If you’ve spent any time in the beauty aisle, you know that there are a shocking number of makeup sponges on the market.
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From brightly colored teardrops to basic wedges, there’s a sponge for every step of your morning routine.
To help you get started, we’ve put together a handy guide to the most common makeup sponges and how to use them.
Air Cushions Puff
A cushion puff is designed to give your foundation a soft, delicate look. It features a soft, pillowy surface that holds the foundation; when you press it on your skin, the material releases the makeup evenly.
How to Use Air Cushions Puff
Press the puff gently into your foundation. Allow the liquid to soak in. Then, press the puff to your face.
Apply it to your cheeks, chin, forehead, and nose, and blend. You can continue building layers until you reach the perfect coverage level.
When to Use Air Cushions Puff
Use an air cushion puff when you want to create a natural, no-makeup look.
Most styles are compatible with any liquid foundation — you can also use them to replace the sponges that come with your cushion foundation compact.
The egg-shaped Beautyblender is one of the most versatile makeup sponges on the market.
You can use it with almost every product you own, from powder foundation to cream blush.
How to Use Beauty Blender
Before you use a Beautyblender, put it under a running faucet until it’s saturated. Then, squeeze out the excess water until the sponge is damp. Apply a small amount of product to the sponge.
Use a gentle bouncing motion to apply the product to your skin — never drag this sponge.
When to Use Beauty Blender
You can use the beauty blender for every step of your routine. It’s a great choice if you want a natural, barely-there look.
Cleaning Makeup Sponge
Cleaning sponges are designed to help clean the makeup off of your face.
Since they have a gentle texture, they exfoliate dead skin cells while they cleanse. These sponges are usually affordable and lightweight.
How to Use Cleaning Makeup Sponge
Wet the sponge, and wring it out gently to stop water from dripping. Squeeze on a dollop of your favorite facial cleanser. Run the sponge over your face in a circular motion.
After you scrub your face, rinse out the sponge and splash water over your face to remove residue.
When to Use Cleaning Makeup Sponge
Use a cleaning makeup sponge any time you wash your face. If you have sensitive skin, it’s a good idea to use the sponge once per day to avoid irritation.
A contouring sponge looks like a flattened egg. The top and bottom are flat, and the edge is slightly rounded.
This unique shape enables precision application, so you can highlight the contours of your face for a sculpted look
How to Use Contouring Sponge
As you apply contouring powder or cream to your cheekbones and jawline, use the smaller end of the sponge.
For delicate places such as your hairline and nose, use the narrow edge of the sponge.
When to Use Contouring Sponge
Use the contouring sponge to add shadows and highlights to your face. It’s a good idea to keep two different sponges to avoid mixing the dark and light tones.
Microfiber Makeup Sponge
If you have sensitive skin, you might find that some makeup sponges feel rough and irritating.
That’s where the microfiber sponge comes in — it’s ultra-soft and velvety, so it’s easy on your face.
How to Use Microfiber Makeup Sponge
Wet the sponge, and remove the excess water.
Dip it into the product, and use a tapping motion to apply it to your face. Continue this motion to create a smooth, blended look. Always wash the sponge before switching products.
When to Use Microfiber Makeup Sponge
Use a microfiber sponge with any of your products; it’s compatible with both powder and liquid products.
This is also a great option if you like one type of sponge for every product.
Powder puffs are a special kind of sponge that’s designed for one thing: dry, loose powder.
These sponges have a soft, furry coating that holds the powder. Some styles also have a built-in fabric handle to keep your hands clean.
How to Use Powder Puffs
Dip your powder puff into the container of powder. Lift it up slowly, and tap your hand on the edge of the container to release excess product.
Close your eyes, and tap the puff gently around your face. Take care not to drag or rub this sponge; it can remove your existing makeup.
When to Use Powder Puffs
Use powder puffs any time you’re using a loose powder.
Since they’re relatively hard to control, they’re best used with translucent setting powders.
Pretty Puff Makeup Sponge
The Pretty Puff makeup sponge is a branded sponge. It has a teardrop shape with a single flat side. That way, you have more application options. This sponge is compatible with powder, cream, and liquid products.
How to Use Pretty Puff Makeup Sponge
Soak the sponge until it’s wet all the way through; it will grow in size. Squeeze the sponge until it’s damp. Then, dip it into a product and tap it onto your skin.
Use the pointed end for precision work, and use the flat side for an airbrushed look.
When to Use Pretty Puff Makeup Sponge
Use the Pretty Puff sponge for everyday and evening looks. It’s exceptionally versatile, so you can use it for foundation, contouring, and even eye makeup.
Silicone Makeup Sponge
Silicone sponges have a smooth surface that’s unlike any other sponge on the market. Since it isn’t porous, silicone doesn’t absorb any of your products; it’s a great way to conserve expensive foundations.
How to Use Silicone Makeup Sponge
Don’t dip this sponge into the product; instead, dot your foundation onto your skin using your fingers.
Then, use the sponge to spread the makeup with a gentle pushing motion. It creates a smooth surface, but you may want to blend at your hairline and neck with a different sponge.
When to Use Silicone Makeup Sponge
Silicone makeup sponges should only be used with cream or liquid foundations. If you like the way it feels, you can also use it with cream blush.
Wedge-Shaped Makeup Sponge
When it comes to price, it’s hard to beat the wedge-shaped makeup sponge. They’re cheap, and they tend to come in large packages. This type of sponge is disposable; it’s only meant for a single use.
How to Use Wedge-Shaped Makeup Sponge
To use this type of sponge, dip it into your foundation. Apply it to your face using a dragging motion; then, tap the sponge to blend. For a gentler feeling, dampen the sponge before you use it.
When to Use Wedge-Shaped Makeup Sponge
Use a wedge-shaped makeup sponge when you don’t want the hassle of washing and rinsing. These sponges are great for stage makeup, special events, and other situations where you need to do your makeup away from home.
With their pointed tips and narrow sides, these sponges are also good for contouring.