Make-up sponges were apparently first used around the 1920’s when Max Factor introduced the iconic Pancake makeup, however in the twenty odd years I’ve been working as Make-up Artist, they have evolved considerably.
The sponges I originally used are something I’m sure are familiar to all of us; simple white triangular shaped wedges which, (depending on how much you were prepared to pay) would last a good few make-ups or simply disintegrate on first use!
In recent years make-up sponges have moved on. Properly the most recognisable (and possibly best loved – certainly amongst pro Make-up Artists) of this new generation of sponges (or blenders as they are known as) is the Beauty Blender, a bright pink, teardrop-shaped hydrophilic sponge (hydrophilic means it’s designed to absorb water).
From the egg to the tapered to the flat edge, over the past couple of years there have been a whole heap of new shapes, styles and brands appearing on the market. There are myriad to choose from. One thing they all have in common is the material they are made from.
Usually make-up sponges are made from polyurethane or latex however the clever bods at Ecotools have created an alternative: Ecofoam®. Using sugar cane and other renewable plant-based materials Ecofoam is made up of 71% plant-based material!
This is the first sponge of it’s kind. Despite washing and re-using make-up sponges (which in principle sounds ecologically sound enough) will inevitably end up in landfill and pretty much taking lifeline to breakdown. Whilst they are not yet 100% plant-based, they are still a significant improvement on the majority of sponges available on the market today.
The Ecotools Perfecting Blender Duo (£9.99) were added to my kit shortly after their UK release. The duo consists of two sponges of differing sizes and densities: the Large Base Blender (the dark green one) is the softer, more flexible of the two and is designed to give light, buildable coverage. It’s smaller sibling The Mini Detail Blender (the light green one) is firmer and gives more precise coverage.
The sponges are shaped to meet different needs: the flat surface is to apply product on large surface areas; the round base to seamlessly blend lines and the wedge-like tip to guide precise straight lines. The Duo can be used wet or dry (squeeze out excess water if using wet!).
The Perfecting Cushion Blender (£4.30) is a more recent addition. A bottom heavy hour glass shape ( for want of a better description), the cushion blender is designed to be used dry, with the larger end for covering larger areas (such as cheeks and forehead) and the smaller being for areas which require extra coverage
The sponges feel quite firm and textured when they are dry, but as soon as they are wet (for the duo at least), they swell up considerably and really feel a lot nicer to the touch. They do wash easily (I use a little brush shampoo or Dr bronner’s liquid soap) and can reused time and time again!
By the way, the idea of is to Pounce (a blend of pressing and bouncing) the sponge over the skin not rub or smear ;)
Are you a fan of the make-up sponge?
Images: LJS – OMUA