Original Beauty Blender Pro review, use and photos

Original Beauty Blender pro black review and difference from pink
It was Kayte of Imminent Beauty whose review dinned it into my thick head that the Original Beauty Blender was a lot more than a mere - and expensive - sponge. After ages of humming, hawing and contemplating, she (and Jac's comment on the post) tilted the scales and I finally clicked "Buy". Thanks so much, Kayte!
I got a duo pack from Beauty Bay (the Blender is one of the many reasons I've had to go on an online shopping ban). Here is a detailed review of the Beauty Blender Pro (black sponge) including before and after photos, my user experience, availability, why you need this sponge, and comparisons.

Why did I buy the Original Beauty Blender Pro black version and not the pink?

1. I didn't like the pink and was worried the colour would run
2. I didn't want the Pure version because the foundation was definitely going to stain it
Original Beauty Blender pro black review and difference from pink3. I loved the look of black and read that Pro would give even more pigmented results. This is what the website says about Original Beauty Blender Pro: "Specially developed for higher pigmented makeup coverage.... The Pro Sponge delivers the same outstanding results as the original Beauty Blender Sponge yet allows you to achieve a higher pigmented coverage."
4. I couldn't possibly bring myself to wet something that expensive and dab it in foundation unless I had a spare (now stored away in anticipation of imminent war)
5. The duo pack was better value for money.
My order arrived in seven days flat - did I mention free international delivery? I'm not going to harp on about the Original Beauty Blender's history, the egg shape, Rea Ann, the latex-freeness or the blurb from the product card or the website.
Original Beauty Blender pro black review and difference from pink

Description of the Original Beauty Blender Pro black sponge

The sponge feels silky-smooth and is soft beyond description. It is like running your finger on soft suede. It is easy to squeeze, like squeezing butter, and not at all dense. And it is bouncy and feels hollow when you squeeze it and comes back to its original shape at once. Despite the rounded "bottom", it stands up on its own. Apparently those are the original tests (not to mention the lack of spelling mistakes in the copy on the back). Not that Beauty Bay would dream of selling anything else!

Using the Original Beauty Blender Pro black sponge

Before contact with makeup, it needs to be dunked in water or held under running water for 15 seconds. Then, the water has to be squeezed out. You can dry it on a tissue/towel if you want.
The biggest surprise was how big it grew after the watering. Almost twice as large, you could say. I'm glad I bought two, now you can see the size difference below. You also see these cool silver sparkles appearing when it expands. Incidentally, before the squeezing (when waterlogged), it was quite heavy, heavier than the dupes.
Original Beauty Blender pro black review and difference from pink
What you do is bounce the sponge on the skin - no dragging, no marching up or down. I've tried out Shiseido Mattifying Powder and Clarins Everlasting Foundation (liquid). I first pressed the Blender firmly on the compact and then did the bouncing on the face.

Advantages of the Beauty Blender Pro over brushes and other sponges or dupes:

Firstly, two "presses" was enough to cover the whole face. With a sponge or brush, I have to dip, rub, dip, rub and dip again. I need just one-fourths the product with the Blender. For the liquid, I used one quick half-pump (when you don't press the pump all the way down) on the Blender for the whole face and jawline. There was just enough to go at the top of the neck, too.
Secondly, the finish was smoother than ever, even without a primer. My pores are too large for my skin to be called airbrushed, but this was as perfect as it had ever been. Coverage was very thorough. The make-up lasted much longer and didn't come away on blotting tissue. This is the applicator that makes the difference between good and perfect makeup.
Thirdly, there was very little product left on the Blender after application. It didn't absorb the product. See photos of product left on the Blender after application, before cleansing (first is powder, second is liquid) below:
Original Beauty Blender pro black review and difference from pink

How to clean the Beauty Blender sponge

I used Johnson's Baby Shampoo for cleansing, since I forgot to buy Blender Cleanser. The Blender is very easy to clean. A couple of squeezes later, the sponge is as black as ever. And, after using it with foundation, concealer and primer (just once because I can't get the "watered" sponge into my latest primer jar), there are no stains.
While cleaning, if the foundation/soap enters the sponge, you immediately feel a "lump". Squeeze it under running water a couple of times and the lump goes away, along with the makeup/soap.
Most importantly, the probability of error/mistakes is minimal. You cannot go wrong with this, no streaking, no over-application of product and no caking. This alone made it worth every penny I paid.
Finally, the sponge is large enough for primer, concealer, foundation and even bronzer at one go, on different areas.
I like washing it after every use because I prefer it looking nice and black. It's probably bad for it, so I'm forcing myself into fewer cleaning sessions.
Drying time is a good 4-5 hours, after which it returns to normal size. But now that the rains have begun here, I've noticed it takes much longer, even overnight, to return to normal in the humidity. The bouncing gives me medium to full coverage, but that's how I like it. Maybe leave in more water for a sheer finish? Or go for the pink one, since the Pro version gives more pigmented coverage?
My biggest worry with the Blender is how fragile it appears. I really hope it lasts for a good while, given the price (which I've hidden from my family). Any experiences to share, people?
I own a couple of Blender dupes, but I can tell you they cannot hold a candle to the original. No difference in the price will make me go back to a dupe after using the original. Shall do a post about the dupes soon, and a comparison with the Real Techniques Stippling Brush. No prizes for guessing which worked better for me.
I see now what Kayte meant when she said she was obsessed with the Blender and that it throws everything else "out of the ball park". The Original Beauty Blender is the "coming of age" product of a makeup user. Go away, brushes and sponges! I don't need you anymore (except for eyeshadow - unless Rea Ann plans a baby-egg version for eyeshadows).

