I appreciate what a beauty blending sponge can do. I am aware that professional makeup artists across the land are using this tool to create flawless looks on their clients. I know that the tool is like no other when it comes to blending makeup and getting rid of makeup lines or stripes.
I'm a professional makeup artist, but none of these facts are enough to make me jump on the blending sponge bandwagon. Here are a few reasons:
They need to be washed daily
Most wisdom suggests that you wash your sponge daily. I don't have time to wash my clothes or my hair every day. I don't even have time to make my bed or clean out my car or put my Winter boots away. To think of adding an item into my life that needs daily care is preposterous. I don't care how good I look when I use it — it's not happening. I am just not into having an extra task to manage.
Reusable sponges are notorious for trapping bacteria and mold when not kept clean. If I do not properly wash my blender, then I am taking a real risk that I will be swiping bacteria and mold all over my face. That's not a risk I am willing to take.
You have to replace them frequently
Beauty blending sponges should be replaced every three months. What?!
First of all, I have already established that neither I, nor anyone I know, will be washing their blender every day. Considering that I am a working makeup artist who would be using the sponge on many faces a day, I'd go through my blenders more than once every three months. I like my tools to last a cool decade or I am not interested. I have makeup brushes that are older than my middle schooler, and I call that a tool that worth investing in.
They are best for heavier makeup application
Most makeup artists I know and read about mention their love for blending sponges because they allow them to blend heavy foundations and concealers seamlessly into skin. With a blender, you can get really great coverage with thicker makeup, and it will look more natural and more like skin. This is a definite benefit, but I don't ever use very heavy makeup on myself or my clients. When I do use makeup with moderate or heavy coverage, I am quite successful applying it with foundation brushes. The brushes I choose to use are the best quality, and the hairs of the brush are packed so densely that the makeup almost looks airbrushed.
My favorite brush is the new IT Cosmetics Heavenly Skin Skin-Smoothing Complexion Brush #704 ($48). This brush is custom-cut on an angle to enable the user to get every inch of the face looking flawless and airbrushed.
I don't have time to tap and stipple and tap and stipple
The best technique when using a blending sponge is to use the tool wet and then tap, tap, tap the product all over the face. This "stippling" technique is a slow method of pressing the products instead of wiping, to allow it to melt into the skin. The product gets deposited while simultaneously being blended, which creates a very perfect look. Sadly, whether it's my face I am doing or yours, chances are I don't have this kind of time.
I feel confident that I can create a very flawless look with my trusty foundation brush, and I value my time and yours. I don't have many clients who are willing to sit and have me apply foundation for long periods of time. Personally, when I am applying my own face, I generally have no more than 15 minutes in the morning.
They need a special bag for storage and travel
No matter where I am going, I am running late when I leave the house. My countertop is littered with makeup brushes, eye shadow palettes, and eyeliners. Skin care bottles and hair oils and sprays are all missing caps, because they rolled away somewhere weeks ago and I was in too much of a rush to find them.
To think that now I am going to stop what I am doing and put my freshly cleaned beauty blending sponge into a little breathable pouch is downright hilarious.
The same goes for when I leave a client's house or a photo shoot after a long day. I am throwing out mascara wands and disposable sponges and throwing everything else I can find into my kit like a maniac so I can get to my next client.
Who needs one more thing that needs to be worried about and cleaned? While reusable sponges are an innovative tool for blending, they aren't a necessity that will make that much of a difference for most people. If you don't use one, rest easy: enjoy your finger or foundation brush and live happily ever after.