beautyblender sponges – my new favorite beauty tool

October 24, 2014

Beautyblenders are one of the most raved-about makeup tools I’ve read about. I’ve looked at them in Sephora stores numerous times but couldn’t bring myself to spend nearly $20 on a sponge that I would have to end up throwing away within a couple of months. I finally caved and decided to give beautyblenders a try during the Sephora VIB Summer Surge event back in August. I purchased the Original Beautyblender version ($19.95) and have been really impressed. If you’re late to the game with these (like me), Beautyblenders are an egg-shaped sponge with what they call “an open cell structure.” It’s a porous sponge that fills with small amounts of water and expands to about 1.5x in size when damp. The sponge provides amazingly flawless foundation application that I’ve found to be streak-free. You can use it with primers, foundations, powders, cream blushes, concealers and any other complexion product. I can’t believe it took me so long to try these.

The sponge comes in a small plastic case with easy to use instructions. It works best when slightly damp. I run it through water entirely and then squeeze out the excess. The texture of the sponge is very cushy with a bouncy feel. I usually pour foundation onto the back of my hand first and then tap the sponge into the product before applying onto the face. Just tap and bounce and it blends in foundation perfectly. It also works wonders to blend out concealer.

dry Beautyblender Pro vs. damp Beautyblender Original

After featuring some of the sponges on the blog, several of my readers have asked what I use to clean the sponges. I can usually get 2-3 uses before I need to clean by using different areas of the sponge. I read reviews online at numerous message boards and customer reviews on retailer websites and decided to try the Beautycleanser Solid and Beautycleanser Liquid. I expected to like the liquid version better but the Solid does a much better job at cleaning the sponge all the way through. I’ll use the liquid one up, it works ok, but won’t be repurchasing. The solid is something I’ll keep repurchasing though. It’s like a solid soap – just get the beauty blender wet and rub it into the soap to lather up the cleanser. Rinse and repeat.

There are a number of different beautyblender options. I also checked out the Pure and Pro versions. Bottom line is the Original one performs the best for me. A quick rundown of the differences and my thoughts:
  • Original beautyblender (pink) is the smallest in size when dry although they are all pretty similar in size once damp and expanded. This one gives the best even coverage with liquids and has the most cushiony bounce, the first time you wash it, you will see pink dye run through the water. I’ve never had pink transfer from the sponge onto my skin though and it doesn’t seem to stain white countertops.
  • Pure beautyblender (white) is designed for super sensitive skins. It’s dye-free and colorless so those who might have a reaction to the pink dye in the original might want to opt for this one. I didn’t have any reaction to the pink one and the white sponge performs almost as well, it has a very similar texture but not quite as much bounce, it blends foundation smoothly, but for some reason the original still does a blending job the best.
  • Pro beautyblender (black) is designed for darker products that might stain the pink or white sponges. I noticed a visible difference in texture and the first couple times I used it, tiny bits of sponge went all over my face and countertop. It’s more porous compared to the others and the while the material is still soft, it seems a bit rougher in texture. It made about 1/2 of the foundations I’ve tried with it go on streaky although it did work nicely for powder foundation. I probably won’t be repurchasing this one.

I’ve used the MAC Blending Sponge for years (even back when their older version was a pale beige color). I also really like smaller ones from my local Japanese supermarket. None of the ones I’ve tested compare to the beautyblenders in way they blend liquid foundations or concealers on the skin. Since August I’ve used up and thrown away 1 beautyblender. You do have to be somewhat delicate when washing them or else you might see parts of the sponge tear in areas.

I give these a huge thumbs up. I will definitely keep repurchasing the original version. It applies foundation really well without soaking up too much product. I love how it helps blend concealer too (especially on the under eye area). If you are new to beautyblenders or need to replace one, you might want to consider their sets like this Sponge + Solid Cleanser duo (you get a slight price break). 

I’ve purchased my beautyblenders at Sephora and Nordstrom. Have you tried these sponges? If so what did you think? Do you have any other favorite foundation/concealer tools?

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  • Missmacbeauty October 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I got my beauty blender and few months ago and i am obsessed! great post!

