Working as a Hollywood makeup artist in the early 2000s, Rea Ann Silva designed a sponge that reshaped the face of beauty. She’d been looking for a technique to simplify makeup touch-ups without worrying about the smudges or streaks that were easily detected on HDTV. Her solution? A teardrop-shaped sponge—hand-cut from a foam wedge—that could apply makeup from any angle, and absorb just enough water to be extra-efficient. Actors and fellow makeup artists raved about the sponge, so Rea Ann cold-called an industry insider—who almost hung up on her before agreeing to listen to her idea. That call led to a fruitful partnership that helped Rea Ann launch Beautyblender in Hollywood pro shops, then Ulta and Sephora. Today, the bright pink teardrop sponge is at the center of a multi-million-dollar beauty brand, available in over 50 countries.