Fun fact: I’ve never owned a ‘real’ beauty blender. Ya know the one that costs the Earth and everyone is obsessed with? Yeah… I’ve never actually had one in my make up stash.
The ‘beauty blender’ sponge I do use and am a true convert to is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Makeup Sponge. This sponge is incredibly durable and for less than a tenner each, I now own a trio of them to rotate my usage.
I love nothing more than grabbing a bargain and I’d spotted the Olivia Hale Make Up Application Sponge in my local Home Bargains (aka my safe haven on my lunch breaks) for about two quid but I was initially reluctant to buy it, regardless of the price. I’ve been stung before by ‘dupes’ or imitations of make up sponges, especially the coveted beauty blender.
I received a really nice Dior Backstage Blender sponge from a blogger event a little while ago and it was unfortunately completely crap. The smell of rubber against my face was really strong and the sponge soaked up any and all product I used with it. Each time I tried to use it for blending my foundation it would leave a sheen on my face and move the product around rather actually blend it into my skin – it was pretty useless as an actual blender.
Needless to say, I didn’t want to go down the imitation road again once I’d found my adored Real Techniques sponges – especially when I can grab a couple on sale from TK Maxx at a discount price every now and again. I was reluctant to part with the small change to buy this Home Bargains version until I was flouncing about in there one pay day and feeling like I had burning holes in my pockets. I guess I was just gonna suck it up and give it a go.
The sponge still in it’s box ended up on my vanity for a few days until I got round to using it, in the meantime the cat decided it would be a brilliant chew toy. Ugh. He’s obsessed with anything plastic or cardboard at the moment and annoying as it was having little puncture marks ruining the ‘brand new’ feel of a product for photographs I’m just thankful he hadn’t decided to go for my make up brushes. Then I’d be really annoyed.
Side by side you can hardly tell any difference between the Olivia Hale and Real Techniques blending sponges. The colouring is identical. I couldn’t find an obvious difference between the two even in various types of lighting, you could easily mix them up and not even notice.
It’s only when you really concentrate on any detailed difference that you notice the change in density between the two. The Real Techniques sponge is on the right, whereas the Olivia Hale one on the left and has a much tighter form. I find that on using them both the Real Techniques blender has that room for absorbing the product and then storing it for application on the skin – rather than sucking it into a black hole, never to be seen again.
The Olivia Hale sponge is a real sucker. You can put a little foundation on the sponge and then it’s ‘supped it up like a flower taking water in the Sahara desert. I was getting Dior silicone-and-rubber induced flashbacks within seconds. Although, on blending the Olivia Hale sponge wasn’t actually that bad leading me to think that maybe I’ve just had a bad experience beforehand.
The Home Bargains sponge blends well, but not as well as the Real Techniques blender. I like how you can dampen the latter and it really does wonders for spreading product and leaving a soft blend. The Olivia Hale sponge on the other hand doesn’t really do anything but leave you with a damp face.
For under a fiver you’re onto a winner because the Olivia Hale is far more successful than the disposable sponge packs you can get in Primark for example. I’d say that it’s certainly worthwhile snapping one up when you see one but the Real Techniques sponge’s form just blends better than it’s cheaper counterpart.
And before you ask, I’ve absolutely no idea who Olivia Hale is and I haven’t been able to find out either – does she even exist? Is she a real person?
Have you tried any of these blending sponges? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments.