When the original Beautyblender stormed the shelves back in 2007, it revolutionised the way we apply our makeup. The ingenious, egg-shaped sponge instantly put an end to blending in foundation with our fingertips, enabling us to wave goodbye to a cakey complexion once and for all.
Now of course, there’s a whole host of other sponges on the market, ranging from teardrop-shaped to conical, ridged and wedged. They come in a dazzling array of sizes and prices too, which can make for a somewhat baffling shopping experience.
But as any pro will tell you, a quality sponge is a worthwhile investment. Thanks to their ability to layer up ultra-fine layers of foundation, they enable you to create a seamless, radiant complexion. And ultimately, whether you’re dabbing on concealer, applying powder or creating an Instagram-worthy contoured look, they’ll give you a flawless finish that’s frankly hard to beat.
Of course, to get the most out of your sponge it’s important to use it properly. Experts suggest that for the best blending effect you should gently tap it onto your skin, instead of rubbing. For sheer coverage, it’s often a good idea to wet it too – squeeze out the water so you’re left with a damp sponge that won’t soak up too much foundation. You can even use these squishy tools to apply fake tan and moisturiser, making them an indispensable part of your beauty kit.
Finally, its really important to keep your makeup sponges clean and to replace them every three months. Without a regular wash, bacteria will accumulate, which won’t do your skin or your makeup any favours!
The Original Beautyblender
The cult makeup sponge
The original Beautyblender is the superstar of makeup sponges, with over 50 million selling since 2009. With famous fans said to include Beyoncé, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Gwen Stefani, this global phenomenon has garnered a host of awards and found its way into many a professional makeup artist’s arsenal.
Designed to use when damp, the hot pink sponge absorbs very little product, meaning minimal waste. Simply wet it, squeeze out excess water, then get to work. The softly rounded surface (there are zero edges) enables you to rapidly bounce and blend your liquid formula or powder, creating an airbrushed effect. When precision application is required, such as around the under-eye area, use the contoured tip.
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
Versatile, 3-in-1 sponge
This tangerine-coloured sponge, created by makeup artist and Pixiwoo vlogger Sam Chapman, is the ideal tool for liquid foundation. With a pointed tip, slanted upper edge and rounded sides, it offers a versatile, three-in-one solution. Use the curved sides to dab and blend formula across larger areas of face, the precision tip to disguise blemishes and the slanted edge for the contours around the eyes and nose.
Latex-free, it’s designed to help you create a smooth, picture-perfect base. You can use it damp for a dewy glow, or dry for fuller coverage, and it comes at a wallet-friendly price too.
L’Oreal Paris Blend Artist
An affordable option
L’Oreal’s soft, fuschia-pink sponge is cleverly created with a handy indentation, to make it easy-to-grip while you get to work perfecting your complexion. The spongy fabric is also designed to ensure makeup sits on the sponge, instead of soaking in.
For max results, simply apply a small quantity of your favourite liquid or cream foundation onto the blender’s curved sides, then gently dab and roll it onto the skin. Build up the formula and blend, until you reach your perfect level of coverage.
Fenty Beauty Precision Makeup Sponge 100
Works with liquid, cream and powder formulas
This crafty little makeup sponge is by none other than Fenty Beauty, Rihanna’s much-lauded makeup range. After years spent dazzling on the red carpet, the Barbadian singer was inspired to create her brand in 2017, and it’s since won rave reviews.
Her three-sided blender has a curved, egg-shaped side, slanted edge and smaller, flat, moon-shaped top. Try using the rounded part for all-over application, and the slanted edge for controlled stippling. While the semi-circular top edge is designed to make light work of targeted under-eye coverage, the angles enable users to get into every nook and cranny on the face.
The Makeup Bullet Finger Sponge
Control at your fingertips
At first glance, these nifty little sponge thimbles may look somewhat unusual, but there’s actually a lot of sense behind their invention. They’re cleverly created with a hole at the base, which means you can slip them over the tip of your middle or ring finger and maintain precision control as you blend your liquid, cream or powder formula.
The brainchild of Emmy Award winning celebrity makeup artist Eva Jane Bunkley, they’re totally latex-free and can also be used dry. In our book, that makes them a great choice for anyone who finds themselves regularly doing their makeup on the move.