1.04.2017

SiliSponge Review: Or Really Thoughts On Beauty Blogging

Come with me as I tell of the tale of my SiliSponge fail, and subsequent feelings about the beauty blogging world.

It started simply enough. I heard about the SiliSponge, by Molly Cosmetics. I like to try new beauty gadgets (like this one) and share them on my blog. I wanted to try this sponge because I knew it would be popular soon, it isn't porous like a regular sponge, which means less product is needed, it's easy to clean, you get more coverage, and I had to be one of the first to share it. I ordered this new fangled silicone sponge and had expedited shipping. In the blogging world, being among the first to review something is a plus. I feel like there are so many beauty bloggers, that something as simple as reviewing a product in the early buzz of it helps with blog exposure.

Not my pic, keep reading to find out more

Normally, I take product pics first thing before I try them out. I didn't since this is essentially a clear makeup applicator and didn't feel like setting up the perfect shot. Over the next few days/weeks, I did try it out, thoroughly testing as I do. I took pics of me comparing it to other makeup application methods:


Pictured: no makeup, beauty blender, hands, brush, Silisponge
Click pic to enlarge

I found that while the Silisponge gave great coverage, it was really awkward to use. It was different, but doable. Not an essential, but fun to try. I don't think it will replace any current makeup methods out there. I definitely wouldn't whip it out when doing makeup professionally. I still needed to blend out the foundation using hands/fingers/sponge/brush/something.

Around this time I noticed the Silisponge was sold out, so I decided to see if I could find alternatives for my readers. This is the usual practice for me--I like finding dupes. I went through my collection of shoe inserts/pads from a past blog post. Yes, I found some that were similar.

via Ebay


The texture made me think of those chicken cutlets/bra enhancers. I went to the store and checked each possible contender out. I'm sure I looked crazy.

And then I decided to make my own. I knew this was made from silicone and thermoplastic polyurethane. I researched various silicones and decided silicone caulk might work. This also isn't unusual for me since I make my own DIY beauty products all of the time. I made a template, made various attempts, but wasn't satisfied.

via Ebay


Finally, after a three weeks of testing, I decided to take the pics for the blog. I had to be quick before this sponge was old news. I dumped out my makeup bag after my trip home for Christmas. I couldn't find the SiliSponge anywhere. I called my mom and sis in a panic. Had I left it back home?

I was almost, almost, almost in tears from frustration because all of my hard work was for nothing, when I realized I was being ridiculous. All of this over a post? The clear sponge was lost for good.

via Ebay


You see, since there are so many beauty bloggers out there, I always feel like I'm trying to keep my head above water. If you aren't producing good, consistent content, there will be a blogger ready to snatch your place in a half a second. I work hard and want people to read my blog. I enjoy what I do.

I've heard some crazy methods--the bloggers who buy all 23 shades of a foundation just for pics and swatches and then they return them to get their money back, thus making the products unavailable for consumers and in the end making products unsaleable, which drives up prices. I've heard of bloggers who buy all of whatever the new release is from a store, preventing competition from getting the review first. And of course, there are first impressions, which some people take as a review, instead of, well, a first impression.

Foundation applied using SiliSponge




I wondered am just as guilty? I paid extra to get the sponge here fast! I had to be among the first! I thought of the past few weeks--testing out shoe inserts and the chicken cutlets. Creating one from caulk. I mean, who would really use these as makeup applicators? To be honest, I've heard of people using socks to apply makeup and knives as a guide for contouring, so I'm sure someone would. And it gets even crazier, y'all, the stunts some bloggers to do get noticed. They will do anything! While I see myself as dedicated, I know that will never be me.

It made me think of the short story Contents of the Dead Man's Pocket, where a man nearly dies trying to save a piece of paper with info on it only to lose the paper at the end. All of these things that some bloggers do, just to get noticed, not to lose an audience. When will it stop? Is it only going to get worse? I don't know the answers, but I did learn a lesson. It's not worth it.

I had to laugh at the absurdity of it all. And then I wrote this post. So if you want your own Silicone Makeup Sponge, don't invest much. Try Ebay or Amazon.


Would you try the SiliSponge?

