I have been a beautyblender user for a while now, and recently I was due for a new sponge. I didn’t want to pay the $20 for a new beautyblender pro again, so I decided to research some other sponges. I had previously tried the Real Techniques sponge and thought it was just okay, so I wanted to find another alternative. I went on Sephora.com and saw a Sephora brand sponge that got really high reviews and was cheaper than the beautyblender, so I purchased it. I also read that Maybelline came out with a new sponge and it was really inexpensive. I decided to try both.
The black sponge pictured above is the Maybelline New York FaceStudio Blender. It retails for $5.94 and is available at online and in store at Walmart and on Maybelline’s website. If you choose to buy this sponge, I would recommend going in store because the edges of the sponge are cut roughly (see photo) and some sponges were much worse than others. It is an hourglass shape with a flat bottom and an angled top that curves inward. It is fairly dense and the texture is somewhat rough. It did not expand a whole lot after I ran it under water. I used it to conceal my undereyes and felt that it was kind of hard against my skin when I was blending. The curved shape also felt like it wasn’t really touching the surface of the skin unless I pressed harder. However, the shape of the sponge hugs the cheekbone perfectly, so I think it would better lend itself to applying cream highlight.
The pink sponge pictured above is the Sephora Total Coverage Sponge. It retails for $12.00 and can be purchased online and in store at Sephora. It has an hourglass shape as well, but has a rounded bottom and a pointed top. It is super squishy and has a soft texture. It expands quite a bit after it is wet. The fact that it is bouncy makes it very comfortable to use and blends product in nicely and with minimal effort. The pointed top made it easy to get into the inner corners of my eyes when I applied concealer. When it came to washing this sponge, the makeup came out really quickly and didn’t require harsh scrubbing. This sponge seems somewhat delicate, so I would advise being gentle during washing. Some of the pink dye did bleed out when I washed it, but the color of the sponge itself doesn’t fade. I think it’s definitely worth paying the extra few dollars to buy the Sephora sponge over the Real Techniques one. You’re still saving $8 compared to the beautyblender and the quality is just as great!
Overall, if you’re looking for a sponge for concealer and foundation, I would recommend the Sephora sponge. If you use your sponge for cream highlighting, I’d go with Maybelline. I hope this post was helpful and that you can find a beautyblender alternative that you like!