Makeup sponges, also called cosmetic sponges, are used to apply and remove certain types of makeup, moisturizer, and cleanser. They’re available in many varieties and can be purchased at local drugstores and discount or high-end department stores. Depending on the purpose, they can be found in wedge shapes, round puffs, infused with Vitamin E, smooth, rough, porous, dense, or any other shape or texture required to achieve the best application or removal of a product.
Triangular, smooth, semi-dense makeup sponge wedges are best used to apply liquid foundation. Just as the surface on the wedge is smooth, so will be the liquid makeup application. This is important as liquid foundation is applied to the face and will be highly visible. A sponge with larger “pores,” would soak up too much of the liquid, plus the application would not be smooth as the large craters would cause different amounts of makeup to be distributed as the makeup sponge is pulled across the face. They are also available infused with Vitamin E which is said to nourish and protect skin.
As a general rule when applying liquid foundation with a sponge, select a sponge with the same texture as the desired result. Smooth and soft with small, nearly invisible pores is the usual goal. Smaller wedges with well-defined edges are also useful for blending in small areas. The sharply crafted edge can be used to make delicate adjustments to eye makeup without disturbing the entire area, and is ideal for managing lipstick smudges.
A rough, porous makeup sponge is the best choice for makeup removal. These sponges are highly absorbent, and their rougher texture serves as a tool for dislodging makeup embedded in pores, ensuring a clean, fresh face. The type of sponge recommended for this purpose is called a cellulose makeup sponge. These sponges hang on to cleanser during the removal process and if water is added to the sponge, the amount of cleanser needed is reduced. The porous nature of the cellulose sponge allows the cleanser and water to be distributed throughout the sponge and mixed together when gently squeezed.
Though there are myriad types of makeup sponges, most require the same maintenance. Sponges should be stored separately from makeup, washed with mild hand soap after every use, and air dried. Replace sponges when they begin to crumble or fray.