Beauty can be a fun — no, an obsessive endeavor that usually begins as a modest interest and then blossoms into a full-fledged compulsion. We at The Makeup Blogger know this all too well. Whether we started out as dilettante beauty buffs or career makeup mavens, we’ve all done a few strange things in the name of beauty.
Lucky for us, there seems to be no shortage of bizarre things to try out in the makeup world. With that in mind, we’ve decided to venture off the beaten path and test out some offbeat beauty applicators to see if any of them stand up to the coveted beautyblender. The trusty hot-pink egg has gotten many of us out of some pretty difficult vanity woes. I mean, it’s ability to get product to seep in like second skin is remarkable. No doubt, it sets a high bar. That’s why we are giving the beautyblender a rating of 10, every other applicator will be evaluated accordingly.
As with any good experiment (thanks, Bill Nye), it’s critical to maintain a few constant variables in order to accurately acquire data. In this case, we’ll be using the same product — Marc Jacob’s Remarcable Foundation. We chose this product because it seamlessly provides full coverage, the kind that leaves you looking airbrushed. The formula is incredibly luxurious and feels surprisingly weightless considering the coverage it provides. It’s easy to blend and is the perfect product to use in this experiment.
Alright, put down that beautyblender. Let’s get weird.
Yes, we’re talking chicken cutlets here. As you may already know, the SiliSponge has been featured all over The ‘Gram and YouTube. Some experts swear that this transparent silicone applicator gives our beloved beautyblender a run for its money. We decided to go in a different direction by reaching into our brassieres (or lack thereof) and try silicone bra inserts. We jumped on Amazon and opted for the smaller ones meant only for nipple coverage. Most options are made from the same or similar materials as the SiliSponge and cost significantly cheaper, so why not?
Here are the highlights:
- Blendability: First, it’s streaky off the bat. Like the SiliSponge, the silicone bra insert does not absorb the product. It sort of spreads it around, but with a little bit of practice you can get some pretty good coverage. The key is to pat the foundation. After you’re done, simply wipe down the insert and you’re done.
- Shape: Depending on what kind of silicone insert you purchase, it’s generally difficult to hold. Because of its unusual shape, we found it pretty hard to get into the smaller crevices around the nose and eyes.
- Price: Obviously, at $10 for two silicone inserts, this is quite the steal. Not only is it priced lower than the beautyblender and SiliSponge, but you only need half the product for the same amount of coverage. Also, it’s a chicken cutlet! Wear it with your favorite strapless dress and then give yourself a quick touch-up. Done and done.
Conclusion: The silicone bra insert is totally affordable but doesn’t blend as well as other applicators. In all honesty, your fingers might work just as well if not better. If you have one at home already, give it a try. Otherwise, we found the silicone bra insert to be a bust.
NATURAL SEA SILK SPONGE – $12
This is our all-natural approach to alternative makeup applicators. Sea sponges live on the ocean floor and harvesting them is actually great for the environment. It helps them grow and maintain their population. So once again, we jumped on Amazon and purchased a dozen of them. Let’s see if these sponges can stay afloat when compared to the beautyblender.
Here are the highlights:
- All-Natural: Sea silk sponges are hypoallergenic, non-toxic, have no chemicals and contain enzymes that help prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. Not only that, they smells like the ocean, which is awesome.
- Blendability: First, we wet the sponge and applied the foundation directly onto the face. We then used the sponge to pat and blend, which at first looked uneven because of the texture of the sponge. The key is to keep blending. Its pliable structure made it incredibly easy to get into smaller areas.
- Price: We purchased a dozen sea silk sponges for $12. You can’t really beat that! Not only are they incredibly affordable, but they don’t absorb product like other beauty applicators can.
Conclusion: Not only do sea silk sponges keep you looking good, but they’re also good for the environment. Here’s a pro-tip: Be sure to choose a sponge with smaller pores so that it blends the product easier. At this incredible price point, you absolutely need to try this offbeat beauty applicator. Water you waiting for?
We were incredibly intrigued by this vibrating beauty applicator. Its claim to fame is a sonic-pulse technology that produces 250 taps per second. The innovative technique is meant to create a more even, airbrushed effect. With all the buzz out there on this vibrating applicator, we decided to take it for a spin.
Here are the highlights:
- Quality: The device is obviously larger than your typical beautyblender, but it comes with a lithium battery and universal sponge. Overall, it feels like a high-quality product. The sponge feels plush and effortlessly snaps onto the device.
- Blendability: We put a small amount of product on the device and turned it on. The applicator began to vibrate, but the sponge itself does not move. It perfectly blends the foundation across your skin, giving you a flawless appearance. Not only that, it was able to get into smaller areas without having to press harder. The vibrating sensation did tickle a little, but nothing outrageous.
- Price: At a much higher price point, we found this product to be incredibly effective but more novelty than anything else. It’s a premium product that delivers on everything it promises so it might be worth the splurge if you have the cash.
Conclusion: We see what all the buzz is about. It’s a great beauty applicator that leaves you looking flawless. In comparison to the beautyblender, it gives you that airbrushed effect in a matter of minutes. Go ahead, give it a whirl.
Makeup mavens have noted these brushes are the next generation of beauty applicators. Artis creates ultra modern brushes that feature curved handles, giving you more control. Unlike other brushes, their CosmeFibre filaments are not made of animal hair and are contour-shaped to flatter your face shape. Well, let’s brush up shall we?
Here are the highlights:
- Quality: In this case, you really get what you pay for. At the highest price point in this experiment, these brushes feel expensive. They are densely packed with ultra soft fibers that don’t drink up all your product. It’s seriously so buttery-soft you have to feel it to believe it.
- Blendability: We applied a small amount of foundation directly onto the face and used the Oval 6 brush in a circular motion. It blended the makeup so effortlessly we were slightly surprised. The set comes with five different brushes and they each do a marvelous job at what they’re made for. The brushes allow you to buff the products into your skin for a flawless effect.
- Luxe Factor: Seriously, these brushes are fancy. They look beautiful, feel luxurious and fulfill their purpose. If you’re looking to toss out all of your brushes and start anew, this might be the set to get.
Conclusion: This is luxury guys. The Oval 6 is an exceptionally versatile tool that seamlessly blends foundation, contour and blush. Of all the brushes in the set, this is the one to get (and at $57 a la carte, it is totally worth it). The Linear 1 is also perfect for brows — not a sharp Instagram brow, but a beautiful natural brow. If you’re willing to splurge, don’t brush these off the list.