For years I bypassed the sponges hung amidst other makeup tools in Superdrug, thinking them a messy and outdated form of application. I never quite got to grips with what a piece of cheap sponge could offer that a finger or brush couldn’t – but with the rise of the ‘blenders’ and a YouTube generation to explain how to use them, sponges have evolved from a cheap and cheerful tool into a crafted and genuinely useful addition. Over the last year I’ve become a little bit obsessed with blending sponges, reaching for them more and more to help perfect my base and apply creamy formulas for a super smooth finish. The iconic Beauty Blender may be a firm favourite of the blogging community, but there are more and more brands popping up to steal their thunder while offering a more targeted solution; one of those is Barely Cosmetics. Their three piece beauty sponge collection offers up a slightly different and more integrated way of applying makeup, together taking you right through from your foundation to the final step of contouring with ease. If you’ve ever wondered why you may need more than one sponge, here’s the reason these three little tools are shaking things up and will undoubtedly become a staple in your regime if you give them a go.
1. Barely Cosmetics: Prep, Blot & Blend Sponge (£6.00)
Designed to help create a perfect looking complexion canvas, this can be used to apply everything from your moisuriser and eye cream, to primers and concealers. You may question my sanity at recommending you apply skincare with a sponge, but it helps ensure you don’t over apply and that makeup sits in place with ease. Use dry or damp, tapping in products into skin to aid absorption, while the little reservoir at the tip helps product to stay put while you pat. I also really like this for applying under-eye concealer and blending it into my foundation to remove any creasing; the softness of the sponge and the gentle angle of the tip help to smooth over fine lines and create a much more ‘wide awake’ look.
2. Barely Cosmetics: Definer Sponge Soft (£9.99)
The ultimate aid when it comes to applying liquid or cream base products, the double ended sponge helps to softly buff product into skin precisely and comfortably. Unlike the traditional Beauty Blender which can be too clunky and heavy, the precise angles of the tips ensure it’s easy to get into every contour of the face (the main reason sponges were poo-poohed in the past). Perfect for liquid foundations, concealers and even cream blushers, this universal sponge is also dense enough to not absorb the majority of product as you blend – bonus. I have to admit I’ve dumped other sponges in favour of this one and may have to stock up on a few more.
3. Barely Cosmetics: Definer Sponge Hard (£9.99)
A multipurpose make-up tool for creating definition,
highlighting and contouring the face, Barely Cosmetics also say it’s great for perfecting eyeliner, brow, eyeshadow and lipstick shapes – although the jury is still out on that one for me! The exact same shape as the Definer Sponge Soft, the only difference is the density and strength of the sponge. A little too hard for base products, this is a great tool to help finish your look and work with creamy textures that brushes may leave bristle marks within. I love it for applying a creamy blusher, liquid bronzer or highlighter stick – or if you’re a contouring pro, the defined angle of the tip makes it a fab tool for creating a Kardashian cheekbone. Although this is definitely the ‘optional extra’ of the three, it’s great to have tools that add real benefit to a regime while pushing the boundaries of what we thought possible.
Do you use sponges to apply your makeup, or do you stick with brushes or fingers? Would you ever invest in a trio of sponge-based tools to help create a flawless base?
The Barely Cosmetics sponges are available from BeautyMart, priced £6.00-£9.99 each.
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