Before today, never have I ever thought to reach into my underwear drawer, pull out a silicone boob pad, and use it as a makeup sponge. But while I was searching through the deep, dark depths of the internet recently, I came across a silicone makeup sponge called SiliSponge that looked a looooot like a boob pad (aka chicken cutlets—or maybe if you're more mature than I am, you call them bra inserts) and was inspired.
Here's why: Normally, I would have simply ordered the SiliSponge online, but sadly, like the best weird beauty products in the world, it was sold out by the time I reached the indie beauty brand's website (MollyCosmetics.com). It wasn't until the beauty director at Cosmopolitan.com suggested I try the next best thing instead: an actual silicone bra insert, since they too are made out of silicone and are not porous—and, in theory, would probably give a similar result.
I haven't owned silicone pads since high school, when every Victoria's Secret bra came with these bad boys tucked inside, but I was up for the challenge so I borrowed one from the office fashion closet and got to work.
Here's how my makeup application went down:
First, I pumped some foundation (It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream) directly onto the silicone pad and began spreading it all over my face. I immediately realized I'd used waaay too much product, since this silicone thing doesn't suck up any of the formula (like makeup sponges do), which, to me, is incentive alone to try a silicone makeup sponge (or bra insert, if you're hard-up like I was): You use less product!
The next thing I realized from using this pad to apply my makeup is how easily it cleans. I didn't want all my products to mix together since I was using the same applicator for everything, so I just wiped it off with a makeup wipe in between. So much easier than washing brushes and sponges!
For my third experiment, I used the "chicken cutlet" to blend in concealer (I used BareMinerals BareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer) under my eyes. To do so, I gently slapped the pad on my face repeatedly (in a patting kind of way), instead of rubbing it around so all the product wouldn't smear away. This technique worked the best, and the smacking sound it made against my skin also sounded funny.
I then wondered how the pad would apply a beauty product that was very liquidy, so I tried Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush. I dipped the corner of the "chicken cutlet" into the product, tried my slapping technique once again, and was pretty impressed by the results. It blended the blush in perfectly!
Since this flexible pad was so successful at applying the previous beauty products, I became curious about how it'd buff out harsh contour lines. So I grabbed a contouring stick (Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Color Stick) and swiped it under my cheekbones to see how well my makeshift "sponge" would work. To properly blend in the darker contour cream, I resorted back to more of a wiping motion, since the stick was a little harder to blend. Still, the results were pretty great, all things considered.
Lastly, I applied highlighter (MAC Strobe Cream) along the tops of my cheekbones and over my brow bone using the corner of the pad. The gentle tapping motion I mentioned earlier worked best here too. Again, impressed!
Overall, I have to give this thing two thumbs up. I wore my face like this all day and not one person came up to me and said, "You look like you did your makeup with a chicken cutlet." Success.
Oh, and just so you can see what your makeup application would look like applied with a bra insert versus applying it with your fingers (which also aren't porous and are super-easy to clean), I put a full face of cosmetics on using the insert on one half of my face and my fingers on the other side. And TBH, I think my application looks better using the bra insert than it does with my finger application! Crazy.
**The only drawback I will note is how big the boob pad was, which made it a little hard to maneuver at times. But if you can't get your hands on a SiliSponge (that's a more practical size and shape), you now know you could always reach inside your underwear drawer to get similar results.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.