I became a member of Sephora's subscription box service, Play!, in April of this year. I think the boxes have been pretty decent thus far, but I was expecting something stellar when I found out that the July boxes would be specialized: there was going to be one box for oily skin and one box for dry skin. I feel a little frustrated when I get sample products that sound really great, but not for my skin type, so this seemed like a fantastic idea.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I saw a BeautyBlender Blotterazzi sponge in my box. This is meant to be a blotting sponge that soaks up excess oils on your face. It's a neat product in theory, actually; you won't be slapping four or five pieces of blotting paper on your face every few hours, you can easily wash this guy up for less waste, and it will presumably last you a while.
Except, you know. I'm dry-skinned. I've had the same pack of ELF blotting sheets in my purse for over a year because my face is basically the Sahara. I might blot my nose in the midst of a long night out or a busy day at work, but that amounts to two or three sheets a month. I'm not the ideal customer here.
But it's summer, and summer in Pennsylvania is very sticky. And since my partner suggested we go to a local park and take photos for Christmas cards, I figured, "Hey, what better time to test this guy out? I'll never be sweatier!"
Blotterazzi is normally sold in a compact with two sponges for $20. The Play! boxes came with one Blotterazzi in a cardboard sleeve, which...okay, I get it, it's a sample, but how am I supposed to keep this thing clean in my purse? We were out of sandwich baggies and none of my reusable metal cases were large enough to hold the sponge, so I considered wrapping it in plastic wrap. Then I decided that the inside of my bag is decently clean, placed it back in its cardboard sleeve, and carried it around that way.
Even without a case, this sponge is pretty sizable. With a compact, it's going to take up some definite real estate in your purse or pocket. It does come with a mirror, though, so it'd serve more than one purpose. Overall, I admit that I think this sponge is a little large for its intended purpose. (I have tiny hands, though.)
If you use this sponge to blot your face, you're going to want to wash it regularly. Now, this is fine for somebody who doesn't produce a lot of oil (like me), or somebody who only wears makeup once or twice a week. But if you wear makeup very frequently and need to blot constantly, you're going to want to wash this thing every other day or so. And that can be a hassle.
And seriously, BeautyBlender, why are you incapable of making a product that doesn't leak pink dye after numerous washes?! The picture above shows the second time I washed my Blotterazzi, and it was still producing hot pink droplets in my (very dirty, sorry 'bout it) sink. Gaddamn, just make the thing dye-free and call it good.
After running around in 90 degree weather with my boyfriend for a few hours, I noticed that my nose was quite shiny while my forehead and chin were a smidgen too glowy. Time to blot! You can see the end result above: the picture on the left is me pre-blot, the center is mid-blot (and again, I think the sponge is a bit big, but it could just be me), and the right is post-blot. See a difference?
Yeah, neither did I. Honestly, you'll have to click on the above photos and stare at them pretty intensely to see that I am slightly less shiny on the right versus the left. Slightly. I did use it several more times throughout the day, but frankly, the ELF Shine Eraser sheets remove more oil with less pressing and fuss.
Also, I am disgusting, and one of the things I really enjoy about blotting sheets is that you can actually see how much oil you took off of your face. It's not clearly visible on the Blotterazzi sponge: it looks the same to me freshly washed as it does after I've used it all day. Now, that's a bummer for me, but if you're very oily, slash, easily squicked out, you may like that Blotterazzi hides the evidence.
I'll give BeautyBlender this: their products always have a nice texture. This is a very soft sponge that doesn't stick to the skin or cause irritation. And in theory, a reusable sponge seems like a good idea. But it did such a poor job of removing oil off of my barely-greasy nose that I can't imagine it working wonders on a truly oily-skinned person. For now, it might be best to stick to the sheets.
RATING: 2 out of 5.
Available at Sephora.