Every now and again, I discover a product that changes my life…most people refer to it as their holy grail product. The beautyblender makeup sponge is one of those products – it has been rocking my world for about 3,5 years now. This beautiful fuchsia pink egg-shaped sponge was created to help improve your makeup application skills, while making the process more efficient as well. The innovative, latex-free sponge gives any beauty lover (whether you’re a newbie or a pro) the ability to get a professional makeup finish at home.
Whether you already own a beautyblender, or you’re looking to invest in this cute pink sponge – ask yourself these 2 questions:
♥ Do you know that the beautyblender should be used wet / damp (never dry)?
♥ Are you using the beautyblender to its full potential?
Before you get to my ‘How To’ and some tips and tricks for using the beautyblender, let me first ask you this: Have you entered my beautyblender pretty.posse kit GIVEAWAY yet? If not…why the heck not?! You could win yourself a kit containing the original full-size beautyblender sponge, the micro.mini beautyblender sponge, a mini blendercleanser solid, a mini rea.activate spray, and a bling.ring beautyblender stand. Trust me when I say you want to enter this giveaway – the prize is worth over R1000!
Here is a link to the giveaway: Review – Beautyblender Pretty.Posse Kit + GIVEAWAY
I feel like I described the beautyblender makeup sponge quite well in the above mentioned blog post, so I’ve decided to post an excerpt from that blog post here. The beautyblender isn’t your grandmother’s makeup sponge. You know the one I’m talking about…the white triangular sponge. The beautyblender is a non-latex egg shaped sponge with what they call an ‘open cell structure’. It’s a soft, porous sponge that fills with water when you run it under a tap, and expands to 1,5 x in size. It provides streak-free application of primers, foundations, concealers, powders, and liquid / cream bronzers and blushes. It’s such an amazing multi-tasker, and can be used with cream, liquid and even powder makeup products.
Back in the day (when I was still a youngster), I used those flat sponges that sometimes come with setting powders, or wedge makeup sponges to apply my foundation (this was long before I discovered the beautyblender). These sponges took forever to blend product out on the face, and the shape of the them made it downright impossible to get to those tricky areas around your nose and eyes. And the worst part? They lasted for maybe 2 weeks before they l started to crumble and disintegrate. What a waste…
The beautyblender is everything those old-school makeup sponges are NOT: This eco-friendly reusable sponge combines flawless foundation application with great coverage – without the product waste and mess of normal wedge sponge. It gives your makeup a streak-free, airbrushed finish, and I have found that brushes alone just don’t give you that same gorgeous youthful complexion. It has become a staple in my makeup routine, and no other makeup sponge I have tested has come close to the quality of the beautyblender.
I have tried multiple knock offs / supposed ‘dupes’ and I can confidently say that nothing compares to the original. Nothing.
THE BEAUTYBLENDER MICRO.MINI:
The latest addition to the beautyblender family is the baby micro.mini beautyblender. This adorable little neon green sponge works exactly like the original beautyblender – it’s just a lot smaller. It’s designed for the smaller areas of the face such as the under eyes, inner corners, lids, upper cheekbones, and around the temples. You can conceal, highlight, and I’ve even seen people use this to apply their eye primers and eyeshadows. It also swells up to about double its size when wet, and leaves behind the same smooth finish as the original. If you have relatively small features, then this petite little sponge is definitely made for you.
THE BEAUTYBLENDER PURE:
The beautyblender Pure is a white version of the original pink beautyblender, and is made especially for skin care application. You can use it with your complexion products, serums, eye creams, moisturisers, and any other skin care product. It is dye-free, and thus suitable sensitive skin. I would love to get my hands on this one but haven’t seen it at Placecol salons (or in the Placecol online store) yet.
So…what makes this egg-shaped sponge so amazing? Here are a few reasons why I love this little sponge so much:
♥ It really does apply your foundation flawlessly, and leaves the skin with a natural air-brushed glow.
♥ As mentioned above, you need to wet the sponge prior to use and because it’s damp, it provides the skin with additional hydration. The water in the sponge also helps to offer moisture to the skin, whilst helping to make a very matte foundation look a bit more natural. In the photos above and below I’ve used the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation (which is known to be VERY matte), look how natural and ‘healthy’ my skin looks. Not a mask-like-flat-powder-face in sight!
