Jul 5, 2011

MAC Pro Performance Sponge: first impression and comparison to the BeautyBlender.

you know i'm an avid fan of the BeautyBlender Sponge. out of my fear of loss i have even ordered 2 back ups some months ago, although my first one still goes strong after about 8 months of (almost) daily usage.
now MAC has released their own version of "odd-shaped-sponge", called the Pro Performance Sponge, it looks like a little spinner to me with a round top.
in fact i wanted to wait until douglas.de would get them in stock but then i wanted to order something else from MAC anyway so i purchased from the maccosmetics.de online store, where the sponge is already available for some time.
it costs 16.50€.
i just have it for few days and have only used and washed it once now, but since i guess it will be the same with my BeautyBlender, only long term usage will show how big your love can get.
i want to give you some initial impressions and of course a comparison to the infamous BeautyBlender for those who are curious and consider to buy one of the two.

similarities are the same price level (the BeautyBlender is sold at about 15€ in germany and available on kultkosmetik.de, for example), both are latex-free sponges, both are hot pink, both have that round top and pointy end and both promise a flawless and easy foundation application. if MAC was trying to dupe here is questionable, but it's the same marketing trick.

now to the differences:
  • MAC's Pro Performance Sponge (which i will only call PP from now on, while the BeautyBlender from now is BB) won't change its size or texture when you wet it with water and stays quite compact and rubbery-feeling unlike the BB which gets much bigger when dampened and becomes soft and bouncy and actually spongey.
  • the PP washes nicely without bleeding but the BB did bleed a lot of pink dye in the first washings (you'll see a big colour difference in my old&new BB in my photos below). 
  • of course the shape: it's similar in the principles but the PP has a grip-like pointy end and an edge below its rounded top which helps getting into nooks and crevices of your face, like you can roll the edge along your under-eye area. in fact i find it harder to hold on that smaller part and still have not figured out the benefit of the special shape.
  • application with the BB is still a lot easier for me than with the PP. i guess it's because i'm not used to it yet, but i find it quite tiring to tap my foundation on with the PP, because it's a lot more firm than the BB it doesn't bounce on your skin so i tend to want to push it into my skin a bit harder which is in the end rather tiring. also like i said, holding that little pointy part is weird, you don't want to destroy it with your nails, but it's so small that you have to hold it tighter which is a bit uncomfortable.
  • the finish is a lot more sheer and natural with the PP than with the BB. maybe because it absorbs more foundation, but i guess mostly it's because it's more firm. the BB absorbs the foundation but applies a higher amount. both create an even, streak free satiny finish with ease.
  • i find it's harder to build up the coverage with the PP.
  • foundation amount that i need is almost similar but a bit more with the PP while it provides less coverage. 
  • applying/blending concealer is also something that i will have to figure out, my first attempt ended in blending away instead of blending in. now i find the pointy end even too small for my under eye area, usually i dab the pointy end of the BB along the concealer edges which always worked fine.

i've tried it used damp with the Vichy Aera Teint Pure Foundation. usually i get a decent coverage with it, but with the PP it's more on the natural side.
all in all i still prefer the BB at the moment, but i will definitely try to work with the PP and maybe i'll get used to it and will appreciate it just like i love the BB.

new BeautyBlender - new MAC Pro Performance Sponge
dry BB - dry PP
damp BB - damp PP

so, did i forget anything? if yes, don't hesitate to ask in the comments, i will edit the post then ;)
what about you? will you purchase this one or the BB? do you already have one of those egg-type sponges? how do you like them?


  1. I just started considering a stippling brush to apply my foundation; but now you've got me wanting to move back to my original method of sponges. I've seriously done everything in the book: sponges, puffs, fingers, rolly-sponges brushes. I just can't decide which method is right for me!

  2. I have a Beautyblender and was toying with the idea of getting the MAC one. I think I might stick with the one I have or else I might be overrun with sponges & brushes! :)

    Catherine x

  3. I just purchased the BB but haven't tried it yet so for now I won't purchase the MAC one.

  4. I have and love my BB so much, that I would not even thinking about a test drive of the PP. It is just my HG in sponges and why searching for a better option, when you are 100% satisfied with what you have.

  5. the beauty blender isn't made of suede....it is also a latex free sponge, marketed as a "suede feel/finish".....

    1. You're so right! thanks for remembering me, i needed to edit this for quite a while but always forgot :)


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