep repurchasing though. It's like a solid soap - just get the beauty blender wet and rub it into the soap to lather up the cleanser. Rinse and repeat.


There are a number of different beautyblender options. I also checked out the Pure and Pro versions. Bottom line is the Original one performs the best for me. A quick rundown of the differences and my thoughts:
  • Original beautyblender (pink) is the smallest in size when dry although they are all pretty similar in size once damp and expanded. This one gives the best even coverage with liquids and has the most cushiony bounce, the first time you wash it, you will see pink dye run through the water. I've never had pink transfer from the sponge onto my skin though and it doesn't seem to stain white countertops.
  • Pure beautyblender (white) is designed for super sensitive skins. It's dye-free and colorless so those who might have a reaction to the pink dye in the original might want to opt for this one. I didn't have any reaction to the pink one and the white sponge performs almost as well, it has a very similar texture but not quite as much bounce, it blends foundation smoothly, but for some reason the original still does a blending job the best.
  • Pro beautyblender (black) is designed for darker products that might stain the pink or white sponges. I noticed a visible difference in texture and the first couple times I used it, tiny bits of sponge went all over my face and countertop. It's more porous compared to the others and the while the material is still soft, it seems a bit rougher in texture. It made about 1/2 of the foundations I've tried with it go on streaky although it did work nicely for powder foundation. I probably won't be repurchasing this one.



I've used the MAC Blending Sponge for years (even back when their older version was a pale beige color). I also really like smaller ones from my local Japanese supermarket. None of the ones I've tested compare to the beautyblenders in way they blend liquid foundations or concealers on the skin. Since August I've used up and thrown away 1 beautyblender. You do have to be somewhat delicate when washing them or else you might see parts of the sponge tear in areas.


I give these a huge thumbs up. I will definitely keep repurchasing the original version. It applies foundation really well without soaking up too much product. I love how it helps blend concealer too (especially on the under eye area). If you are new to beautyblenders or need to replace one, you might want to consider their sets like this Sponge + Solid Cleanser duo (you get a slight price break). 

I've purchased my beautyblenders at Sephora and Nordstrom. Have you tried these sponges? If so what did you think? Do you have any other favorite foundation/concealer tools?





Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day 3 of Beauty Tools & Essentials: Tools & Accessories

Tools for the face - Foundation, Powder & Cleansing/Touch Up:

* Sponges - My fool-proof technique for applying foundation is to use an egg-shaped sponge, which allows for even application and control of the amount of coverage. The edges also allow for clean-up of smudges or fall out of powder eyeshadows. Sponges are also great for applying powder foundations, but most compacts come with their own. Refills are available from a number of lines.

* Puffs - Larger puffs are nice for applying translucent powders to set foundation. (I clean mine in the washing machine.) Sometimes you can find the smaller versions in gift-with-purchase deals.

* Facial Cotton/Q-tips - Shiseido Facial Cotton (found at Macys, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Sephora and other Shiseido counters) is a standby for me for removing makeup or fixing mistakes. Q-tips are also essential for removing smudges and getting those fine detail areas.



Top Row: Laura Mercier Velour Puff, Chanel Mini Puff (GWP), MAC Foundation Sponge Liquid/Cream

Bottom Row: Laura Mercier Mini Velour Puff (GWP), Shiseido Facial Cotton/Q-Tips, MAC Studio Tech Sponge (Set of 2)


Tools for the eye area - Lashes & Brows:

* Eyelash Curlers - There are many different curlers out there, the type that will work for you will depend on your eye shape. I find that Shu Uemura and Trish McEvoy work the best for me.

* Tweezers - My favorites are Anastasia & Shu Uemura. Tweezerman is good too, but I find it dulls after a while. The mini purple tweezers are from Nordstrom for their Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusives.

* Brow Comb



Left to right: Tweezerman Mini Slant Tweezers, Anastasia 'Mini Berry' Tweezers (Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive, Shu Uemura Slant Tweezers, MAC 204 Lash Brush



Trish McEvoy Lash Curler from the Trish McEvoy website, but also found at select Nordstroms, Saks, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Henri Bendel locations.
 

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