The 9 Best Makeup Sponges of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

We found the best ones for a picture-perfect look

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Beauty Blender

If you've ever wondered how celebrities get picture-perfect makeup (apart from professional glam teams, of course), it's thanks in part to a tiny but mighty beauty tool: the makeup sponge. When applying foundation or any cream-based product, the right makeup sponge can blend the color for a natural-looking finish and smooth the look of any unwanted texture.

Compared to brushes, "I find that sponges are very beginner-friendly because they provide a quick, seamless blend with less effort," TikTok creator and celebrity makeup artist Melissa Murdick tells PEOPLE. She adds that sponges "work well for both liquids and powders."

Now, all you have to do is find the right makeup sponge for your skin. But don't fret — we did the hard work for you. Our PEOPLE Tested testers spent a day applying different types of makeup with 13 of the most popular sponges. They evaluated each sponge for absorption (no one likes wasted product!), application, and ease of cleaning, while also considering shape, texture, and the final makeup look.

Of all the makeup sponges that PEOPLE Tested, these were considered the best.

The Best Makeup Sponges PEOPLE Tested:

Best Overall: L'Oréal Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender

Beauty Blender


  • Applies makeup evenly and doesn't absorb too much foundation
  • Unique shape allows you to blend in tight spaces
  • Easy to rinse after application


  • Hard to build up coverage with this sponge

If you ask us, the L'Oreal Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender is essentially the goldilocks of makeup sponges — because it's just right for all of your needs. Its material, effectiveness, and durability makes this our best overall choice.

Made from a plushy sponge material, this blending sponge is quite soft when damp and doesn't feel rough on the skin. It scored well in the absorbency test; when used with foundation, it transferred most of it onto the skin rather than absorbing it all. During application, its pointed dome shape allowed for blending in tight spaces like under the eyes and around the corners of the nose, while the base was great for larger areas like the cheeks, chin, and forehead.

This makeup sponge fell short when we tried to build up foundation coverage on our skin; the member on our team who tried this sponge has oily skin and hyperpigmentation and was looking for good, buildable coverage. It was not as seamless as we'd hoped, which could also be attributed to the application technique or foundation used — we can't solely blame the sponge.

Overall, this is a user-friendly and affordable makeup sponge that's soft on your skin, and applies makeup evenly without streaks or blotches. It's a no-fuss beauty blender that does what you expect, and it's super easy to rinse out when you're ready to clean it.

Price at time of publish: $11.43

Shape: Hourglass, dome | Material: Cotton | Absorbency: Light | Good for: Liquid or cream foundation

makeup blender sponge
People/Tamara Staples

Best Budget: L.A. Girl Beauty Sponge

best makeup sponges,


  • Dense, won't absorb too much product
  • Soft on the skin due to latex-free foam material
  • Easy to clean by rinsing
  • Only $5


  • Sponge pushed the makeup around a bit; had to blend well
  • Not as plush as other sponges

You don't have to be an L.A. girl to appreciate this sponge. It's quite dense compared to a lot of the sponges we tested, which makes for minimal absorbency (meaning all of your foundation will go onto your skin rather than disappear into the sponge). We also loved how soft the latex-free foam material felt on our skin during application.

In terms of design, this sponge mimics a classic teardrop shape with a slight edge for blotting certain areas of the face — say, your cheekbones with blush. The shape aided application, with the pointed tip getting into the small areas around the nose and under the eyes. One word of caution: This sponge tends to push makeup around, so you have to be careful when blending. That said, it eventually created a smooth finish with our foundation.

This makeup sponge is easy to clean, and all the residue came out with a few rinses. Though it's not as plush as other sponges, the size, shape, and material makes the LA Girl sponge a good option for daily use — and at a budget-friendly price.

Price at time of publish: $4.99

Shape: Teardrop with flat edge | Material: Latex-free foam sponge | Absorbency: Light | Good for: Liquids, creams, or powders

NARS light reflecting foundation
Tamara Staples

Best Investment: Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Precision Makeup Sponge 100

Beauty Blender


  • Precisely applies foundation, thanks to its flat shape and narrow edge
  • Doesn't absorb too much makeup
  • Soft texture makes applying makeup feel luxurious


  • Latex-free isn't as durable as other materials

Rihanna made moves at the Superbowl, debuting a new matte lipstick, but Fenty's sponge remains a fan favorite among the beauty line. The Precision Makeup Sponge 100 earned a near perfect score in our testing for its unique design, lack of absorption, and precise application.

This soft makeup sponge is light and airy in design, and we especially loved the flat shape and narrow edge at the end. This special design facilitates a clean and precise application, easily blending foundation across all areas of the face. Testing also showed how quickly foundation washes from this sponge (only FourFiveSeconds...get it?). Though more expensive than others on our list, it's hard for us to find fault with this premium makeup sponge. If it's good enough for Rihanna, it's good enough for us.

Price at time of publish: $16

Shape: Pointed dome with angled edge | Material: Latex-free sponge| Absorbency: Light | Good for: Liquids, creams, or powders

makeup blender sponge
People/Tamara Staples

Best Silicone: Dual-Sided Silicone and Sponge Blender

best makeup sponges,


  • Still achieved smooth coverage even though it is silicone
  • One side is not porous, so it didn't absorb makeup
  • Very simple to use and clean


  • Doesn't blend as well as a classic sponge because it's dry

Editor's Note: The silicone makeup sponge product we originally tested is discontinued, so we recommend this similar option instead.

If you want a hypoallergenic beauty tool (no natural latex!) to create smooth coverage across your face, this silicone beauty blender is the way to go. We were pleasantly surprised with its softness, and how well the teardrop shape performed when applying foundation.

