Real Techniques Miracle Sculpting Sponge - review


This will be my first-ever review of a makeup sponge, because it's the first one I've ever used.

I know, I know - call me crazy, but I've never used a Beauty Blender or anything like it. Why? Because I'm a fingers-applier when it comes to base products and brushes never worked for me, plus I didn't like the idea of a tool that would soak up and waste product so I avoided them.

Has this product changed my mind? No. But I do see why people would prefer to use something that keeps their hands clean, so I understand that side of things.

This product came as a freebie with Priceline's Pink Diamond Rewards Program, and I chose it as one of my two items from the products available because I wanted to see what the makeup sponge fuss was about.

I've been using it for close to three months now, and while I've certainly found some uses for it, it's not something I need in my collection and I wouldn't buy one. More on that below.

Real Techniques claims/product details:

  • Dewy highlight + contour
  • Designed to help create shadows or highlight your favourite facial features
  • Small side for precision highlighting
  • Large side for controlled contouring
  • Six surfaces to complete your sculpt: two flat edges to apply; two rounded edges to blend; two tapered ends for precision application
  • Replace every 1-3 months
  • Latex-free
  • Use damp for a dewy glow or dry for a full coverage finish
  • RRP $16.99 AUD, but do shop around

Just so someone's said it (and I'm not the first person to have noted this), there's something pornographic about the shape of this thing. It's a little off-putting.

I'll leave that there.

And I'll leave this picture here:


I've found some uses for this product but it's not for me and I wouldn't buy it. Also note that I don't have any other makeup sponges to compare this to because I haven't used one before, so I can't rate this against other products for you: all I can do is comment on it.

It's a pink sponge with a pornographic shape and it swells (ha) on contact with water and becomes larger in size (double ha).

Do note that mine split the first time I used it (there's a big gash down the side), and I've seen from Real Techniques' website that this has happened to quite a few people. So I wouldn't buy this particular sponge but instead one of Real Techniques' other offerings: this one has broken for enough people that you've got a reasonable chance of this happening to you.

The first time I used it, I was amazed by the amount of product I lost to the sponge - and I therefore had to use twice the amount of foundation that I normally would. I've seen a lot of people comment on this aspect of sponges, and I can tell you that I wouldn't use one for that reason alone. It's such a waste. The only good news was that, at the time, I was panning a foundation I didn't like - so this product helped me pan it faster. Yay.

Let's talk about the finish this offers because everyone talks about the makeup sponge finish. Yes you get a natural finish, but to be honest, it looks exactly the same as the finish I get when I use my fingers. So if you're after a good finish but don't like sponges, then ditch the makeup brushes and consider just using your hands. There's a reason why plenty of people in the beauty community (including many makeup artists) won't use anything else.

I think the shape of this thing is good for getting into corners and I do like the smaller end for blending out my concealer after I've done most of the blending with my fingers (this helps avoid the sponge from sucking up too my product). It's also good for getting in around my nose.

While I haven't used it for contouring or highlighting, I have used it for foundation and I tend to use the entire thing for this, depending on what part of my face I'm working on. With this, too, I've found that if I apply my makeup with my hands and blend it out, only using the sponge as a final step to make sure I don't have any streaks, this avoids losing too much product. I can still use my hands for this step, though - I just do this with my palms, using soft patting motions all over my face - so I don't need a sponge for that purpose.

Overall I think this product is ok but the fact that it keeps breaking on people is concerning, so I would opt for a different sponge from the brand instead. In terms of effect, it doesn't give me a better finish than my fingers do (it looks the same) and my fingers don't waste product like this does, so I'll remain a fingers-applier from now on. Still, it's nice to have a sponge handy for those times when I'm working with a concealer or foundation that takes more effort to blend, so I'll use mine as a final perfecting step until it's dead.

Not for me.

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