Battle Of The Makeup Sponges - Are They All The Same?!

Tuesday 19 July 2016

Battle Of The Make-Up Sponges - Are They All The Same?!
Makeup sponges have come a long, long, way since they used to be just a flat or wedge sized piece of foam. Nowadays, this makeup artist favourite is readily available to the masses in a wide range of different shapes and sizes. But aren't they just all the same?!

The most famous of all the makeup sponges in the beauty world is the seriously high-end Beauty Blender (£16, link) - an unassuming, simple yet effective sponge that makes liquid foundation apply flawlessly with minimal effort. I've gone through a couple of them over the years (ideally you want to change your makeup sponge every 3-4 months or so for hygiene reasons depending on how often you use it), but since using up my last one, I decided to try out some different sponges to see how they compare.
Tweezerman Makeup Sponge
 Tweezerman Makeup Sponge* (part of the Brush iQ kit reviewed here)

Last month, I reviewed a bunch of new products from Tweezerman's S/S 2016 range and this makeup sponge is currently available as part of their Brush iQ Kit. This one has a different shape to the Beauty Blender, and instead features a more rounded 'hourglass' style figure with a classic teardrop tip at the top. It's much firmer in texture than the BB but still feels spongey. It's hypoallergenic and latex free, so ideal for sensitive skin. 

Makeup results vs BB? The teardrop tip meant that I could reach all those tricky areas like around the nose easily, and the hourglass middle gave me something to grip. It was easy to use when damp and cleaned up well afterwards. The only difference that I experienced was that because of the firmness of this sponge, I had to use more pressure when applying as it has less 'bounce' than the BB, so the results weren't as flawless, but it still looked pretty good. [6/10]
Nanshy Marvel 4-in-1 Makeup Blending Sponge review
 Nanshy Marvel 4-in-1 Makeup Blending Sponge (£5.95, link)

Back in March, I received the Nanshy Makeup Blending Sponge in my You Beauty Box (reviewed here). Similar to the Tweezerman sponge above, it has an hourglass style shape, but instead of a teardrop tip, it has a hard flat angle and a much wider, rounded bottom. The shape has been especially designed to prevent the sponge from rolling around when you put it down and it definitely works - you can place it on its side and it won't move and it also happily sits up on its bum! It's very firm (even firmer than the Tweezerman) but feels super soft on the surface.

Makeup results vs BB? Due to the firmness of the sponge, I found it difficult to get a really even base of foundation on. I kept squeezing it, hoping it would soften up and ended up adding more water to make it damper in order to try and get the results that I wanted. The flat edge is good, but again, the firmness of the sponge just let it down and made it hard to get a really smooth, well-blended finish. In the end, I found it easier to just use the rounded bottom end to apply most of my foundation which yielded 'OK' results. [4/10] 
 B. Blending Sponge review
 B. Blending Sponge* (£4.99, link)

Heading on over to Superdrug's B. range, I was pleased to see that they had a makeup sponge that looked almost identical to the original Beauty Blender, only this one is ever so slightly flatter and it still retains the same classic teardrop tip. This latex-free contender also feels the same as the BB in its bouncy texture and softness.

Makeup results vs BB? I could not tell any difference between these two. I applied foundation to the right hand side of my face using this one, and on the left I applied it using the BB - exactly the same results! This sponge applies as effortlessly as the original BB, there's lots of bounce to give you that soft, flawless finish that you want and it just got the job done. I am so impressed by this as it's easily the best dupe for the Beauty Blender that I've come across and it's a mere third of the price! [10/10]
Pamper Therapy Flawless Finish Sponge review
Pamper Therapy Flawless Finish Sponge* (£9.95, link)

Very similar to the B. Blending Sponge, this one from Pamper Therapy has the same sort of egg shape, yet features a flat side edge. It's soft and bouncy, but the surface texture of this is slightly more raised than the B. and the original BB, however the overall size is almost the same.

Makeup results vs BB? At first, I was definitely impressed by this as it performed just as well as the B. and the original BB. It's bouncy so applies everything smoothly and easily, the flat edge comes in very useful for blending foundation into those hard to reach areas, so where did things start to go wrong? I trialled each of these sponges at least three times, and I washed every sponge thoroughly after each use to test out how well they cleaned and held up. Unfortunately, this one started to disintegrate slightly after the third wash with tiny bits of sponge coming off at the bottom when I was squeezing the water out. Not what I'd expect to happen to a £10 sponge at all! I don't know whether I got a faulty sponge or not as the reviews are very positive online but this is just what I experienced with mine. Started off so well, but alas, no. [2/10]
Battle Of The Make-Up Sponges - Are They All The Same?!
I also want to give an honourable mention to the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (reviewed in the past here) which is fantastic and deserves at least 8/10.

So there you have it - not all makeup sponges are created equally it would seem! I'm so happy that I tried out all of these as I'm absolutely smitten with the B. Blending Sponge and will definitely continue to purchase that one over the Beauty Blender in the future. Dupe life here I come!

What's your favourite makeup sponge?
Have you tried any of these or the original Beauty Blender?

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  1. I started using a sponge to apply my foundation over three years ago and I've never looked back. The Real Techniques sponge is my favourite x

    Under Blue Lights

    1. The Real Techniques one is brilliant isn't it?! x

  2. oooh £16 for what is effectively a sponge!! I'm not sure how I feel about that, although I hear good things about the real techniques sponge x

    1. You can see why I was keen to find a good dupe! The Real Techniques one is great :) x

  3. This is such a great comparison! I love the original beauty blender <3 :)
    xx Malu | Fashion, Beauty, DIY & More.

  4. I have the Nanshy sponge and I don't like it, like you said it's just too firm and I can't get a good finish at all. Going to buy the B one I think, what a bargain! xx

    1. The Nansy sponge was so disappointing as I love their brushes! Just the wrong texture for me. The B. one is amazing! xx

  5. I'm so glad that someone else has discovered the B. sponge - it really is amazing and I'm fairly sure I prefer it to the original BB.


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