The battle of the the applicators…



Some say a standard foundation brush, others swear by just using their fingers and then we have the two which are probably the most talked about; the beauty blender/miracle sponge and the stippling brush. These two are definitely my favourite tools. But which one is best?

Real Techniques Miracle Sponge

Buy it here – £5.99

SO many of my friends have told me that they haven’t got on with using this type of applicator. Before you even try this sponge, you need to make sure you are using it in the most effective way. It is pretty obvious to anybody interested in make-up, that this is basically a dupe of the Beauty Blender which has become a craze recently. As it is a dupe, although the description of the product doesn’t explicitly tell you to, it is best to use this product wet to get the best results. In my opinion, using it dry is not going to have the same effect. The sponge will just absorb the liquid foundation from your skin and leave a not so sexy residue behind. Therefore, you need to wet the sponge with water; but make sure you squeeze out the excess water also (I find that having a ‘damp’ sponge gives the best results).

To apply the foundation to your skin and get the most out of the applicator you need to stipple in the same way you would if you were using a stippling brush. By this, I mean you have to make gentle dabbing motions onto your skin in order to apply the foundation. Smearing it all over will not have the same effect! The dabbing motion allows you to blend the foundation as well as creating the coverage from your foundation – it is the ultimate ‘your skin but better’ applicator; and that is exactly why I love it. The shape of the Real Techniques Miracle sponge also means that you can reach difficult areas (such as the sides of your nose) which may be more difficult to reach with a brush. As well as this, I find that I do not use half as much foundation when using this method. Below is a picture of my skin after applying foundation with the miracle sponge:

Beauty Bel

As you can see from above, it left me with hardly any residue of foundation – it allowed it to blend into my skin without losing coverage.

Stippling Brush

There are so many different types of stippling brushes out there. I have tried ones from Jemma Kid and Real Techniques (both available at Boots) but the MAC 187 Duo Fibre Brush is by far my favourite.

Buy it here – £34.50

The application of the foundation works in the same way as the sponge, you ‘stipple’ the foundation on my using small strokes/dabbing motions, rather than just pushing the foundation around your skin. Because of the way the bristles are designed, it becomes extremely easy to build your coverage gradually until you have the desired outcome. Just like the Miracle Sponge, there is no denying that this applicator can leave you with a flawless finish.

Here is my base after using the stippling brush to apply the foundation:


Although I do love using this applicator, what is extremely obvious in the photo above compared to when I used the sponge is the amount of foundation left as residue on my skin (it looks like oil in the photo). I spent the same time blending and applying the foundation as I did with the miracle complexion sponge, but the result in my opinion, isn’t as flawless.

So the conclusion?

You won’t be disappointed if you purchase either products. The stippling brush requires more elbow grease if you want a flawless finish. I would definitely have to go back in and blend further with either my fingers or with another brush to be completely happy with the finish. The miracle sponge on the other hand required hardly any work to blend the foundation. However, although the beauty blender may require less blending, the whole pre-application effort of wetting the sponge, rinsing it out etc can become a bit of a hassle if you are not near a sink/tap and you want the effective finish. To make your life easier, it may be worth keeping a trigger spray bottle of water by your dressing table.

I do think though that it is worth the effort. So in terms of finish (and definitely price at five times cheaper!) Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge definitely wins!




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