Let’s talk makeup sponges!
For a long time, the only option here were disposable sponge wedges sold in drugstores. They could get pricey (since each one was single use) and the performance was so-so.
Along came the neon-pink, egg-shaped BeautyBlender and makeup sponges haven’t been the same since. Released in the early 2000’s, this sponge mimicked the look of air-brushing . . . without all the effort and cost.
Makeup artist Rea Ann Silva invented the BeautyBlender sponge, after the demands of then-new HD television in the 90’s required better makeup techniques. “I couldn’t just keep piling 52 layers on these girls with a clunky airbrush machine and have them looking fresh as a daisy at day’s end,” she explained in an interview with the Violet Grey blog.
Silva invented the sponge by cutting the ends off a square sponge and the rest is makeup sponge history.
As parents, we found an additional use for these sponges—applying sunscreen to the face of a reluctant toddler! These were surprisingly effective, making the whole task much easier.
The success of the BeautyBlender has spawned a host of similar competitors. To find out which is best, we tried out several of these egg-shaped sponges along with the name brand BeautyBlender. Which performed best? Was easiest to clean?
FYI: Most of these sponges last for about three months before they need to be replaced.
One tip: store your sponge in a plastic egg (or the original packaging it came in).
Also: when using a makeup sponge for the first time, we suggest soaking it for a while (5-10 minutes). Why? Dye from some sponges can stain clothing or hands when they are first used. Soaking it initially solves that problem!
For the best budget-friendly blender beauty sponge, we decided Aesthetica is the best bet for most folks. It performed well . . . at a price that was much easier on the wallet. Here’s more:
What We Liked
• Latex-free foam.
• Can be used wet or dry.
• Black color enables you to see exactly where the makeup/sunscreen is. We liked this better than other sponges that were lighter in color.
• Blends well.
• Easy to clean with mild soap and water. We judged this sponge the easiest to clean among those we tested.
What Needs Work
• Not as soft as some would like. Yes, the texture is different than the name brand—but we liked it. Others found it too rough and the sponge too dense.
• Absorbs too much makeup, say some folks. Well, we thought it worked well . . . but we wonder if different makeup prompted some of these concerns among other folks.