Foundation is a key part of any makeup look I do, since I have a lot of redness and texture to cover up. For me, how you apply foundation is almost as important as the product itself, so a couple of years ago I switched from using brushes to a damp sponge. Brushes tend to give me an uneven finish, emphasising any texture and creating flaky micro-exfoliation on my forehead, so I’m hesitant to go back to them.
The only sponge I’ve tried so far is the ever-trusty Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. It’s always worked perfectly for me, with the flat edge that allows for easy all-over application and the pointed tip for getting into tough-to-blend places. It’s also incredibly affordable, £5.99 for a single sponge (and there’s some great multipack deals) – I can’t bring myself to spend £16 on a Beauty Blender, because I just know I’ll fall in love with it and have to keep repurchasing…
Ecotools is a brand that I’ve used for years, and they make some really great, affordable brushes (their basics set was all I had in my teenage years). Recently, the brand went through a bit of a redesign, refreshing their existing products and adding some new ones. Among those additions is this sponge duo, for blending out cream base products – after it launched in the US there was a load of online hype, so obviously I was sucked in and ended up counting the days until a UK launch. I finally managed to order the sponge from Superdrug (s/o to their free shipping!) after one sell-out and restock, paying the introductory price of £6.65 – it now retails for £9.99, more than the RT sponge, but less than the Beauty Blender. The packaging claims “50% better application than the leading prestige sponge” – I’m taking this to mean the Beauty Blender, which is an incredibly bold claim to make against a product that is so beloved in the beauty community.
The pack comes with two sponges – one larger teal-coloured sponge with a springier texture, for blending foundation out, and one smaller green sponge for use with concealers or cream blushers. The colour scheme here is very different to other sponges on the market, and very much in line with Ecotools’ new branding – cooler blue-green tones rather than oranges and pinks (it definitely stands out among its competitors. The shape and design are also unique – both sponges have the same shape, just in different sizes. The bottom of the sponge is rounded (like the Beauty Blender), for bouncing product onto the face. The top of the sponge has two flat sides, one with a larger flat area (I really don’t know how to describe this fully – luckily I took some pictures! Please excuse the gross foundation on the sponge). The flat edge is something I really loved about the RT sponge as you can get a full face of coverage quickly with a stippling motion, and it makes blending your nose crease (and other tough areas) a hell of a lot easier. So far, I’ve not used the smaller flat edge but I imagine it’d be useful for more detailed work.
The texture of this sponge does seem to differ to that of the Real Techniques sponge – I would say that it is more springy and squishy, and that the sponge material itself is softer with larger holes. This textural difference could probably be attributed to the material, which the brand refers to as EcoFoam – a sponge which is 70% plant-based (I think that’s pretty cool, actually). The smaller of the sponge duo has a much firmer texture, giving a stiff edge for more precise application of cream contour etc.
I’ve really enjoyed using this sponge, as I think it gives a beautiful finish with liquid foundations and doesn’t absorb too much of the product – it also works well for baking with loose powder and applying cream blush (I used the rounded end for that). I’ll continue to use the sponge until it gets to that gross/disgusting point where it just needs to go in the bin – as for repurchasing, I think I’ll get it again to use alongside the RT sponge. When it comes to comparing it to other sponges on the market, I think this is pretty much on par with the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge – both have very different shapes, so personal preference will play a large part in which sponge you might like. I will eventually give the Beauty Blender a try, so when I review that I’ll do a comparison between all three.
The EcoTools Perfecting Blender Duo is available to purchase here from Boots, and here from Superdrug, at £9.99 for the two sponges – keep an eye out for deals across the brand, as you might be able to get money off the sponge, or some extra brushes for a cheaper price.