Swan Blueberries Blender

November 19, 2017
When it comes to (makeup) sponges, everyone has their own preference. Some exclusively buy from higher-end brands while others stick to ones with more budget-friendly prices. There are those who prefer firmer sponges, and those who like them ultra soft and plush. Whichever you prefer, as long as it works for you, then blend away!

Personally, I have two favorite sponges. The original Beauty Blender and the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. Both work perfectly for me, and my skin type, and they're the easiest ones to use. Of course, I'm still open to trying sponges from other brands, especially if they're more affordable which is why I recently picked up this Blueberries Blender (Php 99.75) sponge from Swan.

For the unaware, Swan is a local Philippine manufacturer that's been making cosmetic puffs and sponges since 1958. Your grandma or older, female relatives will most likely be familiar with them!

Aside from its classic designs, Swan has a total of four other 'fruit-themed' sponges and a standard egg-shaped sponge. The former come in different shapes and colors, but I chose the Blueberries variant because it appears to be the easiest to hold and control, and I liked that it had a flat bit like my Miracle Complexion sponge.

True enough, the narrow middle and bulbous end does make this easier to grip compared to say, an egg-shaped sponge. Unlike the Real Techniques sponge, the flat part of this is much bigger so you'll ideally get a wider coverage area, so to speak. Alas, those are the only features of the sponge I actually like.

First of all, the sponge is pretty firm. It doesn't get that much softer after I dampen it either. It also doesn't expand that much after soaking it. If it does, the change is slight. Since it's more firm than what I'm used to, I have to be a little more gentle when using it. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I don't want to have to be that conscious of how much pressure I'm using when I'm just trying to blend my base, particularly if I'm in a hurry. Speaking of blending, its performance is pretty sub-par whether I'm using a liquid/cream foundation or concealer. No matter what side or end of the sponge I use, my makeup tends to go on patchy and blending to achieve that natural finish ends up being tiring and frustrating. I'll let the pictures below make it clearer for you guys...

To mimic human skin (pores and all), I used an orange and applied my Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation on it using my RT sponge and again with the Blueberries Blender. You can see that with this sponge, there are areas without any actual foundation since it applied so patchily whereas with the RT sponge, the application is even and smooth. The 'pores' are also more visible when I used this sponge compared to the RT one. The second pic shows how the 'pores' are minimized in appearance, so you get more coverage from your makeup of choice. Oh, and I've noticed that the Blueberries Blender soaks up quite a bit of whatever liquid makeup you're using which results in the uneven application.

Strangely though, I find this sponge works best with cushion makeup and that's what it's been delegated to for now - my cushion sponge. When used directly with a cushion, it seems to pick up just the right amount of product and transfer (most of) it onto my skin. Blending from there is more effortless too.

The price of this may be a fraction of both the Beauty Blender and RT sponge, but from my experience, you're better off investing in any of the sponges from Beauty Blender or RT. They're popular for a reason after all, which is that they perform amazingly, no matter your skin type, skin condition, or what kind of makeup you'll be using with them. My Beauty Blender and RT sponges only need replacing every 1-2 years so in the end, you're shelling out money for products that'll go a long, long way. There are certain beauty tools that are worth spending a little extra on and a good sponge is one of them.