REVIEW: Real Techniques Miracle Sculpting Sponge

If you’re a fan of all things beauty or have recently walked down the beauty tools aisle in Boots, you would have noticed that the gorgeous Pixiwoo girls have released some new miracle sponges as part of their collection. Regular readers to StephiSays, will know I’m already a massive fan of their Miracle Complexion Sponge (the orange one!), so when I knew they were bringing out three new types of sponges, I got really excited!

Added to their Real Techniques collection now is; the Diamond Sponge (as part of the bold metal range), mini easer sponges and a sculpting sponge. The first new sponge I wanted to try was the Sculpting Sponge because I liked the unusual shape with different sides and edges to do different jobs in applying  my make-up.

This little pink sponge claims to be one tool with 6 uses; a large rounded side to blend, a large flat edge to apply contour, small flat edge to apply highlight, a small rounded side to also blend along with a large and small tip for different areas of your face. And I love it! It really does have the perfect shapes and edges to reach those hard to reach places. I love it mainly for blending in my concealer under my eyes and around my nose, but I’ve also tested in applying cream contour too and it’s great!

A word of warning however, is just be careful when washing this sponge. Due to the unusual shape, it’s quite weak in the middle/thinnest part of the sponge. I usually wash my makeup blenders with baby shampoo under running water and whilst I was in a rush I did accidently tear my sponge. Just something to be aware of, because I’m already on my second sculpting sponge. But yes, it’s that good that I repurchase another one after my little accident. I just can’t wait to try the rest of the new sponges!

Have you tried the new Real Techniques Miracle Sculpting Sponge? Have you tried any of the other new miracle sponges?

Top 5 Beauty Tools

IMG_0077(Starting with the orange sponge, going anti-clockwise:  Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, Cotton Buds, MAC Eyelash Curlers, MAC 217 and Real Technique Contour brush)

Generally, you can’t use makeup without the beauty tools, so today I thought I would share with you my top 5 beauty tools –

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge – I’ve recently spoken about the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, so I won’t go into too much detail on how these sponges work but check out my ‘Battle of the Beauty Blenders’ to find out more.  I’ve only been using beauty blenders for the past couple of years, and I now struggle to live without them – my favourite being the Real Technique’s sponge. They are great for either applying foundation or just bouncing over the skin to give you a more flawless look. I just find my foundation doesn’t quite sit right without using one.

Cotton Buds – The most simple/cheapest tool in my makeup bag but I wouldn’t be without cotton buds! They come in useful for soooo many things; cleaning up mascara or eyeliner mistakes, soaked in nail polish remover can help neaten the edges of your manicure and even holding as a straight line to draw on your winged eyeliner or contour. The possibilities are endless…!

MAC Eyelash Curlers  – My lashes are so straight and stubborn, so I cannot live without my eyelash curlers. I’ve tried and tested a lot of different curlers in my time and my two favourite brands for eyelash curlers are MAC and Shu Uemura.  Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers are amazing but often a little harder to find, which is why I generally opt for the MAC eyelash curlers plus these are a little cheaper at £16 (Shu Uemura rrp. £20). I’ve had these for a couple of year now and they’re stilling going strong!

MAC 217 – Any eyeshadow look is incomplete without using a fluffy brush like the MAC 217 to blend out the edges.  Even if you’re a newbie to wearing eyeshadow, your look is instantly better as soon as you blend the edges of your eyeshadow as it makes the shadow look less harsh on the eye. Perfect for also blending different colours together as well on your lid. Its definitely a brush I couldn’t live without!

Real Technique Contour Brush – This brush comes in the Real Techniques Core Collection set, and to be fair all the brushes in this collection are great so I would recommend buying the set. The contour brush however, is a brush I’ve not ever come across from other makeup brush brands. The head of the brush perfect size for tracing out your contour lines but the right amount of density/fluffy ratio to blend the lines out evenly whether your using powder or cream contour products.  A lot of brushes I’ve tried for contouring are either to fluffy and don’t blend cream products very well lot or they have been far too big that end up using the brush more for bronzer. This brush is the perfect companion with the Kevyn Aucoin sculpting powder (or any contour products!)

