I decided to buy the 2 pack beauty blender to give it a try. My intial thoughts upon opening it...this is so not worth 30$... It is two small pink sponges in a plastic case. The sponges are firm, and fit nicely in my hand. I can see the machine marks where the sponge was cut into this shape. It seems like it was cut radially.
For comparison I currently use Alcone sponges. The Beauty Blender is a little more dense, and seems more durable, and bubble sizes are larger. The tip is nicely rounded, it is very uniform and it's pretty high quality.....for a sponge... It's larger than the Alcone sponge as well.
I decided to try cutting one of my alcone sponges into a similar shape. A pair of scissors and 5 minutes later, I had a rough approximation of a tear shaped sponge. The Alcone sponges are less dense however, so it doesn't hold a tip well. Maybe a more dense sponge would fare better.
I used both sponges to put on concealer and they seem about the same.
After washing, the Beauty Blender increases in size more than the Alcone sponges, and it does squeeze most of the loose water easily. It also seems to have a more dense jelly center when squeezed firmly. I suppose this could be for support. It does not seem entirely homogenous throughout, but I'm not willing to cut the sponge in half. Maybe right before I throw it away when it begins to get ratty.
My Alcone sponges come out to 21 cents each, beauty blenders are between 15-20 dollars a piece, making it at least 71X more expensive than standard sponges.
I found that the beauty blender works better wet for me than dry. I cut my creme foundation into a small amount of lotion and used the wet sponge to apply it very thinly. It does a very good job of this, with the larger size while damp, and rounded shape. It's very efficient too as well, due to it's size, but still has the ability to get into the corners of my eyes with the small tip.
I'm not sure how well this will work for really full coverage, since for me, full coverage invariably looks somewhat caked at close range on my dry skin.
I would prefer to use this sponge as opposed to my regular ones, since it is better, imo, but while washing it, it does release bright pink into the soap/water and I'm not sure thats so good. I'm also not so sure about the durability of the sponge, which would effect how costly it is. I would prefer to wash the beauty blender after every use which could increase the rate of wear and tear (I don't like using dirty sponges).
I don't really like washing sponges so with my alcone sponges, I use a new one every time. I also use them to clean off my makeup when I use cream makeup removers. I will have to determine how much trouble washing the beauty blender will turn out to be. It is pretty quick, so I may make up for the washing time in application time.
Overall, I think if you really like using sponges and don't mind washing, the Beauty Blender is a higher quality nicely shaped sponge, and it's not prohibitively expensive.
I will continue to use the beauty blenders until they break down, and will consider if I would like another at that time. For now, I'm not sold enough to stockpile.
I have also read about a similar item at target by sonia kashuk, so I will be checking that sponge out as well.