MAKEUP | Beauty Sponge Showdown featuring Beautyblender, Real Techniques, Sephora and Juno & Co.

I have always been a sponge girl when it came to foundation application and prior to that I would use my fingers, but that often got messy. I have tried brushes, but for some reason using them just never stuck with me. For awhile, the Beautyblender was the only option us sponge lovers had, but as beauty tech has evolved so have the sponges and the materials used to create them which has led to the opportunity to create this beauty sponge showdown!

Some PR samples
Just as a blanket statement, I use my makeup sponges exclusively for foundation and nothing else. Maybe a bit of concealer here and there, but I never use them for creme blush, bronzer or highlighter. I also always use them damp.

Beautyblender Makeup Sponge

This is the OG when it comes to makeup sponges. Such a simple concept that seemingly solved so many of my application issues. When this first launched, this latex-free super soft sponge only came in this one colour of hot pink and in its iconic tear drop shape. I used the Beautyblender almost exclusively until about three years ago when another sponge below entered my life! It made foundation look flawless, it was the right size for my hand, was comfortable on the skin and the perfectly shaped point got right into the nooks and crannies around my nose. Now, that I have tried other sponges, the Beautyblender does seem to absorb a bit more foundation than I would like and the fact that the hot pink colour bleeds/fades with every wash is a bit of a turn-off. The biggest negative for me when it comes to this makeup sponge though is how expensive this is! At $26, for something you should apparently be changing quite often depending on usage, I find the pricing so outrageous! 

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge*

The price point for the Beautyblender was a painful one so you can imagine everyone's pure joy when Real Techniques created a drugstore sponge option - the Miracle Complexion Sponge. This was made of latex-free foam, that was less than HALF the price of the Beautyblender at anywhere from $6-$8 depending on which drugstore you looked at! This sponge was also the first I had seen that also advocated being used DRY for loose powders or more matte -looking coverage. When I first started blogging, this sponge was reviewed CONSTANTLY (even by yours truly!) as it was one of the most accessible alternatives to the Beautyblender. It wasn't quite as bouncy, was a little more dense than its competitor, but was used the same way. The main difference was in terms of shape as the Miracle Complexion Sponge had a large flat side intended for contouring around the nose. I usually used the pointed tip for my nose and undereyes and the flat edge for my face. I had read that this sponge grew bacteria when someone cut into theirs with scissors, but I myself never had any issues. All in all, this is STILL a great option especially for the price!

Sephora Collection Total Coverage Original Sponge*

When Sephora came out with essentially their own version of the Beautyblender, you think of a "house brands" as being cheaper, but while this was kind of true, this sponge still retailed for $19! For awhile, I was using this sponge exclusively as it did not bleed any colour and I sort of liked how the hourglass shape felt in my hand. The only thing was that it did not hold up as well to washing and it would start to tear at the "waist". The ones I have left are press samples so once I have used them up, I will not be going out of my way to purchase these as they are still pretty expensive AND less resistant to washing. 

Real Techniques Powder Sponge*

Here is where we get into some newer products! While this may look like a pink version of the original Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, this one has a velvety coating for maximum powder pickup and seamless baking and setting of powder products. You can use this sponge both damp (satin finish) or dry (matte finish) for powders, but after a few tries I found that for me, when it comes to setting powders, I MUCH prefer a brush. I felt like a 5s process was now taking 30s and I couldn't handle it. I felt like I was using a ton of product and that application wasn't as smooth as with a brush. It's an interesting product and I have seen people bake with it, but it is not for me!

JUNO & Co. Microfibre Velvet Sponge

I first discovered this sponge in my 2020 Beautylish Lucky Bag and I really didn't believe that there could be anything new with makeup sponges. I was happily using a Beautyblender and then this amazing microfibre bouncy jewel of a sponge appeared and changed EVERYTHING for me! The shape is a bit more plump than the other sponges, but I love the flat surface. For some reason, the tip also feels extra precise and the velvet finish feels so much nicer on the skin! The velvet fibres keep product from sinking into the sponge yet still push product into my skin giving an amazingly flawless result.

At $8 USD, this is a price point I can tolerate and for a sponge that has made foundation application even faster than before and absorbs 50% LESS foundation compared to all of the other sponges, this JUNO & Co. sponge is the winner for me! Prior to the pandemic, I purchased, I kid you not, 10 of them as backups! Then I stopped wearing foundation for two years...but I have been using them again recently and have been enjoying our rekindled relationship. 

What are your favourite ways to apply foundation? Are you Team Brush or Team Sponge?

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