We may earn a commission if you click on a link, but at no extra cost to you. Read our disclosure policy for information.
When it comes to choosing a tool that is a must-have when doing your makeup, you have to know how to use a makeup sponge.
You could have the best foundation in the market, but if you cannot apply it properly then it is not very useful to you.
Some people use their fingertips to apply foundation but that is not very effective.
Though it gets the job done, it doesn’t cut it as the result could be better.
This is where the makeup sponge comes in.
How To Use A Makeup Sponge
The big question is, “Do you know how to use it?”
If not, stick around to find out how to use a makeup sponge.
1. Choosing Your Sponge
You’re looking for a makeup sponge to add to your makeup collection.
But where to start?
Deciding which makeup sponge to get should not be an uphill task.
The type of sponge to use will all depend on where you want to put makeup.
In the case of makeup sponges, size does matter.
Makeup sponges that are large and more rounded should be for the areas of your face that are larger.
These sponges also come in different shapes, and the key behind achieving that flawless makeup look depends on how well you choose your makeup sponge.
When applying the foundation to these larger areas, the more rounded makeup sponges are a great choice.
What about the smaller sponges?
These are great when you want to apply concealer, or when you want to get to the corners of your face such as under your eyes.
Different brands are available from which you can choose your makeup sponge.
The best makeup sponge right now has to be the Beauty Blender sponge.
2. Using Your Make-Up Sponge
Once you start using a makeup sponge, you realize it can have more than one use.
It can be used to apply foundation, blush, highlighter, and even concealer.
There is no right or wrong way to use a makeup sponge.
If you’re new to makeup and you are clueless about how to use a makeup sponge, then don’t worry.
Here, you will get to know exactly how you can use your sponge and everything else you need to know about getting the most out of it.
Remember how easy it was to paint when you were in kindergarten?
Using a makeup sponge to do your makeup is just as easy.
How To Apply Foundation Using Your Makeup Sponge
The first thing you should do when you want to use your makeup sponge is to wet it.
You should avoid using your sponge dry especially when you want to apply foundation.
You can squish it in water until it becomes saturated, then wring out any water that is in excess.
Using a wet sponge to apply your foundation will not only make sure the sponge does not soak up the excess foundation, but it will also give you a result that is more natural after applying your foundation.
The next step is to dip the rounded side of the sponge into some foundation, or if the foundation is more liquid, put some drops of it on the rounded side of the sponge.
Press the sponge onto your skin.
It is preferred that you bounce or dab the sponge onto your skin for a seamless finish.
Dabbing the sponge also allows you to put the foundation on your face and blend at the same time.
It does not leave smudges or application lines.
If you choose to use the same makeup sponge for the corners of your face, you can opt for the pointy side of the sponge.
This works great for areas that are hard to reach such as under the eyes and around the nose.
How To Conceal And Contour Using Your Makeup Sponge
Once you have learned how to apply base foundation using your sponge, the next step is learning how to conceal and contour.
Put some concealer on your makeup sponge and using the tip of the sponge, dab the concealer around your nose and under your eyes.
Continue blending the concealer using the tip, using the same technique of dabbing or bouncing.
If you want to contour after you are done applying the concealer, a makeup sponge still comes in handy.
You may use a darker concealer or a color cream that is darker to do this.
This step comes after you have applied your base foundation and you have your concealer on.
Use the makeup sponge to apply the product as you focus on areas where you want to have more definition.
This can be at the sides of your nose, along your forehead and at the sides of your face.
Dab gently to blend until you have your intended result.
While you may want to blend as you do normally you should remember to dab in light strokes that are short to avoid creating any harsh lines.
Apply some contour using the makeup sponge to the bridge of your nose and the top of your cheekbones also, for more definition and blend it out.
3. Cleaning Your Makeup Sponge
Unlike your brushes, a makeup sponge needs to be cleaned regularly.
Since you are constantly using the sponge and wetting it as you do, it is prone to get some dirt and bacteria after some time which is why you should frequently and properly clean it.
Having your sponge clean not only protects your skin from germs but also stretches the lifespan of your makeup sponge and it lasts longer.
There are two ways that you can clean your makeup sponge:
Some cleaners are specifically made for cleaning makeup sponges.
