Beauty Blender Battle

[I’ve had this post in draft mode for ages!  Random timing to post this but no time like the present!]

The Beauty Blender needs no introduction.  These hot pink egg shaped sponges cost a whopping $26 each and have spawned a slew of BB-like sponges.  So is a $26 sponge 26x better than a $1 one?

For years, I refused to succumb to the Beauty Blender.  I resisted and bought the dupes to satisfy my Beauty Blender curiosity.  I simply could NOT justify paying $26 for a flimsy little egg shaped piece of foam.  So I bought some off ebay, and a few from drugstores before I finally decided to get the real thing during the Spring 2013 VIB sale.  I’ve been using my stash of makeup sponges for a while now.  Let’s have a look at how they stack up the the original Beauty Blender:
beautyblender2
L to R [These are arranged from the most airy / porous (L) to the most dense / heavy (R)]:
Beauty Blender (hot pink) – $26 [note: I paid $26 for mine but I see that it’s now $28 – damn that exchange rate!] (Sephora)
MAC Pro Performance Sponge (orange) – $24 (MAC)
Quo Blending Sponge (purple) – $5 (Shoppers Drug Mart)
Sephora Airbrush Sponge mini (teal) – $12 for 2 [bought this during Black Friday sale 2014] (Sephora)
• Blending sponge from eBay (black) – $1 (shipped from China)
Kit Super Blenders (mint) – $12 for 3 (Rexall)

Here’s what the sponges look like once dampened with water (as recommended to do prior to using for foundation application):
beautyblender3
And here’s the animated gif to show the difference:
beautyblender4
I was surprised to see how much each of the sponge grew in size despite having very different textures. I thought the more dense sponge wouldn’t absorb and retain so much moisture but they did.  The odd one out was the MAC sponge (the newest to my collection) – it seemed to either remain the same size or even shrink a little after being dampened.

Beauty Blender and MAC Pro Performance Sponge
beautyblender5
These 2 have the most similar feel in the hand – very spongy and airy. They both don’t retain too much water after being dampened, which leaves them feeling drier compared to the other sponges. For me, while the Beauty Blender does make foundation look airbrushed and smooth, I find that it absorbs in quite a bit of product due to its porous nature.  The MAC sponge behaves similarly but I did enjoy the cone shaped end for crevices and the wider base for larger surface blending.  These 2 are the most expensive, with the MAC only $2 less than the Beauty Blender.
beautyblender6
I’ve had the original Beauty Blender for 2 years and it’s developed a small tear – I should note that I always wear dish washing gloves to wash all my sponges so my nails don’t accidentally dig into them.
beautyblender7
The MAC sponge is a lot more textured compared to the original Beauty Blender – it also has a larger base.

Quo Blending Sponge and Sephora Airbrush Sponge
beautyblender8
Not only are these 2 similarly shaped but they also have similar textures – they’re spongy but slightly firm.  I suppose I would call these the “Goldielocks” sponges since they’re the best of both worlds – they’re neither too soft nor too firm.  And they provide airbrushed looking blending without retaining too much product inside the sponges. The gourd shape of these are great because the base are slightly flatter, so they cover more area but still have the rounded edge that helps to diffuse foundation application.
beautyblender9
The firmness also means they don’t tear easily – my Quo sponge has been going strong for at least 3 years and it’s just developed a rip recently.
beautyblender10
The texture of the Beauty Blender and Quo are quite similar.

eBay sponge and Kit Super Blender
beautyblender11
Shape-wise, they are almost identical to the Beauty Blender but they are the least like the original Beauty Blender in that they’re very dense and don’t have a lot of give, so they don’t bounce well on the skin.  The texture of these are the smoothest as well – less spongy and almost silicone-y feeling.  These retain the most water in the sponge when dampened, so they don’t absorb much foundation, which is a plus.  However, they do sometimes pull foundation off the skin when bounced onto the skin. Overall, these are passable foundation sponges but don’t provide as flawless of a finish compared the others shown.
beautyblender12
This sucker is durable – I’ve had this sponge for at least 4 years and it’s just developed a small tear – considering it only cost me $1, it’s not bad at all!
beautyblender16
My conclusion?  I actually prefer my Quo Blending Sponge  over the Beauty Blender!  It has more “body” and retains water a bit better so that it doesn’t absorb too much of my foundation, whereas I find the Beauty Blender to have a very dry texture and soaks up too much product.  The texture of the Quo is quite similar to the Beauty Blender, creating a nice smooth airbrushed look on the skin. And the Quo is only $5 compared to $26 for the Beauty Blender – it’s a no-brainer.  And if the fact that it is constantly out of stock at the store is any indication, I think a lot of people out there loves the Quo sponge too. [unfortunately, Quo is a Canadian brand – as the 2nd alternative, I think the Sephora Airbrush Sponge at $15 is comparable to the Beauty Blender!]

