These days, nary a makeup bag exists without a sponge in some way, shape, or form. These porous tools have revolutionized the way we tap on concealer and foundation for a flawless, yet natural-looking complexion. While it all began with the Beautyblender 15 years ago, there are now a slew of different types for the most bespoke application possible. Here, find a quick-and-dirty guide to the most popular shapes and textures on the market.
Specialty: Versatile, all-over application thanks to its wide base and tapered tip. Bonus: The cell structure of the sponge fills with water to ensure that the product sits on top of it, rather than being absorbed/wasted.
Beautyblender Original, $20; sephora.com.
Speciality: Drop-free, precise application for the nooks and crannies of the face such as the sides of the nose and inner corners of the eyes.
The Finger Sponge, $14.95; the-makeup-bullet.com.
Shape: Tear Drop
Specialty: It's 100% non-porous, which means it won't waste any product as it fits the contours of the face during application. And since it's made of silicon, it's also very easy to clean.
The Makeup Drop, $20; makeupdrop.com.
Shape: Double Cone
Specialty: The tips of the cone are for the hard-to-teach areas of the face, while the sides can be used on the cheeks and forehead. The central strips are to ensure your fingers stay clean. The jet black shade? Chiiiic.
Givenchy Makeup Blender Fluid Compact Sponge, $20; sephora.com.
Shape: Flat and asymmetrical
Specialty: Both the shape and super-soft non-latex texture make this long-lasting sponge great for loose and pressed powders.
Jane Iredale Flocked Sponge, $5.50; amazon.com.
Specialty: The tiny tip is great for spot coverage, while the larger, wedge-like sides work for cheeks/forehead and the smaller ones can be used for contouring.
Real Techniques Miracle Diamond Sponge, $9.99; ulta.com.
Shape: Egg-shaped with a flat edge
Specialty: This architectural sponge has a precision tip for blemishes; rounded side for stippling; and a flat edge for the contours.
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, $6.99; ulta.com.
Specialty: Compact for one-the-go application, the pointed tip is for application, the domed side is for blending, and the flat round edge buffs.
Miracle Contour Wedges (Set of 4), $10; realtechniques.com.