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Makeup Sponge: What Are They and What Are They Used For?

Makeup Sponge: What Are They and What Are They Used For?

If you grew up applying your foundation with little foam wedges, the idea of a makeup sponge may sound a little dated. The makeup sponge, however, has grown up right along with you. New improvements to this old beauty standard have made it a tool you’ll definitely want in your cosmetic bag.

At RMS Beauty, we created a makeup sponge that’s safe, effective, and closely mimics skin-to-skin application. Here, we’ll talk about how to use a makeup sponge to create perfect makeup blends, and also what you should do to make sure your makeup sponges are always clean.

What Is a Makeup Sponge?

A makeup sponge is a soft tool you can use to apply liquid and cream makeup products. Makeup sponges can be made of many different materials, so it’s important to make sure the one you choose is free from common skin irritating ingredients, like latex.

For sensitive skin, the best sponges will be made from skin-safe foam. Our sponge is made of antimicrobial foam to be gentle on all skin types and to drive away bacteria.

What Does a Makeup Sponge Do?

Makeup sponges help you apply liquid makeup. If you’re a pro with your fingertips, this might seem redundant, but using a makeup sponge can help you achieve a smoother finish, help blur harsh lines, and even help regulate the amount of product you need.

Are Makeup Sponges Better Than Brushes?

Brushes and sponges are apples and oranges; you simply cannot compare them. While there are brushes designed to apply liquid products to your skin, they simply offer a different application technique.

If you are a beginner or just want a stress-free, easy way to blend your makeup and get a completely streak-free finish, a makeup sponge is your go-to.

Are Beauty Blenders and Makeup Sponges the Same Thing?

Yes and no. The beauty blender is essentially the most current type of makeup sponge. If you’re wondering about the old pull-apart wedges, they do still exist, but they’re much less popular and harder to find.

A beauty blender sponge has a few upgrades from its little wedge predecessors:

  1. They’re designed to be used for wet application. Before using a makeup sponge, you’ll dampen it with warm water. You’ll then squeeze out the excess water before you begin to use your liquid makeup product with it, applying the product to the back of your hand and picking up the makeup with the sponge.

  2. They’re reusable. Unlike the wedge, makeup sponges can be rinsed with a mild soap and reused multiple times. This creates less product waste, saves money, and saves space in your cabinet.

  3. They have a unique design. RMS Beauty’s Skin2Skin Latex-Free Makeup Sponge is designed with a swirl of texture on the top which mimics application with a fingertip. They’re also rounded on the bottom and angled at the top, allowing you to get blendable coverage in small spaces like under your eyes and around the corners of your nose.

While those little wedges were usually made out of latex or who knows what kind of weird material, beauty blenders are usually made with safer, skin-friendly foam.

Can I Use a Makeup Sponge To Apply Powder Products?

A thousand tutorials may tell you to use a sponge to “bake” your makeup (i.e. applying powder over your liquid products to set them) but this usually results in a cake-like effect that makes your skin look dry, powdery, and artificial.

It’s best to use a brush to apply powder products. You’ll get a softer, more translucent finish and avoid getting your powder products damp from the sponge.

What is a Makeup Sponge Used For?

Once you master the art of using a makeup sponge, there’s no limit to how well you can blend your liquid and cream-based products. Here’s how we love to use makeup sponges to create flawless finishes like professional makeup artists.

Foundation

Use your makeup sponge to effortlessly apply foundation to all areas of your face and jawline. Once you’ve applied your moisturizer, dampen the sponge and lift a little product from the back of your hand.

Begin applying foundation in upward swipes. Gently bounce the sponge on your skin (don’t press) to blend. This will help you avoid streaks and create a smooth textured finish.

Concealer

Makeup sponges can make you an expert at applying concealer. Using the small end of the makeup sponge, lift the concealer from the back of your hand and gently dab it on areas that need coverage. Whether you need full coverage or lightweight coverage, you can use the makeup sponge.

Blending

If you’ve been looking for the perfect tool for blending, you’ve found it. Nothing gives you more seamless blending than a makeup sponge. Use the larger, rounded edges for blurring lines and creating the most believable, natural-looking makeup finishes.

Liquid or Cream Products

Makeup sponges work best with liquid or cream products. In fact, if you’ve been intimidated by cream blush because you’re afraid you won’t get it right, a makeup sponge makes the application virtually foolproof.

Using your sponge, you can gently press into the cream-based blush and dab the product on your cheeks, blending the edges until you have a smooth, natural-looking flush.

Powder

Our sponge is just like you — beautifully versatile. Feel free to use it for powder products, too.

How Often Should a Makeup Sponge Be Cleaned?

You should rinse your dirty sponge after each use. Hold it under the tap and squeeze it until the water runs clear.

Use a mild makeup brush soap, mild natural shampoo, or even a mild natural dish soap to deep clean it once a week, but only one small drop or you’ll never be able to get all of the soap out of your sponge.

How Do I Clean a Makeup Sponge?

Cleaning a dirty sponge is easy, and most of the time you really don’t need more than water to get it clean. Most sponges will end up with makeup stains, and that’s okay. A stain doesn’t mean the sponge is actually dirty.

Don’t waste your skin cleanser on your makeup sponge. Mild dish soap or a makeup brush cleanser is perfectly fine for cleansing your sponge.

Don’t place your sponge in a dishwasher or washing machine, as you can damage the sponge and the lather from the heavier soaps can be impossible to remove.

Lastly, don’t place your makeup sponge in the microwave. While some makeup sponges may tolerate the heat, most won’t and it’s not a safe practice. Believe it or not, not all Tik Tok videos give you the right answer.

Are Big or Small Makeup Sponges Better?

Makeup sponges are usually available in a standard size and shaped such that you get the benefit of both a smaller edge for precision and a wider base for blending. If you’re comfortable using the sponge, that’s the perfect size.

The Bottom Line

Makeup sponges have evolved into sophisticated makeup applicators that can help you shape, contour, and add dimension to your base makeup, concealer, and any other liquid or cream-based products you use.

A good sponge is made of soft material and has a variety of different shapes (a wide base and pointed tip) to help you apply even the most difficult liquid foundations or liquid highlighters with ease.

Rethink the makeup blender and learn the real techniques sponges can help you master. RMS Beauty is your go-to source for the best blending sponges and the cleanest, greenest color cosmetics to use with them.

Sources:

EWG Skin Deep® | What is RUBBER LATEX

Microbiological study of used cosmetic products: highlighting possible impact on consumer health - Bashir - 2020 - Journal of Applied Microbiology - Wiley Online Library

Unseen 2019: The ugly side of beauty waste|LiveMint

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