You may not know the name: Rea Ann Silva. But unless you live under a very big rock (or are someone who has never used makeup in their life) you will likely know the game-changing product she’s created, the Beautyblender. A pink, egg-shaped sponge, the Beautyblender revolutionised the beauty industry when it was birthed in 2005, allowing makeup to be so flawlessly blended it was able to withstand the harsh scrutiny of high definition (HD) cameras. It also inspired a million copycats, so much so that Silva, a former film and TV makeup pro, and her company, Rea.deeming Beauty have even had to launch trademark infringement lawsuits against lookalikes.
But beyond that little pink sponge, Silva has recently upped the ante with a new whipped foundation designed to be used together with the Beautyblender. The Beautyblender Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation (S$60) not only has a lightweight but long-wear formula, but comes in 40 shades. The foundation’s unique selling point is that it contains a special contraption on the bottle — a reservoir on the bottle that allows you to perfectly mix your foundation and sponge for a flawless finish. We spoke to Silva on the impact of this iconic sponge and how the Bounce foundation is yet another innovative marvel.
Tell us about how and why the Beautyblender was first created? What was its first incarnation like, and how did you perfect it over time?
Rea Ann Silva: I was working on the makeup set for the show “Girlfriends” which was the first show shot in HD, so I needed something that made the actors and actresses look flawless on camera. I couldn’t carry around a big airbrush machine so I started to play around with some special effects tools and experimenting with wetting sponges/cutting them into different shapes. I knew that a sponge could give a skin like appearance and that, when used with water, could blend out makeup and allow it to set. This way I didn’t have to continue to layer on product all day, I could apply and reset. When people started stealing them on set, I knew I was on to something special.
Why did you pick pink as the original colour and do you think this resonated well with the customers?
RAS: Pink was just luck! When testing the product during development, the factory would send me different colours to determine which foam was which. They told me to NOT focus on the colour, and to focus on the sponge itself, but once they sent me the bright pink blender I fell in love immediately.
As a former Hollywood makeup artist, what were some of the unique demands that makeup for film and TV required, and how did you translate those needs into your products for the everyday woman?
RAS: Makeup for TV requires constant touch-ups, and there’s never enough time to do a full reapplication. The Beautyblender sponge allowed me to add and blend into the existing makeup without messing up the texture. This translates for the everyday woman because she can also touch up on the go without redoing her whole face throughout the day.
The Beautyblender has had many imitators but none has surpassed its success. As its creator, why do you think this is so and how do you ensure that imitations do not pass themselves off as the real thing?
RAS: I like to call my imitators my “fans”. At this point I am flattered because so many people have been inspired by my creation. Our blender is still the best — the other ones just don’t compare. We have a top secret patented foam, and we are made in the USA, these are two big differentiators that make our blender a much higher quality.
What is the difference with the texture, composition and shape of the Beautyblender that helps give makeup such a flawless, natural finish?
RAS: We use an aqua activated foam which is patented. Our factory is in USA and all blenders are finished by hand. The shape is completely edgeless and allows you to access hard to reach areas of the face (including around the nose and eyes). Its shape allows for no lines on the face and an even
Tell us about the new foundation. How does the unique, whipped texture work with the Beautyblender for a flawless result as compared to regular foundation?
RAS: For our Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation, it’s formulated in Italy with an exclusive high speed HyperWhip process. The silky-smooth formula is whisked into a light as air texture for unparalleled blendability. It creates a velvety matte finish — which means has a healthy dimensional
effect on the skin.
You’ve created an iconic makeup sponge and now a whipped foundation that pairs with it. Where do you see your brand heading to in the next five to ten years and what would you like to create next?
RAS:My goal is to always be an innovator in the beauty space for both tools and makeup.
People use the beauty blender for everything, from foundation to highlighter to blush. What are some of your personal favourite uses for it?
RAS: My favourite way to use a Beautyblender is actually to apply skincare products. It presses everything in nicely and distributes serums evenly.
The new Beautyblender Liquid Whip Foundation is now available at S$60 in local Sephora stores.