♥ This sponge is great for sensitive, easily irritated skin or skin with active inflammation due to blemishes or Rosacea, because it’s super gentle and non-abrasive.
♥ The beautyblender doesn’t accentuate peach fuzz or flaky skin like a buffing brush sometimes can, because the secret is to pat / bounce the beautyblender on the skin (not swipe it).
♥ It doesn’t absorb as much product as other makeup sponges or even natural hair makeup brushes.
The latex-free hydrophilic sponge not only has an ability to absorb water, but also to remain damp for a longer period of time. When damp, this foam material draws in water and allows a tiny bit of makeup to penetrate the top layer of the sponge for a cushioning effect.
Did you know? The old-school wedge sponges actually repel water, which means you can dampen them as much as you want, they will always absorb a lot more product than the beautyblender. Its unique ability to absorb and expand has to do with the makeup of the foam material, but we’ll never know the secret to that…it’s like Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe.
Look at the difference between a dry beautyblender and a damp beautyblender – it almost doubles in size and looks soft and bouncy when it’s wet. If you use it dry, it doesn’t give you nearly as flawless a finish as when it’s damp. When it’s wet, it becomes bigger and less thirsty, so instead of absorbing your foundation, it actually pushes it out onto the skin.
The most effective way to use the beautyblender is to bounce it over the skin – DON’T sweep or drag the sponge across the skin, as this will change the effectiveness of the sponge. Which means your makeup won’t have the same smooth, and airbrushed finish.
Wet your beautyblender under running tap water and squeeze the sponge while holding it under the stream of water, this will help it to expand a lot faster. Once the sponge feels softer & fluffier, gently squeeze out any excess moisture. You want the sponge to be damp, but not sopping wet.
Use the rounded bottom and sides of the beautyblender for larger areas of the face i.e. forehead, cheeks, jawline etc. Use the pointed tip of the beautyblender for those hard to reach areas, like the crease of your nose and inner corners of the eyes.
The beautyblender can be used on the face, eyes, cheeks, and lips! I’ve created a few pictorials for you – this is how I like to use my original beautyblender and my micro.mini beautyblender sponge. As mentioned earlier it can be used to apply any liquid, cream, mousse, and even powder products. When it comes to the beautyblender, the world is your makeup application oyster.
Any beautyblender makeup sponge (pink, white, black, purple, beige) can be used for both skincare and makeup application. Just because most people use the original pink beautyblender to apply their foundation, doesn’t mean you can’t use it to apply your makeup primer. Makeup is fun, and we all like to break the rules every now and again.
Please note: The photos you see below have hardly been edited, I may have upped the saturation in some of them because the light got brighter as time went by. I haven’t edited my skin in ANY of the photos at all – no photoshop, no smoothing of the skin. I want you to REALLY see what my skin looks like before, during and after makeup application using my original beautyblender and the micro.mini sponge. I didn’t go crazy with the contour and highlight etc. because I prefer a natural makeup look. Oh! And the beautyblender sponges in the below pictorials are a bit faded because they are well loved – I’ve been using them for a loooooong time.
Here’s a list of all the things I often use my beautyblender makeup sponges for:
Foundation (Cream, Mousse, Liquid or Powder) – The beautyblender is most commonly used to apply foundation, and even if you use it for just this one step in your makeup routine, you’ll still feel like it was well worth the purchase (in the beginning, applying my foundation was the only thing I used this beauty for). Many people don’t know that the beautyblender can also be used with powder foundations (it should still be damp), just dip the rounded bottom of the sponge into your mineral foundation, tap off the excess, and bounce all over the skin to distribute the formula. Cakey, powdery foundation face is a thing of the past.
The trick is not to pump out the foundation directly on the sponge, dab your foundation all over your face (or the areas you need to cover up the most) and then tap, tap, tap the rounded end of the damp beautyblender to blend it out to the rest of your face. You can also use the ‘side’ of the beautyblender to blend out the foundation, whatever feels most comfortable to you. You really don’t need to press too hard, as the beautyblender does most of the work for you. The bouncing action of the sponge distributes your foundation evenly without any streaks, and presses the foundation into the skin as well. And the moisture in the sponge works to help your foundation blend seamlessly into the skin, allowing for a more natural and flawless finish.
