Before I actually used a beautyblender to apply my foundation, spending $20 on a tiny, hot pink, egg-shaped makeup sponge sounded unreasonable. Then, I gave in to the buzz, bought one, and, well — never touched a makeup brush again. Seriously.
For me, the seamless, natural makeup base that a beautyblender creates outperforms any other makeup application tool on the market. It’s forever a best-seller at Sephora, and one of the most popular tools in Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist’s kit. So where did this pink sponge come from? The tiny (but hella mighty) product is the brainchild of makeup artist Rea Ann Silva, who came up with the concept while working on a TV set and running into serious problems with making foundation look natural.
Keep scrolling to find out exactly why Silva decided to make it pink, what she thinks is the biggest mistake people make with beautyblenders, and more.
How did beautyblender come about? How did you get the idea?
At the time, artists were categorized into film and television artists or editorial artists. I made a niche working with WOC and, specifically, honing in on an airbrush effect. I was Department Head of a show called Girlfriends that featured four female lead actresses, including Tracee Ellis Ross. This was also one of the first shows shot in high definition, which posed a problem: Makeup will quickly look “cakey.” With four female leads, I couldn’t roll out an airbrush machine, nor could I pull anyone off set to touch up their makeup. I had experience with special effects makeup and knew three things: When you needed makeup to look skin-like, you would bounce a sponge onto the skin with makeup to add dimension. I also knew that by adding a bit of water, it would set the makeup and give it a more natural, luminous finish. Lastly, I couldn’t have any lines of demarcation because they would appear on camera. I needed a tool that would seamlessly blend makeup. I would sit in my trailer and cut up wedge sponges into little tear drop shapes and wet them before use. They were my secret weapon on set.
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Why did you decide to make the sponge pink?
When these little foam eggs started disappearing from my kit, I decided that it may be worth looking into starting a little side business. When I finally found a manufacturer, they would send me prototypes of difference sponges in different colors so I could easily keep track of the ones I liked and the ones I did not. The final prototype came in hot pink, and while the manufacturer told me to ignore the color, I saw it and smiled. I knew I wanted beautyblender to be this cheery pink hue.
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Tell us more about why the sponge is egg shaped.
It is egg shaped so that you can use each side of the blender and never have a line of demarcation. It’s essential for the flawless finish. It also is perfect for applying makeup to hard to reach areas like around the nose and eyes. Some sponges out there have a flat surface — that is completely counterproductive if you are looking for a seamless blend.
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What was the moment you knew your brand made it?
Honestly, there were two. I had always dreamed of my product being in a Sephora. When we launched, we were in the windows. I had a major “pinch me” moment. Before that, when I won my first Best of Beauty Award. That’s when it hit me that I had something special.
What’s your best beautyblender tip?
After 15 years, it still amazes me that some people don’t use a beautyblender wet. Remember to Wet. Squeeze. Bounce your blender!
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