How was everyone’s long weekend and Victoria Day celebration (Canada)? Back to work tomorrow, but I thought I’d get in a post before I head to bed.
Here’s another popular question that I receive from clients or students that I thought I would address here. What is the best makeup sponge in the market?
(Actually, I usually get asked, “What’s that for? It’s so cute!” when I whip out my colorful sponges. Then the conversation begins…
I’ve always been a hands or fingers and sponge girl, even when foundation brushes began to make an entrance to the consumer world. Most of my old-school and true artist peers say the same thing, too! As product textures and techniques have been developing, I’ve since began using various foundation and creme color brushes, too (ex MAC small duo fiber brush 188 $42 or their flat foundation brush $50.50)- but that’s another blog post. Today, i want to focus on sponges. I wanted to show you my own Laura Mercier sponges but they’re really tough to clean and have foundation stains on them, so I left them out & used an image I found online…. Really great for a flawless face application of foundations. Densely textured and designed to keep bacteria away longer with proper cleaning. 4-Pack $19.00 at Sephora, Holt Renfrew or online:
No matter which of the sponges you may have or choose to use, here’s my tried and tested way of using them best. Tip: How to use makeup sponges -
1) If using with a liquid or creme foundation/concealer/blush: Wet the sponge thoroughly then squeeze out the water so it’s just damp to the touch and not dripping.
2) Dip sponge into product or do as I do, and dot ‘n’ dash product on the areas you want to apply it on. Ex. around the eye area, cheeks, etc and immediately -
3) Holding the sponge against your face, “bounce” and roll the damp sponge over the product and onto the skin and watch it blend your makeup flawlessly. Use the pointed side to reach areas like the inner corners of the eyes, around the nose, and under your bottom lashes.
Et Voila! – Easy, quick and flawless application. (Tinted Moisturizers are so sheer, I prefer to use my fingers, and I use a brush to apply BB Cremes).
How to Clean your sponges: I clean my sponges after every use on my clients. But I only clean my personal makeup sponge once a week, since I don’t use much of it during my daily routine. Use a mild cleanser, baby shampoo, or a proper makeup sponge cleaner/soap/shampoo like the ‘Blender Cleanser Solid (by BeautyBlender) seen in the photo below. Wet the sponge, and squeeze and release until the makeup is washed out of it. Run clean water through it. Rinse in the same way and allow to air dry. Here’s a photo of my sponges, just washed and drying on the dish rack, about to be transferred onto a paper towel to dry overnight.
I sometimes use makeup sponges dry when applying powder foundation for a fuller application. (Dampened when I want a more sheer finish). Or dry when I want to use a (wedge) sponge to “set” my eyeliner or concealer with a translucent setting powder under my eyes, or to remove excess color when I get a bit too excited and over apply blush!
Other than for setting/cleaning up makeup messes, and blending into the hair line - I prefer to use other types of sponges rather than the disposable wedges- which, as you’ll see in the photo below, tend to absorb too much product if used for application. And I just toss it away when I’m done using it.
I wanted to show you how much product each makeup sponge tends to absorb when I “picked up” a pea-size of my liquid foundation with each type used damp. [Note: This is why I prefer to dot'n'dash the product onto my face rather than to pick it up using the sponge!] The first (purple one) is my first Beauty Blender dupe- a ‘sponge blender’ and you can see a good half of the rounded bottom end is stained.
Which sponge applies makeup the best?
When it comes to how well each type of sponges apply and blend makeup, I honestly think the first 3 pictured above and the Laura Mercier egg-shape sponges come pretty neck and neck, if used correctly. If the sponges are not wet and squeezed “dry” til a little bit damp before applying a “wet” product, it tends to absorb more of it (like a dry paper towel).
Quiz: Can you tell which of the 3 sponges was used on each side of my face and down my T-zone here?
Haha- such a funny picture of me trying not to laugh! Answer: Sponge Blender on my right side, Beauty Blender on my left side, and the Bella beauty makeup sponge down my t-zone. It’s SO hard to tell, really! I’d recommend any of them. My philosophy is go cheap (if the results are as good). Don’t forget that the quality matters, too- so if it’s cheap but only crumbles to pieces after a couple of washes/uses, it’s better to spend a bit more for a more durable applicator. But try to follow the proper cleansing steps to help prolong your sponge(s), too.
Tip: Don’t be duped by fancy brand names and hype. Ask around, and read up on some legit product reviews. (I deliberately decided not to read other reviews before posting this, so these are my thoughts based on my experience only).
What do you think about these sponges? Do you have a different opinion on these sponges? Maybe you swear by another brand’s makeup sponge. Do share with us here and leave a comment.
The Best Makeup Sponges,