The truth about the silicone sponge plus, the best K-beauty sponges to apply your makeup.
2016 was a wild year, and a lot of crazy things happened in the last few months of it. We elected an orange, angry man as president, we lost three major celebrities within one week, and perhaps less significant yet noteworthy for anyone who cares about beauty, people stopped relying on the Beautyblender as the holy grail of makeup sponges and started using a piece of silicone to apply their foundation.
The Silicone Makeup Sponge
Yup, you’ve probably been hearing rumblings about something called the SiliSponge that’s being touted as the “new Beautyblender.” Created by a Hong Kong-based company called Molly Cosmetics, the oval-shaped piece of silicone it looks like a plastic cutlet, or more specifically, like the plastic cups you find in your Victoria’s Secret bra.
Here’s why people on the internet are freaking out over the Silisponge: It costs $10 (half the price of the Beautyblender), and it looks like it works. On the Molly Cosmetics page, there’s a series of videos showing the plastic object seamlessly blending in foundation. Also, it bills itself as the more hygienic comparison to the Beautyblender. Instead of having to “dirty your fingers” by scrubbing the brush to clean it, the Molly Cosmetics site claims that all you have to do is rinse the Silisponge in lukewarm water and a little soap, and you’re good to go.
It sounds pretty enticing. We haven’t used the SiliSponge yet ourselves, but judging from the makeup experts on Reddit, there’s definitely some excitement about it, but mostly there’s skepticism. For starters, a lot of people are saying that what the sponge does isn’t much different than just blending in liquid foundation with your fingers.
We asked Vincent Oquendo, a celebrity makeup artist who works with Ashley Graham and Bella Hadid, to share his thoughts on the SiliSponge, and he’s intrigued. “I’ve never used this product but I looked at several videos of it being used online,” he says. “I can see how it would work efficiently because cosmetics don’t stick to silicone so it would glide the makeup on the skin without the product adhering to the silicone applicator.” The commenters on Reddit did say that they did see it being useful for busy makeup artists who need to quickly clean their makeup sponges.
So, the verdict is mixed on the SiliSponge, but one thing is for sure: The days where people rely on the Beautyblender might be over. Now, there’s a bunch of new and different alternatives to that famous pink sponge. Here, we’ve rounded up four of the best Korean brand sponges as well as one stellar American sponge that could quite possibly knock your Beautyblender out of the game.
Olive Young Makeup Blender Tool Stamp Puff
This unique sponged owned by massive Korean brand Olive Young has an actual handle for you to use as you “stamp” product on your face. This product was practically made for seamless all-over coverage, especially if you’re in a rush, since the big sponge sufficiently adds foundation in wide areas at once. But since it’s a pretty large circle-shaped sponge that doesn’t allow for much bend, it’s not the best choice for getting foundation into tiny creases on the face, like the corners of your nose or directly under your eyes.
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
This much cheaper Beautyblender dupe has been popular for a while, and for good reason. It feels and looks almost identical to the Beautyblender, but instead of staying completely round at the bottom, the Real Techniques sponge has a flat surface at its bottom that’s perfect for blending in contour (and allows you to set the sponge down on a counter without it rolling onto the floor).
As someone who has tested both the Beautyblender and the Real Techniques sponge, I will say that when this sponge is damp, it doesn’t have as much “bounce” as the Beautyblender, but with just a little more grunt work, it blends in foundation just as well.
Too Cool For School Marshmallow Puff
Too Cool For School has always been the, well, cool people’s brand. You know it as the brand that created that super futuristic bendy mascara and those trendy egg masks, but it also has a pretty legit makeup sponge on the market. The Marshmallow Puff is a really cute sponge that kind of looks like your dog’s toy that you put peanut butter in. But it’s shaped like that for a great purpose: It allows for serious double-tasking. You hold the sponge in the middle and use the larger side on the bottom to apply and pat in foundation. Then you use the edgy side to apply and blend in contour.
Etude House My Beauty Tool Soft Cream Puff
If you’re a regular BB cream user, this sponge will become your holy grail. The Beautyblender can be a little too rough for such a delicate product like BB cream, so using this extra soft Etude House sponge is a better bet for adequately blending in your cream without wiping it all off.
Pro tip: Instead of smearing the puff against your skin to blend in your BB cream, gently tap the sponge (like you would if you were using a CC cushion puff) to fuse the cream to your skin for a flawless finish.