Over the past few months I have only been using Real Techniques brushes. Samantha and Nicola launched the Real Techniques brush collection in 2011 and, since then, they have grown so, so much. Although they are a drugstore brand (who are 100% cruelty-free, by the way!), I would consider Real Techniques to be one of the leading brands when it comes to makeup brushes (but that’s just my unprofessional opinion). In fact, I haven’t actually bothered much with buying any other brand of brushes (kind of) because RT already offers excellent quality brushes at a semi-affordable price. However, not only do they manufacture their wonderful brushes, they also have a range of makeup sponges! I have never owned or used an original BeautyBlender before, but I have heard wonderful things about them. Apparently they are the best makeup sponges on the market, but they come attached to a hefty price tag (R400+). The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge appears to be modeled after the famous, bright pink BeautyBlender with a slight difference- it has a flat surface. It is also much, much cheaper. I cannot tell you if the Miracle Complexion Sponge is an exact dupe of the original BeautyBlender, but I can tell you if it is worth buying.
Here’s what Real Techniques has to say about their latex-free Miracle Complexion Sponge:
This versatile beauty tool was designed with a revolutionary foam technology to evenly blend makeup for a smooth, enhanced finish. Use damp for a dewy glow or dry for a full coverage.
The Miracle Complexion Sponge can be used in three ways. The rounded side is ideal for blending large areas of one’s face, the tip is best for concealing any imperfections, and the flat edge can be used to contour around one’s nose and eyes. I initially used the round side for the large areas of my face, but lately I have been using the flat edge for that instead. I have found that it speeds up the process of blending my foundation into my skin. There are probably many different ways to apply foundation onto one’s face, but I use my finger to swipe foundation across certain sections of my face and continue to blend it in with this sponge. I also use the tip to get into all of the little nooks and crannies (well, my inner eye area, under my eyes and around my nose) and apply concealer. To be honest, I don’t like using this for concealer. I don’t know if it is because of the quality of my concealer (I am currently using the the new Essence Camouflage concealer), but it doesn’t do much when it comes to covering up imperfections.
Important to note: this can be used dry or damp, but I prefer to use it damp. I run it under a tap before use and it expands beautifully (as you can see in the picture above). I have noticed that it never returns back to its original size after it has been dampened- is that just me? It also becomes significantly softer when damp as opposed to when it is dry, so my head doesn’t sound hollow when dabbing the sponge on my face. RT recommends using the sponge dry for full coverage and damp for a dewy glow, although I do imagine that using the sponge dry will require so much more product as opposed to using it damp. I really, really, really can’t stand wearing too much foundation, so what I really like about this sponge is that it gives my face a lovely, natural, almost airbrushed look when used damp, and I don’t have to use a significantly large amount of product to cover my face.
Prior to purchasing the Miracle Complexion Sponge, I religiously used my Real Techniques Buffing Brush from the Core Collection Brush Set. It is a beautiful brush, but I didn’t like the fact that it made the foundation look streaky, uneven and noticeable. I prefer a natural look and therefore use very little foundation to achieve that look, so the Miracle Complexion Sponge has been an absolute game-changer for me. According to RT, each sponge needs to be replaced every 1-3 months and, unlike the original BeautyBlender, it can be washed using shampoo and warm water. I am very fond of my Miracle Complexion Sponge and don’t find the need to spend a large amount of money on a BeautyBlender (although I absolutely would love to try it). This is definitely my go-to “tool” for foundation!
Lately, Takealot has been having some incredible specials on both Real Techniques brushes and sponges. My aim was to get a few discounted RT makeup brushes (I am after the pink Stippling Brush and the orange Expert Face Brush), but I came across a bulk pack of sponges instead. It contains exactly four identical Miracle Complexion Sponges that go for about R130 each. This pack goes for about R400 on Takealot, but I got it on special for exactly R199 (yes, that’s four sponges for less than the price of two)! I have seen this special come and go over the past few months, so you can check back every other day if you want to grab these on special (which I recommend you do).