Once upon a time, using a sponge for the application of makeup was seen as gross and impractical. Not only were there concerns of bacteria growing on the sponge after multiple uses, but makeup sponges never seemed to give you quite that flawless finish you were looking for.Boy, how times have changed. The makeup sponge has been redesigned and revolutionized. Gone are the flat round or square white sponges you’d find in your compact, and in their place are ergonomically-shaped sponges meant to help you blend your way to a perfect complexion.On the forefront of this trend (and the most popular option among celebrity makeup artists and beauty gurus) is the Beautyblender. Sold at Sephora for $19, the Beautyblender’s price is steep. But as someone who owns one and uses the elliptical-shaped sponge daily, I can say that the results I get — an almost airbrushed quality look — are better than any foundation makeup brush I’ve ever used. Due to its high price, though, I was happy to come across a possible cheaper alternative. Which is why I was excited to find out that Earth Therapeutics had developed its own version of the Beautyblender called the Precisso Beauty Blending Sponge. Priced at $5.99 and sold at stores that carry Earth Therapeutics products (Kohls, Ulta, etc.), the Precisso is certainly budget-friendly. But would a less expensive version of my beloved Beautyblender yield the same results? I was more than happy to find out. First impressionWhen I took the Precisso Beauty Blending Sponge out of its package, I immediately noticed several differences from the Beautyblender. The first thing was the size. While both are teardrop-shaped, the Precisso is much larger and bulbous. Despite both being made out of nonlatex polymer, the Precisso is denser and not as soft.On the plus side, both sponges are hypoallergenic and reusable,.Using the Precisso was easy. Just like the Beautyblender, it is best used to apply foundation while the sponge is wet. (I have never been a fan of using my beautyblender wet, though.) Not surpisingly, I didn’t care for this process. The point of using sponges wet is to help your foundation achieve a “dewy” finish; the Precisso did, in fact, give me a dewy finish that I liked.I tried the sponge multiple times — both wet and dry, to apply foundation, powder and concerler — in the next week.Fab or flub?Fab! Earth Therapeutics Precisso is a great product that does exactly what it is supposed to do. It gave me the even, smooth finish from my foundation and concealer that I can’t usually achieve as easily with a brush. It also took the guesswork out of blending, and I loved how it made the whole process of putting on makeup nearly effortless. So, how does it compare with the Beautyblender? I think it’s pretty on par. While I’m not sure if I’ll be able to convince Beautyblender devotees to give it a try, I say it is a hands-down must-buy if you’ve long been wanting to try the pricier sponge or if you are just interested in finding out what the beauty blending sponge trend is all about.The investment is $6, but the payoff will be the face you’ve always wanted.