Finest make-up sponges of 2021

(CNN) —  

Make-up sponges present a fast, straightforward method to apply many sorts of base make-up. We examined make-up sponges by Beautyblender, NYX, Actual Strategies, Milk Make-up, Fenty, e.l.f. Cosmetics, L’Oréal Paris and Juno & Co. to seek out the best sponge that can work throughout purposes.

After testing many basis purposes with a number of make-up sponges, used each moist and dry, we discovered these to be our final prime two:

Heralded by magnificence editors and make-up artists alike because the GOAT, the Beautyblender Authentic Make-up Sponge has, in our opinion, lived as much as its hype. Whereas it’s dearer than others we examined, its high quality (it didn’t disintegrate like others did over time) and effectiveness (it led to the cleanest utility of the bunch) make it well worth the cash.

The NYX Teardrop Mixing Sponge was our favourite finances sponge. Lots of the different finances sponges are overly stiff, however this sponge is as versatile as some status manufacturers, and its distinctive form helps you to manipulate it simply and mix your basis in any crevice of your face.

Katie McBroom

We see these two as complementary merchandise and suppose every one is worthy of a spot in your make-up vainness. We utilized cream and liquid merchandise by dabbing with the Beautyblender after which set them with powders utilized with the flat NYX sponge utilizing a urgent movement. It is a helpful approach for those who desire to not combine completely different shades and formulation on the identical sponge, chopping down on the period of time you spend cleansing your make-up instruments.

Katie McBroom

The Beautyblender claimed our prime spot, due to its versatility, effectiveness and general comfy really feel. It’s a rounded sponge with a teardrop form, designed for use whereas moist. The model claims on this video that it ought to “bounce” in your make-up, for those who use a springy dabbing movement versus dragging in your basis. And bounce it does. Due to its versatile kind and high quality materials, it will increase 30% in dimension when moist; it actually does really feel like you possibly can effortlessly pop in your base make-up swiftly versus utilizing a few of the firmer sponges that don’t really feel as smooth or versatile (sorry, L’Oréal). It additionally utilized our basis the quickest and best of all of the make-up sponges we examined.

When used moist as directed, the Beautyblender swells up, making it simpler to shortly cowl a big space with basis. You’ll be able to even use a moist Beautyblender to go over your base make-up after you’ve utilized every part (together with powder) to set it and get that coveted flawless end. Due to its versatile kind, the Beautyblender labored higher with this method than the opposite, stiffer sponges, which smeared our make-up. (The Actual Strategies sponge, which is a bit firmer than the Beautyblender, pressed traces into the end of our base make-up after we used the slanted aspect.) We additionally like that the Beautyblender stayed moist throughout the utility course of, in contrast to Juno & Co.’s velvet sponge, which dried out a bit too shortly.

Katie McBroom

The Beautyblender can also be probably the most versatile sponge we examined; it allow us to apply a number of types of make-up with ease. It’s generally used to use basis, however if you wish to cowl a big space with powder, concealer and even highlighter, this software can simply be used to take action. (It’s additionally a great software to make use of for “baking” your powder for those who select to.) You can too use the pointed tip of the sponge to use powder eye shadows (moist for a extra intense look or dry for extra of the normal powder end).

Cleansing the Beautyblender may need been our least favourite side of it, because it’s not terribly straightforward to scrub to the place it seems like new. However it’s attainable, particularly for those who use the specialised cleansing options the model provides.

Katie McBroom

We love when a product is each efficient and reasonably priced. The NYX Teardrop Mixing Sponge is teardrop-shaped however flat, so we advocate this another for powder merchandise, however it could possibly additionally mix lotions and foundations successfully. Whereas we discovered it simpler and sooner to do a fast full-face basis utility by dabbing with the Beautyblender (as a consequence of its rounded kind), for those who’re extra comfy utilizing urgent or dragging methods to your make-up (such as you is perhaps conversant in from utilizing old-school flat-wedge sponges you stole out of your mother’s make-up stash), then you definately may desire the flat form. This sponge can also be latex-free, making it an excellent possibility for individuals who may need allergy symptoms (or who simply desire the feel of a latex-free sponge).

Katie McBroom

The form additionally works nicely to succeed in smaller, hard-to-blend locations (like proper underneath the eyes). You’ll be able to bend or roll it, and even use the very tip to dot on tiny particulars (like shimmer powder within the inside corners of your eyes).

In comparison with the Beautyblender, it did go away us wanting in sure areas. For instance, the form and type of the NYX sponge, whereas efficient for sure points of extra detailed make-up utility, didn’t lend as nicely to a fast allover utility. Finally, we most well-liked the thicker, rounded teardrop form of the Beautyblender, particularly for cream and liquid merchandise; the bigger circumference made for faster, simpler utility.

Whereas not fairly as versatile and efficient because the Beautyblender by way of utility, at $7 for a two-pack, additionally it is extraordinarily reasonably priced. It’s additionally straightforward to scrub, perhaps even barely simpler than the Beautyblender, particularly because it isn’t as thick as that one and most others we examined. If we had to decide on one sponge, it’d be the Beautyblender. But when that’s not in your finances (otherwise you simply desire an old-school flat sponge), then the NYX sponge is a stable alternative.

