Behind every enviable complexion is a makeup sponge that’s getting the job done. And, before you think this is one for the kids, we encourage you to give it a try. For camouflaging fine lines, and feigning that youthful glow, there’s nothing quite like a makeup blending sponge. The Original Beauty Blender sets the standard in beauty sponges and is an absolute no-brainer if money is no object. If you’re looking for more precise application for concealer or tight areas around the nose or lips, try a makeup sponge for concealer.
Before you get started, read the instructions on the best way to use your new makeup sponge. Most sponges will need to be moistened with the excess water squeezed out before using with makeup. They will likely expand once wet, though it should shrink back down once dry.
Because makeup sponges absorb some of your makeup with each use, it’s important to clean them regularly. They can harbor bacteria that can cause breakouts and even infections if you get lackadaisical about giving it a good and thorough suds session. A cleanser that’s specifically designed for makeup brushes and sponges can help keep your sponge in tip-top shape. Now that you have all the details on selecting the best makeup sponge and how to care for it, take a gander through a few of our favorite makeup sponges for every job.
Best Overall Makeup Sponge: BEAKEY 5 Pcs Makeup Sponge Set, $8.99; amazon.com
Best Drugstore Makeup Sponge: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponges, $17/99; walgreens.com
Best Sponge for Makeup Application: BeautyBlender Original, $18; amazon.com
Best Makeup Remover Sponge: Face Halo Reusable Makeup Remover Pads, $22; amazon.com
Best Silicone Makeup Sponge: Swisspers Premium Silicone Make Up Blending Sponge, $6.95; amazon.com
Best Cheap Makeup Sponge: BEAKEY Makeup Sponge, 10 pcs, $7.97; amazon.com
Best Makeup Sponge for Concealer: e.l.f. Camo Concealer Sponge, $6; target.com
Best Makeup Sponge for Liquid Foundation: Aesthetica Cosmetics Beauty Sponge Blender, $3.97; amazon.com
Best Overall Makeup Sponge: BEAKEY 5 Pcs Makeup Sponge Set
The teardrop shape is no fluke. The precision tip is designed for tight areas like the eyes and corners of the nose. Use the flat bottom for the forehead and chin. You can use this 5-piece makeup sponge set on dry (powder, bronzer, blush) or liquid (primer, foundation, CC cream) makeup—but, regardless of the formula, it will need to be cleaned after each use.
BUY IT: $8.99; amazon.com
Best Drugstore Makeup Sponge: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponges
Latex free and designed for liquid foundation and/or BB cream, these complexion sponges have a rounded size for blending and a flat side for contouring cheekbones. You can use them either wet or dry, though we’ve found a damp sponge to result in the best makeup application. Each sponge should be replaced every one-to-three months depending on their frequency of use and how well they’re cared for.
BUY IT: $17.99; walgreens.com
Best Sponge for Makeup Application: BeautyBlender Original
The #1-selling makeup sponge in the world is the real deal. It’s the sponge that all others are compared to—that bounce, the texture, the flawless finish. Its price is a bit higher than the others we’re featuring in this roundup, but you won’t be able to deny the quality. The latex-free sponge is soft, but not too porous, and it’ll have your makeup going on like a second skin. Just don’t toss the packaging once you unwrap; you can use it as a stand to dry your sponge after cleaning.
BUY IT: $18; amazon.com
Best Makeup Remover Sponge: Face Halo Reusable Makeup Remover Pads
Let’s talk about how to take it all off. These reusable and recyclable makeup removing sponges or pads will wipe away every last bit of makeup—all you need to do is add water. The fibers are designed to grab and trap dirt and impurities in pores with no residue left behind. Each pad should last up to 200 washes in the machine. Have we convinced you to ditch the abrasive washcloths yet? We thought so.
BUY IT: $22; amazon.com
Best Silicone Makeup Sponge: Swisspers Premium Silicone Make Up Blending Sponge
They seem like an unlikely hero, but if makeup waste is your concern with traditional makeup sponges but you still want the airbrushed result, give these little pads a try. Instead of bouncing, you’ll pat makeup in to blend. It can also only be used with liquid cosmetics—don’t even think about trying to apply powder blush or bronzer with it. When it comes time to clean, you’ll be pleased with how quickly the job is done. Just add a drop of soap and rub it all over to remove makeup. Rinse clean.
BUY IT: $6.95; amazon.com
Best Cheap Makeup Sponge: BEAKEY Makeup Sponge
This 10-piece set comes with two different color sponges and two different shapes. One has a flat edge (the brand suggests using it for contouring, though it can also be used to blend on the forehead, cheeks, and chin) while the other is a traditional teardrop shape. Like some of the other options on this list, the sponges can be used on both wet and dry makeup. What really gives this set a leg up on the competition is its price. The 10-piece collection clocks in just shy of $8, which puts each brush at less than $1 a piece. For a tool that needs to be replaced every couple of months, a budget-friendly pick might be key in keeping up with the habit. This makeup sponge set gets the job done with a record-setting price.
BUY IT: $7.97/10 pcs; amazon.com
Best Makeup Sponge for Concealer: e.l.f. Camo Concealer Sponge
This oblong sponge is thinner than the others, specifically designed to reach the tight areas between the eye and nose, while also handling problem areas where precise application is needed (hello, blemishes). It was created to work specifically with e.l.f. Camo Concealer, though you can use it with your favorite formula if you prefer.
BUY IT: $6; target.com
Best Makeup Sponge for Liquid Foundation: Aesthetica Cosmetics Beauty Sponge Blender
If you’re looking for a makeup sponge that works wonders with liquid foundation, try this little number. The black color allows you to better see how much foundation is on the tool when applying, and also washes off without the appearance of staining. You can use the Aesthetica Cosmetics Beauty Sponge Blender with dry products like powder and blush, though using with liquid foundation, liquid blush, and concealer is where we think it really shines.
BUY IT: $3.97; amazon.com