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How To Use a Beautyblender

Backstage at Dior Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear.
Photo: James Cochrane

Since its launch ten years ago, the cult-favorite Beautyblender has gone on to become a fixture in every beauty lover’s makeup bag. Initially, founder Rea Ann Silva’s primary intention was merely to create sponges for herself and her close friends. We spoke to the California native, who built an entire empire out of the hot pink cushion, and to Hollywood’s most-trusted makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, to teach us how to use the Beautyblender like a pro.

Wet Not Dry
“The way it was created to be used is wet,” Silva explains, noting that she borrowed the concept of the Beautyblender from an old foundation application technique of wetting a makeup sponge to activate your product. However, you don’t want the tool to be dripping wet. “Run it under the tap for a few seconds, then squeeze out excess moisture until it’s damp,” the makeup artist suggests. “Using it dry absorbs the product into the sponge rather than adhering it to your skin.” If you were to cut a Beautyblender in half, you wouldn’t find any product in the core; a damp Beautyblender acts as a cushion for your makeup.

You Knead a Beautyblender
“Use the larger end to bounce it on your skin, pressing lightly on the surface,” says Silva. This allows it to compress into your dermis, creating a flawless, streak-free finish, whether you’re using foundation, tinted moisturizer or cream blush. “I actually knead the Beautyblender,” adds Dedivanovic, likening his blending technique to “making bread.” “The rolling deposits the makeup on the skin and blends it at the same time, so you get a flawless, second-skin finish.” For hard to reach areas, such as the inner corner of the eyes or nose, either use the pointed end or reach for the miniature version of the tool.

Clean it Regularly
“For clean makeup application, make sure that you clean your Beautyblender regularly and replace it every three months,” says Silva. Unlike a typical makeup brush, a Beautyblender should be cleaned after every use. You can run it underneath lukewarm water, or use the Beautyblender Solid Makeup Cleanser (which comes in a jumbo-size now, too), specifically designed to remove excess product and germs from your sponge.

How to Store It
Because it’s damp, a Beautyblender can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Rather than toss it into your makeup bag, Silva suggests to use the plastic cylinder packaging it comes in, as a “drying station.”

More Than Just Foundation
The multi-tasking tool seriously streamlines your makeup bag. “The Beautyblender takes the place of three or four brushes,” notes Silva. “You can use it to apply pressed powder, cream eyeshadow, or even blush and lipstick,” Dedivanovic adds.

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