Battle of the Blenders!

by 6:30 PM 1 comments

Lets get ready to ruuuuuuuuuuuumble!!!!!

Today we are going to see the greatest showdown in history* when we put the most popular beauty sponges on the market to the test. *Well, in the history of makeup blending sponges!

How will they stack up? Who will win? Only time will tell.

Lets meet the competitors:

In the pink corner weighing in at 0.2oz, we have the original sponge powerhouse - the Beauty Blender!

In the orange corner, at a slightly portlier 0.3oz, the sneaky up and comer - the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge!

In the purple corner, qualifying for an unknown weight category, the quiet achiever - the Beauty Pod!

And in another pink corner also weighing in at 0.3oz, the new kid on the block - the Crown Brush Flawless Face Blender!

L-R - Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, Original Beauty Blender, New Beauty Blender, Beauty Pod and the Flawless Face Blender
Texture of sponges top to bottom: Flawless Face Blender, Beauty Pod, RT Miracle Complexion Sponge, "new" Beauty Blender, "original" Beauty Blender.

And now, for a breakdown of their vital stats, along with the strengths and weaknesses:

The Beauty Blender

The "new" BB (Black) (around 1 year old) and the "original" (pink) (around 4 years old)
Price - $27-$30AUD each
Texture - This one really seems to depend on which batch you get. Original pink BBs that were purchased about 4 years ago have a fantastic smooth texture that means even application, the outstanding ability to use them either damp or dry depending on the finish you are after, or product you are using. They didn't suck up any product and were my go-to tool in my kit for application and blending of any cream or liquid product. My newer black BBs I got about a year ago are extremely porous and that shows in the application. I rarely reach for these and that is a real disappointment considering what this product is actually capable of.
The original BB. I love this one, it is fragile, as witnessed by the rips and tears due to use, but I love it. 
Durability - I still have my first couple of pink Beauty Blenders which are perfectly intact except where my talons of nails have punctured them accidentally while working! And then I have 3 black blenders that seem to disintegrate as they age. I've had these ones for about a year and they are not used nearly as often as my original pink ones. Another major problem with the newer ones that are seemingly made from inferior products is that the pointed tip often rips off, and when you're paying $30 for a sponge, that is never acceptable.

New BB's. Both from the same 6 sponge multipack, believe it or not.
Strengths - When you are using the ORIGINAL BBs, they can do no wrong. Multi use product, absolutely worth the outlay. Easy to clean between clients (although I usually have one for each person in my kit for each job).
Weaknesses - New formula is kaka. I am so disappointed that they changed their materials for whatever reason. The new ones suck up expensive product when the whole premise of the BB is that they aren't supposed to do that. The application is inferior, they fall apart, rip or in the case of mine, disintegrate leaving tiny spots of black sponge everywhere. I honestly thought when I first got my black ones that I'd accidentally purchased a fake. But no, I hadn't. I purchased from a reputable supplier and that was actually how they come now.
I've lightened this picture so you can see just how different the texture is from the original BB to this one, and how much the product has been damaged from semi regular use. As you can see, the base of it has disintegrated in sections.
Overall verdict: It truly does come down to the batch you get with these. My original BB's I love like it's no one's business, but they just aren't made to the same standard anymore. Based on that, the fact that they've taken their business away from smaller businesses in Oz, and given a BB monopoly to a few stores only (which has caused a substantial price rise), and also that the changed material of the BB means it is now sucking up the very expensive foundations and liquid highlighters that they have always claimed to be the only sponge NOT to, I absolutely would not buy this product again, nor would I recommend them. *I should comment that BB denies any change in formula for their sponge, but putting two different batches next to each other makes it easy to see that someone is telling porkies.*

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

Price - $17AUD
Texture - Really, really close to the original BB.
Durability - I purchased four about two years ago, used them constantly on both clients, and myself, hand them out to family members. I haven't damaged one yet. No nail rips, no deterioration of the sponge.
Strengths - This is closest I've ever found to a dupe of the original BB, almost half the price, and I actually love the flat side with the edge this design has, because it allows me to get nice and close to the lash line without getting so close to the eye that my client starts flinching and freaking out.
Weaknesses - The orange does stain a wee bit with foundations, but the pink BB also does this, I guess it's just the curse of light coloured sponges. Also, and this is a personal gripe because I don't love orange - could it come in other colours? Pretty please?
Overall verdict: Winner. Hands down. End of story.

Beauty Pod

Price - $10-13AUD
Texture - This sponge seems to have a harder core than the first two, you can really feel resistance when you squeeze this one. The outside feels smooth though, similar to the original BB.
Durability - Good, I think the harder core means this one can take a bit of a beating. No signs of wear after extensive and rigorous use.
Strengths - I really like the shape of this one. I like that there is a pointed end for getting into corners, but I still have access to a flat side. It's easy to get a good grip on this sponge and it's nice to not have to be so careful about ripping it with my nails.
Weaknesses - The harder core means that this sponge is not as good to work with as the RT and BB. It's harder on the client's face and can be a little uncomfortable. It does withhold some liquid and using it damp seems to make no difference to using it dry, which is disappointment.  I also found it harder to get a smooth and even application of product and I had to go over it again with a buffing brush, so it defeated the purpose of using a sponge at all really.
Overall verdict: Great shape, but needs a bit more work on the material. I think it is great how durable it is, but it has sacrificed some of the things that make the BB and RT great to get that. I wouldn't use it on clients, nor on myself unfortunately. 

Crown Brush Flawless Face Blender

Price - $10AUD
Texture - A little more dense than the first two and slightly softer than the BP. Slightly more porous, more in line with the "newer" BB and the BP. I'm not a huge fan of this one in all honestly. I find the shape super awkward to work with. If I want flat surface, I have to hold it sideways and it's just not shaped well enough to get a decent grip so you can do that. I find I'm digging my nails into it and damaging the sponge just to try get a good grip. The density makes it harder on the clients face if you want to use it in a bouncing motion to get and even layer and finish, I don't think it's ideal for client work because it feels like you are being a bit rough with them.
Durability - It's strong which I guess comes with the density of it. Digging my nails into it has left indents, but not ripped into it, so that's good.
Strengths - Strong, will last a long time, relatively good with the amount of product that you lose to the sponge, but there is more used than the RT or BB.
Weaknesses - It's hard on the face, the shape is awkward and hard to hold to use it the way I want to.
Overall verdict: For a budget option it's fine, but probably more suited to personal use than on a client. 

So there you have it, they came, they saw, they blended. Some crumbled under the pressure, and some rose to the challenge magnificently. At the end of the day, there can only be one winner and that is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. *The crowd goes wild*

Thank you and good night!


Makeup Artist

I am a fully qualified makeup artist who is internationally published, and I have worked with and been mentored by some of the very best in the business! Now I'm ready to share my tips and tricks, answer your questions and most importantly, help you make every makeup moment a memorable one.

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