I spent a good hour in David Jones looking for a Tinted Moisturiser that was as good at my Laura Mercier one, but wasn't as shiny. Nothing really seemed as good so I decided to go with the oil free version of the LM one. I was pretty hesitant to hand over $60 for a foundation I might not even like, but summer & tinted moisturiser don't go well together and I needed something good.
When I first tried it, I used my foundation brush and it super streaky. The formula is very different from the original one, not sure how to explain it.. just thicker (but not foundation-thick) and dries/sets really quickly. So you have to work really fast otherwise it gets blotchy. The second time, I put the TM on the back of my hand and dipped the Real Techniques sponge and then just pressed it into my skin, no blotchiness at all! I also found that using the sponge really covers up pores in the t-zone area.
The oil-free one is definitely better than the original one. It's nowhere near as greasy-looking, has more coverage & lasts longer.
I love the Real Techniques Sponge! I don't have the Beauty Blender to compare it to, but I have no issues with the RT sponge so I won't be buying anything else. On top of it applying the TM flawlessly, it makes my concealer set well enough not to crease for most of the day.
I use the long (right) side for my foundation all over, the flatter part for my concealer and the pointy bit for any blemishes or the inner corner of my eyes.
The only annoying thing is that it's very hard to wash completely, concealer tends to stain it very quickly, but since I apply my TM in the bathroom I give it a quick wash with a tiny amount of antiseptic hand wash every day. And at less than $10 a sponge, it's not really a big deal to replace every 3-ish months.