Have you used any of these beauty tools before? What are your favourite beauty tools?

Battle of the Beauty Blenders

I really love using beauty blenders during my make up routine and generally use them in two ways. First way, is using them to apply my foundation. I will usual dot the foundation over my face using my fingers and use the sponge to blend into the skin. Or the other way I use them is, once I’ve applied my foundation with a make up brush or my hands, I will then use the blender to bounce over my skin to give a more flawless complexions do balance out any excess product. It’s a step I wouldn’t be without in my routine now in my make up routine as it makes my foundation look amazing and I also think it also helps buffs the foundation (and concealer!) into the skin more making it last longer throughout the day.

The original beauty blender comes from BeautyBlender and I remember when they were first released or at least became popular in the beauty blogging community. I was still in my university days and the blenders starting around the £20 mark, so I could bring myself to try one.  My first experience of using a beauty blender/sponge however was using the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge and I fell in love. I then noticed recently that other brands on the high street were bringing out their own versions of the beauty blender so was eager to test how they compared. Here are my thoughts on the beauty blenders/sponges I’ve tested out –

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge – As I mentioned above, the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge was my first experience of using a type of beauty blender/sponge. I’ve since had one of their sponges in my make up bag for well over a year now and couldn’t be without this little orange baby! First of all the shape is awesome, all the sides, edges and corners are perfect for fitting into the contour of your face and I also find the sponge is the perfect density. It’s soft enough to buff the product into your face but dense enough to be able to bounce all over the skin with ease. It also washes really nicely too. I tend to wash mine once a week (sometimes once a fortnight when I’m being lazy) just with water and baby shampoo, and it never loses it shape! I’ll admit eventually after a long while, I have had to replace it that only because I’ve even lost it or I’ve had a chunk come out of the sponge because I’ve caught it in a zip (opps!) but other than that no problems at all!

Kiki Make Up Blender – You might recognise this beauty sponge from a Kiko haul I did a while back (LINK here). At only £6.90, I was intrigue to see if it was as good as the Real Technique’s sponge. The first difference you will see between the sponges is the shape. The Kiko Make Up Blender is more of a curvy (I kinda think it looks like mini fat snowman…just me?) and to be honest I couldn’t get on with the shape at first. There is a point to get to the eyes or nose and a rounded edge to bounce over the skin however I just feel the edges aren’t sharp enough to get into the difficult spaces (right in the corner of the eyes, etc). I also found this sponge harder than the Real Techniques Sponge which did feel a bit uncomfortable when bouncing it over my skin.  Considering the Kiko Blender is a slightly higher price to the Real Technique’s sponge (£5.99), I would say opt for Real Techniques.

Primark Beauty Sponges – These came in a pack of two for £1.50, so I had to pick these up and give them a go as well! One sponge is a similar shape to the Kiko blender and the other sponge more of an egg shape similar to the original beauty blender. For the price, I knew these wouldn’t be as great as the Real Technique Miracle sponge but I would recommend these if you have never tried a beauty blender/sponge before. I did find these soaked in a lot of product when I used these to apply my foundation, so maybe avoid using them for that purpose however just for bouncing over my skin after applying foundation to make your skin more flawless – they did the job!  Density wise, these are still a little hard in comparison to the Real Technique sponge but considering the costs of these, you can’t really complain!  With festival and holidays season fast approaching, I would definitely recommend picking up a couple of packs of these to throw in your suitcase because at £1.50 it doesn’t matter if you lose or damage them.

So the clear winner here is definitely The Real Techniques Miracle Sponge! And although nothing will probably be able to part me from my Real Techniques Miracle Sponge, I did enjoying testing other blenders on the market and I am now tempted to give the original BeautyBlender a test – so there might be a Battle of the Beauty Blender part 2 coming soon!

Have you tried any of these beauty blenders/sponges? What did you think? Do you have any beauty blender recommendations?