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The Best Cosmetic Sponges For Makeup Application

Updated on March 21, 2011

Cosmetic sponges, also called makeup sponges, are typically used to put on and remove makeup, cleanser, and moisturizer. They are available in various varieties and can usually be bought at your local drugstore and high-end or discount department store. Depending on what you use them for, cosmetic sponges come in round puffs, wedge shapes, rough, smooth, dense or porous, infused with vitamins or just about any texture or shape needed to accomplish proper removal or application of your product.

Cosmetic Sponge Choices

I find that for applying liquid foundation, smooth, semi-dense, triangular cosmetic sponge wedges are the best to use.

There are many shapes of cosmetic sponges available.
There are many shapes of cosmetic sponges available.

The smooth foam wedges are supposed to give you a smooth finish, but I've only found that they absorb most of the makeup and don't leave a proper amount of foundation on my face.

A cosmetic sponge with large "pores," is also said to soak up a lot of the liquid and the application wouldn't be terribly smooth since the large craters would distribute makeup unevenly as the sponge is dragged across the skin. Some cosmetic sponges also come infused with Vitamin E for natural skin nourishment and protection.

Cosmetic sponges allow even makeup application.
Cosmetic sponges allow even makeup application.

Cosmetic Sponges For A Smooth Finish

Typically, when you're putting on liquid foundation with a cosmetic sponge, select one with a texture the same as the result you wish to achieve. Soft and smooth with small,  almost invisible pores is the best choice. Smaller cosmetic sponge wedges with clean edges are also good for blending makeup in small areas. The sharp edge can be utilized to  make small alterations to eye makeup without messing up the whole area, and is best for removing smudges around your lipstick.

A rough and porous cosmetic sponge is the top choice for removing makeup. These sponges are very absorbent, and their rough texture acts as a tool for extricating makeup from  within the pores, guaranteeing a fresh, clean face. The type of cosmetic sponge used for this is a cellulose sponge. They hang on to your cleanser during the scrubbing process  and if you add water to the sponge, it will reduce the amount of cleanser you need. The porous texture of this sponge lets the water and cleanser to be distributed all through  the sponge and evenly mixed together when squeezed.

Triangular cosmetic sponges are most popular for foundation application.
Triangular cosmetic sponges are most popular for foundation application.

Keep Your Cosmetic Sponges Clean

Although there are countless types of cosmetic sponges, some require a little maintenance. Sponges should be kept separate from makeup, cleaned with a mild soap every time  they're used, and then air dried. Replace your cosmetic sponges when they start to fray or crumble.

Tips For Applying Makeup With A Cosmetic Sponge

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