Drugstore Dupes to the Test: Beautyblender vs. Pro Beauty Makeup Sponge
I have been procrastinating on buying a beautyblender, the beloved makeup sponge that has been embraced by various beauty bloggers. “But it’s the bestest way to apply your foundation!” the internet pleaded. Shuddup, internet. I have fingers, and they’re free.
But the allure finally caught up with me. “Why would people be buying a $20 sponge if it wasn’t magic?”, I justified to myself.
At $19.95 for a single sponge, beautyblenders are pricey. As a result of their popularity, there have been a huge number of dupes. I decided to investigate if this extra fancy sponge performed better than its cheaper doppelgangers. For a comparison, I used the Wistonia Pro Beauty Water Droplet Puff, which retails for $3.83, less than a fifth of the cost of the beautyblender.
Visually, the two are very similar. The real beauty blender is a bit more pointed, a bit more vibrantly colored, and a bit smaller. However, the real morphological difference isn’t visual. The knockoff is incredibly dense and much rougher. The difference is stark; it’s comparable to the difference between homemade and store-bought gnocchi. One is pillow-soft, light, and fluffy, the other is heavy and massed. There is no way that they would get mixed up.
How they look dry (BeautyBlender on the left, ProBeauty on the right)
Beautyblenders are meant to be used wet. When you soak it in water, the sponge (quickly!) expands substantially. Even after you squeeze out the excess, it ends up 1.5 to two times its original size. The Pro Beauty sponge just gets weird and wrinkly when wet, unless you allow it to soak for a significant period of time.
I have used both of these products a few times now. The beautyblender is not as magical as I might have hoped. I love the shape, since it lets me doodle around my nose without being awkward and weird. It creates a beautiful, natural-looking finish, but it sheers out my makeup substantially. Given that my goal is usually to have foundation as thick as house paint, this doesn’t work as well for me as it might for ladies with naturally lovely skin. Additionally, if you are already using a relatively sheer foundation, I speculate that you will pretty much lose coverage entirely. Using the beautyblender, I have to do put a lot of additional effort into covering my blemishes.
The Pro Beauty dupe doesn’t sheer out my makeup as much as the beautyblender, but it also doesn’t create the same gorgeous, natural glow. It looks comparable to the look I get from brushes. It also feels rough on my face.
Both sponges got awkwardly stained by my makeup.
Overall, I have to conclude that the Pro Beauty sponge is not an adequate dupe for the beautyblender because it does not create the natural, glowing finish that beautyblender devotees strive for. I would strongly recommend the beautyblender to anyone with skin that already looks rather nice. That being said, the Pro Beauty sponge might be a good, inexpensive option for someone who doesn’t have brushes and wants to try out a more elegant method of application.