Trends are funny, aren’t they? One minute contouring is all anyone can talk about. The next? Its all about doing the exact opposite aka ‘non-touring’ (ridiculous term, but whatever).
.I, however, can’t seem to make up my mind about whether the Beautyblender is just a trend that Youtube beauty gurus have caught like a virus, only soon to be replaced by the Artis brushes or whatever the next big craze is. Or whether they’re actually on to something here and that this little pink sponge is a cult product people are going to use for generations. The beauty world can sometimes be fickle and I’m not sure whether real girls should pay the price by investing in products they are told are amazing, only to be stuck with a product that is deemed irrelevant when the next big thing comes along.
.I have not only invested in the original Beautyblender myself but have watched tons of videos and read heaps of reviews on the product.
.Let me just start out by saying that although in pains me to be the girl who tells it like it is, I’m hoping you read something here today that is a little different from the other reviews so you can make an informed decision before you splash your cash. This isn’t going to be another article singing the praises of the iconic Beautyblender sponge. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it is, by all means, a terrible product that you should avoid. It does, however, have a few quirks and a couple of surprises up its little pink sleeves that you should probably know about. Here’s the honest truth that your favourite Youtube beauty gurus aren’t telling you:
.You can only really use it wet
Contrary to a few reviews I’ve read, it is recommended that you wet your Beautyblender before you use it. The sponge needs to absorb water for a few minutes and expand for it to be ready for use. Using it dry will cause it to drag over the skin and make pores look fairly visible. Also, using it dry means it drinks up more foundation. However, if it is already damp, it is saturated with water instead of foundation and will soak up less product. This seems fairly innocent and easy, right? Wrong. Because:
.You need to keep it clean at all costs
The company recommends that you take your time washing out your Beautyblender immediately after every use. I’m sorry but in the real world, most women are usually getting ready in a rush to avoid being late to important things like meetings at work and don’t have 5-10 minutes to spend squeezing out every last drop of foundation, soap and water from their Beautyblenders before they head out the door.
.Drying it correctly is vital
They then say that after washing, you should leave it to dry on top of the container for 24hrs. Guess what? If it hasn’t dried out entirely by the next use and you keep repeating the cycle of leaving it around damp, it will develop black spots aka mould like in the case with this poor vlogger. Imagine dragging mould all over your face. Not appealing. (PS sometimes they even start to smell!)
.You will need to sterilize it to prevent acne
Anti-bacterial hand soaps don’t stand a chance against the bacteria in disposable cosmetic sponges. BeautyBlenders are breeding grounds for all sorts of bacteria. In order to kill the bacteria that could cause acne, you need to sterilize it by placing in in a bowl of water and microwaving for no more than 30 seconds about once a week, while being careful not to put it in dry or for too long as it could catch fire or burn.
.It looks unsightly after only a few uses
Sure, it’s all pretty, pink and adorable when you first open it and you’re being super anal about maintaining it, but no matter what you do, the foundations stains will catch up with you after 4-5 uses max (if not before) and sooner or later, it will look filthy and unappealing to use even if you just washed it.
.Doesn’t really get into small nooks and crannies
I find it very difficult to get into the corners of my eyes and around my nostrils / nasal folds with it. In fact, I’m pretty sure more people have experienced this problem, which is why they went ahead and launched the mini Beautyblenders for more precise application. Which means – why bother buying this if I have to buy an additional product because this one doesn’t live up to its claims to begin with?
.The technique takes getting used to and application takes longer
If, like me, you like using your fingers or a stippling brush to apply your foundation, then this will feel different and take a while to put on. The awkward twist and bounce technique seems like a lot of work and double the amount of time for results that aren’t really too much better than using a foundation brush or your fingers like you did at the start.
.You can only use certain kinds of foundations with it
My makeup obsession is really thin, runny, water-like foundations. Anything else feels like it is weighing my skin down and really feels like makeup on my face. However, sadly, the Beautyblender just drinks up watery foundations and leaves you with barely any product on the surface of the sponge to actually work onto your face. It also doesn’t do you any favours if you’re preferred foundation comes in stick form as it will only push the lines you drew with the stick instead of blend it around your face. Paying attention to the viscosity of your foundation while using a Beautyblender is key, as demonstrated by this vlogger. You’d be better off using it with traditional oil-based foundations, BB creams, concealers and liquid / cream contourting products.
.It isn’t for everyone
Sure, I like to go all out with my makeup on a night out. However, on a daily basis, all I wear is a thin layer of the lightest foundation I can find, fill in my brows with a pencil, dab on some cheek stain and swipe on a ‘my lips but better’ lipstick. I’m sure a lot of you have similar routines, if not simpler ones. I genuinely think that the Beautyblender is a fantastic product for girls who prefer wearing thick layers of foundation, corrector and concealer, layer cream and powder contour and just basically use a lot of product on their face in layers like makeup artists or Youtube beauty gurus, which is why it is such a highly recommended product by them. However, what looks good on Instagram with a few filters or on Youtube with the perfect lighting isn’t necessarily going to look great IRL and in natural daylight.
If you’re a beauty addict who doesn’t mind a high maintenance routine of dampening, layering, bouncing and twisting, cleaning, drying and sterilizing every time you go out, more power to you. However, if you prefer to keep things simple and fast, I’d stick with my fingers for a natural look or a stippling brush in circular motions to buff your foundation into your skin quickly.
.It doesn’t come cheap
If you think about it, the concept of using a sponge to apply and blend your makeup has been around for generations. The shape may be revolutionary, but if it doesn’t really get into nooks and crannies round your eyes and nose so you need to buy the smaller sizes, is it really worth paying the £16 / $25 / ₹2400 (approx)? You could experiment with a dupe to see if it works better for you, even though a lot of beauty vloggers claim the dupes aren’t as good as the real deal because its formulation is ‘magic’, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves as it is only a piece of sponge at the end of the day.
.I hate to bring this up but…
Maybe it was a one-off or a freak accident of some sort, but this girl found an insect living inside hers – wings and all. Which really leads me to worry about the manufacturing conditions and the level of hygiene where these are made as there’s no way it could have crawled in there after the Beautyblender was ready and complete.
.I suppose it would be fair to also list a few of the pros to owning this product as, like I mentioned before, there isn’t anything fundamentally or ethically wrong with the product by any means and if you decide to buy it after this review, good for you! The ones I can think of off the top of my head are (a) the hot pink colour is adorable and brightens up any makeup bag (b) you get the satisfaction of owning a cult product that makeup artists and vloggers all over the world rave about (c) it travels well and fits easily into any handbag or beauty bag (d) it does provide a decent finish when applying your foundation. I won’t say that the finish is amazing or your pores magically disappear like a lot of vloggers claim, but I’d say that it is a bit better than using your fingers.
.Have you been on the fence about buying the Beuatyblender or have you bought it and tried it? Share your experience with me in the comments below as I’d genuinely love to know what your opinions on the product are. See you at the next post!