The 6 Best Makeup Sponges of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

Our favorite is the Fenty Beauty Precision Makeup Sponge 100

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Makeup sponge hero

Byrdie/Tamara Staples

Whether you apply a full face of makeup daily or only on special occasions, you'll want to have the right tools in your arsenal. In addition to a few good brushes, no modern makeup kit is complete without a couple of sponges.

Byrdie Tested & Approved

The Fenty Beauty Precision Makeup Sponge 100 is our top choice. It boasts a unique shape, works wet or dry, does an incredible job of blending, and leaves your makeup oh-so-smooth. But if you're looking for something more budget-friendly, we recommend the dense yet bouncy and easy-to-clean Essence Make-Up & Baking Sponge.

In fact, professional makeup artist Sophia Nawabi prefers them over brushes. "They're sanitary, easier, and much cheaper to dispose of after each client's use," she tells Byrdie. "I can use my sponge wet or dry [for] completely different finishes."

You can use beauty sponges with liquids, creams, and powders for everything from application and contouring to blending and setting. Beyond the classic pointed egg, they come in all shapes, sizes, densities, and textures. To help you narrow it down, we researched today's best-sellers and tried out 14 in The Lab, our product-testing facility in Manhattan.

These are the best makeup sponges tested by Byrdie.

Best Overall: Fenty Beauty Precision Makeup Sponge

4.7
Precision Makeup Sponge 100
Our Ratings
  • Absorbency
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Ease of Cleaning
    4.5/5
What We Like
  • Unique shape

  • Good for blending

  • Leaves foundation smooth

  • Works wet or dry

What We Don't Like
  • No precision tip

After trying out many makeup sponges, Fenty's Precision 100 was a clear winner. This mid-size latex-free sponge is lightweight and airy with a soft, bouncy feel. It's absorbent but not so much that it'll soak up all your makeup and leave none for your skin. Our tester loved the unique shape too. This makeup sponge is essentially an egg with one flat side and a flattened mini-moon tip.

You can apply liquids and creams with precision, then blend them out into an airbrushed finish. The flat side and moon tip are also great for stamping on finishing powder, and the rounded bottom is ideal for all-over buffing. As for cleaning, the foundation washes off pretty easily, and the beige color makes the sponge look generally less stained.

Material: Latex-free sponge | Shape: Egg with flat side and tip | Size: Medium

What Our Testers Say

"Fenty's sponge is the perfect shape to apply foundation." —Dahiana Lopez, Product Tester

Best Budget: Essence Makeup & Baking Sponge

5
Essence Makeup & Baking Sponge

Ulta

Our Ratings
  • Absorbency
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Ease of Cleaning
    5/5
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Dense yet bouncy

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Gets very large when damp

On a budget? This wallet-friendly sponge is your best bet. Our tester liked that the dense yet bouncy foam material didn't soak up all her product and made it super easy to blend. While it expands to over twice the original size when damp, we appreciate that you can use it wet or dry.

The egg-shaped design features a pointed tip and one flat side. Our tester used the wide rounded base to apply creams and buff out larger areas, the flat side for smaller areas, and the point for corners. It's also very easy to clean—all the foundation came right out when we tried washing it.

Material: Dense foam | Shape: Pointed egg with flat side | Size: Medium

What Our Testers Say

"This is a great sponge. It didn't soak up my product and blended quickly into my skin." —Elizabeth Hecht, Product Tester

Best Classic: Beautyblender The Original Makeup Sponge

4.1
beautyblender

Courtesy of Nordstrom

Our Ratings
  • Absorbency
    4/5
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Ease of Cleaning
    4/5
What We Like
  • Soft and bouncy

  • Versatile

  • MUA-recommended

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Tricky to clean

Celebrity makeup artist Renée Loiz is a huge fan of Beautyblender. "They have a ton of different shapes to cater to specific parts of your face," she tells Byrdie. Our tester liked the feel of this soft, bouncy sponge against her skin.

