Zgodnie z obowiązującym mnie regulaminem brytyjskiej edycji HexxBOXA recenzja jest w języku angielskim. Na ewentualne pytania chętnie odpowiem w komentarzach.
The miracle complexion sponge was a secret Santa gift from ULA-LA-BEAUTY, a sponsor of the British Edition of HexxBOX organised by Asia. Believe me - I was really, really happy when I pulled this accessory out of the envelope.
Let me start this review with a disclaimer - this is my first make-up sponge (not including the small, disposable ones). I have never had a Beauty Blender or its other alternatives, so I cannot compare the Real Techniques' sponge to any of them.
The sponge comes in a plastic packaging. The packaging gives you all necessary information regarding what this product is for as well as some tips how to use it. Also, you can find some helpful instructions on youtube.
The sponge is egg-shaped with a flat edge. Its bright orange shade is very optimistic. The product is soft to touch and gentle for your skin. After being squeezed, the sponge immediately bounces back to its former shape. Also, the 'egg' doesn't get damaged easily when washed. I have been using it for over 3 months now and it still is in a good shape. I think I will be able to use it for at least another 2 months.
I love the flat edge bit. I use it both for my foundation and concealers. It does the job quickly and reaches all the hard-to-reach areas on my face, such as around my nose and under my eyes.
Obviously, I wash the sponge after every use. I cannot say that it's difficult to clean but, actually, that depends on which face make-up product I used. For example, if I used the sponge to apply mineral make-up with, a mild detergent will do. However, if I went for some heavier stuff, say high coverage foundation, I will need a strong detergent to get rid of the stuff. Know what I mean?
The sponge can be used wet and dry. While the results are comparable, I prefer to use it wet. I don't know why; just feels nicer. The product gets bigger when wet and goes back to its original size when dry. Does it suck some of the make-up product up? Well, yes, but so do make-up brushes...
To make sure that I test the sponge well, I tried it repeatedly with three different formulas of face make-up products - a light coverage BB cream, a high coverage foundation, and a powder, mineral foundation:
This actually turned out to be a very interesting experiment. Let's start with the BB cream. It looked the same on my face whether applied with the sponge or my own fingers. There was no difference whatsoever. However, this was not the case with the Bourjois 123 Perfect foundation. As mentioned earlier, this is a high coverage foundation. When applied with fingers it tends to look somewhat... unnatural. The product stands out on my face as well as accentuating pores and dry spots on my skin. It definitely looks better when applied wet with the Real Techniques sponge, as the accessory reduces the coverage a little bit and blends the foundation better into my skin than my fingers. As for the mineral foundation - I LOVE APPLYING IT WITH THE SPONGE (especially wet). Seriously, the results are amazing; the foundation looks like my skin only better. You cannot see that I applied any foundation at all. So much better than a kabuki brush! Also, I love applying concealer with the sponge. It works much better than my fingers and lets me blend the product into my skin nicely while retaining the coverage I need.
To sum all this up, I really like this product. While I still hope to see some time in the future what the fuss around the Beauty Blender is all about, I'm sure I will buy the Real Techniques miracle sponge when this one cannot be used any longer. After all, it works really well while being affordable. ULA-LA-BEAUTY sells it cheaper than Superdrug or Boots (check it out here).
Should you be considering some retail therapy with the store, here is a bonus for you: