Top 10 Best Makeup Sponges

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best makeup sponge, makeup blender, blending sponge, foundation sponge

In the past, I have tried to apply or blend my foundation with the following: my fingers, cheap wedge sponges, fabric, brushes, cotton balls, and I think a paper towel once. To be fair, I was doing theatre as a very little kid and you should probably never trust an 8 year old with a makeup train case. Still though, the modern blending sponge changed the game, and much in the same way that foundation was invented in the first place.

Foundation, as we think of it, came on the scene in 1928 when the makeup that had been previously perfected for black and white cinema suddenly looked terrible on color film. The Max Factor brand developed Pan-cake makeup so that actors could continue to have the same natural looking complexion. Later, Max Factor began marketing to the public.

And then the foundation sponge basically didn’t change for almost 100 years.

But when shows started being filmed in High Definition, suddenly the makeup that has looked perfect for decades couldn’t cut it anymore. Rhea Ann Silva, a TV makeup artist at the time, started carving disposable sponges into that distinctive teardrop shape in order to get a smooth, airbrushed look that could hold up under HD. Silva went on to invent and release the Beautyblender.

The blending sponge helps people obtain smooth, flawless foundation at a fraction of the time it would have take with other applicators. The finish is natural looking and blending for contouring is a dream.

Makeup sponge tips, tricks, and common mistakes.

To work as intended, your makeup sponge should be damp. Run it under water and then squeeze the excess out. Never wring or twist your blender or it could rip. Water keeps your application smooth and dewy looking. Keep water on hand to dampen your blender if it dries out during use.

But, do use your sponge dry if you are trying to build up concealer and need full coverage.

Never store your sponge damp or in a sealed container. It’s a sponge and if it doesn’t have access to airflow it will grow mold and all sorts of unsightly things. Always set your sponge out to dry after using and store it in a ventilated bag when traveling. You can set it out to dry on a clean towel, paper towel, fabric dish drainer, or they make these classy-looking, rose gold makeup sponge drying stands.

It’s not only for foundation. Blending sponges work for concealer, powders, and cream blushes. Check out my guide to the best under eye concealers to complete your flawless look.

Don’t apply your product to your sponge. Either dot your makeup directly on your face and blend it out with your sponge or put your makeup on the back of your hand and gently dab your damp sponge into it.

Clean your sponge after every use. Best case scenario, you give your sponge a good cleaning every time you use it. But okay, I get it. We’re busy, we’re running late–that’s not always going to happen. Most realistic case scenario, you give your sponge a good rinse under running water after every use and clean it every few days. At the end of the day, it’s a sponge. It will collect product and eventually grow bacteria. Using a dirty makeup sponge transfers that bacteria to your face and hello, breakout. For the same reason, toss your sponge every month or two. Unless they’re silicone, they aren’t meant to last longer than that with regular use.

There are loads of ways to clean your sponges, from dish soap to bar soap to baby shampoo. They make specially formulated sponge cleaners too that won’t damage the foam of your sponge which work great. But what I think seems to work the best is a product called Zote Pink. It’s a laundry detergent and looks like a giant bar of soap. This thing gets makeup out of sponges like nothing else. And it’s way cheaper than the dedicated sponge cleaners.

What shape makeup sponge do I need?

Since the original teardrop shape, we now have a plethora of sponge shapes to choose from.

Get a teardrop shape if you need a general, all-around tool. The rounded end is great for foundation and the pointed end works for smaller areas like nose creases and around your eyes.

Get a flat end shape if you’re a contour addict as the smooth edge is perfect for blending out your contouring.

Get a tiny sponge for fine detail around your eyes and nose.

Get a flat sponge for pressed and loose powders.

Here are the best makeup sponges out there at the moment.


1. Zenda Naturals Beauty Sponge

best makeup sponge, makeup blender, blending sponge, foundation sponge

Amazon

The Zenda comes in the classic teardrop shape perfect for foundation and getting to narrow areas. I like the black color because it better hides staining than lighter colored blenders. It has a firmer feel to it than some other makeup sponges which includes both when it is dry and after it has been dampened and expanded in size. It’s certainly soft and squishy, just not as squishy as others. With that extra density, the Zenda sponge isn’t quite as flexible so you really don’t want to try to wring this one out or you will run into tearing issues. But treat this sponge right, and you’ll have a blender that works flawlessly and saves you loads of cash. Some people have found that it can leave tiny black specks as the sponge ages, but that’s not a widespread problem so just be gentle with it and change out your sponge as needed.

Price: $6.97 (53 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Zenda Naturals Beauty Sponge here.



Pros:

  • Rated 4.5 out of five stars by users on Amazon
  • Versatile shape
  • Hides stains
  • Great application

Cons:

  • May be too dense for some
  • Some people have some flaking of the sponge

Find more Zenda Naturals Beauty Sponge information and reviews here.



2. Jane Iredale Flocked Sponge

best makeup sponge, makeup blender, blending sponge, foundation sponge

Jane Iredale

This is a different style of sponge that gives you the positives of a teardrop blender without some of the negatives. This sponge is special both in shape and in that it has been flocked which means small that smaller particles of materials have been deposited onto the surface giving it a unique velvety feel. That doesn’t mean they’re all about to fall off onto your face. A lot of stuffed animals are flocked in order to get their super soft texture.

This type of sponge is much better suited to applying powder foundation than classic sponge blenders and works well with liquid foundation too. The flatter shape of the sponge means it’s much easier to clean and dries so much faster because water can’t hide in the middle like it can in a thick, rounded sponge. If well taken care of, this sponge will last much longer than classic blenders.

Price: $5.50

Buy the jane iredale Flocked Sponge here.



Pros:

  • Latex-free
  • Unique flocked surface
  • Cleans easier and dries faster
  • Great for powder and liquid

Cons:

  • Not as perfect for liquid makeup
  • Harder to get into narrow areas

Find more jane iredale Flocked Sponge information and reviews here.



3. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

best makeup sponge, makeup blender, blending sponge, foundation sponge

Real Techniques

This is probably the best replacement for the original Beautyblender at less than a quarter the cost. The Miracle Complexion Sponge is latex-free, very bouncy, and can deliver flawless blending. It feels a little firm while dry, but once wet it should swell up quite a bit and become much softer. It has a narrow point for around your nose, eyes, or other detail work, a rounded side for blending, and a flat side for even foundation application or for contouring. The package comes with two sponges so you’re getting an even better deal. When I’m not using a $20 sponge, I’m way less likely to try to make an old sponge last longer than it’s meant to and risk triggering a breakout. The Miracle Complexion Sponge will tear if you don’t treat it gently so keep that in mind while using it.

Price: $8.24 (25 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge here.



Pros:

  • One sponge is less than a quarter the price of a Beautyblender
  • Comes with two sponges
  • Three sides to choose from

Cons:

  • Will tear if used roughly
  • Orange shows staining more than black
  • Firm when dry

Find moreReal Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge information and reviews here.



4. Beauty Junkees Green Oval Makeup Sponge

best makeup sponge, makeup blender, blending sponge, foundation sponge

Beauty Junkees

If the more standard shape blending sponges seem too big or unwieldy to handle, the Green Oval by Beauty Junkees might be what you’re looking for. This blender is far more narrow than its rounded cousins and sharply pointed on the ends. That makes these perfect for detailed concealer work around eyes, and nose, as well as for covering up blemishes. (If that’s got you interested, check out my guide to the best acne spot treatments.) It’s also great if you have a hard time seeing around your larger blender and feel like you’re constantly moving it out of way to see your face. The Green Oval Makeup Sponge won’t block your view. This sponge is latex free, non-allergenic, and is supposed to last two to three months instead of the normal one to two.

Price: $7.97 (43 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Beauty Junkees Green Oval Makeup Sponge here.


Pros:

  • Great shape for details
  • Latex free and non-allergenic
  • Longer lasting

Cons:

  • May be too skinny for full foundation coverage

Find more Beauty Junkees Green Oval Makeup Spongeinformation and reviews here.



5. Tripp’s Trading Post Beauty Sponge

best makeup sponge, makeup blender, blending sponge, foundation sponge

Tripp’s Trading Post

This blender by Tripp’s Trading Post is a great middle of the road density. It’s not too firm, especially when wet, but not so squishy that it loses its durability. This sponge is latex free, vegan, cruetly free, non-allergenic, and infused with charcoal to make it antibacterial. So your face will love it, animals love it, and bacteria will hate it. That’s how I like things. Unlike a lot of sponges, this one won’t bleed black dye when you’re using it or washing it which is a huge plus all around. The bouncy texture helps the Beauty Sponge blend seamlessly and comfortably and the traditional teardrop shape is great for foundation and concealer.

Price: $15.99

Buy the Tripp’s Trading Post Beauty Sponge here.



Pros:

  • Rated 4.7 out of five stars by users on Amazon
  • Vegan and cruelty free
  • Latex free and non-allergenic
  • Charcoal infused
  • Dark color hides stains

Cons:

Find more Tripp’s Trading Post Beauty Sponge information and reviews here.



