Love This! Sephora Makeup Sponge (“The Sculptor”)

I know lots of people love the BeautyBlender makeup sponge, but since I don’t want to spend $20 on a sponge, I keep looking for affordable alternatives so I can have several makeup sponges on hand without spending a fortune.  I only have time to clean my makeup sponges/brushes once a week, so I need to have enough to get through the week.   Since this one was on sale, I thought I’d give it a try…

Pros:  Comes with a holder (with a suction cup on the back).  Durable.  Good texture.  Easier to clean than others.  Variety of angles allows you to reach all parts of your face.

Cons:  Limited availability.  Lacks an angle that would allow you to get the innermost part of your nose (bottom/side).  Holder is a little tricky to use. ( You have to be careful not to damage the sponge while putting it away.)  Heavily dyed. (First washing of it resulted in a pool of blue dye in my sink – ewww.)

In Summary:  I love this makeup sponge.  It’s WAY better than the too-hard Ulta brand one and is easier to clean than the Earth Therapeutics one.  (In fact, I bought another Earth Therapeutics one and it’s completely different than the first one I got.  It’s more of a “memory foam” type of material, which is harder to clean.)  The shape looks odd, but it’s great for getting around your nose/eye area and quickly adjusting/applying makeup to the bigger parts of your face.  The fact that it’s easier to clean and has a holder is what I love about it most.  I hated using the other sponges I’ve bought because I didn’t have a good place to set them after use or cleaning.  Seriously, if you have a Sephora store nearby, stop by and see if they have any of these available.  (or just order one online!)

Rating:  5 out of 5 stars  5-stars

 Price:  originally $13, on sale for $7 (USD)

Available at:  Sephora

sephora sculptor sponge

Advertisements

Thumbs-Down: Ulta Super Blender Sponge

I’ve been wanting to buy this item for a while.  I don’t want to spend what a Beauty Blender costs, but I want something more eco-friendly than the (often disappointing) cosmetic “wedge” sponges I generally use.  I’m really glad I didn’t buy this in every variety (they’re in my Ulta.com wishlist!) because WOW this is a disappointment…

Pros:  Inexpensive.  Nice contours that fit various face parts.

Cons:  Smells very chemical/plastic-y.  Made in China.  Doesn’t say latex-free, so I’m not sure if it is. (???)  Too hard/inflexible to do the job right.  Absorbs as much makeup as competitors (maybe even more).

In Summary:  The Earth Therapeutics makeup blending sponge is SOOOO much better than this one!  And it’s about the same price.  Seriously, buy that one instead.  I honestly feel like this was a waste of $5.  I don’t even want to bother cleaning it.  Maybe I can use it for craft projects…

Rating:  1 out of 5 stars  1-star

Price:  $4.99 (USD)

Available at: Ulta

Made in: China

ulta sponge

 

 

 

Love This! Earth Therapeutics “Precisso” Blending Sponge

I had been wanting to try a blending sponge for a while. The Beauty Blender brand one is popular, but I can’t justify the expense.  Generally, I use cosmetic wedges to apply/touch up my foundation. I feel guilty about throwing them away every time (well, I use both sides, so I get 2 uses per sponge) and haven’t had much luck with trying to clean them while getting them to keep their shape.  (And I haven’t gotten the hang of using a foundation brush, yet!)  I had a $5 Kohl’s gift card, so I picked this one up…

Pros:  Greatly improves the application of makeup.  Inexpensive. Non-latex/hypoallergenic.

Cons:  Hard to clean, especially if you don’t do it right after using it.  Have to find a way to store it that keeps it clean and allows it to dry.  (I’ve been using the container it comes in, turned upside-down as a sort of “stand” for the sponge.)  Soaks up some of your foundation.

