My Beautyblender cosmetic sponge has become my number one beauty essential that I “have to have” when applying my make-up. I thought I’d not only share why, but the how’s for using and caring for this unique little application tool.
It’s a little odd that I write a style blog because I’m not one to offer up my suggestions or opinions about fashion and beauty easily. But the Beautyblender cosmetic sponge applicator has quickly become one of the few makeup tools that I shout about from the mountaintops. I use it, I prefer it, I recommend it highly and I feel a little undone when I forget to use it (y’all, when you hit your fifties sometimes you just plum forget to do things, even things that you normally do on a regular basis!).
The Beautyblender is a patented, unique makeup application sponge designed by professional makeup artist, Rea Ann Silva. At $20 a pop, you can undoubtedly find many cheaper applicators. However, the Beautyblender truly does live up to its press, and is in a class by itself. The unique material of this sponge creates a surface that is undeniably softer than most. And, because it is used damp and your product sits on top of the surface, the sponge does not absorb the foundation, moisturizer, concealer or powder, and actually ensures that you use less product with each application.
How to Prep the Beautyblender
The Beautyblender is created to be used damp (even when applying dry powder). Simply put the sponge under running water and gently squish it repeatedly until it absorbs all the water it will hold, just as you would your kitchen sponge before using. Then gently squeeze as much water from it as you can, being careful not to twist or wring the Beautyblender. Finally, wrap the sponge in a dry towel or washcloth and squeeze. Now your Beautyblender should be about 30% larger than its original size, soft and only damp, not dripping water.
Using the Beautyblender
You can use the Beautyblender to apply most any product to your face such as moisturizer, foundation, concealer, blush or even dry powder. Of course, if you’re using it for various products, you’ll want to use a different Beautyblender for each color – maybe the same sponge for concealer and foundation, but different ones for moisturizer and blush.
In fact the Beautyblender comes in several different colors simply so you can have one for foundation, one for blush, one of moisturizer, etc. if you so choose. While the white Beautyblender is supposedly created specifically for moisturizers, sunscreens, eye creams, oils and primers, all of the other sponges are really the same, just different colors for your convenience…and joy.
I only use my Beautyblender to apply my concealer and foundation. So this blog post will only address application of these two products.
You can transfer your concealer and foundation to your skin with your Beautyblender applicator or you can use a different method. You may like applying product with a brush or your fingers. Personally, I like using my fingers. But if you choose to use the Beautyblender you would use the tapered end to apply small dots of concealer under your eyes and on blemishes, and small dots of foundation to your nose, forehead, cheeks and chin. I go ahead and use my fingers to apply my concealer and foundation where I want it. Some days I put product on my entire face, but many days I just apply to the more blemished areas and wear a lighter application of makeup.
But here’s the thing. The Beautyblender is not meant to be swiped across your face or any area of your skin. It is meant to be bounced. So you bounce or tap on the product, even when applying.
Bounce a Lot
Whether you apply the product with the Beautyblender or not, the real beauty of this blender is in the blending bounce. Using the fat, rounded end of the blender, bounce gently over the entire surface of your face. Be especially careful to bounce thoroughly along your hairline, jawline, mouth, etc. Use the smaller portion of the blender to bounce into the crevices around your nose and mouth and eyes. This is the motion that truly produces a smooth, natural surface.
And when I say bounce, I mean a perpendicular approach. No need to brush as you bounce. You truly want to just bounce along your skin.
Applying Dry Product
Like I said, I only use my Beautyblender to apply foundation and concealer, but I do have one tip for applying dry powder or blush. Dip the damp Beautyblender into the dry product, then flick it sturdily with your finger, dispelling the loose product, before applying to your face. And once again, apply by bouncing the Beautyblender on your skin.
After Using the Beauty Blender
If I’m going to dole out $20 for a makeup sponge, you better believe I’m going to take care of it so I can get the longest wear possible out of it. The makers of Beautyblender recommend that you replace your sponge every three months even with good care. But I do stretch mine to last for more like six months. Hmm. Maybe more.
Do not use any product with glycerin in it to clean your sponge. That rules out the liquid soap you have at your sink or even a bar of normal soap. Beautyblender has created a couple of products for cleaning your sponge and they work wonderfully. You can even purchase kits that include a Beautyblender and a cleanser. But you can also use other makeup brush cleansers, such as the Sonia Kashuk Makeup Brush Cleanser Spray I got at Target.
If at all possible, I suggest cleaning your sponge immediately after using it. However, Silva, the creator of the Beautyblender, actually recommends waiting to clean the Beautyblender until the next time you’re using it, since you want to use it wet anyhow. Just clean, eliminate most of the moisture and use.
Regardless of when you clean it, do clean it. Often, if not daily.
And do not throw away the small cylindrical container the Beautyblender comes in. When you use your sponge and it doubles in size, it becomes the perfect size to perch on top of the opened container where it can air out just beautifully. Air. That’s the best thing for keeping your sponge healthy for use.
Also the cylindrical container makes a great travel case for the sponge. If I have to use it and pack it immediately, I just wash it out well, wrap it in a tissue and put it in the plastic container. Then I air it out when I get where I’m going.
Where You Can Buy the Beautyblender
It’s getting easier to find the original Beautyblender. But I still have yet to see one in a store such as Marshalls. I think they are rather particular about their retail partnerships. Just recently, they have become available at Ulta, but I used to have to buy mine at Sephora. They are available online from better department stores and even Amazon. But the price is pretty much consistently $20.
I suggest purchasing your Beautyblender in a kit with a cleanser if you’re interested in their cleanser. Otherwise, you will need to purchase a makeup brush cleanser anyhow. And don’t make the mistake I made with my first one and think that you can get by with cleaning yours with a liquid soap. When I did that, my sponge developed tiny little holes that diminished the optimal results and shortened its lifespan.
I first started using my Beautyblender when my photographer friend Hannah Whaley taught me some makeup tips to prepare for a video shoot I was doing for a Bible study I’d written. I’m no makeup artist, but using the Beautyblender I was able to achieve a porcelain smooth finish that translated to the camera beautifully. I’ve used it ever since and continue to get compliments on my complexion.
It’s worth it to invest in the original Beautyblender in my opinion. But I’d love to hear your take on this subject, too.
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