A problem we’ve had since the very creation of makeup brushes is that we lose product in them before the brush even touches our face. Not only is this super wasteful, but as a college student, it also means we are essentially throwing away some of the money we spent on that fancy foundation.
The solution? A tool that can’t absorb any product. (Aka your whole bottle of foundation is actually usable.) Enter the silicone sponge! These clear, jelly-like tools claim to use less product, save you money, are easy to clean, and more hygienic that your traditional makeup brush. (Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Do we have a revolutionary new replacement for the beauty blender on our hands? Where do I sign up?)
I knew it was taking my Instagram feed by storm—but would it also take up prime real estate in my makeup bag? I decided to see if this product actually lived up to the hype. Here are my first impressions of the clear, non-spongy little makeup gizmo.
SiliSponges are originally sold by a Japanese retailer, but are now available almost everywhere, including Amazon. They seemed super gimmicky at first, but I was excited nonetheless! If my face could end up even half as smooth as the picture online, it’d be a new favorite. (Photo via monavy.com)
As I awaited my package, I watched demo videos that made me super skeptical, despite all of the raving reviews. I wondered: “How is applying makeup with such a small, smooth object any different from squirting foundation onto a butter knife and slathering it across my face? Isn’t silicone supposed to be cloudy white color? What is actually inside of that thing? I’ve never been very gentle with my beauty blender— what if I pop it…” Oh, my package is here already! (Thanks, two-day shipping.)
Applying makeup with the SiliSponge for the first time, I did not like the way it felt at all. Using the applicator felt like applying foundation with someone else’s fingertips; super weird! (I kid you not, that is the most accurate way to describe the feeling.)
The applicator can’t quite pick up foundation from one part of the face to be dabbed elsewhere the way an actual sponge can. With that being said, part of my cheek (which had undergone the first slather of makeup) suffered some serious product buildup. After trying every directional movement possible to blend my foundation out, I did eventually achieve an even finish! Circular motions with the occasional dab does the trick, but takes much longer than brush application. I would also recommend smoothing everything over with a brush or makeup wedge afterwards to get a better finish (“Well then what is the point of the…“ I know. I know.)
Photo via The Beauty Junkie
It actually took more foundation than usual to cover my entire face, but that was only the case with matte liquid makeup (which dries very quickly on the skin). Needless to say, that “airbrush finish” I was supposed to experience was a no-go. Fellow Style Gurus have said they’ve attempted to apply eyeshadow, blush, and even contour products with this apparatus, but quickly admitted that the final results hadn’t even come close to their usual standards.
Photo via @nicole.hhcheong
Before moving on to the next step of my routine, I removed the patchwork of this buzz product, and started again, with my trusty little beauty blender. Fashionistas, this trend is definitely one you can pass on. Save your money for whatever the beauty world is raving about next week!