Tested on animals:No
Much has been made of beautyblender original and its ability to transform the way you apply makeup. You're probably thinking—and so were we before we tried it— "Isn't it just another makeup sponge?" Amazingly, it is really is just that darn good, which is why it gets a big thumbs up from us!
The beautyblender is famous for its egg-shaped design and bright pink color (it comes in other colors as well, but the original is bright pink). The difference between the beautyblender and other sponges is apparent as soon as you first pick it up: It's remarkably lightweight and soft. Most sponges have a certain degree of "give," but the beautyblender is so soft that even a light touch causes it to indent, and you can compress it completely in your hand. This texture is the key to its success when it comes to applying makeup.
Where other sponges can have splotchy or streaky application, the beautyblender's coverage looks surprisingly natural and uniform, but there is a specific technique you have to use to make this happen. First, it's recommended to slightly dampen the beautyblender before you use it. The brand says the beautyblender's "open cell structure" allows it to fill up with water, which means the sponge is full and won't absorb makeup.
This isn't exactly unique, as most sponges—your kitchen sponge, for example—are "open cell" and technically work in this fashion. The "open cell" term just means that a sponge easily absorbs liquids—a "closed cell" wouldn't absorb moisture (foam insulation is an example of a "closed cell" sponge). The size of these sponge "cells" and smoothness of the material's surface determines its absorption and how it interacts with your makeup, which is why the rubber material of the beautyblender works so well. PS: If you are curious, the slight amount of water that is added to the sponge isn't enough to mess with your sunscreen—it adds no more water than is added from your foundation or other products.
For the best application, we recommend using a liquid or cream foundation (because you have to dampen the sponge), and first putting the foundation on the back of your hand or another surface. Then dip the beautyblender into the makeup, and apply it to the face, quickly "bouncing" the sponge (this is where the lightweight texture comes in). Since the sponge is so soft and material so smooth, there's little "resistance" when you bounce on your makeup onto your face—the result of which is a more natural-looking coverage (instead of being left with streaks or lines of demarcation). While this might not be true for everyone, we found using the beautyblender to apply our foundation actually cut the application time in half as we didn't have to go back and do a ton of blending!
The beautyblender brand recommends replacing the sponge every three months or so with daily use, so it definitely isn't the least expensive option when it comes to makeup applicators. You can extend that time, however, by cleaning it with a gentle, water-soluble cleanser (you don't have to use the one beautyblender sells) and allowing it to completely dry before using it again (and the process is very easy). For example, a few of our staffers just use a mild, non-moisturizing foaming cleanser—moisturizing formulas can leave a residue on your sponge that you don't want! A note—when drying your sponge, we found rolling it gently in a paper towel and letting it air dry worked the best. Avoid twisting or wringing the beautyblender, as the material can easily tear. If you take good care of your beautyblender, you can probably get a good six months out of it, or perhaps longer.
Overall, we were impressed with the performance of the beautyblender, and happy that it's a product that lived up to its claims and exceeded them. If you've been considering picking one up, it's definitely worth it!
- Lightweight sponge allows for natural-looking makeup application.
- Reduces the amount of time it takes to apply foundation.
- Easy to clean and re-use.