No matter how expensive your foundation is, the application process can make or break your flawless look. Makeup sponges are one of the basic tools you have in your cabinet, and using them with proper technique can step up your beauty routine in a matter of moments!
They’re an easy way to improve your makeup skills without needing to spend a fortune. If you’re not sure how to properly use makeup sponges, we’re here to walk you through the basics.
Choosing a Sponge
The first step requires you to choose the right sponge for your routine. Larger sponges are best for full coverage, so you’ll want to pick some up if you plan on applying foundation. However, if you want to carefully blend your eyeshadow or just dab on a little concealer, you’re much better off with a smaller sponge.
If you’re looking for a precise application to get those corners around your eyes, you’ll also want to find a sponge with a pointy tip. Sponges with flatter sides are more geared towards foundation application!
The material of the sponge can vary as well. Some sponges are more porous and softer on the skin, though they might soak up more makeup as well. Other sponges are made from materials like silicone – while they’re not as gentle during application, they won’t absorb any of your expensive beauty products either!
Just like with other makeup tools, you’ll want to carefully consider the quality of your sponge – don’t just pull the first sponge you see off the shelf and assume it’s good enough. Irma Stefanova of Independent Fashion Bloggers warns, “Even though it may cost you a little extra initially, I promise it will pay off tenfold – trust me, you’d be surprised if you knew just how much product gets wasted if you’re using a poor quality sponge.”
Choosing the right makeup sponge is the first step to getting the most out of your beauty blenders. If you’re still not sure which beauty blender is best for your routine, you can also read more about some popular choices here.
Wetting Your Sponge
If there’s only one tip you take away, it should be this one. Wetting your sponge is the easiest way to use it effectively, and it makes sure your beauty blender won’t absorb excess makeup. In addition, a damp sponge is bouncier and will keep streaks from forming as you apply your makeup.
However, you don’t want to go too far to either extreme. While wetting your sponge is important, you want to make sure it’s not dripping with water. A damp sponge is perfect for makeup application, but a sponge that’s too wet can end up diluting your beauty products and changing the texture.
To get the right amount of moisture in your beauty blender, you should fully submerge your sponge in water first. Next, you’ll want to wring out as much water as you can from the sponge. Make sure you put some effort into squeezing out the water, so you don’t end up with diluted foundation!
Bounce Your Sponge
When it’s time to apply your makeup, you’ll want to avoid dragging the sponge over your face. Instead, you’ll want to gently dab the makeup onto your face. While this technique of “bouncing” the sponge takes more time, you’ll get better coverage overall. In addition, you won’t have to worry about streaks in your application either!
This technique is especially important when it comes to more delicate regions. The area underneath your eyes needs gentle treatment, and bouncing the sponge gives you full coverage without damaging your skin. Plus, according to Sylvia Silverstone of Womenio, bouncing also helps to hide any fine lines that have developed in this region.
We recommend dipping a pointier tip of the sponge into the makeup if you’re trying to apply it in a smaller area.
Getting Full Coverage
To get the fullest coverage out of your foundation, be sure to follow these simple steps.
- The first thing you want to do is get the right amount of makeup ready. If you’re worried about getting too much foundation on your sponge at once, you can put makeup on the back of your hand first.
- Once you’ve pumped out enough makeup onto your hand, you can carefully dip the appropriate part of the sponge into the foundation as needed and apply your makeup more precisely. This also keeps you from having too much foundation clumped in one area of the sponge.
- After getting the sponge prepped and your foundation ready, you want to methodically work your way across your face. Start by dotting makeup on your T-zone, and then dot makeup onto your cheeks. Be careful to use small, stippled motions as you bounce the sponge and use the flat side when you’re covering larger areas.
- Next, you’ll want to carefully work the sponge on the sides of your nose and underneath your eyes. Here, you’ll need to switch to the pointed side of the sponge as you carefully dab foundation as needed. Just make sure you’re not dragging the sponge over your skin to avoid any streaky looks.
Concealing and Contouring
Once you’re used to applying foundation, you can begin working on contouring and concealing!
