Sunday, 15 June 2014

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (Beauty Blender Dupe?)

Recently I come across the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge which is supposedly a similar cheaper dupe to the Beauty Blender. This sponge can be found in your local drugstore Superdrug/Boots and costs around £5.99 which is much cheaper than the beauty blender which costs around £16. The first thing I noticed about this sponge was that it was created by the lovely Sam and Nic Chapman of Pixiwoo on YouTube who I absolutely love watching. I also noticed on the back of the packaging that they offer online tutorials which they have on the sponge and how to properly use it.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
Sam & Nic of Pixiwoo
Video Review of Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

When you open the packaging you notice the small orange sponge that is around the size of an egg, and even looks very similar to an egg in shape. One side of the sponge is pointy which is great for using it under your eyes patting in concealer or other small nooks such as the sides of your nose, and the other side is actually a flat groove cut out of the sponge which is great for patting in foundation to the face. The packaging states that you can use the sponge wet or dry with liquid foundation, but I have tried it both ways and wetting the sponge correctly makes a huge difference.  The ‘dry’ sponge is quite hard and not very flexible when you squeeze it in your hand. If you try patting your foundation in with the sponge while it is dry you will notice that it does not bounce easily off your face but feels very hard with no flexibility. I would highly recommend wetting the sponge for use with liquid foundation!

Flat edge on the Right, pointed edge on the Left
One problem I had when first using the sponge wet was I did not wet it properly and again it was very hard. To properly wet the sponge you should hold the sponge under the water in the palm of your hand. While under the water keep squeezing the sponge in the palm of your hand and releasing. Repeat this around 5 times and the sponge should be thoroughly wet. If you only hold the sponge under the water without squeezing it, the sponge will remain hard and not absorb the water. Once you have the sponge wet you need to squeeze the sponge in your hand NOT under the water and release the remaining water in the sponge. Keep repeating this until the sponge is not releasing any more water when you squeeze.

Step 1: Hold sponge under water in the palm of your hand
Step 2: Squeeze sponge in palm of hand over and over (around 5 times)
Step 3: Take sponge out of water and keep squeezing out excess liquid until no liquid comes out when you squeeze
Once you have properly wet the sponge you will notice that the sponge increases in size dramatically. It will almost double in size which is very noticeable when setting it in the clear holder. This is great because you can cover more surface area of your face when patting in your foundation or concealer. It also prevents the sponge from soaking up excess amounts of foundation such as a normal sponge would, because it is already expanded with water. The sponge texture when wet is very similar to a normal sponge in that it is very squishy and when you press this into your face it springs back. This makes it very easy to press in your foundation all over your skin by bouncing the sponge on your face over and over.

Dry Sponge size
Wet Sponge size
Using a sponge to press in your foundation is great for those of us with very dry flaky skin. I personally have very dry skin and I had always used my ELF Powder Brush to buff in my foundation and was always left with little flaky bits of skin that would rub off. Using a brush on dry skin actually exfoliates your skin by removing the dead skin cells on your face. This results in your foundation looking very dry and you will have little flakes of skin everywhere on your face. This will not happen with the Real Techniques Miracle Sponge because you are litereally pressing the foundation into your skin instead of buffing it in as you would with a brush.

The only thing I would also suggest is not applying your foundation straight to the sponge and applying it on the face. I find that I get a much more even coverage by applying a thick layer of foundation over my face with a foundation brush (flat almost looks like a paint brush) and then pushing the product into my skin using the sponge. This allows your foundation to be very smooth and you will have the same coverage over your entire face without looking splotchy. I also used this technique in my 3 Minute Makeup Challenge YouTube video if you would like to see a live demonstration of how to apply foundation using the Real Techniques Sponge.

Step 1: Apply thick layer of foundation with foundation brush
Step 2: Press the foundation into the skin with the flat side of sponge
Step 3: Press the concealer into the skin with the pointed side of sponge
The box recommends washing the sponge every 1-3 uses but I think ti is very easy to wash the sponge with every use which will get rid of the bacteria living on the sponge. Before you wet the sponge just apply a little baby shampoo or soap to your hand and then wet the sponge. Rub the sponge in your hand and massage it into the sponge and then ring the sponge under the water until no more suds come out. You will notice that the sponge stains a little on the top and this is unavoidable so it is something you just need to deal with.

Foundation staining on the flat side of sponge
Overall I think this sponge is great and I would highly recommend this to anyone with dry skin who notices very flaky foundation when they use a normal buffing brush to blend in your makeup. This will work on all skin types but will make such a huge difference on dry skin. The price is so much cheaper than the beauty blender and I think it performs great at applying foundation as well as concealer. The shape of the sponge with the tip and flat edge are great at dealing with certain areas of the face and it gives a lovely finish to the foundation. Have you used the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge? What are your thoughts on it and if not, what do you use to blend in your foundation? Please leave your answers in the comments below because I would love to hear them!


  1. ever since i got my RT sponge i haven't used any of my foundation brushes..but i am still curious on tryin' the beauty blender..although i have noticed most of the beauty bloggers that have tried both actually prefer the RT the way i wash my sponge by rubbing it on soap and no stain is left..

    1. I haven't used any of my foundation brushes since I have bought it, apart from the flat foundation brush which I use to just apply the layer of foundation before pressing it in! I have also heard many bloggers that have both sponges prefer the RT one, so I think I will just stick to this one.

      What type of soap do you use to clean it? I have been using baby shampoo to clean it and the makeup just wont come off. I wonder though if it is because I used the sponge dry the first time so it probably soaked up a ton of the foundation? I use L'Oreal True Match Foundation which do you use?

  2. Great review, I love this sponge too! I think it is fabulous. I do really like using it wet but I like using it dry as well. I did find it hard at first but after a while the sponge really softens!

    Laura xxx

    1. Thanks, I would love to know your process on using the sponge dry :) Do you apply the foundation directly to the sponge or do you apply the foundation to your face and press it in with the sponge when its dry? Also do you only do that with foundation or do you use concealer/powder etc while it is also dry? I would love to hear your responses because sometimes it is just not suitable to get the sponge wet and it can be an inconvenience so knowing how to use it dry would be a great alternative.

  3. I really want to try this. I've heard amazing things about it and i love the Beauty Blender dupes! I use them all the time :)
    xprincessjas | xxx

    1. I think they are great and honestly I think they work really great so I don't think I will try the beauty blender any time soon!