Whenever I have my make-up done professionally I always pay very careful attention to the techniques and tools they use, so I can recreate the look at home.
There are so many pro products out there that promise to give us that salon quality blowdry/manicure/makeover at home, one such pro tool which has been receiving a lot of press lately is beauty blender, the first ever edgeless make up sponge.
In a room surrounded by professional make up artists at the Covent Garden Hotel, beauty blender founder Rea Ann Silva gave a make-up demonstration on two models and explained the ideas behind the different tools she uses as a make-up artist on TV shows such as the X Factor. Let me share with you what I found out…
Meet the sponges! The pink sponge on the left is the original beauty blender sponge, all the sponges are handmade in the US so each one varies in shape and texture. The green sponge is the mirco-mini which is tiny and is used for areas such as around the eye, for a more precise application of foundation or concealer.
The black sponge is the pro tool, Rea Ann told us it’s black for three reasons; one because black is the colour make-up artists wear all the time, two because products that stain such as fake tan won’t show up on it, and three because men loved the original pink sponge but wanted something a little less girly to have hanging around their bathroom, and so put in a polite request to Ms Silva!
The white sponge is designed for applying skin care such as creams and serums and because it has no dye in it like the other sponges, the material is a bit softer and so can be used on sensitive skin or after an operation.
P.S. If you’re a pro, there’s also a ‘red carpet’ sponge which can be used for celebrity make-up at award shows.
How to use
It’s as simple as wet, squeeze, bounce. The beauty blender is used WET and don’t let anyone tell you any different, I’ve heard it from the founder herself! First you dip the sponge in water and it will expand, then you squeeze off the excess, dip it in your foundation/cream blusher/face cream/concealer/highlighter/or even loose powder (!) and bounce it off the face to apply.
The sponges should be cleaned regularly to avoid build up and Rea Ann says she throws away her sponges after about 3 months, but for those of us who aren’t applying make-up to celebrity faces every day, they should last a bit longer.
There are two products for cleaning the sponges first is the blender cleanser which is a liquid soap which you can add to a bowl of water, put the sponges in and leave to soak, and it also cleans make-up brushes.
The solid soap is good for cleaning one sponge at a time, just dip the soap in water and rub the sponge over the surface, then rinse. Make sure you leave the sponges to dry if you’re not using them immediately after washing, as you don’t want anything nasty to grow in the wet sponge in your make up bag. Eww.
I have had *so* much fun pretending to be a professional make-up artist getting ready for work in the mornings with my surface pro. Rea Ann uses a different palette per client or character on a TV show and uses a sharpie to write their name on it.
Each dimple can house a different product from foundations to lipsticks and if you mix two different colours it’s easy to keep a sample of it in this palette.
If you take off the lid there is a hole for your thumb and you can use it like an artist’s pallete when applying your make up or someone else’s, because it is transparent it’s useful for colour matching as well.
Meet the beauty blender airport bag, a breathable pouch with magnetic fastening for make-up artists to clip to their belt loop. The bag is designed as a holding/carrying place for a sponge or two when they are not in use so it doesn’t get lost or mixed up with someone else’s.
What I love about all these beauty blender tools is that they have been tried and tested in the most intensive and professional environments (i.e. backstage at a live TV show) so whatever you are using these tools for you know they will work.
Behind the scenes
The beauty blender demonstration took place on the lower ground floor of the Covent Garden Hotel by Rea Ann Silva herself who you can see on the left with one of the models she used who is sitting down.
The different sponges were on display in jars, you can see how small the micro mini sponge (green) is compared to the original pink sponge. On the right is Rea Ann’s demonstration set up and an information board about the unique beauty blender material.
I’ve also listed some of the best beauty blender reviews I’ve found online if you want to see it in action, and I promise not to write a blog post this long again *books hand massage*:
Makeup 101: Beauty Blender by CoffeeBreakWithDani
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge vs. Beauty Blender by KathleenLights
*NEW* Beauty Blender Micro Mini by The1nonlymaria