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Is a $70 Sonic Makeup Sponge Better Than Your Fingertips?
We tested this in the name of our pores.
I have been a longtime subscriber to the “use your hands” rule when it comes to makeup application. I mean, I’ll use an angled eyeliner brush to blend in my eyeliner and a mascara wand to throw on mascara—I’m not a barbarian—but for foundation, concealer, highlighter and blush, I simply prefer using my hands.
This is mostly because it allows me to better feel my skin’s nuances, including little dry patches, bumps, or oil zones. Also, I feel like it’s easier to keep the application process more sanitary. Have you seen what the inside of a makeup sponge can look like? That is the stuff of a germaphobe nightmare fuel, right there.
Admittedly, makeup application by way of your hands isn’t fool proof. For starters, foundation and BB creams have a tendency to sit on top of the skin unless you blend extraordinarily well. Also, in my experience, you aren’t able to build coverage as easily, or as seamlessly, since product tends to stick to your fingertips. It's doable, just not easy.
Enter Beauty Blenders, the Artis Oval Brushes, Airbrushes, and an assortment of other alternative foundation applicators. I’ve tried all the above – and each has its merit. But, I wanted to try something that was a little off the cuff: a sonic makeup brush.
Color Me Pro Edition Applicator was invented by a professional makeup artist, is a number one seller at Sephora Asia, and will run you $68 plus the cost of new sponges once a month (about $12). It promises a flawless, “poreless” finish that lasts for eight hours, and I decided to put their bold claims to the test.
To use the product, you must first prep the brush with a layer of foundation. Next, you apply a second pump of foundation and then turn the applicator on. It vibrates quickly by way of an "isolated, sonic tapping that allows women to tap on their foundation and powder just like the professionals do."
The application process is really quite simple: simply dab and gently sweep the brush across your face. The brush is very soft and delicate, and does an excellent job of absorbing just enough product while leaving a layer of even coverage behind. I liked the teardrop shape of the brush, which allows you to proficently maneuver under your eyes, around your hairline, and around your nose.
It took me about three to four minutes to apply foundation to my entire face, and the finish was definitely different from a finger-application. For starters, it leaves behind a much thicker layer of makeup. While this created a comparitavely more even and "flawless" finish, the downside is that the makeup felt heavier sitting on my face. That said, I liked that I was able to build more coverage on some problem areas, and the makeup did last a good four to six hours in the Phoenix heat.
Did the product deliver in terms of a poreless finish, though? The answer is no. My pores are run-of-the-mill in size, and they were definitely still visible afterward. Honestly, though, unless Photoshop is involved, your pores aren't going anywhere. I wish companies would stop making this claim, because it's unrealistic and leads to disappointment!
Before and After:
I also wanted to test how blush, bronzer, and highlighter performed on top of the foundation. I found that it applied evenly and easily, and I pleased with the end result:
Bottom line: I still prefer my hands for everyday foundation application. Even if it does take a bit longer to blend everything in using my fingertips, I like the light coverage it produces. That said, I do like the results that the Color Me sonic applicator provides, but feel it's not ideal (for me) for everyday usage. I do think it'd be perfect for weddings, special ocassions, and formal events, though, especially if it's somewhere a lot of photographs will be taken.