Although the Real Techniques brand was launched back in 2011, the past few years have seen its popularity grow beyond belief. Created by Sam and Nic Chapman of Pixiwoo fame, I first stumbled across their products when I started watching the likes of Zoella and Tanya Burr’s makeup tutorials on YouTube. Fitting, since Tanya is now the sister-in-law of the Chapman girls!
So many of the products used in tutorials nowadays are high-end, and therefore a bit on the pricey side – so when I had a look at the Real Techniques brushes online, I was amazed by how affordable they were. I was in dire need of a new powder brush, so I gave them a try. Soon after, I picked up the blush brush, and the eyeshadow brushes… Now, I’m the proud owner of most of the Real Techniques collection!
There’s one applicator, however, that I’ve been a bit apprehensive about trying. So many people, friends, bloggers and vloggers alike, have been raving about the Miracle Complexion Sponge. How it leaves their foundation looking flawless and freshly applied all day. How it’s so much quicker and easier than using a brush.
Now, when I think of foundation sponges, I’m transported back to age 13 with those horrific triangular sponges that absorbed all of my Rimmel Stay Matte foundation before it even made it onto my face. Probably for the best, really – most foundations back then were somewhat orange in colour! Nevertheless, you can understand my apprehension about trying another sponge. It was bad enough when your foundation cost you most of your pocket money; now that I’ve upgraded to one at £24 a bottle, I’d rather not waste any product!
Deep down, I knew that thousands of makeup enthusiasts couldn’t be wrong – so I caved and, around 6 weeks ago, decided to give the Miracle Complexion Sponge a try. However, not before I watched about half a dozen tutorials!
It turns out that, according to YouTube, there’s no right or wrong way to use the sponge. For a liquid foundation, it’s recommended that the sponge is damp prior to using it. Some vloggers apply the foundation from the bottle straight onto the sponge; some apply it to their hand then pick up product as you would with a brush. Others dot the foundation around their face then use the sponge to blend, and this is the method I tried. The most popular method of blending is to use patting/pressing motions all over the face; this helps to set the product in place as opposed to rubbing it off!
The sponge has 3 different surfaces, which all offer different benefits. The flat edge of the sponge makes it easy to get product into tricky areas such as around the nose; the curved area covers large areas of the face really quickly; and the pointed tip is ideal for applying product on blemishes. I find the pointed tip is handy in terms of the under-eye area, too!
So, that’s how I’ve been using it – but would I recommend it?
The sponge is a welcome alternative to foundation brushes – I’m a big fan of the Real Techniques buffing brush, and I’ve recently also picked up the stippling brush, but sometimes using brushes can feel a bit time-consuming. It did take me a couple of attempts to get used to the sponge – but I feel as though I have a more even coverage after one layer of foundation. I don’t really like layering my makeup too much – but the sponge makes my makeup look a little more natural. Sometimes using brushes can make your skin feel a little ‘painted on’ you know?
The one drawback with the Miracle Complexion Sponge is its shelf life – it’s recommended that you replace your sponge every 3 months. Although they’re not expensive, it can be a pain to constantly have to replace it; luckily, Real Techniques have recognised this, and have started selling multipacks!
I do still use my makeup brushes – I’m quite proud of my little collection! But in terms of speed and ease of use, the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge comes out on top.
Have any of you used this sponge? I’d love to know what you thought of it! J