Notes:
beautyblender14
• Once upon a time I did have the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, but the darn thing fell apart on me after only a few washes so I tossed it. From memory, it had a more airy texture, somewhere between the original BB and Quo, but it was so disappointingly flimsy.  I didn’t particularly like the shape – the flat edge wasn’t as good as the curve of the egg shape for blending.  It also isn’t that cheap either – it costs $11 each.
beautyblender15
• I’ve been trying to get my hands on the Sonia Kashuk‘s version – I heard it’s a great alternative to the Beauty Blender and I suspect probably similar to Quo’s.  But, it’s also on the more expensive side, at $10.50 USD, and perpetually out of stock.
beautyblender13
• I used to wash my makeup sponges simply in dish washing liquid (Dawn is better than Sunlight) but then I discovered the Daiso Puff and Sponge Detergent. This stuff is amazing! It removes ALL foundation from the sponges, and it even removed some of the stains I had. Notice how new looking all my sponges look? It’s due to this gem! I bought mine from an Asian cosmetics shop for $7 (80ml bottle) but it’s usually only $2 from the Daiso store (none near me!)  Also, I implore you – please wash your makeup sponge after every single application – using a dirty sponge is just inviting bacteria and possible break outs!

I hope you found this helpful! Are you a fan of the original Beauty Blender?  Or do you prefer the cheaper alternatives? 🙂

90 thoughts on “Beauty Blender Battle

  1. I’m so surprise that you enjoy the Quo version more than the BB !!! I need to try it ASAP. I always use disposable little triangle sponges because of my acne (like you said bacteria fiesta on dirty sponges!) I use the BB for special occasion. Now with all my BB creams I mostly use the perfect tool : my fingers 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes you must try the Quo blender! I was so impressed with it. I’ve stocked up on more when they had a sale on them. I’m like you too – I use my fingers on most days, the sponge is more for special occasions when I use more matte / heavier foundations.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I love my beauty blender! It’s too bad yours has a tear 😦 But I think it held up pretty good for two years!! After your review, I will NOT get the Real Techniques one! Everyone raves about it, but it obviously isn’t that great 😛
    Love this post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I saw other people complain about how their RT sponge fell apart on them too – they said the original batches were good but then they probably changed the manufacturer because the ones now are crappy.
      I agree, in the grand scheme of things – 2 years is really good for the sponge to hold up! Just so expensive though… $26!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I bought mine literally 6 months ago, and just now started to use it! I’m going to start using gloves when I clean it! That’s a great idea 🙂

        Like

  3. Heading to the nearest Shoppers to get that Quo sponge ASAP!
    I keep going back and forth when it comes to the Beauty Blender…$26 (now $28) seems like an absolutely ridiculous amount to pay for a sponge, and considering how rarely I use foundation, it just doesn’t seem worth it. $5 for a sponge is much easier to swallow.
    I haven’t really seen many posts comparing the Beauty Blender to so many other sponges out there. Thanks for doing an awesome comparison!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like my RT sponge better than the Sephora one. I must admit that I really don’t want to pay more than 10 for a sponge. So far my RT is holding up well to washing – I’m about the wash it now actually since I was planning on doing it yesterday but got side tracked. I tend to use my fingers to apply foundation and then use the sponge for concealer…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m half tempted to try the RT one again… if I find it discounted or on sale. Perhaps I got a bad batch?
      I should try using the sponge for concealer – the only time I do that really is when I’m wearing more of a full face makeup and bust out the MAC Pro Longwear concealer which absolutely requires a sponge to blend. But I bet the sponge would be great on my everyday concealer too. Will try that! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ja, but I am not a fan of the light bulb shape. The sponge itself is more dense than the pentgon though. It doesn’t finish significantly better than the pentagon. To be fair, the light bulb is more hardy. Pentagon comes in a pack of 4 for £6.50; I chuck every 2 months even though the sponge is still fully in tact at 2 months mark.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. The BB is my fave, but I’ve only tried the Sonia Kashuk sponge to compare it too. It does seem to rip easily when I wash it though, I just got a new one because my old one was looking so sad.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I just realized that comment came out wrong, I mean my BB tends to rip easily on me! But I like it so much I keep buying it. The SK one is more stiff and dense than the BB, I like that the BB is bouncier. If I ever see the SK one near me I’ll pick it up for you!

