Thursday, October 23, 2014

Product Junkie Review: The Original Beauty Blender

I saw the Original beautyblender in stores, but didn't know how to use it and was turned off by the price tag ($20 at most retailers). So far I've made it an incredibly long time without really hearing anything about it or being told I NEED one until recently when my favorite coworker asked me if I'd tried it yet because she'd heard awesome things but didn't want to pay for it only to end up hating it.

Then, as if by magic, Birchbox sent me an email with a special code for certain featured products, including the beautyblender Best Friends set and it was an offer I couldn't resist. So my coworker and I went in together and got it!

We placed the order on Friday and it showed up on Monday!

I wasn't sure what to expect. I have combination skin and because the seasons are changing I'm having a little bit of a problem with dry skin. While I'm pretty blemish free at the moment, my foundation isn't going on very smooth. I wasn't sure how this was going to go, but I couldn't wait to give it a try!

About The Original BeautyBlender:
According to the website:

'Now you can look like a movie star without the pricey services of a major make up artist. Introducing Beautyblender, the ultimate make up sponge applicator. Invented by top Hollywood make up artist Rea Ann Silva, Beautyblender has been created to leave you with a professional finish and a flawless complexion. Silva knows that the key to a perfect face is simple: a perfect blend. So forget your fingers or sharp-edged triangular sponges, these application methods waste make up and can leave visible streaks.'

Beauyblender’s patent-pending elliptical shape makes application foolproof by allowing you to access hard-to-reach areas with stunning ease. Its suede texture is sensual to the touch and its unique curves fit the contours of your face, leaving your make up dazzling and undetectable. Beautyblender is latex free, non-allergenic and odor free.’

My First Thoughts:
I was really, really surprised when I took it out of the container. I don't know why but I was honestly expecting something a little firmer like a foam or like other sponges I've used (you know, the kind with the edges and usually contain latex). Boy, was I wrong!!!

The blender is incredibly soft to the touch and squishy.  It really isn't very firm.  It is much small than I expected but when wet doubles in size.

How to use the BeautyBlender:
1. Wet the beauty blender (I just ran mine under the tap while squishing it).

2. The beautyblender will almost double in size when wet (I noticed while watching YouTube videos that some people didn't seem to thoroughly soak it... this really does nearly double in size). When done, squeeze out all the water, then wrap in tissue or towel and squeeze again.

3. I dotted foundation across my face (be sure to use a thicker foundation, not one that is "runny" or pourable. Foundations that have a pump are recommended). Then using the rounded base "bounce" or stipple it across your face pushing the foundation inward.

4. The tip of the sponge can be use to apply concealer and get into those hard to reach areas.

How to clean the Beauty Blender:
There are two cleansers specially created to clean the blender, one is a solid cleanser and the other is a liquid cleanser, which are available on both Birchbox, Amazon and the BeautyBlender site. But the cleansers, in my opinion, are a wee bit pricey. Not to mention the fact that the BeautyBlender site advertises the liquid cleanser as being lavender scented... I'm not really a fan of lavender. Many of the tutorials I've seen say you can use a regular mild cleanser. I opted to use my Honest Company Lemongrass hand soap (read review here) because it is natural, hypo-allergenic, non-toxic, biodegradable and pH balanced... and not lavender scented.

I rubbed a squirt into the blender, then added some water and squished it until there was a foam, then cleaned it under the tap until the water ran clear. Then I placed it on the counter to dry overnight.

For those of you who like YouTube tutorials, here is one on using and cleaning the BeautyBlender from CoffeeBreakWithDani. I found her tutorial looking up how to use the BeautyBlender and she is wonderful. I'll definitely be tuning in to her channel in the future.

What I like about BeautyBlender:
  • super light, almost flawless finish. It was INCREDIBLE! 
  • blended my foundation beautifully (I used two different brands/colors) AND I didn't have any problems with streaks or lines because it blended it all so wonderfully 
  • I don't think the actual application took longer than my normal application, just different. 
  • would be great to make a heavy foundation sheer or lighter 
  • it is cute and pink 
What I do not like about BeautyBlender:
  • between getting it wet, application, and then washing it... it IS time consuming. 
  • this gives a really light coverage. Luckily, I don't need maximum coverage right now, but this isn't going to give someone the same look and coverage they might need or want. 
  • Not suitable for all kinds of foundation. This is going to soak up thinner, more liquid foundations because it is a sponge (and sponges soak up liquids). That being said, people who want to use this might have to try some new products, and there is going to be a certain amount of product that gets "wasted". 
  • Cute and pink does not last long. Mine stained after the first use. There is a black beautyblender, but I prefer being able to see what is on my sponge. 
  • Super soft BeautyBlender could tear easily. In fact, mine did after ONE use. When I went to get it wet the next day, I squished it to see how dry it had gotten (after reading reviews about mold, I wanted to see how dry it had gotten overnight) and looked down at it to see little rips.

They aren't HUGE tears and I proceeded to use it like normal, but I WAS concerned about the fact that I had used it one time and it was already breaking down. When I contacted BeautyBlender asking if this was common or if I had done something wrong, this was their response:

I don't know that I actually expect a replacement, especially not if I'm doing something wrong (other than not using their expensive cleanser), but their response comes off a little terse with the whole "a determination will be made as to whether a replacement will be sent" especially because I didn't even ask for a replacement or refund.  At the time of this post, I still have yet to hear from Birchbox. 

Final Impression:

I really like it.  I'm going to continue using it to get the flawless, slightly dewy looking complexion which I haven't ever been able to get before.  I'm definitely happier with it than I have been with brushes.  I don't know that I will use it when I need heavier coverage (cue breakout), but I'm very happy overall.  If you're interested in a more natural, flawless look then I highly recommend it especially if you aren't 100% thrilled with brushes or other sponges. 

After reading some reviews on the dupes, I don't know if they're worth it or not.  I might try one in the future just to see what kind of results I get, but just looking at them I can see how the BeautyBlender's softness is a definite advantage over more dense products.  I also have concerns about the latex and wonder if the BeautyBlender helps my skin look so good because I'm not exposing myself to latex (I have a minor latex allergy).  

Have you tried the BeautyBlender?  Have you tried one of the Dupes?  How were your results?