With concealer, you’ll want to squeeze a small amount onto the tip of your sponge and move it underneath your eyes. Just make sure you’re still bouncing and dabbing the sponge gently.
When you contour, you’ll want to use a darker shade than your foundation. Focus on places where you want to create definition, such as on the hollows of your cheekbones or sides of your nose.
You might want to add a little bit along your forehead as well, but you need to apply carefully in moderation.
Applying Other Liquid Makeup Products
Makeup sponges are best known for providing a natural, smooth foundation or concealer application – but they can be used with other types of liquid makeup as well. If you’re using a cream or blush highlighter, a makeup sponge can help you apply and blend them beautifully.
Sophia Knapp, a licensed cosmetologist and third-generation beautiful at Oxygenetix, offers this advice on how to use your sponge for these products: “When applying cream or liquid blush, place the pigment on the desired area, then use a damp sponge to lightly tap the area and blend.”
You can also use a smaller makeup sponge to blend out cream or liquid eyeshadow. And using a makeup sponge can help you blend your liquid products into each other, so your full face looks seamless and natural.
Caring for Your Makeup Sponge
While makeup sponges can elevate your beauty routine, they’re also often damp. Whether it’s because you rinsed it off with water, or you dampened it for makeup application, bacteria will start growing inside.
Germs can get trapped within the porous material, so you’ll want to make sure you thoroughly clean your sponge regularly.
Cleaning Your Makeup Sponge
When you’re cleaning your beauty blender, you have several ways of going about it. The traditional method is by grabbing some soap or cleanser (there are also liquid cleansers specifically for beauty sponges). These cleansers are able to clean out all of the sponge, including the center where a lot of bacteria is trapped.
The Traditional Way
This classic method is a labor-intensive but effective way to get your makeup sponge clean.
- First, you want to prepare by filling up a bowl in warm and soapy water.
- Afterward, you need to dip your makeup sponge in the warm water for around 30 seconds, and then squeeze the water out of it.
- You’ll need to massage the blender with your hands or on a cleansing pad, and then
- Repeat this process three or four more times.
As you clean your blender, you’ll notice the discoloration slowly fade. Once you do have the sponge fully clean, you can store it in a cool, dry area until your next beauty session. Just make sure you let it fully dry before using it again.
Microwaving the Sponge
You can also microwave your sponge as a less labor-intensive cleaning method!
- Make the same soapy solution as if you were going to clean it normally and pour it in a cup.
- Next, you can just place your makeup sponge in the cup and place it into the microwave.
- Turn on the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and make sure to supervise the entire process. This way, if something goes wrong and you smell smoke, you can stop the microwave immediately.
The higher heat from the microwave can sanitize your blender and kill the bacteria and mold growing within it!
How Often Do I Clean It?
Beauty sponges should be rinsed out after every use, and you’ll want to deeply clean them every week or biweekly. As long as you keep the storage area sanitary, a sponge should last you a while.
Generally, you’ll want to buy a new sponge every three months since they’re not meant to last for years!
Pro Tips to Get More Out of Your Sponge
If you want to give your makeup application an extra boost, we recommend trying out a beauty mist. Spritzing your blender with a light facial mist or essence can help add moisture to your damp sponge and give your skin a boost. This way, you’ll also be getting added benefits in your foundation as well.
Another tip is to apply your concealer in a V-shape under your eyes, especially if you plan on contouring after. This way, you’ll be able to add more dimension to your overall look. It can help lift your eyes and highlight your cheekbones.
Finally, if you want to keep your sponge clean, we recommend having a small bag or compartment to store the sponge. This way, you can travel with it without worrying about extra bacteria getting onto your sponge.
Blending It All Together
Now that we’ve covered everything there is about using makeup sponges, you’re ready to get started! Pick out your favorite sponge and try applying foundation with it.
They’re a fast and convenient way for you to step up your makeup game without costing a fortune, so what do you have to lose? These sponges are designed to help you get flawless coverage, and they’re good at what they do!