You know you’re a beauty fanatic when something as simple as a makeup sponge can make you a wee tad over excited. The reviews on this site over the years have shown that if you’ve ever purchased an adorable, bouncy pink beautyblender, you’ve got nothing but love for it.
The tool, created in 2002 by Rea Ann Silva – who has painted the faces of Kerry Washington, Brandy, Vivica Fox, Chris Rock, Sean Combs/Puff Daddy, Rod Stewart and LA Reid – is beloved for its ability to dab on foundation seamlessly, but makeup artists praise it for its versatility on eyes, cheeks, and lips and manicurists like using it, too.
But are you actually using the beautyblender to its full potential?
Whether you’re applying tinted moisturiser, foundation, cream blush or even eyeshadow, you must make sure to wet the sponge. Really, really wet the sponge. “If you use it dry, it doesn’t work the same way; the magic is when you wet the sponge. When it’s wet, it becomes bigger, softer, and less thirsty. Instead of sucking up the make-up, it pushes it out onto the face,” says Silva. After giving it a dunk, squeeze out the excess water or dry it lightly with a towel because it should be damp, but not sopping wet. ” Ryno Mulder, the beautyblender South African Brand Manager and a make-up artist adds, “This is what sets the original blender apart from imitation products. When you wet the beautyblender its unique material fully absorbs the water making the blender swell twice its size. The combination of the super hydrated sponge and the softness of the material gives your skin the most flawless airbrushed finish in less time than any other application method or application tool. Imitation products are made of latex which does not readily absorb water or expand so using a knockoff is pretty much like applying your makeup with a rubber ball”.
So repeat the magic mantra after us beauties: wet, squeeze and bounce.
About the unique design
Sure, the unique design is cute but why an egg shape? “For years, make-up artists had been cutting off the edges of triangle sponges to create a less defined line of demarcation,” Silva explained in an interview with Refinery29. But she knew there had to be a better way. She began to research shapes and landed on the egg. The idea came from a combination of two popular sponge-cutting techniques: making a pointy sponge to reach small areas and making a wide, round-bottomed sponge to cover big areas fast. The cornerless shape is so difficult to mass-produce that the beautyblender is still cut by hand in the factory.
The most effective method is to lightly bounce it over the skin, applying slight pressure. “We call that stippling,” Silva says. Sweeping, dragging or rolling it along just moves the foundation around which will require additional blending instead of creating an instant effect.
If you’ve made a mistake, don’t panic “Instead of bouncing, drag a dry beautyblender over your face,” Silva says. The texture of the dry sponge works a bit like an eraser, lifting off excess make-up.
“I like using the different colour beautyblenders for different products when working on my clients. I use the white one to apply skincare products or primers. The pink one for foundation. The mini beautyblenders for contouring and other colour blenders like the black for loose powder application or the application of liquid body bronzer. Why? I believe it gives your skin the best results in terms of colour, blending and a smooth texture. It’s harder to get smooth and evenly blended results when you are using only one blender that has primer, foundation, concealer and powder all on the same blender”.
Caring for your egg
With proper care, the beautyblender should last about three months; Mulder recommends washing it after every few uses with a gentle cleanser or the brand’s Solid soap. “Even if the blender stains permanently, you will be able to tell the difference between a clean and a dirty blender. Your make-up will look so much better when you use a clean blender to apply it with. A clean blender feels way better on your skin. And it’s better for your skin health to use a clean blender every time,” he adds. After each use always allow it to air dry. For obvious reasons never stuff it back in its containers wet.
Here’s a video on how you can maximise your beautyblender:
Other uses for the beautyblender:
Getting even coverage of your SPF on your face by using it as an applicator.
Applying your primer or serum.
Getting deodorant out of clothes
Get the best streak-free results when applying self-tanners.
As a de-puffing cold compress when dipped in freezing water