There are all kinds of ways to apply makeup. There are your fingers, makeup brushes, and makeup sponges. And then there’s the quirky fun brand of Beauty Blender that everyone is enthusing about.
Beauty Blender reshaped the landscape of makeup sponges. They once had a terrible reputation for applying makeup. After all, that awkward shape made it tough to apply makeup to those tight areas around your nose and eyes. They also deteriorate fast.
Around 12 years ago, Rea Ann Silva, a makeup artist, changed all that. She created the Beauty Blender sponge. It features an egg-shaped design for easy navigation around all the contours of your face. The fun colors are most certainly a plus too. They don’t blend in but they DO help blend your makeup in. See what we did there? Ha!
What made it so different though? Isn’t it just a sponge? Well, yes and no. See, it’s made from an innovative material that takes streakiness out of the equation. It has the power to make even a makeup novice apply makeup like a pro with absolute flawlessness. Whether you’re trying to go for full-on drama or you want a barely-there look, Beauty Blenders will be your main squeeze, pardon the pun.
But one thing you should know about the Beauty Blender is that at $20 a pop (Amazon link), while it lasts longer than your average bags of makeup sponges, you will need to replace it. After all, it’s a sponge and it’s going to wear out. How do you know when it is time to replace your Beauty Blender though?
It depends on your usage of it and how well you care for it. Essentially, Beauty Blender recommends you replace it every 3 months. Thankfully, there are ways to make your Beauty Blender last a bit longer.
You’ll certainly want to keep reading to find out how to prolong your Beauty Blender’s life. You’ll also want to look out for the signs that your Beauty Blender may be endangering your skin so you can replace it with a new one.
Remember, cosmetics and makeup sponges all have a shelf life for a reason. Things can get pretty nasty after some time. Even when you buy the best of the best. Your Chanel palette is nothing glamorous after 5 years in your makeup drawer. Girl, throw that out before you get an eye infection that seals your lids shut for a week!
The same is true of the Beauty Blender. Read onward to find out what to do to hold onto it as long as you can before investing in a replacement.
How to know when you should replace your beauty blender
So, you have a Beauty Blender and you love it, just like everyone else that has one. They are very well adored and are great makeup application tools. But they will not last forever. Here is how you will know when you need to replace yours.
– The 3-month rule
The 3-month rule is what the brand of Beauty Blender advises you abide by when determining when to replace your Beauty Blender. However, this rule isn’t hard and fast. If you do your makeup every day, day in, day out, week after week using your Beauty Blender, you may even need to replace your Beauty Blender before that 3-month limit. If you’re a weekender with your makeup, you may get more life out of your Beauty Blender than 3 months.
For daily usage, you’d be better off replacing that Beauty Blender every other month. Not everyone is keen to spend $20 each time though which is why you can do a few things to help prolong your beauty blender’s life. One of these things is religiously cleaning it after each use with a liquid or bar cleanser. You can use the Beauty Blender brand or use a generic brush cleaner too.
To do this right, while it’s still damp, cover it with cleanser and then rinse it really well with warm water. Honestly, any quality soaps can do the trick like a castile soap. All sponges will collect all sorts of gunk from the products you use to what’s on your face. Even with a freshly-primed face, your skincare products will collect on it.
Don’t be lazy. The Beauty Blender saves you time on perfecting your makeup look. Unless you can throw $20 down the drain all the time, take a moment to cleanse your BB and then make sure it dries properly. Don’t ever leave it in your damp bathroom or in a drawer. You’ll encourage mold and bacteria to grow. Instead, let it air dry on the windowsill or under a fan. You can find more great tips on how to dry your Beauty Blender here!
– You’re breaking out for no reason
Now, let’s say you always wash that Beauty Blender with perfect precision every time. That’s wonderful, but it can still absorb acne-causing bacteria into your sponge. That can linger inside in the center. If you’ve seen that one scary video of the BB cut in half, then you know. And if not, don’t go look if you’ve just eaten. You’ve been warned!
If you’ve been breaking out more frequently, it might be time to toss your Beauty Blender and get a new one. Sure, it could be your period or something you ate, but more likely, if your application products are harboring bacteria, you’re basically smudging that into your pores. Blech!
So, when that starts happening, think back to when you bought that BB. If it was 3 months ago or *gasp* longer, then you need to replace it. It very likely has to do with the bacteria trapped inside. No amount of washing it at that point is going to extract that bacteria.
And if it hasn’t been a full 3 months or you don’t use your Beauty Blender all that often but notice that your skin breaks out afterward, were you diligent with cleaning it? If the answer is no, it’s time to get a new one and start being more proactive with caring for it properly.
That packaging your BB comes in is meant to be saved so you can use it as a place to set your Beauty Blender when it’s drying. You can move that to a well-ventilated and sunny area to let it dry out fully. The holes in this case let air pass through it so you’ll be able to maximize drying efficiently.
Another thing many people don’t realize either – BB or other sponges and makeup tools – you need to replace disposal items like the Beauty Blender or makeup sponges and sterilize your makeup brushes and tools when you’ve had a bad cold, virus, infection, or breakout. You can get infected again by using these things. Now you know!
– Discoloration of your beauty blender
While the bright colors of your Beauty Blender will naturally fade a bit as you use them, it’s not a good thing if your makeup remnants have permanently sullied it. If so, it’s best to get a new one. The buildup that has caused it to discolor will affect how your makeup looks when applied. This is very true if you use the same sponge to apply foundation, blush, highlighter, and everything else.
When the BB appears stained and no amount of cleansing gets it out, it’s definitely time to replace it. You don’t want your Beauty Blender to spread old product onto your face. Imagine if you were getting ready for a hot date with that guy from the gym and you were applying your foundation with your BB but a bit of your blush was still lodged in there. Then you’d have an odd coloring that would throw off your whole look!