When using a cleanser, apply a small amount of it to your hands and rub it on the makeup sponge gently as you add a little water to the mix.
Do this until it lathers, and then rise the sponge in clean warm water thoroughly.
Before you put the makeup sponge back on your makeup stand or your sponge holder or in your makeup bag, ensure that the sponge is dry by squeezing out all the water until it does not have any moisture.
- Soap and water
Another way that you can clean your makeup sponge is by using soap and clean water.
Heat some water until it’s warm and add some drops of soap into it to create a lather.
You can also simply run warm water over your sponge after putting the drops of soap on it.
Baby shampoo can also be used in this case.
Massage the sponge as you focus on areas that have stains from makeup.
If you are using running water, do this until the water becomes clear.
If you have the water in a basin, do this until the sponge becomes clean and rinse off afterward with warm water.
Roll the sponge into a towel that is clean to get rid of any moisture and place it on a surface to dry.
You should clean your makeup sponge at least once a week.
Depending on how frequently you use your sponge, it is recommended to replace it once every few months.
4. What Not To Do When Using Your Makeup Sponge
While there is no right or wrong way to use your makeup sponge there are some things that you should avoid doing when using your makeup sponge.
These are the “don’ts” of using a makeup sponge if you want to get that flawless makeup look.
- Do not drag the makeup sponge across your face
If you have been using a brush for a long time to apply your foundation, then dragging is a habit that you have become accustomed to.
Well, if you want to use a makeup sponge, this is a habit you will have to break.
By dragging your makeup sponge across your face when applying foundation you will not get that seamless, airbrushed look that you are going for.
You will simply be moving products around, creating application lines and a look that does not seem very natural.
Dabbing foundation on your face using a sponge is the best way to achieve an effortless look and though it may seem to consume more time in the beginning, it will be worth it in the end.
- Do not use one sponge to apply a hundred different products
When you are using different products on your face, do not use the same makeup sponge to apply them.
You can use different shapes of sponges to suit what you are applying, be it a highlighter, powder, or liquid foundation.
As you go back and forth using different products it is best to use different makeup sponges so that the products don’t mix.
- Do not rub the sponge across your skin
When you are applying foundation onto your face using a makeup sponge, what you should not do is do it in a rubbing manner.
Rubbing the foundation will not only leave application marks on your face, but will also give you a look that does not look natural at all.
The best way to use a makeup sponge is by dabbing or bouncing the sponge onto your skin.
This is a technique known as stippling, where you tap the sponge gently and blend it using dabbing motions.
- Do not buy the cheapest sponge you can find
You might think that a sponge is just a sponge, right?
Well, that’s not true.
Going for the cheapest makeup sponge is not always the best idea.
These sponges are sold in bulk and they are either too small or too thin.
It is better to add some more money and get a sponge that is of good quality.
You know that your sponge is quality when it is firm, but it is still soft.
Don’t just go for the cheapest sponge you find.
5. Makeup Sponge Hacks
You now know how to choose a makeup sponge, how to use it, and what to avoid doing to get the best results.
Here are my top 10 hacks that will help you as you use your makeup sponge.
- Storing your makeup sponge
Makeup sponges always come in a plastic package.
This is one of those packages that you should hold on to, as they make great holders that you can store you sponge in.
Using these packages is also eco-friendly, as having them as holders is a way of recycling plastic.
- Make use of both sides of the makeup sponge
The makeup sponge has two ends; the rounded end and the pointed end.
You can use both ends by depositing the foundation onto your face using the end that is pointed and using the rounded end to dab the foundation to smoothen it out and create a good finish.
An alternative that allows you to make use of both ends is to use the rounded end when applying foundation to the larger areas of your face, and using the end that is pointed to reach the places that are not easy to get to such as under the eyes, their corners of your eyes and around the nose.
Some makeup sponges have a flat side so you can use this to powder concealer, blend it, and even contour your face.
- Prime your sponge
Priming your face before you apply makeup on it is very important.
You can use the same concept when it comes to your makeup sponge.
Putting some primer on your makeup sponge prevents the sponge from absorbing the product and in the long run, it allows you to use less product.
