guest blogger Nadine Jolie

Jolie Hall of Fame: The beautyblender

There are very, very few beauty products that “wow” me—but when I discovered the beautyblender, it literally changed my beauty life.

First, a little background. I’ve had ruddy skin requiring foundation my entire life. Ever since I was 12, I’ve been cursed with a red Rudolph nose, not to mention acne-prone skin that easily breaks out, leaving behind red splotches long after the zits have faded. bb.seen-img-04Getting a better handle on my skincare over the years has dramatically helped—to the point where, now in my 30s, I feel confident going out into the world without foundation. (I’m talking about going to the grocery store, not hitting up, say, a beauty event. Let’s not go crazy.)

Despite learning how to deal with my skin so that breakouts were rare, I still hadn’t been able to venture into the waters of BB creams or tinted moisturizer. They’re always too thin, too flimsy, too “what’s the point?” for my redness. On the other end of the spectrum? Full-face foundation? Surely you jest! (It cakes on my nose, feels like paint, and leads to—you guessed it—breakouts.)

The only thing I’ve been able to wear for years has been mineral powder foundation. I used to love it, but after more than a decade of zero variety, I’d started to crave greener pastures, looking longingly at the shiny new offerings from all the beauty companies and grumbling in frustration that none of them were for me. Oh, foundation—I hardly knew ye.

Until, that is, I met the beautyblender.

I’d seen it around for years, but didn’t give it much thought. After all, it’s just a glorified $20 makeup sponge, right? How amazing could it really be?

AMAZING.

You saturate the beautyblender, squeeze out excess water, and then lightly squeeze a towel around it to sop up excess moisture. This helps slightly plump it up and causes the makeup to sit on top of the sponge for maximum use and minimal waste. (When you wet the beautyblender, even after squeezing out all the water, it nearly doubles in size! Dupe makeup sponges—to say nothing of those old school white makeup triangles—don’t match that feat.)

Dab the makeup on your face with your fingers (forehead, chin, cheeks, nose—you know the drill), and then use the beautyblender to pat in the foundation, gently buffing until it’s flawless. The two sides allow for maximum versatility: large rounded side for forehead, chin, and cheeks buffing; smaller pointy side for nose, eyes, and precision work.

With the beautyblender, everything becomes buildable, giving you the coverage you want and need. As a result, you get the best of both worlds. Suddenly, liquid foundations that once appeared cakey are now smooth, lightweight, perfectly blended, and flawless. Tinted moisturizers and BB creams? Yup. The beautyblender handles those like a pro, too.

beautyblender has recently come out with a nifty invention called the Sur.face Pro that I’ve been having fun playing with. It’s a makeup artist palette, allowing you to blend together multiple colors of foundation, BB cream, liquid highlighter, lipstick, or even cream eye shadow. There’s a resting place for your beautyblender sponge (or your thumb), and the palette itself is transparent, so you can hold it up to your face while working and see whether your customized shades match.

Most of us aren’t simply one foundation shade, which is something I’ve only recently recognized. (Whenever I have my makeup professionally done, the artist is inevitably mixing and matching shades to achieve a perfect look. After all, good enough is usually good enough…but not when it comes to foundation.)

I used to mix and match colors on the back of my hand, but the Sur.face Pro is so much more fun to use—and then I don’t have to frantically wipe everything off my paw with a makeup wipe before heading out the door. You can add different shades, glob on little dabs of your primers, and suddenly you’re a makeup Bob Ross, ready to paint happy little clouds all over your face canvas.

Bonus: with the Sur.face Pro, you can even store product in its little circular holders, so if you’re traveling or on-the-go and don’t want to have to mix and match later, you can store it overnight and it won’t dry up.

It comes down to this: I know I’m late to the party, but the beautyblender is hands-down my favorite beauty discovery of 2014. Hell, it’s my favorite beauty discovery of 2012 through 2014! If you’re a liquid foundation wearer (or a mineral makeup-devotee stuck in a desperate rut), get the beautyblender, watch a few YouTube tutorials on how to make the most of it, and prepare to be delighted.

Jolie Beauty Hall of Fame, all the way.

Disclosure: While this post was hosted by Beauty Blender, as always, all opinions remain my own. I am well and truly obsessed, and now use (and love) the Beauty Blender daily!