        Liked by 1 person

            1. It all depends on what you want to achieve in a swap – if you are interested in products / brands you can’t get in your country or just have someone curate a selection of makeup for you. Set a limit to dollar amounts etc. I’ll email you! 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the review of all the different sponges! I’m surprised and excited that you liked Quo above all the others (I’m giving a little cheer for Canadian Brands!) I must try it.
    The BB is great but I actually like the RT one a bit better, if only because the price is so cheap. If you were ever interested in getting it again, Amazon does sell a two pack that’s only $7.50.
    Also, isn’t it like 2 more days until your no-buy is over! Have you thought about what makeup you’d want to get first?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to know the RT is available for cheaper on Amazon – I might look into it! The texture of it was great – just fell apart so quickly for me.
      Yesssss, it’s only 2 more days of my No-Buy! I’ve already scoped out the Bay’s beauty dept! I’m definitely hitting up their Burberry and Becca counters – they’re brand new! I might also do Nars. As for Sephora, I think I’ll probably pull the trigger on the Surratt stuff I’ve been eyeing. So freakin excited!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great comparison! I bought the BB a while back on sale for $10 but I still haven’t tried it. I’m not sure if it’s cause I’m just used to using my fingers or if I’m scared to like such an expensive product but I’ll have to just get over it and try it already. I didn’t know SK made these though I’ve never seen them. Must be because they’re always sold out as you said lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I recently purchased the Real Techniques sponge. It’s not bad, but not any better than the wedge/round sponges that I’d often use. I don’t plan on getting anymore sponges in the future since I like using brushes for foundation (Morphe’s M439 and G6 are my current HGs). I will keep my eyes peeled for that sponge cleaner though. Daiso, FTW!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish so badly that Daiso was here locally! I visited 3 locations in my travels and they’re SO amazing! *sigh*
      Funny, I haven’t used my foundation brushes as much since starting with sponges – I mostly still use my fingers for foundation application.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love my Beauty Blender. I have the Real Techniques sponge and it’s ok but it absorbs a lot more product than the BB does. I held off for ages trying the BB because like you I couldn’t justify the price (in the States they’re $20) for a SPONGE. But I eventually caved and I’ve barely touched my foundation brushes since. My original BB is 6 or 7 months old & has some pits in it but otherwise in good shape. I have a new one i broke open not too long ago to I can go back & forth so they’ll last longer. I heard the sponge from BH Cosmetics is really good. It’s I think $10 US but sometimes they have it on sale.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that there are SO many options out there now, it doesn’t make sense to get the Beauty Blender. The price is just ridiculous. I think maybe in the beginning when they first launched, it made sense since they were the only game in town, but now they don’t have the monopoly anymore!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Awesome battle post. Too bad Quo is a Canadian brand, but it sounds like it’s lovely, especially for five bucks! I only really hear about the real techniques one and how they like that better than the BB. I only have the BBs but I only use it for special occasions or if I’m out of brushes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve found myself reaching for my foundation brushes less and less. I typically use my fingers to apply and then a sponge for heavier duty foundations that I want to sheer out. I just find brushes to be more of a hassle now. It might be a phase though, who knows!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sponges galore! Don’t hate me but… I actually prefer the real techniques sponge! I hated it at first but I had to play around with it to get the hang of it and I loooove it! I use it daily:) I use the flat side more than anything for concealer and foundation. I also own the beauty blender and it used to be my ride or die but I found that the real techniques looks way more airbrushed. So now my poor beauty blender sits collecting dust lol. I have been wanting to try out the black beauty blender to see if there is any difference as I’ve seen many use it more than the pink one. I’ve also tried the limited edition red beauty blender which sucked! I only used it twice and when I went to use it the third time it had mold!!😡 mind you I let them air dry after use so things like this wouldn’t happen so that one was a bust! 👎 .. I’ve also tried the sephora one and it broke the first time I washed it! And lastly I’ve tried the Avon version and it’s nice. Nothing special though. I had it for several years and then I needed a sponge for sfx makeup for Halloween and I used it and that was the last of that. It was destroyed lol good thing it was inexpensive! 😜 now I think I need to try the quo one!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t think the different colours of the BB would make a difference? omg I can’t believe it grew MOULD! You should return that! I may give the RT another try – since so many people seem to love it!
      Hmm Avon, I should order stuff from them. I miss that brand, they have some awesome stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! I think they do! I need to get the black one to see if it differs from the pink one. But the red one is crap it’s way too stiff .. hated it. That’s what happens when you impulse buy lol. I was going to return it .. I wrote an email to BB but I knew since I bought it and used it months later my Sephora was probably going to give me crap about it so I just tossed it. I’m glad I haven’t had similar issues with the Rt. Omg yes Avon has some hidden gems! I was going through my stash and I found an old illuminator pen and it looks very similar better even than the benefit high beam stick dunno what’ it’s called lol. But yes I love Avon 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. how did I miss this post?? hhmmpp.. I’ve been wanting to try Beauty Blender myself but they are just way too much for me.. I tried the real techniques too but it’s not what great at all. I am consistent with StyleWurks, I haven’t seen them anywhere but at Christmas Tree shop. I love how it works and waaayyy better than Real Techniques and much cheaper too.. Great post as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! 🙂 I haven’t heard of StyleWurks – I just googled it and it seem that it’s only at Harmons? I see that Bed Bath & Beyond carries the brushes but not the sponge – too bad, we have BBB but not Harmons here. Now you got me curious! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. haha.. it’s always sold out at Christmas Tree Shop too.. I always try to grab one when I’m there to stack up. 🙂

