Beauty Blender in the mail last week, and even though it was the end of the day, I took off my makeup and got ready to try it right away. I bought this sponge set because there have been a lot of really good reviews about it at the QVC Bare Escentuals message boards and at the Makeup Geek forum.
I took a picture of the very first time I used it. On the left is the finished face and on the right is the clean face. I think the difference is pretty big. You might need to click on the pictures to get them enlarged before you can see the difference.
My problems with the beauty blender stem from the damp/wet application. I have never been able to get wet application to work on my face with a brush. I'm not sure why I thought it would be better with a sponge - all the problems I've had with wet application are present with the beauty blender when used as directed in their youtube video. I'll put a page break here since there's a lot of writing.
** The following 4 points were cross posted at the QVC message boards by myself a few days ago**
1. Wet application only works on my forehead. I don't know why, but it looks really terrible on the rest of my face, where sadly, I need the most help.
2. Wet application of minerals looks patchy on my skin. I didn't think I'd have this problem with the beauty blender because you're picking up the minerals dry as opposed to spritzing the dry minerals with water, but it happened. No matter how much or how little foundation I pick up, the foundation sits on my skin where ever that first bounce of the beauty blender lands. Same is true with wet application with a brush. No amount of stippling (or buffing) will get it out. Usually the only choice I have is to wash my face and start over. Not a great option on the week days.
3. I look older! With wet/damp application of the foundaion, the minerals end up settling in fine lines I didn't have before! It's as if as the moisture from the minerals evaporates, it takes moisture from my skin with it. I look way older than I actually am.
4. Wet application makes Matte behave like Original. The foundation melts off my face by the end of the day. It's really unattractive. You can see all my little acne scars and red spots.
So my solution is to use it dry. The sponge takes about two days to dry out and shrink back down to size, but a day of drying is sufficient. The minerals the sponge picks up are no longer darkened with moisture, which is how I know it's dry enough. The dry application still saves a little bit of time, it still looks really amazing, and my Matte foundation doesn't lose any of it's oil absorbing properties.
I have also tried to use it by really vigorously squeezing out as much water as I can with a dry towel, but for some reason, that doesn't work as well as letting the sponge dry overnight.
The only remaining problem is that my chin is going through a minor break out. It's either stress or the beauty blender. I don't know what the sponge is made of and I don't know what the sponge is dyed with, so it's possible that I'm allergic to something in the sponge even though the sponge says "hypoallergenic".
Someone also suggested that it could be bacterial growth inside the sponge. I hope that's not it, but that's certainly plausible.
Since the breakout is fairly contained to one side of my chin and not all over my face, I think that it's stress related. If I figure out that the breakout is beauty blender related, I'll let you know.
Over all, the beauty blender seems most appropriate for ladies (or gentlemen) who don't have a problem with wet application. If you're at all worried about bacterial growth, you probably should stay away from the sponge since it retains so much moisture.
Cost: The best value for the beauty blender is the duo set with the cleanser that I purchased. It's $39.95. Sonia Kashuk makes a similar sponge that's sold for much less at Target. Some people say the beauty blender is much better than the Sonia Kashuk version, others say there is no difference. It's really up to you. I went with the beauty blender due to Sephora's generous return policy.
I'm not certain I will purchase this sponge again after I use up the two in the set. I'm not sure how often you have to replace them, but I know a sponge doesn't last as long as a brush. Long term, using a disposable sponge is not as economical as a makeup brush that can last years.