A couple weeks ago, I wrote that the Real Techniques Sponge had gone on sale at drugstore.com. I’m not sure whether or not it is still on sale there, but just like any drugstore, their sales rotate. If it isn’t on sale there, you can try other resellers of Real Techniques products.
I received the Real Techniques Sponge pretty quickly and was anxious to see how it compared to my tried-and-true classic beautyblender sponge.
Look & Feel
One end of the Real Techniques Sponge features a tapered, pointed tip but that’s where the shape-similarities end. Instead of widening out to an egg-like end, it does widen through the center a bit and then tapers back out, with one side being cut into a flat edge. The Pixiwoo ladies say this is to facilitate application around the contours of the nose and eye areas.
Upon removing the Real Techniques Sponge from its packaging, I immediately noticed that it is firmer than the beautyblender.
Sizing it Up
Here’s a size comparison to my beautyblender:
beautyblender.PRO compared to the Real Techniques Sponge
The texture, differs, as well. Once wet, the Real Techniques Sponge didn’t feel as smooth as the beautyblender, but it is hard to judge without actually using it for application.
Below, the Real Techniques Sponge has been saturated with water. You can see how much larger it is than its dry state in contrast to its packaging:
I went about applying my Ponds Luminous Finish BB+ Cream the way I usually do: dispensing some on the back of my hand, then dotted it on my face with a clean finger. I then stippled the product into my skin with the broad, rounded sides of the sponge, and used the flat side around my nose and eyes. The texture discrepancy I noted before? More noticeable on my face than in my hands. Compared to the beautyblender, the Real Techniques Sponge almost feels rough. It is NOT rough, it isn’t uncomfortable…but the difference is detectable.
After the product I had placed on my face could no longer be spread, I needed to apply more even though I used my usual amount. This means this sponge absorbs more than my beautyblender (and my Bundle Monster sponges). In short, the Real Techniques sponge absorbs a lot of product, in comparison.
I repeated this test with a liquid foundation, too, rather than a cream. For this test, I used L’Oreal True Match in a shade too dark for me and experienced the same sort of results – very sheer application, requiring more product than I usually use.
Also – here’s a quick (no photo) comparison to the Bundle Monster sponges I reviewed a while back – the Real Techniques Sponge is not as firm as the Bundle Monster Sponges. Size-wise, it is longer pre- and post-wet. The Bundle Monster sponge feels more ‘bouncy,’ when using it to stipple and does a great job with my Ponds BB+ Cream (it is actually my preferred applicator for it), but like I mentioned in this review – the Real Techniques Sponge still absorbs more product and has a rougher texture.
The Bottom Line
For what it is, the Real Techniques Sponge isn’t bad, especially if you can get it for $4.79. It’s a great way to explore sponges of this nature without committing to a full-priced beautyblender or to multiple Bundle Monster sponges. That said, I wouldn’t say it is a be-all-end-all, and I definitely wouldn’t call it a beautyblender, “dupe.” It does feel like a lower-quality material but you need to decide for yourself what is more important – feel, cost, or product needed?
Have you tried the Real Techniques Sponge?