A primer that you can use is the Huda Beauty Complexion Perfection Pre-Makeup base.
- Use a makeup sponge to fix botched makeup
A makeup sponge can be your saving grace on that day your makeup routine is not going according to plan.
The sponge can be very useful in softening pigment on your skin when you’ve drawn your brows a bit too heavily and the brow seems too harsh.
A makeup sponge also comes in handy when your wing looks messy.
You can use the sponge to clean up the wing by tracing the concealer under the wing using the makeup sponge.
- Use your makeup sponge to blot
You don’t want to go out with your skin looking greasy and oily.
And maybe you also don’t have any blotting paper close by that you can use to fix up your skin.
Well, here is where your makeup sponge comes in.
You can use your makeup sponge to blot oil away from your skin and have it look flawless.
You can do this by pressing the sponge onto your skin.
It will absorb all the excess oil instantly.
When you do this, clean your makeup sponge before you use it again to get rid of any bacteria that could be transferred back to your skin as you use it again.
Blotting using your makeup sponge can also be useful when you have an excess blusher.
We all have those makeup routine moments where we’ve gone a bit overboard with the blush.
You don’t have to look like a clown after you’ve spent your precious minutes applying your makeup.
Makeup sponges can be used to remove excess blush by blotting away the blush you want to get rid of.
Dampen your makeup sponge a little then use a clean part of the sponge to blot away the blush and get your desired to look.
If that doesn’t do it, you can dip your makeup sponge into a setting powder and dab the makeup sponge on top.
- Use a mini-makeup sponge for an even eyeshadow look
When you’re looking for a quick way to apply your eyeshadow, a mini make-up sponge is your go-to.
Take a dry sponge and dip the pointed end of it in your shimmer shadows or matter shadows and dab the product into your eyelid.
This can be done quickly and it does a good job of putting those shadows just the way you want them.
For a precise application, you can pinch the make-up sponge using your fingers.
Once you try this, you will always turn to your makeup sponge for that eyeshadow look.
- Apply oil using your makeup sponge for flaky skin
Your makeup sponge can also be of help on that day when your skin looks dry and flaky.
All you need to make this better is your sponge and a drop of oil.
Put a drop of oil onto your makeup sponge and buff it onto your skin gently using your makeup sponge.
Do this in circular motions that are gentle for the best results.
After doing this, your skin will look smooth and hydrated and you will have eliminated any flakes that were on your skin.
- Use your makeup sponge to fix cakey makeup
You’ve just gone out with your girls on a warm sunny day.
You left the house looking great with your makeup on but now the makeup on your nose has disappeared or looks patchy because you had your sunglasses on.
Looking for an easy way to fix this?
Use your makeup sponge and some foundation or concealer.
You can use blotting paper or some tissue to get rid of the excess oil.
Next, using a damp makeup sponge, apply a few drops of foundation or concealer to the area.
Blend the product using the makeup sponge in dabbing motions until you have a seamless look.
This works amazing, especially when you’re on the go.
- If you want your Freckles to be seen remove some foundation
Makeup sponges can also be used when you want your freckles to peek through.
When you’ve done your makeup, bounce, or dab your makeup sponge on the areas where you want your freckles to be seen.
This could be on your cheeks or your nose.
The makeup sponge will pick up some foundation, and your freckles will be able to peek through.
- Apply baking powder to your under eyes
If you know how to do makeup, then you know how to bake.
And one of the easiest ways to apply your baking powder is by using a makeup sponge.
When you want to bake, grab a damp makeup sponge and put some powder into the areas where you want to set or brighten.
Do this in gentle tapping motions.
Leave the setting powder on for about four to five minutes and then use a brush to wipe off any excess powder.
One of the best parts about makeup is that there are no rules.
Makeup sponges changed the game and took makeup to a whole new level that’s why it’s essential to know how to use a makeup sponge properly.
It’s one of those makeup tools that you must have in your collection, for that seamless finish to your makeup look.
There are a variety of different brands of makeup sponges and they come in all shapes and sizes.
Find one that is best for you and that suits your makeup routine.
You can play around with your makeup sponge and find more ways to use it that can fit into your makeup routine.
Experiments can be fun! Try it.