The 2016 equivalent to our mom’s trustee compact CoverGirl blush, Beauty Blenders are a prevalent cosmetic bag staple. Praised by beauty bloggers, makeup artists and every millenial in between, these squishy egg-shaped applicators, first released in 2007, earned their rep for delivering the most immaculate, airbrush-like effect to one’s complexion. Not that we need to tell you, because chances are that you already know and adore the reusable product. And so do we. But because of our curious nature, we recently began to venture outside of the twenty-dollar punch to our wallet every few months.
Read more: How To Use A Beautyblender Properly, According To Makeup Artists
Wondering why a small sponge, albeit a very effective one that contours like no other, should come with such a steep price tag led us to explore other options on the market. Our findings? There are a bevy of them! For a fraction of the cost, you can take your pick from a selection of obvious riffs on the BB, in various oblong shapes and shades, that perform on par with their OG opponent. Seriously. We challenge you to blindfold your besties and carry out a side-by-side sponge test to see if you can detect the difference. Our personal favorite of the substitutes, the Miracle Complexion Sponge, features the same water absorbing design, softness and longevity as the Beauty Blender while only setting you back a mere six dollars. Plus, it boasts countless glowing customer reviews to boot.
All things considered, for our money, we’re pretty partial to the stand-in, if for no other reason than to feel less guilty next time we permanently misplace a bright-colored sponge. How about you? Will you stay true to your beloved pink variation, or give a Parallel Universe option a go? Tell us your choice and why in the comments below—and happy blending!