Perhaps due to equal parts of my childhood dreams of becoming Judy Jetson, and the fact that I'm always late for everything because of makeup, I'm a sucker for any high-tech tool that promises to speed up my primping routine. At $54 for the entire set, the Color Me Automatic Foundation Applicator (ulta.com) uses sonic vibrations to mirror the finger-tapping motions you'd typically use to apply foundation or tinted moisturizer. Obviously, considering my loves for the Clarisonic and Sonicare, I had to take it on a test-run.
The concept is similar to that of the oscillating foundation sponge trend sparked by Lancome a few years back—the vibrations are meant to ease the blending process, and create a seamless, almost-airbrushed finish. While the guide for the Color Me tool instructed me to apply the liquid foundation directly to the sponge, things got a little messy and I found it easier to dab the product on my face, then sweep the applicator over the top in circular motions. It's important to note the differences between the two sponges: The firm brush head is best for liquid or cream formulas, but you can use the softer applicator for mineral foundations or loose powders.
So, is the Color Me Automatic Foundation Applicator actually better than a traditional makeup sponge? The answer is a loaded one—because it took me a hot minute to determine how to use the tool; there was a little more time involved in the application process. Once you figure out the logistics, your usual 30-minute regime (or in my case, an hour) becomes much quicker, but the tool's sponges pose a slight drawback. While they're much more hygenic than my everyday makeup sponge (which may or may not get washed as frequently as it should...), it's recommended to change them after about 7 to 10 uses. (Though, that can be extended if you pat them with a small amount of rubbing alcohol after each application.) Still, the tool is a quicker, user-friendly alternative to breaking out a complete airbrushing machine, and while the Photoshop blur aesthetic may not be appropriate (or practical) for a day at the office, I'll definitely be using it for those nights out when I feel like going for the full Kardashian.