Sponge VS Silicone: Which is Better for Blending?

 

Everyone knows and loves the iconic beauty product that changed the blending game- the Beauty Blender. Myself, along with almost every professional makeup artist and beauty lover alike swear by this magical little sponge. Beauty Blenders are so amazing for a couple of reasons:  One, they press product directly into the skin, giving your face a flawless finish when it comes to blending foundations and concealer. Two, they allow you to keep your hands and fingers clean when applying face makeup. Three, the convenient egg shape enables effortless blending for small and large areas (they also have mini Beauty Blenders as well).

As much as I swear by my nifty little BB's, (as I've fondly dubbed them) they do have a few downsides. Due to the porous material, Beauty Blenders tend to absorb a lot of product, which results in going through bottles of your favorite foundation quicker than usual. They also need to be cleaned frequently, I recommend every day or every other day, depending on how much product you use. Failure to clean them leads to bacterial growth and less effective application.

On that note, let me introduce you to the one of the newest face blending tools on the scene- silicone drops or "sillisponges." The company MakeupDrop is the original founder of the silicone makeup applicator, which was designed to "completely eliminate wasted makeup and skincare product" (def throwing some subtle shade towards Beauty Blender). These silicone applicators promise to perfectly apply primers, foundations, and cream products without wasting a drop. What's more is that they are super easy to clean (run them under soap and water) and ultimately more hygienic than sponge blenders. 

I decided to put these two products to the test by blending the left half of my face with a Beauty Blender, and the right half with a MakeupDrop silicone applicator.

 Beauty Blender, $20  MakeupDrop Silicone Applicator, $20  Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer, $28

Beauty Blender, $20

MakeupDrop Silicone Applicator, $20

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer, $28

I used my Beauty Blender first, and applied my foundation to the left side of my face. I always get a nice finish with BB's but I will say that sometimes it does pick up foundation as I blend, reducing pigment and coverage, which results in me having to apply a second layer to some areas on my face.

Moving on to the right side with the silicone MakeupDrop. The instructions say to drop a small amount of product directly onto the sponge and then blend, using circular motions into skin. If you're accustomed to using Beauty Blenders, the first time using a silicone applicator might be a little challenging. It's definitely a little bit more difficult to work with compared to a sponge blender, but once you get the hang of it it's not a big deal.

Throughout application, I found myself using considerably less product than I do when I use a BB, which is a big plus. Due to the texture of silicone, you can easily slide foundation to different areas of your face and then blend accordingly. Blending took me a little longer than it usually would, but I'll attribute that to my lack of experience with silicone. I did find that since the applicator is so slippery it was harder to get even coverage in some areas, so going back in with a second layer of product was necessary. Overall, I was quite pleased with the application and product.

The Results

Simply by comparing the pictures from the different applications above, you can tell that I was able to achieve better pigment and coverage from the MakeupDrop. I used much less product, but it did take me longer to blend than it does with a Beauty Blender. I will also say that I felt like my foundation was literally sitting on top of my skin, versus with a BB where it's pressed into skin and absorbs.

All in all, I think both of these products are great and can be mostly used interchangeably. Depending on the type of finish I want and the product I'm using, I do think Beauty Blenders are better and easier to use, especially when it come to lighter weight foundations and/or blending concealers. The silicone is great for full coverage products because you can easily distribute the product across your face and when you blend, it doesn't highlight pores and fine lines.

 Left side blended with sponge  Right side blended with silicone

Left side blended with sponge

Right side blended with silicone

The end results were similar in appearance, but you can slightly tell from the photo above that I have more coverage on the left side of my face (I upped the photo's contrast so you can see the nuances, I'm aware I look like a minor cake face!). The main differences between these two products is application, texture and how often you have to clean them.

MakeupDrop has a no questions asked return policy, so I recommend ordering one and trying it out to see how you like it.

On that note, go forth and blend.