Welcome to my cheery little beauty blog where I talk a lot about the fact that makeup helps me feel healthy and centered. Recently I received a Beauty Blender from Ipsy, up until this point I had not owned an original Beauty Blender. Truthfully, I wasn't keen on spending $20 for a sponge. I had, however, previously purchased the SOHO Beauty Sponge from Walgreens. I thought I would give you an honest, thorough comparison of the two sponges. I prefer using a sponge with liquid foundations. I have found that they leave fewer streaks and imperfections than brushes or fingers.
First, the obvious, the BB is pear shaped and bright pink; whereas, the SOHO is oval or elliptical and is coral in color. Of course, my sponge is stained from use. Actually it's on it's last leg but I thought I would give it a few side by side comparisons to really determined whether or not the BB is worth $20. Next let's discuss the texture. The original Beauty Blender is soft, super soft. The closest thing I could use to describe it would be cotton balls. Imagine cool cotton balls with no lint; that will get you as close to the texture as I can imagine. The SOHO Beauty Sponge is firmer but not overly firm. It feels like I am able to provide better coverage of the foundation with the SOHO and it feels like I am able to fine tune the blending better with the BB.
I used the BB on the left side and the SOHO on the right side to apply the Revlon Colorstay liquid foundation. It seems that the right side, the SOHO side, is a bit shinier and has a bit less coverage in the photo; but the shininess is just my flash and I have a few more freckles and spots on that side. In person it's impossible to tell the difference between the two.
I will explain that the BB does expand more when wet but the SOHO sponge does expand. Of course, since the SOHO is firmer it's not as porous as the BB. I have also previously tried the Sonia Kashuk sponge which was considerable firmer than both of the sponges above. The Sonia Kashuk sponge is so hard that it feels more like you are using a tennis ball rather than a beauty sponge. Of all of the sponges, I feel like the BB is the most delicate. It feels like it would fall apart quicker than the SOHO.
All in all, I would say that there is no clear cut winner. If you can afford the original Beauty Blender I would say purchase it as it feels amazing against the skin. However, if it is simply not in your budget I would say that the SOHO, available at Walgreens for $7.99, is an acceptable alternative. The results you get are quite comparable.