And this is how we come to the awesomeness that is the Beauty Blender. No, you cannot get a knockoff and have it work 'just as well.' Buy the real thing, get an amazing result.
I was So hesitant initially to try this thing with a $20 price tag for a MF sponge, but it really is unbelievable. You Must follow directions though. I've heard lots of people online who talk about how this thing didn't do what it promised, but this is cuz they're clearly dumb and don't know how to read directions. You have to wet it, let it puff out and everything, and just wring out all the excess moisture before blending your makeup, otherwise the sponge does exactly what a sponge is known to do- it sucks shit up. Primarily the makeup you just painstakingly put on your face.
I've seen a couple different ways to use it though, so you definitely have to figure out what works for you, but I personally like to put on my foundation using my normal round foundation blush, then place my contouring/highlighting creams, and then go about blending it all in. Others like to place product directly on the blender, but i don't feel I have as much control that way.
Ooh such blending!
Another thing I thought wouldn't make a difference- cleaning the damn thing. I used the same gentle cleanser I use on my makeup brushes, but I found it didn't get all the stains out of the blender no matter how much I cleaned it. Which I figured was just an unfortunate fact of life (the thing is pink after all). But lo and behold, I wound up buying the liquid Blender Cleanser, and HOLY SHIT it made the biggest difference. After just one pump of the stuff, PINK DYE even came out. It literally washed out all the extra dye. Unbelievable. My blender looked so nice, like it was brand new again. I strongly recommend buying the branded cleaner cuz hot damn it works magic. Ultimately I want all the sizes of this thing, and I want minimum two normal sizes so I don't have to clean it as often (cuz lazy) and it's worth every penny. Go make your face makeup #flawless.
Before blender cleanser
So. Moral of the story? Go buy this shit right now. Get the normal one, get a pro one, also get the tiny little ones to blend around the eyes so precisely, fuckin Pokemon. Gotta catch em all.