Product Wars: We Rate and Review Our Favorite Makeup Sponges Under $15
I've been obsessively patting and blending with my prized Beautyblender ($20) for a few months now, and we're really happy together. It knows when I need a little extra glow, and I know exactly how to use it to get there. But I wondered if there were other makeup sponges out there for me too. Call it a fear of commitment or the need to product hoard, but I decided to get my hands on a few more top tools on the market.
I squeezed, squished, blotted, and tapped to my heart's desire with my favorites and wrote detailed reviews so you can decide on which one works best for you. Because after all, a properly blended face and a few colorful sponges may just be the secret to lifelong happiness. Or at least a dozen great selfies.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about my favorite wallet-friendly options.
The Review: Lightweight and conveniently shaped, Wander Beauty's Wander Cushion ($12) is really effective. You can gently and easily buff on foundation and the sponge gives this really flawless, airbrushed finish. But, still one that looks natural. (I like my skin to look like real skin, you know?)
The secret is in the game-changing shape. First, there's a flat side great for larger areas on your face like your forehead and cheeks (even your chest and body if you're into that). If you flip it over, there's a precision point that helps with comfortable coverage in all those difficult, hard-to-reach areas—like underneath your eyes and around your nose. You can even use it to spot-correct breakouts.
Another notable feature is the density, this sponge is a bit firmer than others on the market. The idea is that it doesn't absorb as much product with each use, which is helpful and cost-effective, but I think it has a small effect on how well it blends. I like a really squishy sponge because it nixes every possible streak and makes it easier to sheer out a foundation when necessary. That's my only criticism, and truthfully, it may just have to do with my specific skin.
The Rating: A
The Review: Maybelline Dream Blender ($5) looks like a fun, fancy wand when I first open the packaging, like one of those Disney Princess accessories I always wanted to get my hands on. The packaging instructs: "Glide the sponge over large areas and target hard-to-reach curves," but one look at this sponge and I realize it's going to be difficult to use on my entire face.
As I start applying product, I realize it is amazing at covering all the tiny cracks, crevices, and small areas on my face. I was blending and covering problem areas I didn't even know I had (below my nose, around my eyes, and even along the curve in my chin). It works best when you use the sides to blend in a circular motion along your cheeks and on your forehead in an outward direction. Then, go back in with the tip of the sponge for any small places you may have missed. Pairing this with a larger sponge would be an absolute dream team, but on its own I'd recommend using it mostly for smaller areas.
The Rating: B
The Review: Sephora Collection's Smooth Delivery Makeup Sponges ($8) are remarkably soft! And, of course, super adorable. Each one has been specially designed to apply product evenly, but with a different purpose.
The Perfectionist has dual tips for precise concealing, blending, and removing makeup mistakes. It has a super-fine tip for getting into those small corners. The set also includes a contouring sponge that blends out liquid and powder products to properly sculpt your face. These sponges are tiny, but their size that makes them really easy to handle. I use less product, make fewer mistakes, and really have control over each motion as I apply the makeup. That being said, because they're so small, I wouldn't use them for all-over coverage.
Of course, this pack of miniature makeup sponges is cute and colorful—and honestly, that's enough to get me to buy them. But they work too. And if I've learned anything from this entire process, it's that having more than one sponge around at all times is the best way to guarantee flawless makeup.
The Rating: A-
To make sure you're not using your beloved makeup sponge incorrectly, peep our easy-to-follow guide.