46 comments:

  1. I love this post, Elle. And I can totally relate to the "keep your head above water" feeling. I had a similar experience the week before Christmas when I couldn't find a pair of earrings to photograph -- I was on the verge of crying too! Once I finally got myself together I came to the same realization -- all for a post. The crazy things we do as bloggers. Thanks for sharing this!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde's Moment

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  2. moral of the story - amazon. and just breathing. bc the struggle is real girly and so many can relate! love this post!

    xoxo cheshire kat

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  3. I'm glad you reviewed this because I'd thought about trying it! Girl I get it... that's why I can't even keep up. I post about things besides beauty now because I can't afford all the products that come out every month and I'm not willing to do some of the things others do. Keep doing you. You're genuine and wonderful and I always trust your opinion.

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  4. I definitely have to take a step back sometimes and ask myself am I getting this for the blog or is it something that I will really wear and love. I hate buying an item that I know will look good photographed, but I never actually wear. Blogging can definitely trap you both financially and emotionally.
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

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  5. The comparison game in the blogging world is always a losing battle. Honestly, you have great content and just keep on doing what you are doing girl :)

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  6. The struggle is real girl! So many times I have freaked out over small things for the blog but we have to remember we are just human! You're posts are always amazing!!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

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  7. One thing you do that no other blogger I know does is be honest! This post is so refreshing Elle. This is why I stopped blogging, because for me personally, I didn't want to invest more than I already did. I had a lifestyle blog, and it got to the point where I ran out of stories and had to consider embellishing just to create interesting content. I thought, is this me? I couldn't do it.

    I love your blog and I so appreciate all the effort you put into being honest!!

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  8. That's crazy! I guess I never knew how intense beauty bloggers got just to be the first to review something. But I have to say, I never knew about the SiliSponge until I saw it on your blog :) I'm currently contemplating getting a Beauty Blender but I'm not 100% sure if it will be worth it.

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  9. I can't believe there are some people that would buy up a product so that others can't review it...that's nuts!! Thanks for testing this out for us - I've seen it a few different places, but I really do like my beauty blender so I'm afraid the silicone would feel weird applying makeup LOL! But the tip of getting from ebay or amazon for cheaper is one I'll definitely use! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  10. Yes to Amazon! Sorry you went through so much stress over a beauty sponge, but looking gorgeous btw! It's amazing how much we freak out about something in blog world that is essentially so unimportant. Your reviews are always amazing, and I'm glad you're trying not to stress yourself out over them anymore <3
    Green Fashionista

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  11. That is so ridiculously insane the extent some people go to to be the 'top dog' in blogging world... when its not about the first to me - its about loyalty. You be YOU & get REAL relationships with other bloggers, they'll always come to your blog first (or only) to see reviews & the latest.. Dont sweat it girl. You are amazing at what you do - no need to join the crazies out there.
    ...& that sponge... umm... not something I can see myself use. It just seems so weird!!!

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  12. I'm just amazed that this silicone sponge thing exists. I had never heard of it, so you definitely got your post out early enough for me. ;) Ha! When I started blogging I was all excited and thought about how I could make my blog bigger...and then eventually I realized I just don't want to do any of those things. It's definitely crazy out there!

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  13. Great post, girl! I always think about this when I watch beauty vloggers on YouTube. I'm with you, though - never will be me or my style either. You keep doing you!

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  14. I can't believe the crazy things people will do to be the first! That's insane! And the sponge totally reminded me of the bra cutlet things! Not sure I would want to use that on my face. :)

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  15. This post gave me a good chuckle. :) I think I'll stick to my Beauty Blender for now. ;) Maybe it'll turn up eventually? I've lost things and have torn the house apart looking for them and then my husband will come home and it'll be right in plain site. Thanks for sharing your honestly! So true!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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  16. I think it looks best when applied just with your bare hands! Sorry you put so much effort into this post, but I will tell you it ended up brilliantly. Thank you for all of your hard work, I appreciate it it so much!

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  17. I love this post because you are so honest and clear-sighted to see the absurdity in it all. Life is just that way-we are all struggling to try to get somewhere...only to lose the paper at the end. Ahh, the sound and fury!

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  18. Thanks for sharing all of this! That is crazy all the things people will be do, and no I don't think it's worth the crazy lengths either! I've seen reviews for these silicone sponges, but they seemed weird to me!