– Deterioration of your Beauty Blender
It’s true that the Beauty Blender is a much more durable sponge than those bags of bland white makeup sponges at the drugstore. But even still, they will wear down in time after all that blending and spreading.
If you notice flaking, peeling, ripping, fading color, or it’s losing its shape, that’s the time to replace it. It’s not going to benefit you one bit to use it in a deformed state for that shape is what makes it so effective at expertly blending your makeup. It certainly won’t happen overnight, but once you start seeing signs of deterioration, you should get another one fast.
Yes, even this high-grade foam will come to an end. It’s not made of steel for goodness sake, and that’s probably good because rubbing steel on your face won’t feel so good. The BB is going to wear down. Ideally, you’ll plan ahead as you start noticing the first small signs of wear on it and order another one so you won’t have time to feel sad when your current one is spent.
You don’t want it to get to the point where you’re applying your makeup for another day at work and notice little bits on your face, only to realize it’s your BB shedding away.
Now that you know what to look for, keep reading to get more life out of your Beauty Blender!
How to prolong your Beauty Blender’s shelf life
If you take care of your BB, it will take care of you, but do remember that it won’t last forever. Try these tips for prolonging its life so you won’t have to buy a new one as often!
– Wash it after each use
We touched on this above but it’s so important. Cleansing your BB is a huge step in the right direction to keeping it for longer. It won’t just last longer but you’ll avoid smearing old products and facial debris onto your face with every application.
However, anything that retains moisture is the kind of place bacteria and mold like to hang out no matter what that material is made from. This is especially true in hot and humid environments. Whether you live in a tropical climate or not, your bathroom is a humid place so keep your BB out of there after you wash it.
To wash it, you can use the Beauty Blender special cleanser or you can use any soap you have. Wash it under running water until it runs clear. Then let it dry in the case it came with, in a well-ventilated area. This is the key to keeping your BB cleaner and lasting longer.
It takes very little time on your part to cleanse it and let it dry in a proper place. If you neglect your BB, you can expect it will collect your makeup products and skin cells which could cause you to break out. Then you’ll only be spending more time trying to cover up that explosion of redness when you should have spent the time washing your Beauty Blender the right way.
Are you doing it right? To know for sure, if your sponge feels hard or resistant when you squeeze it, that means the product is built up deep inside. So much so that it can’t be effectively removed from washing it. So in that case, you’d need to replace your BB right away.
The bottom line is this… you should wash your Beauty Blender (or even your el-cheapo makeup sponges) after every single use. Doing so prevents blemish drama down the road. With regular makeup sponges, you can even toss them after every use, but the BB you’ll want to hold onto as long as you can until you need to replace it so care for it accordingly.
Some even suggest microwaving your BB. According to legend, you can fill a cup halfway with water and a drop of liquid detergent. Microwave it for a minute together and squeeze it out for a clean sponge. Others have said this is ill-advised and can cause you to destroy your BB. The verdict? You can read this other post about what we advise with your BB here.
– Make sure it’s completely dry
We spoke of this before but we need you to know that drying your BB is as important as washing it daily. You have to let it dry properly. Shutting it in a dark place is asking for bacteria, germs, and mold to grow.
That container it comes in when you order it is specially designed for drying your BB. It has holes in it that allow air to flow through it. All you need is a dry, non-humid place to let it do its thing.
– Don’t store it in your makeup bag if it’s still wet
By far, one of the worst sins you can commit with your Beauty Blender is to stick it in your makeup bag when it’s wet. No, no, NOOOOO. If you must travel frequently, we recommend you have a Beauty Blender for home and one for your travels. This way, you’ll never shove a wet BB in your bag. EVER.
Can you imagine? Let’s say for imagination’s sake you’re going on an all-expenses-paid trip to Cabo. Nice, right? Well, you know what’s not so nice? The fact that you had to leave for the airport at 6am and you tossed all your makeup and your wet BB in bag that you tossed into your checked luggage. By the time you get there and then to your luxury hotel, it’s not until midafternoon and your BB stinks to high heaven.
Aside from the smell, there’s bacteria breeding in there. Congratulations on colonizing new life forms in another land!
Ventilated pouches are your BFF for traveling too. You should use those for storing your Beauty Blender or any makeup sponges to keep them from growing grossness on them. One of the worst things you could ever do when you have a Beauty Blender or any type of makeup sponge is to trap it inside a plastic bag, especially if you haven’t let it dry properly. That is a recipe for mold and bacteria. Unless you’re presenting this for some sort of science class, just don’t!
Do yourself a huge favor and store your sponges correctly. Never put it in plastic and don’t use colored bags either. The colors might stain your BB.
– Cut it in half
When all else fails and you’ve neglected to notice your Beauty Blender is eroding and there’s no way your new one will arrive in time for your next application of makeup, try cutting it up. It won’t have the same ergonomic shape but you’ll have new surfaces to work with.
This should be your very last resort when nothing else will do. If you’ve been cleaning and drying it properly, it should be fine. If not and you cut too much off, you might find something gross growing from within.
The Beauty Blender is a great makeup application tool though it is not designed to last you forever. For the price of $20, it can be steep but it’s well worth it to apply your makeup with flawless precision. That being said, you should take good care of it to ensure it lasts.
Your Beauty Blender can last up to 3 months though if you’re using it daily, even when you clean, dry, and store it properly, you might have to replace it sooner than that. The key is in how you care for it that will help make it last.
That’s not to say that daily use and religious cleansing of it won’t make it keep going for 3 months. But anything after that, even with diligent care, do remember that it is a sponge and will wear down in time. Enjoy your Beauty Blender!