6. Clear Beauty Silicone Makeup Sponge

best makeup sponge, makeup blender, blending sponge, foundation sponge

Amazon

If you’re thinking this one looks really weird, you’re not wrong. This is a whole other breed of blending sponge made out of silicone instead of foam. The benefits of using a silicone blender are that is won’t absorb your products so your foundation lasts longer, it isn’t porous so it’s much easier to clean, and since you can keep it clean, it will last you much longer. Plus, being made from medical-grade silicone means you’re almost completely safe from the chance of an allergic reaction. You can even sanitize silicone by boiling it for three to five minutes so the ick factor of foam sponges is gone.

However, it definitely isn’t going to work the same way as a blending sponge. Silicone sponges work surprisingly well, but have a different finish than what people who use foam sponges are used to. You won’t get that glowing, dewy look that you get from a wet blending sponge, but you will get much fuller coverage. It all depends on your preferences and what you decide you like. For the price and knowing it can be sanitized and last longer than a month, I think silicone sponges are totally worth trying out.

Price: $8.45 (22 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Clear Beauty Silicone Makeup Sponge here.



Pros:

  • Rated 4.6 out of five stars by users on Amazon
  • Longer lasting
  • Can be sanitized and is easier to clean
  • Makes your product last longer

Cons:

  • Not for getting sheer coverage

Find more Clear Beauty Silicone Makeup Sponge information and reviews here.



7. Beauty Junkees Sponge Blender Set

best makeup sponge, makeup blender, blending sponge, foundation sponge

Beauty Junkees

If you’re not sure what shape you think you’ll like, definitely pickup this set by Beauty Junkees. You get four sponges: the classic teardrop, a pear shape, oval, and sculptor. The pink teardrop is great for foundation and concealer. The pear shape has this great hourglass contour to it making it much easier to hold. The flatter round edges make it ideal for larger areas of coverage like your neck or cleavage contouring. The oval, which I featured above, is for detail work. And the sculptor is perfect for contour blending. They are denser than the original Beautyblender, but once wet these sponges soften up and have a wonderful bounce to them making them easy to work with.

Price: $12.97 (48 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Beauty Junkees Sponge Blender Set here.



Pros:

  • Rated 4.6 out of five stars by users on Amazon
  • Four shape sampler
  • Much more economical
  • Great for people just starting out with sponges

Cons:

  • Do absorb a bit product
  • More likely to show staining than dark colors

Find more Beauty Junkees Sponge Blender Set information and reviews here.



8. Blender Bud

best makeup sponge, makeup blender, blending sponge, foundation sponge

Amazon

This is another classic teardrop shape great for all around use. The Blender Bud really swells up when damp and becomes softer than a lot of the other sponges on the list. The squishy texture and firm core makes for flawless foundation coverage. I love that not only is it hypoallergenic, it’s recyclable so I don’t have to be making more trash that harms our environment. If you’ve tried other blenders and nothing has been soft enough for you, the Blender Bud might be the makeup sponge for you.

Price: $9 (55 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Blender Bud here.


Pros:

  • Rated 4.6 out of five stars by users on Amazon
  • Latex free and recyclable
  • Comes with free guide of tips from makeup artists
  • Soft

Cons:

  • Seems to take a while to dry
  • Needs a good soap for thorough cleaning

Find more Blender Bud information and reviews here.



9. Uarter Makeup Sponge

best makeup sponge, makeup blender, blending sponge, foundation sponge

Amazon

This set of two sponges is latex free, antibacterial, and very soft when wet. I’m stuck on the fact that they are calling the pear shape a gourd. It’s really tickling me and I’m way more amused by the idea of putting a gourd on my face than a pear. Anyway, I like that the Uarter Makeup Sponges don’t soak up as much product as I would expect a sponge this soft would. These are great beginner sponges, but if you really want to be able to work with fine details, these might be too rounded for you.

Price: $8.99

Buy the Uarter Makeup Sponge here.


Pros:

  • Rated 4.7 out of five stars by users on Amazon
  • Antibacterial
  • Comes with teardrop and gourd

Cons:

  • Light color will show staining
  • No pointed tips for detail work

Find more Uarter Makeup Sponge information and reviews here.



10. Embel Beauty Blending Sponge

best makeup sponge, makeup blender, blending sponge, foundation sponge

Embel Beauty

Embrel Beauty adds vitamin E oil to their latex free foam during the production of these blending sponges. Maybe that’s just a marketing thing, but I’m sold on it anyway. I love the idea of adding a treatment that is good for my skin to a product I’m to be rubbing all over my face on a daily basis. This blender is a great shape for all around use though it seems to swell up less than some of the other blenders. I do like that it keeps its pointed tip even when damp making it great for concealer and other detail work.

Price: $5.99

Buy the Embel Beauty Blending Sponge here.


Pros:

  • Rated 4.7 out of five stars by users on Amazon
  • Infused with vitamin E
  • Latex free
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Soaks up more product than others
  • Light color will show staining

Find more Embel Beauty Blending Sponge information and reviews here.


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