        Like

  13. Great post! I gave the Quo version a try earlier last year and I hate it – it ripped on me after just a few weeks of use. But perhaps I need to give it a try again – the price is definitely right to do so! That’s too bad about your experience with the Real Techniques one too – that’s next on my list to try once my Beauty Blender bites the dust. Reviews seem a little hit and miss with it but given that it’s cheaper than another BB I figure it’s worth the risk (hopefully). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm you got me thinking – since my Quo sponge was 3 years old, maybe quality / production changed? Mine lasted SO long! I’ve just opened a new one – I’ll see how long that one lasts. I’m willing to give the RT another chance – I did like the texture but I did still find the shape a little weird.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Great post! I love the BB, but found the Sephora sponges just as enjoyable. I had been wondering about the Quo one. I will definitely try it out now. I didn’t have that same issue with my RT sponge; mine held up pretty well for about 3 months. I liked your tip about the gloves! I have put tears in all my sponges accidentally with my nails.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I must have missed this post during the busy holiday season so I’m catching up… I don’t have a beauty blender (or any sponge-like applicator) at the moment so I find this very helpful! I’m definitely going to try out the Quo one since I think that is likely the only one I can find near me! Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I posted this one at a weird time so I’m sure it was lost in the busy holiday season. Glad you liked it – the Quo one is so good! BUT, I just noticed over the weekend that they increased it by $1 so it’s $6 now. I guess our exchange rate is to blame…

      Liked by 1 person

  16. What an awesome roundup and comparison! I’ve only ever tried the beautyblender, and really like it. I MUST try the Quo one, now! How awesome that it’s only $5. 😀

    I use Dr Bronner’s castile soap to wash my brushes and beautyblender. It comes in a massive bottle and you don’t need much. The only drawback is I like to put it in a pump bottle, but it constantly dries up and clogs up the pump.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw that Shoppers increased the Quo sponge to $6 now! Damn that exchange rate!
      I should give the Dr. Bronner’s soap another try – I didn’t like it for my brushes – it left a weird gummy residue. Maybe I wasn’t diluting it enough?

      Liked by 1 person

  17. My Quo blending sponge still hasn’t ripped and I’ve had it for about a year. I am so impressed! I prefer mine to my beauty blender as well. When my beauty blender ripped I originally went to buy another one but I ended up thinking, why don’t I try something else a little cheaper? That’s when I got my Quo sponge and haven’t touched the BB since.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Wow, so many choices!! I can’t imagine ever paying that much for a sponge though (the Beauty Blender). I’m curious about trying out a similar sponge though… The closest thing to this I’ve tried is a cosmetic wedge.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s