A Sponge for Highlighter and Bronzer Application?!

Saturday, 3 March 2018

A Sponge for Highlighter and Bronzer Application?!

About a month ago I was doing my usual stroll through Boots when I remembered I had to pick up a new makeup sponge because I accidentally ripped mine. It turns out all Real Techniques sponges were around £5 in Boots as they had an amazing special offer on. So I opted to pick up myself the original, orange, miracle complexion one and test out the pink, miracle finish sponge. The miracle finish sponge is for applying blusher, but since I am not a huge blusher fan I decided I'd test out how well this sponge works with highlight and liquid bronzer. Since I am a huge fan of the original sponge, I switch between using that and my Magnitone BlendUp, I had high expectations for this sponge and hoped it would give me the same airbrushed finish that the original does. 

On first inspection, the thing that I noticed is this one is slightly smaller than the original, not by much, but there is definitely a size difference. Secondly, they do not feel the same at all, while the orange sponge is smooth, soft and squishy, the pink version is rougher, almost scratchy, especially if you use the sponge dry, but I prefer to dampen it, just like I do my original sponge. When you dampen the sponge it softens it up a little and expands it, but again, it isn't as large as the original when it is dampened. Of course, the change is size is not something that bothers me, in fact, I prefer that this one is slightly smaller, it is much easier to apply a simple, dewy, natural highlight with it, plus it blends liquid bronzer much more precisely than the original. The porous texture of the sponge definitely means this one is a total no-go for applying foundation, but it is perfect for having a much lighter, more natural finish, which is exactly what I look for in my daily highlight and bronzer application. 

I usually apply my highlighter with a fan brush to get that perfect, natural and dewy look, so I was a little apprehensive about using the sponge first time around, I was worried it would apply patchy. I was so very wrong, a powder highlight applies incredibly smooth with this sponge, I use the same bouncing motion, with the side of the sponge, to apply the highlight as I do when I apply my foundation with the original Real Technique sponge. Doing this applies a light glow to your skin and it is definitely buildable using this sponge. I simply tab the sponge into the highlight into the product and tap it onto my cheekbones, nose and under my brows. Not only does the sponge apply it super smoothly, creating a gorgeous dewy look but a lot of highlights can be used both wet and dry and using them wet usually intensifies the pigmentation and since the sponge is damp it can intensify the pigment for a much brighter, brighter and glowy highlight look, think glazed donut. My favourite highlighter to apply with this sponge is Kat Von D's Metal Crush eyeshadow in Thunderstruck which I use as a highlight almost daily. 

A Sponge for Highlighter and Bronzer Application?!
Top; applied with the sponge, bottom; applied with fan brush. 

You would think the best consistency for this sponge would be a liquid highlight, but I'm not really a big fan of liquid highlights, I have found it incredibly difficult to find one that works well with my skin. I have had a play around with Benefit's High Beam using this sponge and although it's not a highlight I wear that often I do think the sponge works incredibly with it. I use the little brush to apply the product to my skin before patting it into place with the sponge. With the liquid product, you do have to be a little more careful, sometimes liquid highlight can appear less natural, the product can look much more streaky and visible on the skin than that of a powder, but doing slight circular motions with the sponge can prevent this from happening. I do prefer the finish of a powder, especially when it comes to using this sponge, which is actually quite surprising considering the best consistency of bronzer to apply with this sponge is liquid and not powder.

A Sponge for Highlighter and Bronzer Application?!
Top; Dew The Hoola liquid bronzer, Bottom; Hoola powder. Both applied with the sponge. 

I love to use Benefit's Hoola, it is one of the only bronzers I have ever used and I have been using it religiously for about 5 years now, so of course, I was tempted when they expanded the range. I picked up their Dew The Hoola a while back and have found it hard to use it as I am so used to the powder consistency of a bronzer and I never want to overdo it and look silly. This sponge is the perfect tool for applying liquid bronzer. What I do is use the edge of the round, flat side of the sponge and carefully almost draw a short, light line under my cheekbone, I then use the same bouncing technique as before to blend it out and create a flawless, natural contour look. I have quite prominent cheekbones already so I don't have to use a lot of product while doing this, but I have built upon the contour using this sponge and it is incredibly simple and easy to do and it never leaves me looking patchy, muddy or overdone like I worried it would. The same cannot be said for using this sponge with powder bronzer, it just doesn't work, I have tried a few times and have always ended up looking muddy, I do think this may be down to the powder consistency of most bronzers which do not work wet, unlike highlights. 

I have been using this sponge to apply both my highlight and bronzer for a few weeks now and have received so many compliments, from questions about my highlight to compliments on my chiselled cheekbones. I think this sponge is perfect for that natural look and despite it being created with the intention of applying blusher it is such a wonderful multi-use product. I haven't tried it with blusher, as sadly I am not a big fan of blush, but I am sure it works just as perfectly as it does with both highlight and bronzer, however, I'd be very interested in how it would go with a cream blush as I'm intimidated with that already. I still revert back to my brushes every now and then, but for a natural, everyday look I find myself reaching for this sponge much more than I thought. The dark pink shade does make it harder to spot how dirty it is getting compared to the orange original, but I try to wash mine once a week and it seems to wash very easily. Maybe it is the type of products I use with it, or how porous it is, but I actually don't have to spend as much time cleaning it as I do the original, despite using the original much less. 
A Sponge for Highlighter and Bronzer Application?!

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What do you use to apply your highlight and bronzer? Would you ever try a sponge? Tell me in the comments below.

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