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  19. When I first saw this applicator I thought to myself...hmmm gimicky? I'm sure it's exhausting trying to be among the first and relevant but in my opinion I'd rather just read reviews from people I actually trust that are legit like you a few weeks later than read the first review of someone who used the product once and thinks they know their opinion when a week later when I'm trying to buy it they've moved on to something else that they like better...

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  20. What a nice, honest post. I feel like the silicone draw would be that it could be cheaper over time, not always replacing sponges, or using less product like you mentioned. I would use a DIY or chicken cutlet if it was cheaper! Thanks for always giving us the real deal, Elle.

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  21. I can't believe some of the crazy things other bloggers do that you mentioned! It wouldn't be worth it to me. I am glad you did post this review though because it is such an interesting looking product I wanted to hear your thoughts!

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  22. I'm not at all familiar with this, but any time I'd see it mentioned it definitely reminded me of the shoe inserts! So glad you shared your honest feelings in your pursuit to give your readers the best possible info out there!

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  23. I understand your frustration, but when you are going through moments like that just remember that every blogger is different. Being the first blogger to review a trendy product might get you a lot of views, but it is your overall content, your style and your personality that will get you a loyal following. And in the long run that is more important.
    Great review, I think ill stick to my beauty blender.

    Vanessa x | www.springlilies.com

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  24. Oh man! Thank you for this enlightening post, Elle. First of all, I truly am amazed at your dedication to being a beauty blogger. You do so much for your readers! And I never knew some beauty bloggers go to that extent just to be ahead of the game. Like really?!?!? Everyone has her/his own voice, so I don't understand all this nonsense. Even if the same products are being reviewed, we all have different point of views, right?

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  25. Oh girl do I bet feel you on this post!! It's one of my BIGGEST pet peeves when I see bloggers get a review of a product up the day after PR Samples go out- that is not enough time to test something for review, that is a first impression at best!
    This sort of thing does exactly what you mention, it creates an unhealthy competitiveness between bloggers at the cost of our readers who might not actually be getting genuine authenticity from us (us=bloggers in general).
    If I get access to products early enough that I can try and have a post ready prelaunch, then that is ideal, buts harder and harder to come by and in an over saturated blogging industry, the actual words we have to say should be SO MUCH MORE important that who got to it first.
    Great post, you've inspired me :-)
    Jaime | www.girllovesgloss.com

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  26. I've been seeing this sponge all over the place and wondered if it was worth the hype. Thank you so much for trying it out and sharing your thoughts with us. I've heard some crazy stories of the lengths that some bloggers will go to be noticed and yes I would agree that it's not worth much in the end.

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  27. This is such an interesting post! I didn't realize that beauty bloggers did that. I haven't heard of this sponge before, so it was so interesting to read about!

    xo,
    Angela

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  28. I have been seeing this product everywhere!!! I use bare minerals, but the powder so I would never have to use a product like this, but I keep hearing great things!

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  29. I have wondered about this. Thanks for the review!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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  30. I'v been curious about this! I still may try it out.
    You always go through so much for a review. We definitely love reading about the product and I'm glad you're not one of "those" beauty bloggers. I'm fine with reading about the product and maybe a drugstore dupe!

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  31. Love that you always to honest review. As a blogger there is always some kind of pressures. I had some last week but told myself to to let it go.

    http://www.amysfashionblog.com/blog-home/

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  32. I totally agree about reviewing new products first. You’ve got to stay on top of releases! I thought about getting this to review but I’m just jumping on the beautyblender train, so one step at a time for me. I’ve heard of fashion and beauty bloggers buying things, photographing them, and returning them. It’s certainly not illegal, but it just feels wrong to me. I couldn’t do it in good conscience. Especially with higher end products, it’s like you’re putting a fa├žade on so people think you’re rich and only buy the best, but you have to take it back because it’s really not in your budget. I like to keep it real. I don’t buy clothes just for blogging purposes. I will do it with makeup occasionally, but it’s usually something from the drugstore, nothing too crazy expensive. I work hard on my blog too and I want people to read, but I’m going to be honest and truthful and if that turns some people away, so be it. It’s good that you were able to look back and laugh. I know that I’m getting the truth when I come to your blog and I know you’ve tested the product thoroughly and won’t recommend it if it’s not good. Having people trust your word and opinion is worth so much more!