In Summary:  This is definitely a great alternative to disposable cosmetic wedges.  I’ve used and washed this several times and it shows no signs of falling apart.  The only real issue is cleaning and sanitizing it.  For everyday cleaning, I’ve been using a foaming multi-purpose cleanser I got during my hospital stay last year.  It’s worked better than the makeup remover/cleanser I was trying to use. (Not sure what I’m going to use when I run out of the hospital-supplied stuff…)   Sanitizing is more of a concern for me.  I have acne-prone skin, so I worry about bacteria being trapped in the sponge.  To solve this, I’ve been using peroxide to get it extra clean.  This is probably not good for the long-term survival of the sponge, but I want to make sure it’s really clean.  Cleaning and sanitizing aside, I think this is an amazing product.  I’m not sure how much better the Beauty Blender one can be, but – for me – it’s not going to be “better” enough to spend almost five times as much on it.

Note:  Other blending sponges on the market:  Stila ($12), Studio Basics ($5), Real Techniques ($6), Ulta ($5), It Cosmetics ($24!!!), Sephora Brand ($13, three varieties available) and of course Beauty Blender ($20)

Rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars  4.5-stars

Price:  $6 (USD)

Available at:  Kohl’s, Earth Therapeutics

Made in:  Korea

Shown in green. Also available in pink.

Shown in green. Also available in pink.

Really, Sephora?

For literally years, I’ve been waiting for Sephora to develop an Android app. (I was what you would call an “early adopter” to the concept of a smartphone – even before the invention of the iPhone and Android.)   The few times I’ve asked in this waiting period, the answer I got was the same: “We’re working on it.”  I was very excited to get an e-mail the other day telling me the Android app was available – finally!  Consider me un-excited…

Disclaimer:  I’m not going to engage in any iPhone vs Android discussion.  Android is better for me and my needs from a smartphone.  Some people swear by iPhones.  Regardless, both are valid options if you want the convenience of a smartphone.  Recognizing that many people have chosen Android, most companies develop apps for both types of phones.  Sephora is just behind the power curve. Way behind.  Onto the discussion about the actual app…

Lame:   This “app” is exactly the same as the mobile version of their website.  (I think it just links to their mobile site, actually.)  I’m not kidding.  There are zero differences – as far as I could tell.  So, why waste memory on my phone downloading the app?!?!

(actual images from my phone)

(actual images from my phone)

What the…?:  The iPhone version has actual features you’d expect from an app.   Example:  Promo code for free headphones with app download – which is advertised in the same e-mail I got telling me about the Android app but doesn’t show up on the Android app.  Also:  An option to receive notifications, leave app feedback, and a “contact us” feature.

(actual image from my daughter's iPhone)

(actual image from my daughter’s iPhone)

Insulting:  The impression I’m getting is that Sephora and/or its app developers don’t think Android users are tech-savvy enough to know how little effort they put into this “app”.

Long Story Short:  This is – by far – the most disappointing app I’ve ever downloaded.  I deleted it.  I can get as much convenience from “bookmarking” the Sephora website on my phone and navigating that way.  Here’s hoping Sephora makes an effort to create an actual app for Android users.

Thumbs-Down: Ulta Beauty Wedges

I must say that I’ve been using this product for quite a while now.  I’ve even recommended them.  The last time I reviewed them, they got 4.5 out of 5 stars.  I was running low on them recently, so I went to Ulta and picked up another package.  When I opened the package yesterday, I could tell they had changed…

Pros:  Made in USA.  Affordable. Latex-free.

Cons:  Formula has changed and they’re now more “spongy”, lightweight, and less durable.  Change in density causes “warping” of the sponge, making it harder to manage.

In Summary:  I no longer recommend this product.  The change to it results in more foundation (or other product) being absorbed into the sponge, which will end up costing you more money.  Maybe this was an intentional ploy by Ulta to try to get people to use more makeup.  Clever, but not cool.  (And annoying enough that I’ve left a negative review on the Ulta.com website!)  So, now I’m stuck with 95 more of these sponges.  They’ll probably end up in my crafting supplies like all the other beauty wedges I didn’t like…

Related Post:  Review of Up & Up Brand wedges:  http://wp.me/p1Z8Rq-54

Rating:  2 out of 5 stars  2-stars  (only because they’re made in USA)

Price:  $1.99 for 8 ct., $2.99 for 32ct., $6.99 for 96 ct.

Available at:  Ulta, Ulta.com

ulta beauty wedges