Old sock trick to fix household mistake
It's the neon pink make-up accessory you can find in almost every make-up bag around the world.
But while we're all sold on how bloody brilliant a beautyblender is, did you know there are a whole lot of people using the tool completely wrong?
When using the make-up sponge correctly, we're meant to wet the teardrop-shaped sponge in warm water, squeeze out the excess moisture, then use it to "bounce" our base product onto our faces for a flawless finish - no Instagram filter required.
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Unlike dry sponges, when a beautyblender is damp it prevents the sponge from absorbing your product, such as foundation and concealer - instead sitting on the top to allow a soft, dewy finish when dabbed on your face.
It's clever technology - that also makes the sponge double in size when damp - is why it comes with the boujee price tag of $30, but we're not here to decipher if it's worth the moolah (it totally is btw).
We're here because many users refuse to, or don't realise they should be wetting their tool - instead using it bone dry and missing out on its unique abilities.
Since its release so many people have used it incorrectly the brand's founder Rea Ann Silva has taken action, releasing the beautyblender Shadshifter Wave (available at Sephora).
Adorned with the words "wet me" and featuring a nifty heat-activated colour change, switching from lilac to aqua when wet with warm water, the limited-edition sponge is specifically designed to remind us to use the tool "properly".
But while ensuring customers use their clever make-up sponges the right way, the kind folk at beautyblender told The Beauty Diary that not wetting it also created another gross problem.
"The biggest concern is definitely be cleanliness. We recommend cleaning the sponge daily in order to really ensure you're getting the best results from your blender," the brand said.
"More than anything, we want to make sure people are getting the best use out of their sponge as possible and using it wet is the best way to achieve that airbrushed finish."
It's a concern that's shared by experts too, with a 2019 study revealing that these common make-up tools are actually contaminated with harmful superbugs.
The research, published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, tested 467 lipsticks, lip glosses, eyeliners, mascaras and beautyblender.
All them contained an alarming amount of staphylococcus bacteria, a type of germ that can cause deadly infections, with an eye-watering 72 per cent of beautyblenders testing positive.
Luckily, the sponges are super easy to clean using special cleansers. My fave is the Solid Cleanser, which costs $25 in Sephora, and is super easy to use. I literally soak it in a bowl of warm water and then rub the cleanser on the sponge until it foams. Then I massage the sponge in my hands, squeezing out the water until it runs clear.
Watching the foundation coloured water coming out of the sponge is a strange feeling, a mix of disgust mixed with a sprinkling of fascination as afterwards, my beautyblender looks as good as new.
However, you don't have to spend big to get yours clean and free from all that icky product build up.
An influencer in the UK known as Mrs Hinch who is known for keeping her home incredibly clean raved about a budget way of cleaning her make-up sponges just last month.
The trick involves using an old sock, stuffing your dirty Beautyblenders (or any sort of make-up sponge) inside and sealing in with a hairband, before chucking them in the washing machine.
Sharing a video with her 3.1 million followers, Mrs Hinch popped four of her filthy beauty blenders in with a dark wash and saw them come out squeaky clean.
"I'm impressed," she wrote, alongside before-and-after photos.
Of course, there are some people who insist on using their blenders dry, and that's okay. Just don't forget to wash that baby between applications. And if you're still not sold on the cost of a beautyblender, here are some other make-up sponges that work (almost) as well.
JUNO MICROFIBRE VELVET SPONGE
Available at Mecca
If you're looking for a beautyblender at the fraction of the cost, this is as good as it gets. This microfibre sponge is designed to be used wet too and applies with a lovely soft finish. It also has tapered edges for those who like to contour, as well as a rounded side - offering a bit more versatility. I'm not as into the material, the microfibre feels a little scratchy, which to me feels almost like felt and definitely not as soft as a foam beautyblender but it does apply very smoothly. It's price point is really great.
REAL TECHNIQUES MIRACLE COMPLEXION SPONGE
Available at Priceline
Another great option is this baby, but unlike the Juno and beautyblender sponges - this is designed to be used either wet or dry. When used dry, you get quite a matte finish with your foundation rather than a soft, natural look. It also has the tapered edge, which I do like, as it's great for buffing out without having to switch tools. It's definitely more delicate than a beautyblender too - mine ripped when it got caught in the zip of my make-up bag, something that has never happened with my beautyblender.
This column is not advertorial content. Every review is independent, honest and ad free.
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