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Why I Choose a Beauty Blender over a Knock-Off

A few months ago, I got a Beauty Blender from Ipsy as my "people used your link" gift. (thanks, btw!) I had been using a knock off that I picked up from Marshall's, and I was in love. I had yet to even lay hands on a real Beauty Blender, but I figured that they had to be pretty similar. I mean, they are both sponges right? How different could they be?

I've actually been working on this post for a while, and this might be the third time I've re-written it. Never before has my opinion on something changed so much. I definitely started out with one very firm opinion on things, and I have now reversed it completely. Let me explain myself a bit here.

First, there was The Dupe.
My knock off sponge was amazing. As someone with dry, flaky skin...this thing was heaven-sent. I finally had a "perfect", even finish to my foundation. A long time ago, I was a disposable sponge user (before Bare Minerals) so I was familiar with the whole "damp->blot->awesome" idea. When I first started hearing about the Beauty Blender, I scoffed. Do they really expect me to pay $20 for a sponge when I can get a pack of 20 for $2? Fast-forward a few months, and dupes started popping up here and there. I spied one at Marshall's, but I didn't grab it.

it is pretty squishy when wet

Then I dreamed about it. And watched tutorials online where the person raved about it. Reviews where the writer swore by it. OK OK. Universe, stahp. I get it. I went back to Marshall's and grabbed my $5 dupe.

And I was in love. For weeks and months, there was bliss. My face was smoother, my skin was happier, birds were bringing me garlands of flowers, and deer were doing my laundry.

There were some drawbacks. The sponge took a bit of work to saturate fully. I also used a lot of foundation to cover my face. Way more than seemed to make sense...two pumps of my UD Naked Skin, which seems insane looking back. It also seemed to take forever to dry, which in a cool/damp climate is a bit of a pain in the ass. Oh well, I'd suffer for the happiness that was my face.

Then Came the Real One.
When I got my Beauty Blender, I must admit I was unimpressed. What a bunch of bull. This thing...$20 really? It is far less dense that my dupe, feeling more like a marshmallow than a hunk of foam. It just felt flimsier in my hand in comparison, and I was not holding out high hopes. But, in the interests of science (see how I suffer for you guys?) I decided to try it.

much squishier

I almost hated it. I was so unimpressed. I just could not get the same smooth finish. I was missing the coverage! I think the deer started eating my laundry at this point.

At this point, the first draft of my Beauty Blender Review was written. I definitely did not recommend it. I sat comfortably in my preconceived notion that there was no way the real one could be worth its sticker price.

Well, I was forced to use it. For weeks. I washed both my sponges, and left them to dry in the kitchen. I asked my eldest to grab me one, and she grabbed the real one. And since I'm lazy, I used it (the kitchen is far away). After the first week, I rewrote my review. I no longer hated the real one, but I still couldn't see spending the money on it. But for some reason, I never posted it.

I discovered there is a slight learning curve to it, for me at least. Normally, I pumped my foundation onto the back of my hand, and picked it up from there with my dupe. I have found that the real one works better if I apply a dot or two directly to my face, then blend it in with the sponge. (That probably took me two weeks to figure out, I'm sorry to admit.) Somehow, I used less foundation this way: maybe one pump for my entire face...including going a bit heavier on my cheeks. I was amazed. And this thing cleaned up/dried so much faster than my dupe! I didn't have to plan 36 hours ahead if I wanted to wash it. This might have been the tipping point for me.

My (hopefully) Final Opinion:
The Beauty Blender is worth the money. Yeah, I know. Its $20 and the dupe is 1/4 that. But listen: I tried going back to my dupe the other day, after months of using the real one. I can't do it. Ugh. The blotchy finish, the amount of product I had to use...the very texture! Just no. That is when I decided to rewrite this for a third and final time. Now, there might be some better dupes out there that I just haven't found. (The Real Techniques one is supposed to kick ass) I may have to do some more testing. I now think that $20 for six+ months of use is not a bad deal, considering how much farther I am stretching my foundation and concealers.

tl;dr save up and buy the real one. You wont be sorry.


  1. The deer started eating your laundry? That's a sure sign of disaster. LOL I believe I got one of these in my GlossyBox a couple months back. I am incredibly lazy at trying new things, but glad to see this information so I can go ahead and somewhat confidently give it a go. Thanks for the post!! :-)

    1. Those damnable deer!

      It really is a game-changer though, no matter which sponge you use. Wearing makeup is actually fun again, rather than a struggle.

  2. My sponge story started with a knock-off as well (the Real Techniques Beauty Sponge) and I loved it! So I wasn’t planning on purchasing the original, but when I was looking for a storage solution for my RT sponge, I bumped into the Pure Kit - this kit includes the Pure Beauty Blender, the solid cleanser and a pouch for storage. It was a good deal, so I bought it. And uh-oh, the Beauty Blender produces an even smoother finish than the RT sponge. It feels softer too, it’s a different material. So yeah, I’m hooked to that pricy sponge as well, but it’s worth my money.


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