10 Best Makeup Sponges and Beauty Blenders for Every Purpose

Get ready for a second-skin finish.

woman with glowing skin
(Image credit: Getty)

Foundation brushes have their time and place, don’t get us wrong. But there’s a very good reason beauty blenders have become a must-have in every makeup bag. Whether you’re a product lover who’s layering on dozens of formulas or have a tinted-moisturizer-and-done mentality, having the best makeup sponges in your arsenal is non-negotiable for easy application. After all, getting a second-skin finish with a damp beauty blender is pretty foolproof. Just keep this rule in mind: always dab, never rub. 

“You never want to drag the sponge because that creates harsh lines and streaks,” says Alexandria Gilleo, celebrity makeup artist and My Zen Den founder. “When you bounce a sponge, it gives off such a luxurious, flawless, and evenly toned glow.” While there are plenty of do-it-all makeup sponges (cough, cough Beautyblender) that will work for the whole face, Gilleo explains that you may want to build up a robust selection. “Some sizes and densities of sponges can be better to use for different areas of the face,” she explains. “For example, I have a smaller, less dense sponge to use around the eyes and nose to more easily target those tighter spaces, and a larger, more dense blender for the face.”  

While we could rattle off the pros for makeup sponges (reusable! easy to use!), they do still require a bit of upkeep. It’s important to remember to wash off the excess product with a gentle cleanser or soap and water. “It’s not uncommon to have bacteria or even mold build up. They can lead to breakouts and even rashes depending on the level of irritation they cause,” says Dr. Dhaval G. Bhanusali, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Hudson Dermatology and Laser Surgery. Daily cleansing would be ideal, but Dr. Bhanusali recommends cleaning your sponges at least once a week. 

Now that you’ve received the down low on how to use (and clean!) your beauty blenders, allow us to break down the best makeup sponges—for every purpose, finish, and price point.  

Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and shares the breakdown on the latest and greatest trends in the beauty space. She's studied up on every ingredient you'll find on INCI list and is constantly in search of the world's glowiest makeup products. Prior to joining the team, she worked as Us Weekly’s Beauty and Style Editor, where she stayed on the pulse of pop culture and broke down celebrity beauty routines, hair transformations, and red carpet looks. Her words have also appeared on Popsugar, Makeup.com, Skincare.com, Delish.com, and Philadelphia Wedding. Samantha also serves as a board member for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). She first joined the organization in 2018, when she worked as an editorial intern at Food Network Magazine and Pioneer Woman Magazine. Samantha has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While at GWU, she was a founding member of the school’s HerCampus chapter and served as its President for four years. When she’s not deep in the beauty closet or swatching eyeshadows, you can find her obsessing over Real Housewives and all things Bravo. Keep up with her on Instagram @samholender.