A couple of years ago, when the beauty blender was first gaining popularity, there wasn’t much on the market that could compare to it.
Since that time, we’ve seen endless numbers of dupes hit the market. While many hailed the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Makeup Sponge Blender as the best possible dupe for the Beauty Blender, I was never entirely sold. It didn’t’ clean as well, it was too big, the application wasn’t as flawless, and, personally, I’m not really a fan of the flat edge. Most importantly, the Real Techniques sponge was way too hard. And that’s the problem that I’ve had with most makeup sponges in the stores today—they’re not as soft as the holy grail of makeup sponges, the Beauty Blender. I’m happy to say that’s no longer the case. I’ve finally found a dupe for the Beauty Blender in the drug store that satisfies me. The best part? It’s only $7.
Say hello to the L’Oreal Paris Blend Artist Infallible Foundation Blender.
So, to show you why I feel this sponge is the best dupe on the market for our favorite foundation applicator, I’m going to compare the features of the two side by side.
The two sponges are very similar in size, though the L’Oreal one is a little bit larger. Here they are side by side, (with a quarter for reference) when dry:
And here they are wet:
You can see that they both grow about the same amount, and the size difference between them remains.
However, I don’t find the L’Oreal sponge’s slightly larger size a problem the way I do the Real Techniques sponge.
As far as I’m concerned, the Beauty Blender is the victor in this regard. You can see in the pictures that the L’Oreal sponge doesn’t share the Beauty Blender’s teardrop shape, which certainly is a bummer.
In general, it could be argued the pear-shaped sponges limits the amount of usable space you have, when applying makeup. That being said, because of the L’Oreal sponge’s many other virtues, one can forgive the less than ideal shape.
Out of every single feature I take into consideration when trying a new makeup sponge, for me, the softness is the biggest factor in whether or not I’ll like it. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re hitting your face with a rock when trying to apply foundation. When dry, the two sponges are actually pretty comparable.
When dampened, however, the L’Oreal sponge is actually significantly softer than the beauty blender! I could hardly believe it myself, but the Infallible Foundation Blender makes the Beauty Blender feel like I’m punching myself in the face, by comparison!
A sponge’s softness doesn’t only affect how gentle the application will be, it also influences how the makeup will apply.
If, like me, you’ve been finding that harder sponges do a worse job of giving you a flawless, airbrushed finish than the Beauty Blender, then just wait until you try L’Oreal’s!
The makeup applies evenly, without too much product caking up your face. This is due to the fact that the sponge’s softness makes it extra absorbent. For some, that might be a problem, since it means more of your product gets wasted in the sponge. For me, however, I find that it gives me more control over how much product I use.
The rounded bottoms of both sponges mean there won’t be any weird lines when blending makeup, like I often get with the flat side of the Real Techniques sponge, so they’re pretty equal in that regard.
The one thing that the BB does better than the L’Oreal sponge, is apply concealer under the eyes, thanks to its narrower point at the top. That being said, I always go for a mini sponge for application under my eyes, so that’s not a problem.
Once again, softness is a major factor in how easily a sponge will get clean. Therefore, both sponges in question are easy to clean.
I think the L’oreal sponge cleans a little better than the beauty blender for a couple of reasons, however:
- The beauty blender’s color has faded significantly since first purchasing it, because every time I clean it, pink dye runs out. I’ve never heard of anyone else complaining of this, but it’s something I’ve noticed in every Pink Beauty Blender I’ve ever owned.
- I can be rougher with the L’Oreal sponge because it’s cheaper. I like to really grind my sponges into the soap when I’m cleaning them, so all sponges start to break apart after a couple months, for me. It’s nice to know that if my L’Oreal sponge starts to break down, I can replace it regularly without breaking the bank.
- The L’Oreal Sponge lasts longer than the Beauty Blender, even with daily use, and rough cleaning methods. I bought my L’Oreal Sponge back in May, and haven’t needed to replace it, even with almost daily use. The Beauty Blender starts to break down after nearly two months of daily use, in my experience.
However, admittedly, the L’Oreal sponge does take a lot longer to dry and shrink back down to size. I don’t consider that a huge drawback, however, because I wash and re-dampen mine almost daily. I imagine it can be inconvenient for people who like to store their sponges away, but mine always sit on top of my vanity, so air-drying is never an issue.
The L’Oreal Paris Blend Artist Infallible Foundation Blender sponge is the closest any sponge has ever come to comparing to the Beauty Blender. If the shape and size work for your particular preferences, then I’m positive that, like me, you’ll find yourself reaching for your Beauty Blender less and less once you’ve tried this alternative.