This story goes like pretty much every story I tell — I was wandering through Kmart the other day, just browsing, not looking for anything in particular, trying my damn hardest to not buy those BYS Oval Brushes because $20 for a BYS product seems like BS to me but I’ll still curious — and then I found this. From the outside, packaging aside, this “makeup blender” looks strangely similar to a Beauty Blender, and considering it was only $3 it was definitely a better alternative to give in to given it’s competition was those brushes. This is described as a sponge which will allow you to blend your primer or foundation easily for a smooth and even look. It is made of latex free sponge, and according to the packaging, can be hand washed according to instructions on the care label. If you want to know where you can pick one up, they’re on the Kmart Australia website here or I’m sure there will be one in store in one of it’s many colours – I know the store nearest to me wasn’t lacking these sponges.
The comparative sponge which I’ll be holding this up to is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, which is a holy grail product as part as I’m concerned. I use it almost everyday, whether to blend out my foundation if I have a little more time, or to get my concealer into the corners of my eyes when I’m looking particularly tired — it’s one of those products that has held up to the harshest treatment, which is evident in the way I scrub them when cleaning them on my brush mat, and they’re still as wonderful as they were the day I got them – I know I was skeptical in that review, but considering I got two for $23.63 AUD it was pretty much one of the greatest investments I have made in a beauty tool to date, and I regret nothing. That being said, this little sponge has a lot to live up to given just how much I’ve come to love the Real Techniques ones!
Dry: In terms of size, it’s incredibly similar to the Real Techniques sponge, although they differ significantly in shape. This is very much that Beauty Blender type shape, rounded with a tapered point and considering I’ve really come to love the flat side I was initially wondering how this would go down. It’s also quite hard when dry, not rock hard by any means but it has an incredibly dense feeling about it. It’s also quite smooth, and there’s really not apparent texture which my Real Techniques sponges have acquired over time. Basically, this feels no different to any other sponge that I’ve tried or looked at. I tried to blend out a little of my favourite drugstore foundation, the Rimmel London Last Finish 25 Hour Foundation in 103 – True Ivory, and found that while it did blend, it tended to soak up more foundation than it blended, so it’s definitely not one to use dry from that little test!
Wet: Boy does this thing swell when you run it under water! But not in a good way, it holds the water in the weirdest kind of way which leaves you wringing water out of the sponge until it’s dry enough to use. What I also found weird, is that a soapy residue washed out of the sponge the first time I used it? It did wash away eventually, but that was definitely not the most pleasant thing to find — and I won’t be putting it near my face until it’s had a good scrub. So for the purpose of this review, I’ll be blending out on my hand. The other thing I noticed was that there’s a part on the lower half of the sponge right in the middle which stays dense and hard, no matter how much water you introduce and it tends to hold whatever shape you squish it into for a while, so there’s some serious functionality differences between this and the Real Techniques sponges already. While it didn’t absorb much of the product, and certainly blended a lot better than it did in its dry state but the finish was patchy and I kind of felt like I was pounding my face with a small rock – which isn’t saying much is it?
Cleaning: Needless to say, if the application didn’t impress me it completely ruined all hope for dupe status at this point. The sponge completely started to break up when I subjected it to the same cleansing methods that I use on my other sponges. Not massively, but it did crack and start to fall apart even before I scrubbed it against the mat, so if you do own this product and you’ve yet to clean it you may want to be a little cautious about the approach you take.
Overall, it’s not the dupe you might be hoping for – I certainly won’t be using it on a regular basis, it’s a kind of last resort product as far as I’m concerned, if not the kind of thing I will be culling come the next spring clean out. You might be wanting something cheap, but I do honestly believe you are getting a much better product for about $8 more in the Real Techniques sponges, you are paying for a quality, non-patchy finish and a sponge that does hold up to cleaning and reuse in the ways this Kmart sponge just can’t. And really for $3 you’re not paying for much are you? I will also say that the weird soapy residue freaked me out – it was likely just something used to ensure the cleanliness of the product prior to use but the fact that it was retained in the sponge is just another indication that this product is going to result in far to much retention of precious foundation and concealer in the sponge itself.
Have you tried the Kmart Makeup Blender Sponge? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,