    Missmacbeauty | Missmacbeauty

  • Candice Petersen October 24, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    I just love beauty blenders to me the work better then makeup brushes

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  • Daisy Locks October 24, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    This is the most in-depth review I've come across on these sponges and boy am I grateful! I've been a little skeptical of buying one because I've never really been a fan of sponges, but I definitely want to give this a go after hearing your thoughts! xx

    Emily ⎜ Daisy Locks

  • Lena L October 24, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    I love Beauty Blenders. I have used 2 pink ones before they brought out the different colors and sizes. I've also used cheaper alternatives but I still think BB is the best although I really want to try the new one from Dior.
    I'd go with the black one if I'm to purchase another one. Although my foaming cleanser took everything out with no issue when I had pink BBs. 🙂

  • Claire October 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Sabrina, if you like BeautyBlender sponge, you will like Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge: it is practically the same material as the pink sponge, except the shape is more helpful than BB and the price is… almost 1/4th of that of BB. It is always sold out at my local Ulta, but if I saw one, I always get it. There is no reason that quality makeup tool should cost a lot of money. Thanks for this review — I've never tried the white/black but I think you've reviewed them thoroughly.

  • Sunny October 24, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I am also really late to the party! I recently got the Dior Backstage Blender with the Star foundation and concealer, and I also couldn't believe I didn't try something like this sooner! The Dior one should be used dry (although I did hear you can also use it wet. I've just never tried. It's not something that absorbs water though), and it is pretty solid. I haven't experienced the bleeding problem, either. The point is, it just makes every foundation look SO MUCH BETTER! I really haven't reached for my foundation brushes much since I discovered it. Maybe I'll try a Beauty Blender next time 🙂

  • Dovey October 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Hi Sabrina,

    I purchased BeautyBlender for the 1st time this past year, and I really enjoy it as well! Mine's the original pink, and I love how evenly it blends foundation. I think the only downside is that it does soak up a bit of product! I'm always surprised at how much comes out when I clean it!

  • Evelyn October 24, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    I like my pink one too and I'm glad you reviewed the solid cleanser because that's what annoyed me most about the blender – I couldn't fully get the foundation stains out. I keep being tempted to buy the tiny green beauty blenders that I've seen in Sephora lately but I'm not sure if they're really any better than the full size.

  • Kristina aka cubicledweller October 25, 2014 at 1:51 am

    You've already gotten the holiday Winter Diptyque candle!! Is it fabulous?

  • The Daily Dolly October 25, 2014 at 6:18 am

    I love how petite and pretty these look~ :3
    I have been meaning to try one of these out for a while now! C:


  • Siham Hamdan October 25, 2014 at 6:35 am

    This was such a helpful post, I always wondered the difference between colors, I wasn't sure either of sponges for my routine but I started out with the Real Techniques Miracle Sponge (as I had read that it was very similar to the pink Beauty Blender) and I'm quite happy with it. Also, did you know there is now a mini version of the Beauty Blender supposedly for tiny areas such as under eye concealing, I'm also very curious about that one, you should check it out and let us know your opinion 🙂 X

    | http://www.noirettediary.com |

  • Anonymous October 25, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Hello, can you please tell me what color is the D&G foundation? I'm dying to try it but can't get samples anywhere and my nearest Saks that carries is too far! Can't wait for your review:) thanks a million!

  • michelle October 25, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    LOVE! great post, Sabrina:)

  • Martha Stewart October 25, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    I love the pink one! They now have a very small one for around the nose and under eyes.

  • Laarni October 26, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Gaahhh I almost bought this on nordstrom! i am definitely going to buy one of these soon! thanks for the review!

  • Leonie Parker October 27, 2014 at 6:17 am

    I miss my blender. Should of taken travelling with me.
    Leonie ♥ IkonikBeauty

  • María Blardone October 27, 2014 at 8:53 am

    I want one!!!
    Lots of love, xx


  • Candice October 28, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Hi Sabrina,

    I love my Beauty Blender. In your post, you mentioned having to get rid of it after a couple of months. I've had mine for 4-5 months. How do I know when it should be replaced?

  • Stephanee November 16, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    It is the only sponge I use and I have used and tested them all for product reviews. some sponges broke and I couldn't test them for 4wks which is what I like to do. My BB lasts a year and a half yes a year..and I think the reason why people are tossing them quickly is because its all in how you take care of it. I use it 6x a day but I wash it after every use, that is a must no way am I using it the next day with old makeup on it. Next, I use Dawn anti bac dish soap and it deep cleans it and washes it back to the orginal color. I also use Dawn to clean my makeup brushes. This is an old makeup artist trick from the 90's and it just stuck with me. It doesnt break down of the texture of the sponge, leaves it in perfect condition. I take the solid cleanser with me on trips as I agree it cleans better than the liquid. Happy you have joined the BB club!

  • Anonymous April 24, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Late post but I went to Sephora and one of the employees explained to me the difference: the white one is a lot softer so it's best for applying skincare products like serums and the black one is meant more for applying makeup onto the neck and body. Personally, I'm still torn because I still want the white one to apply my makeup!

  • AlexJ September 9, 2016 at 3:44 am

    Thank you for this post.
    I decide to continue buy original sponge ^^