13k reviews on Aliexpress, 30k current orders… I simply had to do it! I’ve been using this sponge for more than a month now with all kinds of products and this is a full IMAGIC makeup sponge review and comparison it to a Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.
Prices. IMAGIC $1.98, Real Techniques $6 (I bought mine in a bundle for $17.99, which made 1 cost $4.50 a piece)
Packaging. IMAGIC arrived to my mailbox within 10 days after I paid for my order. The sponge was packed in a plastic bag and padded envelope, the package was tracked only until it left China. RT sponges are packed in sturdy plastic mold and a box:
First impressions. Both IMAGIC and RT sponges are latex-free sponges. They don’t smell like plastic when you get them out of the packaging. To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised to find IMAGIC sponge to have no scent at all.
Size & shape. They are same in size, around 6cm long and 4cm wide. I chose IMAGIC sponge with a tip slanted on both sides and it works very well under the eyes, the bottom is round. The RT sponge has slanted bottom. In terms of shape I prefer the IMAGIC one – it’s really convenient because of the slanted tip:
Texture. IMAGIC sponge has almost the same texture as the Real Techniques one, however IMAGIC feels a tiny bit smoother. The close-up shows how similar the texture is:
When wet: both sponges expand quickly when wet and it’s easy to squeeze the water out of them. They both become very soft and bouncy. Here’s wet IMAGIC next to the RT sponge so you can see how much it expands:
MAKEUP APPLICATION. I’ve used these sponges consistently for a month, IMAGIC sponge on the one side of my face and Real Techniques on the other side of my face to see the difference. I’ve used them with BB creams, foundations, concealers, and cream products. My verdict: they perform almost same! In fact, I prefer the IMAGIC sponge a little better – it gave me a little bit more airbrushed finish with thicker products. I feel like it’s because the RT sponge retains a water a little more. If both sponges are squeezed completely, RT sponge gives a bit more sheer coverage, but I wouldn’t say the difference is noticeable unless you look very closely.
How much product do they soak up? Every time I used these sponges I applied same amounts of product on the left side and right side of my face to see which one soaks more product up. It feels like the Real Techniques sponge soaks up a bit more product (maybe it’s due to the texture it holds liquid more, same as it retains water a bit more), but the coverage is very similar. My best guess is that IMAGIC has a bit denser texture than the RT sponge. However, once again the difference is miniscule.
CLEANING. To me this is one of the most important factors. They are both quite easy to clean. At the moment, I’m using cleansing oil that didn’t suit my skin (The FACE SHOP Rice Water Bright Oil – full review here) to get the most of the product out of the sponge while it is dry, and then use soap to get it squeaky clean. Both sponges release the product really well, but I’ve noticed that the tip of my IMAGIC sponge was very lightly stained by the foundation the first time I used it, while the RT sponge is 100% clean:
Interestingly, this is the only spot where it’s stained, even though I’ve used all sides of the sponge to apply makeup 🤔 Overall, IMAGIC sponge is really easy to clean same as the RT sponge.
Upcoming updates: the product description for the IMAGIC sponge says that the sponge is good for half a year maximum, but I usually replace makeup sponges every 3-4 months. I’ll keep using this one and will update this review in 3 months or in case it starts disintegrating quicker than that.
To sum it all up. I like the IMAGIC sponge a lot, while I was very sceptical about it at first. It’s super soft, bouncy, easy to use, feels silky to the touch, and, most importantly, gets the job done 110%. Needless to say, I’m not going to purchase Real Techniques sponges anymore – IMAGIC sponge is totally on par with them, if not better. The price of the IMAGIC sponge is a nice bonus, but it’s the way this sponge applies my makeup that wins it for me.
What is your favorite makeup sponge? If you’ve ever used IMAGIC or Real Techniques sponges? I’d love to know!
See you in my next post,
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