♥ My favourite full coverage foundation is the Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation in shade ‘Fresco’.
Look at the difference in the photo above – on the left is one layer of foundation using the beautyblender, and on the right side is my bare face. My skin really does look airbrushed on the left, doesn’t it? Again, I didn’t photoshop or edit the photo in any way except for adding the white line down the middle.
Concealer – The beautyblender effortlessly blends concealer into the skin for a flawless effect. Thanks to the forgiving texture of the sponge, it’s very gentle around the delicate eye area. I never worry about tugging at the skin (and creating wrinkles) because it is so soft and bouncy. The pointed tip of the beautyblender is great for blending out concealer at the inner corner of the eye, and the small crevices around the nose. It also absorbs excess product that might otherwise crawl into fine lines and make them even more visible.
You can either use the pointed tip of the original (pink) beautyblender to blend out your concealer, or you can use the micro.mini for this step in your makeup routine. I’m currently LOVING the micro.mini sponge for this step, as it can really get into all those hard to reach placed without much effort.
♥ My current favourite concealer is the NYX HD Concealer in shade ‘Fair’.
Bronzer & Contour (Gel or Cream) – The precision tip of the beautyblender is perfect to draw lines of your dark contour shades under the cheekbones, down the sides of the nose, and under the jawline (just don’t press too hard when drawing the lines, this will ensure the contour colour stays exactly where you want it to be). A damp beautyblender will merge the contour / bronzer colour with your base foundation, giving it a very natural look.
To blend out your bronzer / contour, you can either flip the sponge over and bounce the rounded side along your contour lines to blend upwards, or you can use the sides of the sponge to do this. And to blend out the contour shade on the sides of the nose, you can either flatten the original beautyblender tip or use the micro.mini. Remember to wash your beautyblender before using it to apply your foundation the next day, you don’t want to run the risk of the dark contour shade getting all over your face.
♥ My current favourite cream highlight (matte), bronzer (matte) and contour products are the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio.
Highlighter (Cream or Liquid) – The beautyblender will blend your highlighter out like an absolute dream. Use the tip or the side of your sponge to dab it up and down the cheekbones, along the cupid’s bow, down the centre of the nose etc. Using a makeup brush to apply a cream or liquid highlighter can sometimes disrupt your foundation and even make it look stripey or blotchy. A beautyblender sponge will give your highlight a soft and airbrushed finish.
The secret is to apply the highlighter to the back of your hand (same as with the cream blush) and dab your damp beautyblender on it to transfer the product onto the sponge. Then gently pat, pat, pat the sponge on the tops of your cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose, and on the chin to give your highlighter that ‘skin-like’ effect. I made a mistake when I took the photo above (but I wanted to show the actual liquid highlighter on my cheekbones), I dotted the highlighter directly on my cheeks and then found I had to be very careful not to disrupt my foundation and concealer underneath. Trust me, rather apply your liquid highlighter to the back of your hand first – it will save you some blending time in the long run.
♥ My current favourite liquid highlighter is the CATRICE Illuminating Highlighter Pen.
Blush (Gel or Cream) – The beautyblender will give your cheeks a pop of colour that is natural, pretty and diffused, whereas using your fingers could make it look blotchy (as the heat of your fingers might disrupt the layer of foundation underneath).
Apply a bit of cream blush to the back of your hand, then bounce your damp beautyblender on the cream blush (it’s so much more hygienic than stippling the sponge directly on the cream blush compact). Dab the rounded bottom of the beautyblender on the apples of your cheeks to blend it out – this will give you a natural and well blended flush on the cheeks.
♥ My favourite cream blush is the NYX Rouge Cream Blush in the shade ‘Glow’.
