Thanks to the latest crop of silicone makeup sponges, your go-to foundation blending tool might have some competition—or at the very least, your push-up bra is getting some extra lift. Upon seeing the Silisponge, the OG silicone sponge, a wave of nostalgia transported me back to middle school (and okay, last week at Victoria's Secret when I was trying to get maximum cleave) when I first found out the wonders those silicone inserts could work when jammed into my Limited Too underwire. "It looks like a bra insert!," I cried out during a pitch meeting. Not long after, I convinced the rest of the beauty team to allow me to try it out and compare the finish to an actual bra insert—I mean, I do have quite the collection. I attempted to get the Silisponge into the office, but since the product was constantly sold out and the company was based in Hong Kong, the chances of acquiring one looked pretty slim.
Then, along came the Makeup Drop Sponge ($20; makeupdrop.com). Makeup artist Patrick Ta used the tool on Chrissy Teigen at the Golden Globes, so I figured it was a worthy contender. Also, I completely want to be her, so I was biased toward this tool. Similar to the Silisponge, it was made with medical-grade silicone, promised not to soak up product, and also promised to blend said product like a dream. You'd need less concealer or foundation to get your desired effect, and as a plus, it was much easier to clean than your traditional sponge applicator. Then again...so was a silicone bra insert. For journalistic integrity, I dug into my stash of bra inserts to see how they'd match up to the Makeup Drop. Keep reading to find out how each method worked, and what the makeup looked like on my dumb face. Selfies are really hard, you guys, and I never completely know what to do with my face.
Makeup Drop Sponge
Shaped like a teardrop, the tapered point on the silicone blending tool allowed me to get into those weird contours of my face that a foundation sponge couldn't quite reach, like the corner of my undereye area, and around the nose. It took me a few test runs with the Makeup Drop to figure out if I was using it right—I'm a die-hard BeautyBlender gal—but delivered on its promises once I got it together. I didn't need as much concealer as I would with a foundation sponge, but when it came to blending out other products, things got a little tricky. I don't subscribe to the Lion King cream contour method, but I'll do a little shading powder in my cheekbones and around my massive nose (Hi, I'm really insecure). Once it was in place, I'd bounce my BeautyBlender over the top to diffuse the lines, then proceed with highlighter. The Makeup Drop was a little harder to work over the powder, but it wasn't completely impossible. If you usually work with cream blushes and bronzers as opposed to powder-based ones, you probably won't have an issue here.
The verdict? Would use again. It's convenient when traveling, as I HATE sticking a wet makeup sponge in my back, but I may need to rethink my powder formulas, or just blend them with a brush to the point that the Makeup Drop doesn't have to put in much aggressive work.
The A-cup wonder I am, I had a few of these stashed in my lingerie drawer. "I cannot freaking believe I'm doing this," I thought as I used the silicone piece to blend the concealer over my moisturizer, but to my surprise, I was actually really into the finish. The bra insert was a little more flexible than the Makeup Drop, so I was able to fold it in half if I needed to, and it did a good job of blending over my powder contour. The thought of using something I would typically jam into the sides of my bra in my beauty routine kind of weirded me out, but on the upside, as long as I remembered to pack a push-up, I'd never be without a foundation sponge.