Are Mini Beauty Blenders Worth It? Dupes? Worth the Hype?

When I first started using makeup, I used only sponges--I wore those makeup wedge sponges out, y'all! Do you use makeup sponges to apply your makeup? I don't use them every day, but I do use them sometimes. I'm a huge fan of the beautyblender and its similar version from Real Techniques and I've tried them all, honey. Unlike the traditional cheap makeup sponges that are designed for one use and then thrown away, these can last for months. With proper care, I've kept mine for years (and no, they aren't ridden with bacteria, I've tested them).

MINI Sponges

Beautyblender now has a micro mini version and I had to try them. I was instantly a fan--they are so nice under the eyes for concealer blending or setting. I've started using them daily now. If you have small eyes, you'll really like them. But they're expensive and I was determined to find possible dupes or alternatives. I'm sharing 4 today and after much testing, here are my thoughts!

beautyblender® micro.mini
  • $18 for 2
  • comes in green, but there is a set of 4 (each is a different color)
  • Sephora online and in stores
  • can be hard to clean

e.l.f. Precision Sponge Trio

  • $12, but 3 come in a pack, but there is only 1 mini size
  • white only
  • ELF online 
  • cleans easily, but is too dense; similar to any other bb knock off

Swisspers Blending Mini Sponges
  • $3 for two
  • one is pink and one is purple, per pack
  • Walmart, in stores
  • easy to clean
  • but after several uses, it never gets back into the tear drop shape

REAL TECHNIQUES Miracle Mini Eraser Sponges
  • $5.99 for 2
  • purple
  • ULTA, in stores and online
  • easy to clean
  • If you look online (or the first pic in this post) you'll see my sponge looks more like the traditional RT sponge, only mini, and not like the ones pictured now. That is what I received in my order from ULTA back in Sept. The shape is different now and there is an RT stamped onto it, and it's advertised as an eraser and not a blending sponge. I found that odd.
  • The largest of the 4 sponges, but works really well.

Time to Test These Minis

Here are the 4 sponges side-by-side and fully saturated with water. Remember these are tiny! Speaking of water, I tested each for bacteria growth in a controlled environment using petri dishes and a hot box. They all came back normal. When I cut the extra in half (minus the ELF, which I used the next size up) and tested those for bacteria, I found none.

Performance-wise, I preferred all but the ELF. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't as good as the others as it was so dense.


I really like the Swisspers, but as you can see, I have used the purple one more than the pink, and it is now pretty much impossible to use. It's just too soft.

I like the mico beautyblenders, and I think mini sponges are worth it, but I know most aren't going to shell out $18 for 2, so I suggest the RT ones.

UPDATE: I also have tried ULTA has a version of the minis. They are similar to the ones from Swisspers, but I like these better.

  • $5.99
  • 3 per pack, in the colors seen above
  • easy to clean

Have you tried mini sponges?

Extra Elle:
Despite Halloween being on the way, it's feeling like Christmas around my house. Why? It's the time of year when bloggers are doing sponsored posts for Christmas products, and those have to be sent in early for approval. Would you like a post of how that happens, like a behind the scenes?


  1. I've used a BB and then the Sephora version of their BB and I love the Sephora one so much more! I haven't tried the others though...xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  2. I have not tried the mini sponges yet, but after reading your review I think I will definitely give them a shot, especially since you found some good dupes.
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  3. I love my beauty blender but have not tried the mini version yet. I think I might need to try them now! I would definitely like a behind the scenes of your sponsored christmas products!

    Doused In Pink

  4. Thanks for this comparison, Elle. I love Beautyblenders but have not tried the minis. Good to know there are decent dupes out there:)

  5. Thanks for this awesome review of mini sponges! I use the regular size RT ones everyday so need to check out the smaller ones. Such a great price!


  6. oo nice minis review. good to know if i ever get on the blender train! and yes to a behind the scenes! i love all of that :)

    xoxo cheshire kat

  7. Huh. I abandoned sponges when all the stuff about bacteria came out ages ago, but these sound awesome. How do you test for bacteria?

  8. I've never understood mini beauty blender type products. I can do it all with just the original real techniques sponge, so I always thought these to be gimmicky.

  9. I love my regular RT sponge and don't really notice much difference between it and the beauty blender and I like the price tag A LOT better!!! I will have to pick up the RT mini because I could use one for my concealer around my eyes!

  10. I have NEVER used beauty blender sponges before. Isn't that crazy? I have the orange RT one but it seemed to soak up my foundation. Maybe I used it wrong? I also don't like that I have to wet these type sponges. I think I may just be lazy. Do you think maybe I used the orange RT sponge wrong and that could be why I didn't like it? I feel like I'm the only beauty blogger that prefers brushes.

  11. How interesting! I like the price point of the RT ones and it is good to hear you liked them. Once I get some new under eye concealer I think I will have to pick a pack up to help me blend it well.

  12. Yay Christmas things! It's never too early in my book. ;) And yes, I think a behind the scenes post would be cool!

    I haven't tried one of these mini sponges, but if I decide to then I'll definitely check out the RT one!

  13. I love my BB and I also liked the RT one when I tried it. I haven't tried any mini ones! I didn't want to pay the price for the mini BB but I think I'd try the mini RT one!

  14. I wasn't a huge fan of the BB mini's at all and I know so many people who love them. I am for sure going to look into the RT ones as I've wanted to get my hands on the diamond sponge (not sure of the name)

  15. I haven't tried any of the mini sponges, but I would probably give the RT one a try. Yes to the Christmas BTS posts!
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

  16. I love those mini sponges. They work so well for concealer. I always have one in my makeup bag.

  17. I haven't try mini sponges out yet. I actually stop using my beauty blender. I do that the RT beauty blender but haven't try it out yet.

    P.S. Your very welcome for the card. Glad you liked it :)


  18. I always thought that mini bb were kind of a gimmick product, thinking about trying them for setting with powder though.

  19. I have yet to try a blender but I totally want to try a mini! I need to pick one up and decide which one I want!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  20. I am sure your products, blenders, sponges, whatever, never have bacteria, you are very careful with beauty products, we can tell! I never used micro blenders, sponges maybe twice only... I may give it a try again - always when I read your posts and I don't do this or that, it triggers me to do what you are suggesting :)

  21. -I think everyone started out using the wedge makeup sponges. I know I did! I have the small ones from Real Techniques and I love them. I also thought the little beautyblenders were a gimmick product so I never shelled out the money for them, but when I saw RT was coming out with some, I knew I had to try them. I ordered mine online from Ulta as well. I use it every single day for my under eye concealer!

  22. Yes to the "behind the scenes"!!! xoxo, Sissi www.beauty4free2u.com

  23. I would love a behind-the-scenes post!


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