When I first noticed the original beauty blender by beautyblender, I was reluctant to even try it. I told myself there was no way I would spend $20 every few months for a sponge, so I continued using brushes to apply my foundation. After getting a free one through a Birchbox order, it was finally time to try it. Even then, I tried to convince myself it was nothing special. It took more foundation than I used with a brush, so it would add even more to my expenses over time. Then, it hit me. My skin looked better when I applied my foundation with a beautyblender. The brush usually left streaks when I used a paint brush style or accentuated dry patches on my skin when used a buffing style.
I resigned to paying extra for foundation and sponges to get the more airbrushed look I got with this sponge. One day, it hit me. My skin does not even need all the foundation a brush laid down. Since I was trying to duplicate the effect I got with the brush, I would go over my skin multiple times with the beautyblender. Suddenly, the problem of using more foundation got eliminated. Yes, the beautyblender absorbs more foundation than most of my brushes, but my brushes have a hard time laying down a sheer layer of coverage where the beautyblender excels.
With one problem solved, I set out on a mission to solve the other one. Just because beautyblender was the most popular makeup sponge, that did not make it the best. I wanted to try other ones to see if any compare. In my journey to review as many blender sponges as possible, I purchased a lot from many different brands. For those thinking, I could have bought a bunch of beautyblenders for what I spent on my experiment, you’re right. Where is the fun in that though? While I still have a lot of sponges to test, I wanted to write an article on the two I’ve found that are the closest so far.
Similarities and Differences Between beautyblender the original beautyblender vs the L’Oreal Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender vs the Flower Beauty Ultimate 3-in-1 Blending Sponge
The Flower Beauty Ultimate 3-in-1 Blending Sponge retails for $8.98 at Walmart. It retails for $10 if you buy it direct from the brand. Even if Walmart stops carrying this, you can get two of these sponges for the price of one beautyblender. This is the largest of the three sponges I am covering today. When this sponge is dry, it is a lot more dense than the beautyblender. Once it gets wet, it is the softest sponge I’ve tried so far. It gets about 50% bigger once it gets wet, which makes applying foundation a breeze. Applying concealer on spots or under the eyes is difficult with this, because it is just too big. For those who use a different tool for concealer, this is not a big deal. I like to use the same sponge I apply my foundation with to apply my concealer, so I do not reach for this as often as I reach for the other two. This does seem to soak up more foundation than a beautyblender but not by an overwhelming amount.
When it is wet, it is just a tad more porous than a beautyblender, and that can eat more product. That does not mean I am recommending using this dry. I have not tried it that way, but I can only assume most of the foundation would sit on the surface of the sponge resulting in the loss of even more foundation. For anyone who likes a super bouncy sponge and does not mind using a separate tool for concealer, I would recommend this one. The tip does have one flat side, which does help it reach some areas the round sides cannot hit. It gives the beautiful airbrushed look I expect from a sponge, which is the most important thing.
The L’Oreal Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender retails for $5.99 at Target. It retails for $7.99 at Ulta. There are times when you can use a coupon or purchase with BOGO offers at Ulta. This means you can pretty much get 3 of these for the price of one beautyblender. It is only a tad smaller than the Flower Sponge as they match up in height, but Flower is a bit thicker. When this sponge is dry, it is a little more dense than the beautyblender. Once it gets wet, it is almost as soft. It gets about 50% bigger once it gets wet, which makes applying foundation a breeze. Applying concealer on spots is easy with this, because it has a very pointy tip. Getting the inner corner of my eye is harder with this than with the beautyblender, but it is not impossible. This seems to soak up about the same amount of foundation as the beautyblender.
Overall, I think is the closest dupe I’ve found so far. Last winter, I could not stop using this sponge. Performance wise, it is as close as it gets. The shape of the beautyblender is just perfect for all my needs, so it remains my favorite. It gives the beautiful airbrushed look I expect from a sponge, which is the most important thing. I find myself reaching for this over the beautyblender at times, because I know replacing it is less of a blow to my wallet. If you are trying to find a dupe to the beautyblender, I highly suggest starting with this one.
The beautyblender the original beautyblender retails for $20. Ulta has at least 5 20% off prestige coupons a year, which will bring the cost down to $16. You can also find sets at time which give discounts for purchasing in bulk. This is the smallest of the three sponges. When this sponge is dry, it has the most bounce. Once it gets wet, it is about the same as the L’Oreal, but not as soft or bouncy as the Flower Beauty. It doubles in size once it gets wet, which makes it almost as big as the other two. Since it falls a little short of their size, it does take a little longer to apply foundation. Between the smaller size and tapered edge, I can use this anywhere on my face. It gets every nook and cranny making it the only tool I need for any cream or liquid I apply. As someone who washes her sponge after each use, I appreciate only using one per makeup application.
If I have to use two, I am only going to burn through sponges faster. Every time you wash them, they break down a little taking time from the life of the sponge. It gives the beautiful airbrushed look I expect from a sponge, which is the most important thing. I would never use anything else if this was more affordable. The markup on this is crazy, because it cannot cost that much to produce it.
Until I find something cheaper with a similar texture (like the L’Oreal) that easily lets me move all over my face (which the L’Oreal falls a little short with), I will keep buying the beautyblender. In other words, these are all good sponges. None of them are perfect dupes for each other though. I recommend all of them. If money is not an issue and you want one tool for liquids and creams that will do it all, grab the beautyblender. For those looking at the closest dupe to save money, grab the L’Oreal. Anyone who wants the softest, bounciest sponge should grab the Flower Beauty. Not all blender sponges are comparable to the original beauty blender, but these are wonderful choices.
Even Walmart thinks the Flower sponge is too good to pass up as evidenced by this email it sent me.
Have you tried the beautyblender the original beautyblender, the L’Oreal Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender, or the Flower Beauty Ultimate 3-in-1 Blending Sponge? What are your thoughts on them? Let me know below. See all dupe and product articles. Subscribe to the blog to get updates on all posts. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
Disclosure: Affiliate Links
I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (12 and 7) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 12-year-old to apply it.