The big debate every makeup-wearer faces: Beauty Blender, or makeup brush? For years, I have always been true to the humble brush for applying foundation, but recently, I have succumbed to the flawless application of the beauty blender. Here, I have drawn up a list of the pros and cons of each product to inform your all-important decision.
When it comes to foundation brushes, there’s an enormous spectrum to choose from. I’ve tried many throughout the years, flitting between the full-coverage buffing Kabuki brush and the lightweight stippling brush- yes, I didn’t realise they actually had names until now either! The Kabuki brush gives a flawless, even finish and is ideal for a full-coverage look. The new Iconic London HD blend base set are a Kabuki brush revelation, providing a naturally light, blended look, only using the tiniest amount of product. If, like me, you find your brushes absorbing all your foundation and concealer, then I really recommend investing in a set of good quality Kabuki brushes like these.
One of my makeup bag essentials has always been the flat foundation paintbrush with its tapered edges; this brush allows for perfect coverage, and its thin curves let you get into those difficult areas around the contours of your face. But the classic paintbrush is not always seamless, often leaving streaks and needing to be buffed out with a Kabuki brush.
Brushes are useful and essential tools for any makeup lover’s collection, especially when they can come in pretty colours and soft feathery textures. However, brushes are also particularly expensive, and often need regularly replaced, furthermore, there is so many to choose from that we often find ourselves feeling as if we are not using them correctly.
This brings me to the Beauty Blender. Created in 2007 by Rea Ann Silva, the Beauty Blender marked a new beauty venture. This little egg-shaped sponge is the ultimate tool for any High Definition look. The instructions highly recommend wetting the sponge before use to get the most out of your make up; the unique logic is that soaking the blender before use means there won’t be enough room for the sponge to absorb all your product.
Unlike brushes, the Beauty Blender works by patting product into your skin in a dappling motion, it’s so easy to use and you don’t even need to worry about going in the wrong direction like many makeup brush horror stories have told you over the years. The brand advocates a “wet, squeeze, bounce” method for perfect, airbrushed results. Although I absolutely love this product, I also can’t help but feel as if I’m literally pushing and patting product into my pores, more so than when swiping a brush over them. For this reason, I prefer to use my Beauty Blender on nights out and special occasions than every day wear, in order to avoid spot breakouts.
Furthermore, it’s important to bear in mind that the Beauty Blender is not really designed to be a makeup applicator, but more of a blending tool. Many foundation tutorials will teach you to apply the product with a brush, and then to buff and bounce it out with the Beauty Blender.
The original Beauty Blender is priced highly at £17 on Cult Beauty and Beauty Bay and should usually be replaced every 3 months! The good news is that you can usually find cheaper alternatives; my favourite is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (£5.99 in Boots), but Primark also offer their own range costing less than £1!
My verdict: if you want the best finish for your foundation then I definitely recommend investing in a Beauty Blender, as you won’t get quite the same finish with just a brush. But, after weighing both products against each other, they come out at a pretty similar score, which is why I suggest the combination method, using both brush application and Beauty Blender buffing.