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  33. Hehe competition is fierce, but hey, I'm glad you see the absurdity in it all...! But your love for beauty blogging really shines through and why I come back to your blog day in, day out. :)

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  34. haha I don't think I'll ever try this, though. I'm good with a normal makeup sponge and brushes x

    http://www.erinazmir.com

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  35. Ell, this is such a great post! I know what you mean, to be the first one, although I never felt that - I am not a beauty blogger, I have written some beauty reviews, but not brilliantly like you do. But I can imagine what you felt, needing to be the first one to review the silicon sponge. I think your readers would like it, BUT that is not why we come to your blog; it's your honesty and sweetness that brings us to your blog plus the beauty reviews. I didn't know about some bloggers buying all the 23 shades of a foundation, just to return them or buying the whole whatever, just not to leave the items for other people... that's awful! But I do know 2 bloggers that would do ANYTHING to be the first, even though their posts are so "poor" (poor minded, etc). And then sooner or later we spot these people. And I stopped visiting their blogs. So good that you thought that crying was not worth it, and I loved your post - you are really a sweet girl and a great blogger!
    DenisesPlanet.com

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  36. Oh my goodness, friend, I feel you so much as a blogger. Obviously I'm not a beauty blogger, but as a lifestyle blogger, there's just so much competition. And I want to be my feminist "cooperation over competition" true self, but it's so damn hard at times.

    I just keep reminding myself that I'm a writer first and foremost. I have specific writing goals grander than blogging 3-5 days per week or getting X page views each month. To accomplish those long-term goals, I need to let go of the short-term hustle.

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  37. I have wanted to try this out as I have seen it in a few different places. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I don't think I will even bother trying it as it wasn't that great. In terms of blogging, trying to race ahead of other definitely will stress you out and take away from the whole reason why you started blogging, your love for it. I def try to not compare myself to others because it just gets you down. I have never tried to race and do things before other bloggers because at the end of the day it just ruins the passion. I don't have thousands and thousands of followers. Would I like more? Of course. But I also don't think it is worth it to stress myself out just to get views. Just my opinion. I'm glad you realized what you did after writing this post.

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  38. Interesting! I wouldn't even think it worked at first glance! Thanks for the insightful review babe- now I'm curious ;D
    Thank you for the blog visit babe, hope to see you back soon! Happy New Year!

    Xx- Julie | Haute Khuuture Blog

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  39. I know what you mean- you rush and rush to try and be the first to review/try something, but in reality you're never really first (or if you are, you lose your MIND in the process). It's a tough balance sometimes between blogging for fun and blogging for purpose.

    As always, your honesty is so refreshing, Elle!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  40. Wow...this is fascinating. Where do you find this stuff?

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  41. I would most likely not even know that this existed if it weren't for you! You are awesome! :)

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  42. this is a great post Elle. Honestly, this is not something I would try anyway, but I always love your dedication. you're honest and thorough, i value that. i don't follow any beauty bloggers except for you, it's hard to find people you actually trust, everyone trying to be better than everyone else.

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  43. Wow! Your level of dedication is incredible! Incredib-Elle! Even better, though, was this very honest and candid post! I think a lot of us can relate. Blogging can be a very competitive and expensive hobby/occupation, and very draining emotionally. I think, though, when you consistently do a good job and have a voice with personality (like YOU!), people will stick with you. Most of my favorite bloggers and YouTubers are my favorites because of their personalities mores than their early access to /reviews of products. I can only speak for myself, but I'd much rather support someone who has a personality I like and relate to over someone I don't feel any affection for who may have connections with PR or play the buy everything out game. Bless you for your honesty, dedication to your readers, and your overall real-ness! It's incredibly refreshing -- or should I say incredible-Elle-y refreshing? ;)

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  44. You sound like a very dedicated beauty blogger. I enjoyed reading this and oh the things bloggers would do. Sad but true. And regarding that piece of silicone, I'll keep my beauty blender. Have a great weekend.

    http://www.fashionablyidu.com/

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  45. I always always always enjoy your reviews. I don't always just read one persons review of a product either- so I think you doing you is awesome and still relevant. Your posts are always creative and thorough and I appreciate that!

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  46. I really agree with you on this post. It can be stressful trying to stay ahead and compete with others. I just stay true to what I love doing and normally don't rush out to get the latest and newest products all the time. It is crazy the lengths people will go through.

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