The best makeup sponges for every budget
Your secret weapons for airbrushed skin and they're all $30 or less
Beauty Crew Contributing Editor / December 05 2019
Let’s be honest, beautyblender completely changed the makeup sponge game when they can out with their revolutionary teardrop sponge. Since then, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a pro makeup artist, beauty influencer or everyday gal who doesn’t use a sponge with a similar shape. Gone are the days of triangular and flat sponges. Silicone sponges like Nylea Silicone and SiliSponge were all the buzz there for a bit, but they never really lived up to the hype. What makes the beautyblender so good is its curved shape for foundation blending, pointed tip for reaching those tricky spots like around the nose, and the actual sponge - which is meant to be used wet - which provides an airbrushed finish that no other tool can.
These days, there are a lot of beauty blender dupes out there, and plenty of them are as good as their luxe counterparts.
If you’re in the market for an amazing makeup sponge, we’ve found 10 of the best makeup sponges for every budget.
#10 / Chi Chi Make Up Blender - Yellow
Chi Chi have four makeup blending sponges, each with a different shape (and colour). We like the yellow one because of the flat surface, which is great for blending concealer under the eye area. The curved edge and flat surface allows the sponge to follow the contours of the eye easily and effortlessly.
The review: “It’s extremely soft and great to blend out my foundation. The quality is right up there with the real techniques beauty sponge but at a better price. I highly recommend this sponge.” June 84, Target customer
#9 / Juno & Co. Microfibre Velvet Sponge
This makeup sponge is a little different - known as a ‘velvet makeup sponge’, it’s made from an antimicrobial microfibre, rather than polyurethane foam. It has a tapered design for precision blending, and a flat bottom to nail that natural-looking finish. The small, slightly fuzzy fibres hold onto and apply liquid products without soaking it up into the sponge (no wastage!). Use it wet with liquid foundations, concealers, and contouring; or dry with powder bronzers, blush, and highlighters.
The review: “If I could give this sponge ten stars I would! My absolute, hands down, holy grail sponge. I bought multiple and wanted to know if the sponge really didn’t soak up the product. I had noticed that I wasn’t using as much foundation. I cut a sponge open after three uses and it really doesn’t soak it up! The sponge blends out my foundation seamlessly and leaves a beautiful base for the rest of my makeup. They’re extremely easy to clean. Highly highly recommend! Plus, they’re cheap! Great value!” Kimberleigh J, Influenster reviewer.
#8 / EcoTools Total Perfecting Blender
Vegan and cruelty-free, this makeup sponge is made from sugar cane and renewable plant-based contents. Best used with liquid and cream foundations, this soft, flexible sponge has two flat surfaces - one large and one small - so it’s easy to work it into all contours of the face.
The review: “I love the shape of this sponge. It has the rounded bottom which is perfect for bouncing on my foundation, the flat side which is great for powder, and the slim angular top which is great for blending concealer under the eyes. It has a nice soft texture when damp and it held up well to daily washing. It's super affordable and as an added bonus, I love the color.” frescalee3, EcoTools customer
#7 / Sephora Collection All-In-One Makeup Sponge
The name really says it all - you can use this sponge in so many ways. Used wet or dry, the flat slanted side is ideal for following the contours of the face, the bevelled tip gets into those hard-to-reach areas like the nose, eyes and lips (it’s also great for applying concealer to pimples) and you can apply powders with the flat round side.
The review: “Great product. How could I ever go without it?! Blending makeup with my fingers is just not good enough. This sponge really makes applying makeup so much easier!” Dot, Sephora customer
The cost: $15
#6 / Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
Made for applying liquid foundation and BB cream, although the flat edge allows you to work concealer into tight corners around your nose and eyes, this latex-free sponge is not too hard and not too soft. It’s earned itself over 1300 five-star reviews on the Real Techniques website! Use it damp for a dewy finish, or dry if you’re after full coverage.
The review: “This sponge is literally amazing at blending out foundation and baking your face, it leaves you looking FLAWLESS.” Amy, Priceline customer
#5 / Morphe The Jeffree Star Beauty Sponge Trio
If you’re a big fan of baking, this makeup sponge set by beauty YouTuber and makeup artist Jeffree Star is for you (it has over 450 five-star reviews on Morphe’s website). The Highlight & Contour Beauty Sponge has a chiselled edge for contouring, highlighting, and baking; and the two Mini Highlight & Contour Beauty Sponges can be used for under-eye concealing and baking.
The review: “These are hands down the BEST sponges I’ve ever used. My makeup sits so nicely and the smaller ones are perfect for under eyes etc.” Elise, Morphe Australia customer
#4 / Fenty Beauty Precision Makeup Sponge 100
This latex-free makeup sponge has a unique shape with three sides. Stipple with the slanted edge, use the mini-moon edge to get up close under the eyes, and for an all-over blended base, use the rounded end. You can use this sponge with liquid, cream, and powder formulas.
The review: “This is the best make up application sponge out there! Perfect for creating the most flawless base. I use the same sponge for my foundation, concealer and for baking. Totally versatile and fab value for money. Highly recommend!” Clemra, Mecca customer
#3 / Tarte The Shaper Contouring Sponge
Tarte’s vegan-friendly makeup sponge has a flat surface for blending and contouring, a rounded edge for stippling, and a chiselled tip for getting into small areas such as under the eyes and around the nose. It’s one of the bigger makeup sponges getting around, especially when wet. It’s also latex-free (read: non-allergenic).
The review: “I love this sponge! I put my foundation on with a brush and then use this to blend my foundation, concealer, and put on setting powder. It is soft and isn't uncomfortable to blend under my eyes. It is also perfect for setting powder this is the only sponge that can get the powder in those precise areas under my eye. This is definitely a product I will continue to purchase.” Eve, Tarte customer
#2 / Sigma Beauty 3DHD™ Blender
You’ll note from the shape that this makeup sponge has a sharper edge than most makeup sponges out there - this comes in handy if you want to create a sharp contour (although you can also use the rounded edge to blur the product for a soft-focus finish). The straight edge also allows you to get up close around the brows and lips, and even apply eyeshadow with precision. This latex-free makeup sponge is known for blending product faster than most, which is a big plus in our time-poor books!
The review: “Better than any other blender on the market! I love the multiple surfaces and angles of this blender! I can maneuver it around my client's eyes and eyebrows without disturbing makeup I have already applied, and I love the bottom for blending out concealer quickly!” MNMUA, Sigma Beauty customer
#1 / Beautyblender® Original
The original and many will agree, still one of the best. Celebrities and celebrity makeup artists are big fans of the OG beautyblender (Patrick Ta uses it for "almost everything"). The edgeless sponge fits all contours of the face — even around the eyes and nose — and it is designed to be used wet so it won’t soak up and waste your precious product. One of its shining features is the secret material that the sponge is made from, which protects against 99.7 per cent of harmful germs and is porous to help foundation melt into the skin for a perfectly-blended, natural-looking finish. It also boast one of the best life spans compared to many other dupes on the market.
The review: “You don’t realise you need it until you use it. Once you start you can never settle for less than quality! I was always so skeptic ask about spending so much on something I though I never really needed but now I see how my foundation sits on my face after using this for application, I’m almost embarrassed that I even went out in public using my fingers or brush to apply” Rebekah, Sephora Australia customer
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.