I should probably call this post ‘the best way to apply foundation..for now’ since I do seem to change my mind quite frequently when it comes to how I like to apply my make-up. Nevertheless, sponges are my current jam and I want to spread the news.
If you watch any US-based beauty YouTubers than you’ll be familiar with the Beauty Blender, a squidgy little sponge that you dampen and then use to apply and/or blend liquid foundations and concealers. I’d seen people raving about them so much that I couldn’t stop myself from picking one up when I was in the US earlier this year. I immediately liked it (even if I now realise I definitely wasn’t getting it damp enough to start with) but it only made its way into my everyday routine a couple of months ago.
The main advantage of using a Beauty Blender is the finish – I mean it’s flawless, leaving foundation barely detectable on your face. Add some (or loads of) concealer and it’ll blend that in just the same. Want a bit of extra coverage on top of that? No problem. The end result is seamless.
The principle downside is that to start with I found it kind of a faff. Normally, I am the kind of person who would dismiss anything on principle for being a faff (especially when it’s an everyday faff like smushing make-up into my skin). This is probably why I didn’t start using my Beauty Blender on a daily basis until recently, when I realised that, actually, it’s not really all that much of a hassle. Sure, you have to run the sponge under the tap for a bit (annoying if you do your make-up in a tapless room) and bouncing it over your face takes longer than some quick circular-motions with a buffing brush, but it doesn’t take much longer (estimate 30 seconds or so) and that extra effort is more than worth it for the better finish.
The other key item in the ‘con’ column is that a single tiny sponge costs about 16 quid. Yes, SIXTEEN POUNDS. Sure a MAC 190 costs almost twice that, but, somehow, spending proper money on a make-up brush feels a whole lot more legit than splurging it on a sponge that is smaller than the palm of your hand. Don’t even get me started on the solid cleaner which people insist is the ‘only thing’ that cleans it properly. I’ll use my Dr Bronner magical soap like I do for literally everything else, thanks.
As with almost every other make-up application cost-conundrum that has gone before, Real Techniques has stepped forward with a reasonably priced alternative. The Miracle Complexion Sponge is almost identical to the Beauty Blender, except for its flat edge (which is actually really handy for applying under-eye concealer) and it’s a bit more squishy than the Beauty Blender – the jury’s still out on whether this is good or not. But otherwise, it does the job just the same and for around a third of the price.
So there you have it, the best way to apply foundation. Until I try the Artis Oval 8…