Katie McBroom

There are a lot of components that go into creating a high quality make-up sponge. We targeted on the next classes and subcategories to research the most effective make-up sponges:


  • Effectiveness: At the beginning, a make-up sponge ought to have the ability to dab, stipple or “bounce” onto the pores and skin to use your basis. It also needs to show you how to mix completely different make-up merchandise (like blush or contour merchandise, for instance) successfully.
  • Versatility: Can it successfully deal with making use of and mixing all kinds of basis formulation, together with lotions, liquids and powders?
  • Ensuing end: Does the end look flawless and streak-free, or are you left with blotchy pores and skin?
  • Efficiency when moist/dry: Many sponges are literally designed for use moist (or damp). Does the sponge work each moist and dry? Is one far more efficient?


  • Texture: Does it really feel smooth towards the pores and skin?
  • Cleanability: How straightforward is it to scrub?
  • Type: Was it too stiff? Did the construction lend nicely to general utility?
  • Form: Is the form conducive to each finer utility makes use of (underneath eye, as an example) and bigger utility areas just like the cheeks?

Katie McBroom

Actual Strategies Miracle Complexion Sponge ($6.98; or $5.99;

The reasonably priced, efficient Actual Strategies Miracle Complexion Sponge got here in shut behind the NYX sponge in our testing. It has an identical form to the Beautyblender, however with a slanted slide, making it a multifunctional software that each blends and dabs simply. This one is greatest for liquid basis, however you may as well use it to use lotions and powders. We most well-liked the feel and flexibility of the NYX sponge, however the Actual Strategies sponge continues to be an excellent possibility.

Milk Make-up Dab + Mix Applicator ($22;

Gen Z (and TikTok aficionados of all ages), hear up. This isn’t your mom’s make-up sponge. A flat, nonporous silicone pad quite than a typical sponge, the Milk Make-up Dab + Mix Applicator is exclusive among the many merchandise we examined. It doesn’t take in the product as a lot as different sponges, so it’s much less wasteful and simpler to scrub. It may be a little bit of a shock within the texture division for those who’re accustomed to the “spongy” really feel of conventional make-up sponges, however for those who’re right down to strive one thing new, this can be a nice alternative, because it applies basis equally to the sponges you’ve tried earlier than. Except for the completely different texture, the one slight draw back right here is much like the one factor we didn’t completely love concerning the NYX applicator, which is the flatter form. (We discovered that the bigger rounded teardrop form of the Bleautyblender allowed for a faster utility.) It additionally has glitter embedded inside, which does nothing for its effectiveness however every part for aesthetic functions (and appears tremendous cute sitting on our vainness).

Fenty Magnificence Precision Make-up Sponge ($16;

The Fenty Magnificence Precision Make-up Sponge is one other nice product from Rihanna’s line. It’s related in dimension and texture to the Beautyblender, although it contains a flat edge on one aspect. This makes it particularly nice for dabbing on a concealer or highlighter within the under-eye space so as to add dimension to your face. It’s additionally comparatively straightforward to scrub. One downside is that the sides can improve the probability of streakiness if utilized by much less skilled magnificence lovers, so it’s necessary to mix correctly and verify your end with this one.

e.l.f. Cosmetics Complete Face Sponge ($6;

The cheap e.l.f. Cosmetics Complete Face Sponge could be very related in form to the Beautyblender, although one aspect contains a flat edge. We love the flexibility of this one and the low value. It’s barely stiffer than our favorites, but when that isn’t an issue for you, then this can be a nice possibility. It’s additionally comparatively straightforward to scrub, much like most others in the identical value level.

L’Oréal Paris Make-up Infallible Mix Artist Make-up Sponge ($5.29, initially $7.99;

L’Oréal Paris persistently creates high quality merchandise at a low value. This make-up sponge contains a distinctive hourglass form, with a pointed tip to use the product and a spherical base to bounce and mix. It’s straightforward to scrub, and due to this fact similar to different conventional sponges by way of how straightforward it’s to scrub. It was a bit extra inflexible than the others we examined, however general, that is nonetheless a stable alternative that can get the job finished.

Juno & Co. Microfiber Velvet Sponge ($5.99;

The feel of the Juno & Co. sponge is exclusive. It actually looks like smooth velvet towards your pores and skin, which might be good for some, however won’t be everybody’s choice. The form is nice, because it provides a pointed tip with a flat edge on one aspect. The flat edge is comparatively small, which is nice as a result of it doesn’t get in the way in which for those who desire the opposite rounded aspect. The Juno & Co. sponge dried out in a short time when used moist (in comparison with the opposite sponges), which might be a difficulty until you favor a dry sponge. It’s additionally not tremendous straightforward to scrub, because the product we utilized actually permeated this sponge.

Learn extra from CNN Underscored’s hands-on testing:

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