` We think this £5.99 sponge is better than the Beautyblender| Powder
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Make-Up Notes
Is there a rival to the Beautyblender?
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There have been two time periods in this world - before Beautyblender, and after. It seems like everyone has chosen the little egg-shaped sponge as their weapon of choice for concealing, blending and contouring.

But as great as they are, £16 for what is, at the end of the day, just a sponge, is fairly pricy for something that you ought to replace frequently. If you buy one of these every three months, that’s £64 a year.

To see if you can save a bit of dollar, I’ve tested it against the equally popular, and over half the price, Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. Just call me the Money Saving Expert of beauty.

The best make-up sponge

Blow-the-budget buy: The Original Beautyblender, £16

The shape: Teardrop with a pointed tip. It’s quite diddly, but if you wet it, it swells to double the size.

The texture: Very soft and has more of a perforated, holey texture. This makes it especially good at seamlessly working foundation, concealer or liquid colour in for a flawless result, but it will gobble up your foundation if you use it to apply it. It's latex-free, non-irritating and non-allergenic.

Versatility: The pointed tip is really handy for the inner corners of the eyes, while the bottom of the sponge is great for buffing in liquid foundations. The sides can then be used for liquid blusher or bronzers.

Bargain buy: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge, £5.99

The shape: The tip isn’t quite as long as the BB, but this one is cut diagonally on one side to reveal a flat edge. It’s a good size and actually grows when it gets damp.

The texture: It’s got a smooth texture, that’s quite firm, which makes it quite hardwearing and doesn’t drink up all of your foundation. It’s also latex-free and easy to clean.

Versatility: Thanks to the flat edge, it’s very practical for blending large areas or quickly diffusing foundation on your face. The pointed end is a bit big for the inner corners, but it’s still effective around the eye area.

The verdict:

Call me controversial, but I prefer the Real Techniques sponge by miles. The shape is less fiddly to hold, it’s bigger and the flat edge makes buffing in foundation SO much easier. The tip could be a little more pointed at the other end for inner corner work, but it still does the job.  And at £5.99, it also makes me feel less guilty about replacing them so often. Move over Beautyblender, there’s a new sponge in town.

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