Monday 23 March 2015

Beauty Blenders

The Original Beauty BlenderOne of the things I get asked about a lot is make-up brushes. Which brush works best for a certain product, skin type or look, what the brush does that I'm using on a client, what my favourite brand of brushes are and the answer is constantly changing. Yes there are some brands that I think are very reliable in terms of quality and there are lots out there that I haven't got round to trying yet so can't pass comment on, but one of the most asked questions is what's the best brush for applying foundation for problem or more mature skins and I used to recommend a stippling brush. However, recently I have been favouring a Beauty Blender so I thought it would be useful to do a little feature on beauty blenders - the original and those from other brands, specifically the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge because this is the high street alternative, the easiest to get hold of.

Oh how easy I thought this review would be. I use the Beauty Blender all the time when I'm working, how could something £10 cheaper be as good? But actually, the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge is not bad. If I could only take one to my desert island yes I would probably stick with the trusty beauty blender but I think probably for my own personal use in the future I may well be nipping out to Boots to get the much more reasonably price Real Techniques alternative.

Blogging has got a lot harder with the rise of the 'prosumer' those who want to buy pro make-up products to use on themselves. Now of course you can buy whatever you like buy often buying something to have in your pro-kit is expensive and designed to be used whatever you are faced with. If you are buying something for yourself you shouldn't need an entire palette of different coloured concealers, for example and I believe it's a waste of money. So although I will probably continue to use the Beauty Blender for work that doesn't mean I think you should run out and buy it if you are just doing your own make-up. Though if you want to, then buy the Beauty Blender cleanser at the same time, look after the blender and it should last you a long time. It's a sensible investment.

The Beauty Blender - you have probably seen these 'pink eggs' (as Ned calls them) around. What's so great about them? Well you must use them wet (run under a tap and squeeze out all excess water) but then you can pretty much apply any product you want with this. Usually people stick to foundation and concealer but this works beautifully with cream blushers, cream contour and even works with powder products. Kandee Johnson uses hers for EVERYTHING you can watch her rave review of it here.

the original beauty blender spongeThe beauty blender is latex-free so won't soak up your make-up and will give you a great finish - if you have problem or mature skin then this will really help your application. Because you can efficiently build up coverage where you need it by bounce and rolling the sponge then you can get a great light finish where you don't need a fuller coverage. In fact the blender is made up of specially patented sponge material designed exactly for this purpose - to work with make-up and skin and not to soak up product. And this does give the ultimate finish which has the edge over the other sponges I've used - this is the only product (apart from the Blender Cleanser) from this company so you'd expect it to be great.

The shape is great - use the rounded sides all over the face and the pointed tip where you need more precision - around the nose, under the eyes etc. The Beauty Blender is £16 (you can often get a package deal with the cleanser and every order at the time of writing this gets a free sample of the solid brush cleaner) and actually that's about what you'd pay for a mid-range good make-up brush so not that bad.

Real Techniques beauty blenderThe Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge - now it's harder to get any in-depth info on this though I have been told it is also latex-free. A lot of you will probably know about Real Techniques but for those of you who haven't they are a brand of brushes (and sometimes make-up) designed and made with the lovely Sam and Nic of Pixiwoo fame. Available on the high street and reasonably priced these brushes are loved by pro-artists and consumers alike. It's no wonder they wanted to add a blender-type sponge to the range and it is a great sponge with a unique design. Real techniques miracle complexion sponge

With the rounded edge and pointed tip of the Beauty Blender this sponge also has a flat edge which I have found absolutely fantastic for applying cream blusher to the cheeks.

I'm not entirely convinced that this doesn't absorb some product which is why I'm not telling you all to renounce the Beauty Blender and buy this exclusively. It also says you can use it wet or dry but I think to avoid make-up absorption you should use this wet. Cleans really well with the Beauty Blender cleanser but you can use any (non-acid containing) cleanser. It's £5.99 and available from any Real Techniques stockist so Boots for example making it much easier to get hold of than the Beauty Blender.

So at a push I prefer the Beauty Blender and will continue to use this in my pro-kit and the kit-demoted ones on myself but if I want a new sponge for me I will be nipping out to the nearest high street stockist and getting a Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. A very good high street alternative.

I'm pleased to say that both brands are cruelty free

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