My beloved Priceline had one of their famous free postage and double sister point promotions on ANZAC Day only. So, as any normal person would, I took advantage of their generosity.
$80 and two weeks later, I arrived home from work to my glorious haul waiting for me. The thing I was most excited about receiving, was the Manicare Precision Blending Sponge.
I've heard great things about the famous Beauty Blender, and was contemplating whether to get one or not. It, at the time, was not available in Australia and if I were to buy one overseas, it would have set me back $40-$50 AUD, and I just couldn't justify that. So when I came across this look-alike for only $8, I HAD to give it a try..
I've been using this for about a month and so far, I like it. You can use it wet or dry, but I prefer using it damp; not because I prefer a sheerer coverage, I actually like full coverage, but because I feel it disperses foundation/concealer way more evenly that when dry, and because the sponge itself is quite porous, it sucks up a lot of your product. I literally use twice the amount of foundation I usually would, which is a huge downside for me. Using it wet minimises this as much as it can and the finish of the foundation isn't at all dry, or cakey as it can be with a brush.
The egg shape of the sponge is great! The narrow tip makes it easy to blend around the nose/eyes and the round base is great for larger areas on the face. I wouldn't say it applies my foundation "flawlessly", but I quite like the finish it gives. In terms of how it goes in application, it takes a while - longer than it would using a brush and I have to use twice the amount of product I usually would. I think there are a few reasons for this. Because I'm using the sponge damp, the foundation is sheered out slightly so it's best to squeeze out and dry as much of the water as possible. I also feel as though the sponge is a tad too firm, especially when dry, which could be a contributing factor when it comes to blending quickly. So yes, it does require patience to blend and apply the foundation, but the result is definitely worth it. Where a brush simply buffs the product over the skin, a damp sponge really blends and melds the product into the skin without any streaking.
Overall, I've enjoyed using this for applying my foundation because of the lovely finish it eventually gives when wet. However, I didn't like using it dry. At all. I just felt it was too firm and a lot of my product went to waste. I guess I would say I was pleased with the results this little purple sponge gave me and for an $8 purchase, it does a fairly decent job.
It's a nifty cheaper alternative with a great shape, but is this a miracle dupe for the real thing? Online reviews and my own personal experience with the Manicare sponge, unfortunately say not. I'll definitely be giving the proper Beauty Blender a try if it promises better results as it's now available here in Australia.