The Original Beautyblender can be used wet or dry for application, contouring, blending, setting, and baking. Our tester said the large side of the egg is perfect for the cheeks and forehead, while the pointed tip is ideal for around the nose and blending under-eye concealer. The price is steep, but beyond that, our only complaint is that it's hard to get all the makeup out when cleaning it.

Material: Latex-free polyurethane foam | Shape: Egg with pointed tip | Size: Large

What Our Testers Say

"I will always love this product. I reach for it every day." —Julia Fields, Product Tester

Best Value: L'Oréal Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender

4.3
L'Oréal Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Absorbency
    4/5
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Ease of Cleaning
    3/5
What We Like
  • User-friendly

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Not recommended for wet use

L'Oréal's Blend Artist ended up being our favorite drugstore option. Calling it "the Goldilocks of beauty blenders," our tester said this soft and bouncy sponge plays well with water but isn't too absorbent, so it won't soak up all your product.

The pointed pear shape isn't particularly unique, but it's exceptionally versatile and user-friendly. It's perfect for applying products, blending, contouring, and buffing out the corners of your face. This makeup sponge is also notably easy to clean.

Material: Sponge | Shape: Pointed pear | Size: Large

Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender Test

Byrdie / Tamara Staples

What Our Testers Say

"It's a no-fuss blender that does what you'd expect." —Britney Johnson, Product Tester

Best Silicone: Ulta Fingerprint Silicone Blender

4.7
Ulta Fingerprint Silicone Blender

Byrdie / Ulta

Our Ratings
  • Absorbency
    4/5
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Ease of Cleaning
    5/5
What We Like
  • Good for applying

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Not absorbent

If you've yet to try silicone, Ulta's Fingerprint Blender is the perfect gateway. The smooth, non-porous material is perfect for applying products, and since it isn't absorbent, it's incredibly easy to clean—everything just rinses off.

Our tester said the silicone felt soft against the skin. They loved how well it performed when applying and blending full-coverage foundation. The slightly pointed tip makes it easy to get underneath your eyes and around the curves of your nose too.

Material: Latex-free silicone | Shape: Flat egg | Size: Medium

La Mer Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation

Byrdie / Tamara Staples

What Our Testers Say

"I love how easy it is to use this applicator and how easy it is to clean." —C.Tiffany Lee, Product Tester

Best Set: Beauty Bakerie Organic Eggs Beauty Sponges

4.3
Organic Blending Eggs

Byrdie / Ulta

Our Ratings
  • Absorbency
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Ease of Cleaning
    4.5/5
What We Like
  • Great value

  • Dense yet soft

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Absorbs lots of product

  • All one size

With this six-pack from Beauty Bakerie, you can designate one blender for each step of your glam routine. Each egg-shaped sponge is made from latex-free foam and features a narrower tip for easy, seamless application and blending of liquids or powders.

Our tester liked the dense yet soft and bouncy feel of the foam. While they're all one size, the sponges get really big when wet, and the smaller end is great for getting into the corners of your face. They're easy to clean, too, but just bear in mind the absorbent material soaks up a lot of product.

Material: Latex-free foam | Shape: Egg | Size: Large

Beauty Bakerie Organic Blending Eggs

Byrdie / Tamara Staples

Final Verdict

The Fenty Beauty Precision Makeup Sponge 100 is our top choice. It boasts a unique shape, works wet or dry, does an incredible job of blending, and leaves your makeup oh-so-smooth. But if you're looking for something more budget-friendly, we recommend the dense yet bouncy and easy-to-clean Essence Make-Up & Baking Sponge.

Fenty Beauty Precision Makeup Sponge 100

Byrdie / Tamara Staples

How We Tested

We spent weeks researching makeup sponges, sifting through reviews, and interviewing experts before selecting 14 to try for ourselves in The Lab. The products were put to the test to see how they performed with various products on different skin types. 

Our in-house team evaluated each one based on absorption, application, ease of cleaning, and overall value. After giving the sponges a score from one to five for each category, we narrowed it down to our top picks.

