Worth it? COLOR ME Automatic Foundation Applicator

I was alerted to the Color Me Automatic Foundation Applicator thanks to an email from Ulta last week.

COLOR ME Automatic Foundation Applicator
COLOR ME Automatic Foundation Applicator

Electronics? Makeup? Color me curious.

The Color Me Automatic Foundation Applicator, which is exclusive to Ulta, is a powered, pulsing sponge applicator that is supposed to speed up application time for liquid, cream, and powder foundations. as well as give you:

…A smooth, almost retouched look.

The results are extraordinary: In a clinical study, most women reported cutting application time in half – and 70% of women reported an immediate improvement in makeup evenness.

I’d really like to know the application method of the women who reported the reduction in application time – how were they applying? Fingers? Disposable wedge sponges? Flat foundation brushes? If so, sure – it is likely that it sped things up for those users. None of those methods are particularly speedy or result in a smooth, even application if you’re trying to get it done quickly.

The $54 vibrating sponge applicator is powered by a CR2032 battery – something you’d find in car key fobs and garage-door openers. The Color Me Automatic Foundation Applicator uses disposable sponge tips that should be replaced at least every seven uses – and are $9 for a pack of two.

Abridged instructions: Dot foundation on your face. Turn contraption on, use it to smear the dotted foundation around. Supposedly the vibration cuts application time. As both a flat-top kabuki and beautyblender fan, I sincerely doubt this would speed up my application or blending over those two methods.

The verdict, based on what I’ve read? The $54 Color Me Automatic Foundation Applicator gadget (plus $9 for refill sponges!) is gimmicky and not worth it. Consider $54 for the device, plus $18 per month for refills assuming you replaced the sponge once per week. That’s $234 per year in sponge refills, not to mention the veritable pain in the ass that is likely changing the CR2032, which aren’t always easy to find (and aren’t cheap either, for being basically a watch battery). I will not be purchasing this one to investigate further, unfortunately.

You could get a good brush for under $25 and, as long as you cleaned it properly, it would last for years. If you wanted to go the beautyblender route, sure they’re like $20 retail (but you can find the legit ones for less than retail!), but even with regular use you’d only have to replace it every 6 months (again, with proper care). Either of these options is more cost-effective and results in less stuff being thrown away. It has good reviews, but you also have to consider the type of user – maybe they aren’t skilled with application to begin with and don’t care to learn those skills, maybe they were using antiquated application methods – since I am neither of those people, it isn’t worthwhile for me. The Color Me Automatic Foundation Applicator is not the first applicator of its kind, but I feel similarly about all of them.

Would you consider purchasing a powered foundation applicator?