Setting Powder – If you are using cream / liquid complexion products i.e. cream blush, liquid highlighter etc. you want to apply your powder as the last step in your face makeup routine. If you apply a cream (wet) product on top of a powder, it will most definitely cake up. Use the pointy edge of your beautyblender (or micro.mini) to set your under eye concealer with a setting powder (loose or compact). You can also set the rest of your face using the flat(ish) side of the sponge, swirl it in your favourite loose or pressed powder, and then tap the sponge on the areas of your face you would like to mattify / set. It applies powder evenly, without any fallout, and provides full & flawless coverage.
♥ I’m currently testing out the L.A. Girl PRO Powder HD Setting Powder but I’m not very fond of it (I find it’s a bit drying).
Tadaaaaaa! I added a bit of lipgloss, and my current favourite highlighter (MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade) on my cheekbones and tip of the nose for added glow, and I was done!
Can you apply a full face of makeup using just 1 beautyblender? I’ve tested this theory, and here are my findings: You can definitely use just the 1 sponge to apply your foundation, concealer, liquid / cream bronzer or contour, cream blush, liquid /cream highlighter, and setting powder. BUT, and this is a big but…you need to be smart about it. Mentally divide your beautyblender into four sides, with a tip that has 2 sides, and a round bottom – use the rounded bottom to apply your foundation, then the 1 side of the tip to blend out your concealer, 1st side of the sponge to blend out your cream bronzer / contour, 2nd side of your sponge to apply cream blush, 3rd side of the sponge to apply liquid highlighter, and the other side of the tip to set your concealer with a setting powder. It’s the perfect solution for travelling, think about it, this 1 squishy sponge takes up way less space than a set of makeup brushes.
And here’s a list of additional makeup and skincare products you can apply using your beautyblender:
♥ Moisturiser or Serum – The beautyblender can be used to apply your moisture products i.e. serum, day cream and / or night cream. Keep in mind, though, a serum is usually quite runny in consistency so the beautyblender might absorb a bit more than for instance a creamy moisturiser (even when damp). So it’s best to dot a little bit of your serum all over the face, and then blend into the skin using your damp beautyblender sponge.
♥ Makeup Primer – The beautyblender presses the primer into pores and fills them evenly, creating a smooth canvas for your makeup. You can also use the pointed tip to apply your eyelid primers.
♥ Eye Shadow (Cream or Powder) – Oh, yes! You can even use the beautyblender to apply you cream shadows and blend out the edges for a seamless well-blended effect. The pointed tip (of the original or micro.mini beautyblender) makes application a breeze, and you can layer and build intensity with just a few swipes. Sweep a layer of cream shadow all over the lid, then take the tip of the beautyblender and carefully dab the cream formula up towards the browbone to fade it out. This will give your eye makeup look a blended and airbrushed effect.
♥ Lips (Balms or Stains) – The beautyblender will add a hint of tint to the lips without looking too heavy or intense, so it’s perfect for creating ombré lip looks. Apply your lipstick or lip tint first to the inner part of the lips, then simply dab the then use the tip of the sponge (the micro.mini is best for this precision word) to carefully dab it outward toward the edge of your lips.
There’s a reason why the beautyblender has made its way to the top of the beauty food chain and has won Allure’s Best Of Beauty Awards 6 times for best beauty tool. It might be a pricey little sponge, but it’s well worth the investment – especially if you take good care of it. I’ve been using the beautyblender sponge you see in the above photos for almost 2 years now, and it still looks as good as new! Just make sure you wash and clean it properly after you use it, and use a good makeup brush cleanser (baby shampoo just doesn’t cut it, ladies). The beautyblender solid cleanser used to be my favourite brush / sponge cleanser but it’s sometimes difficult to get hold of, so these days I use LUSH Trichomania solid shampoo. It works like a B.O.M.B! I honestly think that’s why my beautyblender still looks so good after such a long time, because I always make sure to wash it with hot water and a good cleanser. Make sure you always get every single stain out each time you wash it. I know I’ve been promising a ‘How I Clean My Makeup Brushes / Sponges’ blog post for quite some time now, I’ll get there eventually – pinky promise.
Okay, so that’s how I like to use my beautyblender sponges. Do you own a beautyblender? What do you use it for? And did you know you’re supposed to use it wet / damp?