Other Options We Tested

Sonia Kashuk Makeup Blender Sponge

We liked the cool marbled pattern and soft, squishy feel of this latex-free sponge. Though it worked pretty well for blending, it was almost too absorbent in that we needed to use a substantial amount of product to build the coverage. And while it was easy to clean, it ripped slightly in the process.

Sonia Kashuk Makeup Blender Sponge Test

Byrdie / Tamara Staples

Real Techniques Miracle Mixing Sponge

This sponge has a flat silicone surface on one end, where you can mix multiple products before applying them to your face. It's a cool idea and might be useful for full-glam makeup application. But in the end, it's just not something we'd reach for every day.

Real Techniques Miracle Mixing Sponge

Byrdie / Tamara Staples

Tarte Babassu Foundcealer Multi-Tasking Sponge

Our tester called this "a versatile little sponge." The angles are perfect for getting into all the nooks and crannies of your face, and the unique shape is great for blush application. However, it was just a little too absorbent, which makes it harder to clean and can lead to some wasted product.

Tarte Babassu Foundcealer Multi-Tasking Sponge

Byrdie / Tamara Staples

Meet the Expert

  • Sophia Nawabi is a makeup and hair artist with 17 years of professional experience. She is based out of San Francisco and offers on-demand mobile and in-home services.
  • Renée Loiz is a celebrity makeup artist and the founder of
  • Color May Vary, an extensive guide to today's best Black-owned brands.

What to Look for in a Makeup Sponge

Density

The denser the makeup brush, the less porous it is—which means it’s less likely to absorb all of your products. A high-density brush will be great for seamlessly applying a full coverage foundation. Lower density sponges are better for blending light to medium coverage foundations.

Texture

The ideal makeup sponge has a soft texture so that it’s comfortable to use, and it should also be flexible so that it can bounce and bend to distribute the product. 

Ability to Clean

This factor is super important. A great makeup sponge will be easy to clean and keep dry to avoid product buildup and bacteria.

Size

When it comes to makeup sponges, size matters. It comes down to a matter of preference, but large sponges can cover a larger surface area, making them great for blending. Smaller sponges, on the other hand, can be great for precision application and hard-to-reach areas.

FAQ
  • How often should you clean your makeup sponge?

    Our makeup expert Renee Loiz recommends cleaning your makeup sponge every week to keep bacteria at bay with soap and a cleansing pad.

  • How do you clean your makeup sponge?

    “First wet sponge, then rub in the soap (bar soap is OK, too), gently rub fingers through the sponge to mix soap around, and then gently scrub the makeup sponge on a cleansing pad to remove the product. Run under water to rinse and repeat the process if necessary," says Loiz.

  • When should you use a sponge versus a makeup brush?

    “Powders are better applied with makeup brushes, but liquid and cream products blend best when applied with a sponge," says Loiz. "Often, liquid and cream products look streaky when you use a brush, but sponges give you more control to pat the product evenly into the skin.”

What Is Byrdie Verified?

Did you notice the Byrdie Verified seal of approval at the top of this story? This seal means that our team has researched and tested every product on this list using a unique methodology that’s designed to focus on what our readers really want to know—and to deliver insights that you can’t find anywhere else. Occasionally, beauty brands and PR agencies will send us samples for coverage consideration, but our thoughts and opinions are fully our own. If you visit links within our content, we may receive commissions from your purchases, but we never receive any compensation or consideration for the content of our recommendations. In short, the Byrdie Verified seal stands for product recommendations you can trust.

Why Trust Byrdie

Theresa Holland is a commerce writer specializing in beauty. She interviewed a professional makeup artist for this story, compiling their product suggestions and insight into techniques. Before landing on the final selections, she pored over specs and combed through user reviews of dozens of makeup sponges from various retailers. From the above list, she has personally used Beautyblender, Wet n Wild, Beakey, Real Techniques, Sephora, e.l.f, and Fenty. Theresa has been contributing to Byrdie since 2020, where she covers makeup products, haircare, and skincare.

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