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My name is Christina Marie born and raised in Los Angeles, I’m a professional makeup artist and hairdresser by day and inventor by night. I love all things beauty, makeup and skin care, I struggled with my skin for a really long time (why I created Not a Sponge!) I created a solution for my skin issues that has helped myself and many others. My story is a really unique one. In 2016-17 I started using makeup sponges as part of my everyday routine and my skin started to take a turn for the worse within that year. My skin was out of control and I was so confused why…..I had a strong skin care routine, never slept with makeup on, washed my sheets, always drank lots of water and washed my *makeup sponges* after each use even switched makeup brands but my skin continued to get worse and worse.  My skin got so bad I refused to be seen or leave the house without makeup, I started to recuse from social settings and it really effected my self confidence. In the beginging I loved the look sponges gave me but after while with my skin in such bad shape my makeup did not look good anymore. I was suspicious of the reasons why, I noticed when I would wash my makeup sponges they never really got completely clean. I always felt using and leaving your sponge damp all the time was a perfect way of allowing bacteria to grow so I started exploring different tools to apply my makeup that didn't involve an extreme amount of bacteria. So I started doing some research to see what other tools were out there.... and the options were limited. The choices were a sponge, a brush or a silicone applicator that is awkward to hold and doesn't blend the makeup effectively, I wasn't satisfied. During my research I also found that lots of other people were having similar issues with skin problems plus complaining about how much product sponges waste and how difficult they are to wash without actually getting clean. So I thought to myself I could really invent something that would fix all these problems, with my main focus making it more sanitary to apply makeup and help with skin issues like my own. 

 

I started brainstorming ideas and came up with my first initial design....I quickly realized the shape I wanted it to be was going to be very complicated to manufacture plus the material was basically the same as the makeup sponges that were already on the market which was pointless.....I needed something new, a new material! Something the world had never thought of using to apply makeup! For weeks I tried to think out of the box, I touched everything and thought could i put my makeup on with this, I visited craft stores, home improvement stores, searched online for new materials but I came up with nothing. Feeling discouraged, I finally started to come to terms with the fact that maybe my hopes of creating a better way to apply makeup was just a dream that would never become a reality..... until one day I was cleaning out my bedroom. I found an old stress ball in the awkward shape of grapes, I quickly tossed it in the trash thinking to myself “I don't need this.” A little while later I went to take out the trash, when I picked up the bag the only thing that fell out was the fruit shaped stress ball.... and it bounced down the hallway of my house, the light bulb instantly went off. I asked myself the same question I’d been asking myself for weeks “could I put my makeup on with this?”  I washed off the stress ball and decided to try applying my makeup with it, although it was in the shape of grapes there was a smooth rounded edge where I was able to test out the application, It worked!…..beautifully! blended the foundation but didn't absorb any of it. It also washed completely clean with a little bit of soap and water, I was sold! That same day I started researching manufacturers of polyurethane (stress ball material), After interviewing a few companies I found a company that was willing to work with me (being such a small company with a “new” idea many phone calls and emails went unanswered from others) for my vision I needed a custom shape, a custom size, custom coloring, packaging....and finally 18 months after having my first initial thought of inventing a new concept for applying makeup "not a sponge!" Makeup Applicator was launched!

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