When the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge first came out, I never even considered swapping out my much loved beautyblender. However, a few weeks ago I was at Ulta and I spotted these on sale, and since I was thinking about tossing my (very, very old) beautyblender, I thought I should give these a try.
So far, I find the performance to be very similar. Like the beautyblender, the Real Techniques sponge puffs up when wet, and I think it applies foundation just as well. (YAY!) The shape of the sponge is quite different, however, and so far I think that is a good thing too!
The bottom of the Real Techniques sponge is an angled, flat surface, that initially seems strange. In reality, I am liking how that angled side gives me more surface area to work with when applying foundation, and it seems to make the process faster. I also occasionally use my beautyblender for cream or liquid contour or highlight, and I feel that this side of the Real Techniques sponge may be quite handy for that. (Why didn't I think of this before??)
On the pointy side of the sponge, you can see that both are quite similar as well. I do feel that the Real Techniques sponge is just slighty pointier, which I like better for blending in undereye concealer. However, I don't have a new beautyblender to compare this against, so it could be that my beautyblender was pointier when I first got it. I do think that having this more precise end on the Real Techniques sponge negates any need for the micro.mini version of the beautyblender, though!
The only negative of these sponges that I ever remember reading in reviews was longevity. A lot of bloggers mentioned that the Real Techniques sponge didn't last as long as the beautyblender, and since I haven't had mine very long yet, I really can't compare. However, I will say that I have had my beautyblender for at least 3 years and I wouldn't expect the Real Techniques sponge to last that long. Even if I didn't use my beautyblender everyday, you can see that it is looking pretty beat up!
Anyway, I'll have to report back if I see any unexpected/major wear and tear on these Real Techniques sponges. Since these were so inexpensive, at this point I'm willing to take the risk!
I bought 2 of the sets of two sponges for $10.99 (here) with Ulta's buy one get one 50% off sale and a coupon. I ended up spending about $15 after tax for FOUR sponges, which really is way more economical than spending $20 before tax on just one beautyblender. However, if you are particularly attached to the beautyblender, Sephora does have a set of two for $28 (here), which is one of the better values I've seen.
I'm happy with my purchase so far and don't feel like I need to splurge on a beautyblender anytime soon. Are you a beautyblender fan? Have you tried the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge? How did it compare for you? I'd love to know! :)