I'd been hesitating whether to get the Beauty Blender, adding it to the basket, then removing it, when I spotted an alternative to the horribly overpriced sponge, the Cosmopolitan Blend Perfection Sponge which cost about a quarter of the original Beauty Blender price.
As you have guessed already, I don't have the original Beauty Blender so the only thing I can compare is the what I notice about the design of the sponge. While the original Beuty blender is egg-shaped, the Cosmopolitan sponge has a 'waist' in the middle. Both are bright pink and both expand when wet.
As I've said, I don't know whether the original Beauty Blender is better or not, but this sponge is just perfect. Foundation applied with this tool looks not only airbrushed but also more matte. I use the sponge not only to apply foundation but also to blend in concealers and cream blush. I'm told I can use this kind of sponge to apply dry products as well, eg. my setting powder and I'm quite sure it does this job in this area, however I haven't tried it with dry products for fear of ruining them by bringing moisture into the pan (this usually turns products which aren't meant for wet application into solid rocks).
I love this sponge dearly and use it daily, yet there are a couple of regrets I have about this product.
First of all the tip is not sharp enough to reach all areas under my eyes. I need to squeeze and wriggle the sponge to get in the inner corner and I find this inconvenient. Every eye shape is different, but to make this sponge suit everyone's needs I would make the tip sharper.
Secondly, it's not easy to clean. Cream products stick to the sponge like crazy. Need to get the special washing stuff for sponges like these.
And finally, this sponge bleeds pink when washing, fortunately I haven't notice pink colour transfer onto my face.
This sponge is a perfect alternative to the horribly expensive Beauty Blender and an indispensible make-up tool. This little sponge has put the reason to keep all those fancy foundation brushes I've got to question. I'll keep repurchasing whenever the need arises, though I've heard Sam Chapman of the Real Techniques is bringing out her own one this autumn, which I'm sure will be equally inexpensive and worth giving a try.
Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.