Friday, March 4, 2011

Beauty Blender Alternative: Sonia Kashuk Blending Sponge

Well, I've finally come around to the dark side, or shall I say, I've finally come around the the airbrushed-look side. For a while I've been resisting the Beauty Blender phenomenon. I just couldn't understand why I should pay so much for a reusable sponge, when I could simply use a disposable one, or even a foundation brush. So, here it is: I. Stand. Corrected. This really does make your foundation application look flawless. It's impressive.

Now, as you can see from the title, I didn't purchase the $20 Beauty Blender brand. Instead, I saved $10 and purchased the Sonia Kashuk Blending Sponge ($10) at Target. It's pretty much the same thing, at least according to many people who have done side-by-side comparisons to them. The main difference (aside from the obvious color): the Sonia Kashuk sponge has a groove along the middle that is supposed to make it easier to grip. If you prefer the full-on egg shape, sans the groove, check out the Sephora brand blending sponge, which is $12. I have not tried this one out, nor have I seen any reviews on YouTube comparing the two, so I can't vouch for it. But, it looks like it's essentially the same thing.

Here's the skinny on it:

  • It is latex-free, which is great for any of you out there who are allergic to latex and therefore avoid the disposable makeup wedges
  • You use it to apply foundation (use the bottom, broader side), concealer (use the pointy side to get into hard to reach areas), and cream blushes (use the broad/bottom side)
How it works:
  • Dampen the sponge (make sure you squeeze out nearly all the moisture, you want it to be damp not wet). This step is crucial, otherwise the sponge will absorb the foundation into itself rather than applying it to your face.
  • Apply foundation to the back of your hand and dip the sponge into the foundation
  • Bounce the sponge on your face (also known as stippling) to apply the foundation
  • For concealer: apply concealer under your eyes and use the pointy side of the sponge (damp) to blend into skin.
  • For blush: apply cream blush to your cheeks, and use broad end of sponge to blend
  • Can also be used to apply sunscreen to help you apply an even coat without applying too much (and clogging your pores) and keeping your from looking greasy or ashy
You might be asking yourself, how is this any different from dampening a makeup wedge and using the same application method? It's not that different. Either way you are using a stippling method. In fact, before I purchased this blending sponge, that is what I did when I used makeup wedges. Except, I still had to do a lot of blending. I'd still get some streaking, nothing blending wouldn't take care of easily, but I think the blending sponge's egg shape helps you stipple and blend simultaneously, making application a little quicker. I also find I end up using less foundation with the sponge than with the wedges (even when they are damp) and I just notice the finish is more flawless. Again, I think it is because the sponge blends better, though other than because of the round shape (you can roll and bounce simultaneously), I'm not sure why. 

One benefit of this is that it is reusable. You can wash it with soap and water (would you like a YouTube video on how to do this?) and reuse it, making it a more environmentally-friendly alternative. And over time, costing about the same (possibly less), as buying several packets of disposable wedges, depending on how many you go through per month (you should toss out the disposable ones after each use). As I understand, these should last about 3-4 months before you need to replace them, depending on how well you care for them. 

I'm planning on nabbing myself a second sponge so that I can use one while the other is freshly washed or so that I can use one for makeup and one for sunscreen. I'm definitely happy I purchased it.

Has this peeked your interest in a reusable makeup sponge? Would you like a YouTube video on how I use it to apply my makeup and sunscreen? 

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