The OG BeautyBlender changed the application and finish of my makeup. For the uninitiated, the BeautyBlender a soft, smooth, dense beauty sponge that you're meant to use damp. You wet it thoroughly, squeeze it out, and absorb the excess water with a towel or tissue. The purpose of the water is to keep it from absorbing product—remember, a saturated sponge can't take on any more liquid. Wet, the BeautyBlender expands to twice its size.
Then, you can either apply or finish your makeup by patting or bouncing the sponge onto your face. I prefer to finish my makeup with it rather than apply it—it does absorb some product, so I find finishing my makeup with it is more economical than dipping it right into my foundation. It takes off any excess makeup to ensure I don't cake up, and presses the rest into my skin for a perfect, airbrushed finish. Brush strokes begone! I'd choose this little sponge over a lot of my favourite brushes.
The only problem with the BeautyBlender is the expense. It's $26, which is a ton for a little piece of sponge, and, unlike brushes, it doesn't last long term. You need to replace it after three to six months. Not ideal.
So, like any bargain hunter, I've tried cheaper alternatives to the BeautyBlender, including the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (read my review and comparison to the BeautyBlender here), and the latest in the alternative lineup, the Ecotools Perfecting Blender Duo. The concept and technology behind these sponges and the BeautyBlender is essentially the same: You use them wet and they expand, creating a great tool for applying or finishing your base makeup to a perfect finish.
The differences between the Ecotools Perfecting Blender Duo and the BeautyBlender are fairly slight. The Ecotools sponges are cut with different edges and angles, which are meant to help you access the nooks and crannies with your face with ease. The smaller of the Ecotools duo, in light green, is denser and meant for concealer. The larger one, in darker green, is lighter and meant for foundation. Wet, the darker green sponge is ever so slightly larger than the BeautyBlender. The lighter green sponger is smaller than the BeautyBlender.
Here are the things I like about the Ecotools Perfecting Blender Duo:
- The price. For about $13, you get two sponges, and the result is similar to what you get with the BeautyBlender. It's great value.
- You might like the cut and flat edges of the Ecotools sponges, particularly if you're using them for contouring, baking or applying powder. (I prefer the cut of the BeautyBlender; I find the tear-shaped tip ideal for getting into the contours of my face. But that's a personal preference.)
- The finished result of your makeup is very nearly the same. I slightly prefer the finish I get with the BeautyBlender, but it's almost indistinguishable.
Here are the things I don't particularly like about the Ecotools Perfecting Blender Duo:
- I don't "get" the design of the concealer sponge. The density doesn't help the result—in fact, I find it slightly prone to just pushing my concealer around. Additionally, having a second sponge really just takes up more space on my vanity.
- The foundation sponge seems to hold a little more water at the surface than the BeautyBlender—it's ever so slightly more porous. This tends to sheer out my foundation by depositing moisture onto my skin, which I don't love.
- The sponges don't last as long as the BeautyBlender. They're lower quality, and more prone to tearing and pitting. Now, if you consider that you'd get two Ecotools duos for what you spend on one BeautyBlender, maybe this isn't a big deal to you. But I like my products to last—having to replace them is a pain.
The verdict? If you have room for it in your budget, I suggest trying the BeatyBlender. If you don't, try the Ecotools Perfecting Blender Duo. For $13, it's definitely worth a try—and if you've never used a sponge before, I really think you'll love the results.
Do you use makeup sponges as part of your makeup routine? Which is your favourite?
Disclosure: The Ecotools Perfecting Blender Duo was provided by FarleyCo for my consideration. The BeautyBlender was purchased by Eyeshadow Addict.