Beauty Blender wet and dry or before and after photos:

Original Beauty Blender pro black review and difference from pink
Left: Dry and untouched. Right: Post-cleansing, during drying.
Original Beauty Blender pro black review and difference from pink
Left: Dry, untouched. Right: Fully watered and squeezed
  1. My sister has just got me one of these and i am so excited to try it out when she sends it! My sister has had her blender for a while now and it's lasted her well so don't worry too much! xxx

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    1. Woot! You'll have to post about yours, I can't wait to see what you think. And thanks, you've put my mind to rest, I was half-contemplating using a dupe (sacrilege) to save the life of the Blender.

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    2. I will be! I am so happy right now today i was wearing the maybelline purple colour palette you sent me, and my eyes was so badly watering from hayfever but the eyeshadow stayed on my eyes (ii put it under my eyes too) i am a happy Elle!! xxx

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    3. I went back to your tweet to see the photo again; yes, I can spot it below the eyes! And love your lippy xx

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    4. I used the lipstick from my frontcover box sister gave me, it's a pretty awesome one! I like how soft the colour is and it makes my eyes look more blue, such a good choice in a palette! xx

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  2. I HAVE to get this. wonderful review. getting into beauty bay site immediately!

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    1. Lol that's what I did when I read Kayte's review. And I remember you use Shiseido Mattifying Compact - it's perfect with it! You'll trash all those square sponges that streaked.

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  3. I NEED this xx

    http://beautyqueenuk.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. It's great, you'll love it x

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  4. I've always wondered about the beauty blender as there are so many people who rave about it but I don't understand why. Loved your in depth review! Now I feel like I need to add this to my collection :(

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    1. Ditto. I declared that there was no way I was buying a sponge I myself could cut out. Then I bought a dupe and declared myself satisfied. Finally I got the original. And I ate my words.

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  5. Great detailed review! Had never seen the black one.. Looks classy :)
    xx
    TiTi's Corner!

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    1. And the best part is that the dupers haven't cottoned on! They're still churning out the hot pink ones.

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  6. I always wanted to get this, ur detailed post gave me an idea about it, now i am gonna soon get for me too.

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    1. Let me know how you get along with it!

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  7. Cool the beautyblender really nice product!
    xx

    www.sakuranko.com

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  8. I am really happy with the pink ones I bought but I do like the look of that black! When are too many beauty sponges enough? Never I say, so I think I might invest in a black one too!!

    Love your in-depth blog and all those photos.

    Jac x0x

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    1. Thank you! It's hardly been a week and I'm already wondering how I got on without it all those years.

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  9. wow I've never heard of a product like this! Sounds like a good idea!

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    1. It is an amazing sponge - makes you wonder why you bought all those brushes.

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  10. Ahah just the title suck me into reading this post! :) I love my Beauty Blender as well...it's such an amazing invention! :)

    natalielovesbeauty.blogspot.ca

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    1. It's a miracle applicator! They should give it a make-up Nobel Prize. Who knew an egg-shaped sponge could create the perfect face!

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  11. I have seen a lot of people using this product, I just am not sure If i should switch it for my foundation brush from Oriflame which evenly distributes the foundation..

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    1. I haven't used Oriflame, but the Blender has made me retire my Real Techniques Stippling, Buffing and Foundation brushes. Well, and all the other kabuki and foundation brushes I own.

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  12. oh no, I ordered an ebay dupe just the other day! I'm regretting it now after reading this glowing review of the original.

    Emily Jane xo

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    1. Oops... I had bought two dupes and particularly liked one. Until I bought the original. I'll do a post comparing the original to the Cosmo and eBay dupes soon. The dupes are so dense and "rubbery", and don't expand as much on watering and absorb foundation. Still, you can keep the dupe to lend visitors who turn up without applicators; to an annoying relative who insists on using your stash... :D Or on days when you can get away with lighter makeup.

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  13. Thanks for the mention Renu. Happy to be sharing the beauty blender love - you just don't understand till ya try the real thing!! Great review too x

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    1. Exactly; I'm surprised the dupes even exist. Thanks again for your awesome review, which made up my mind for me!

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  14. I have been wanting to give beautyblender a shot since a long time but the price always pulls me down!

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    1. Same here...until I realised that it added that extra special finish to the results.

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  15. I have been hankering after this for a looooooong time now! your review just made it worse :P

    I didnt know there are different types available in the Beauty Blender.

    Best,
    Priyanka (The Purplenista)

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    1. There's the pink original, the white pure and the black pro. Looking forward to hearing that you finally caved in, maybe part of the engagement shopping? :P

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  16. I've had both black and pink beauty blenders and I feel there is a huge difference. My pink one was faultless, except for colour run when cleaning it, but my black one seems useless. I use Mac Pro cream foundation and it barely picks up any product. I feel I have to dab it a million times before it actually goes on my face. Next purchase will be pink one again.

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