Since it isn't porous like a classic sponge, this blender doesn't absorb any makeup, and transfers all product to your face. However, the newer version does have a sponge side, so it will likely absorb some makeup. The tipped side works efficiently to get around tight corners near the eyes and nose, and the round side is better for larger facial areas.

The silicone material doesn't blend quite as well as a standard sponge because it lacks the dampness that helps your skin take in the product, but it was by far the easiest beauty blender to clean; the makeup washes right off. Overall, the sponge performed well, provided full coverage, and was easy to use — a great hypoallergenic option.

Price at time of publish: $5.99

Shape: Teardrop-shaped | Material: Silicone, sponge| Absorbency: None | Good for: Liquid or cream foundations

makeup blender sponge
People/Tamara Staples

Best Latex-Free: Sonia Kashuk™ Latex-Free Makeup Blender Sponge

best makeup sponges,


  • Super soft material feels great on your skin
  • Shape made the application process very easy
  • Fun patterned design


  • Easy to tear, so use caution when cleaning
  • Absorbed some makeup during testing

Sonia Kashuk is known for an array of user-friendly beauty tools, and this makeup sponge is no exception. This egg-shaped sponge utilizes a rounded bottom and pointed top for versatile application no matter where you're trying to blend product. We loved the soft feel and whimsical design of a black and white marble-esque pattern.

While this sponge blended our foundation well and created a smooth finish, it did absorb some product, and we found ourselves adding more makeup to build up the coverage. We suggest applying your makeup product directly to the sponge or on your face, to avoid product loss when transferring from the back of your hand to your face.

In terms of durability, it did rip when we tried to clean it with a makeup wipe — so while not a dealbreaker (because a better way to clean would just be to wash with soapy water), it's not the most durable on our list. That said, the makeup did come out of the sponge when cleaned, so if you're gentle when washing, it should last until you're ready to get a new one.

Price at time of publish: $7

Shape: Pointed dome-shaped | Material: Latex-free polyurethane foam | Absorbency: Medium | Good for: Liquids and creams

Best Makeup Sponges
People / Tamara Staples

Best Classic: Original Beautyblender

best makeup sponges,


  • Good shape for easy blending
  • Classic, egg-shaped design makes it easy to use on all areas of your face
  • The "golden standard" of makeup sponges, according to our expert


  • Didn't clean very well, so plan on a little extra time to get this one completely rinsed
  • Needed to build up coverage with several applications
  • Pricier than any other option on the list

There's a reason there's only one "original" — it's the first, the classic, and the model to which all future iterations are compared. In steps the Original Beautyblender. "Beautyblender is the golden standard," says Murdick. This product is the reason many makeup sponges are referred to as "beauty blenders" by professionals and novices alike. It offers the classic egg-shaped design with a pointed tip to delicately blend makeup under the eyes and in the crevices around the nose.

The material is similar to many others on our list: Latex-free polyurethane foam. It's soft and works well to blend foundation for a smooth finish. (Though we did notice it needed several layers for full coverage.) It wasn't due to the sponge absorbing too much product (it didn't absorb much at all), but rather could be attributed to the specific foundation we used during the test. We also found it somewhat tricky to clean, but we used makeup wipes for this test, and a better cleaning technique would involve soap and water. Overall, we appreciate the OG Beautyblender, and think it absolutely deserves a spot on this list.

Price at time of publish: $20

Shape: Teardrop | Material: Latex-free polyurethane foam | Absorbency: Light | Good for: Creams, powders, or liquids

People / Tamara Staples

Best for Baking: Essence Makeup & Baking Sponge

best makeup sponges,


  • Shape is good for blending and baking
  • Versatile with different makeup products
  • Affordable price


  • The sponge expands a lot when damp

When you need to slap makeup on before running out the door, you'll want a makeup sponge that will do the job quickly and effectively. This sponge was a real teacher's pet, earning a perfect score in all of our tests, with little to no absorption, flawless and quick application, and easy cleanup.

Made from a vegan sponge material (no animal products and no animal testing), this beauty blender has a classic pear shape with a large round bottom perfect for blending foundation and baking makeup. Its angled side creates an edge for smoothing and a tip for hard-to-reach spots.

The only oddity we noticed was how large the sponge grew when dampened for application. That's not necessarily a con for everyone, but when you're trying to reach tight corners around your eyes and nose, you don't want the sponge to expand so much. Thankfully, it didn't soak up the product, and blended it well into our skin. Combining those qualities with the budget-friendly price — we think this is an ideal everyday makeup sponge.

Price at time of publish: $5.99

Shape: Pear shape with angled edge | Material: Vegan sponge| Absorbency: Very light | Good for: Liquid or cream foundations, pressed or loose powder

Best Makeup Sponges
People / Tamara Staples

Best Set: Beauty Bakerie Organic Blending Eggs

best makeup sponges,


  • Comes as a set with six sponges, so you can use different sponges for different products
  • Cleaned easily with a few rinses
  • Applies makeup smoothly, especially on large areas like cheeks


  • Absorbs a lot of product
  • Grows quite large when damp

Why have one makeup sponge when you can have six? This adorable set, designed as an egg carton, lets you differentiate sponges for various needs (which will make them last longer than one working three jobs). For instance, you can use one sponge for liquid products and one for powder.

It's quite dense, though the material felt soft on our skin when applying makeup. The shape mimics most makeup sponge designs, but with more rounded edges like an egg without a signature pointed tip. We noticed it grew quite large when wet, a pro or con depending on how you look at it. While it made it harder to tackle small areas like creases around the nose, it allowed for easy blending across larger real estate like our cheeks.

The only major con is how much makeup it absorbs. We found ourselves reapplying more makeup in several layers, since on the first application, the sponge ate quite a bit of product. That said, it was super easy to clean, and all of the product washed out. There was a faint stain where the foundation was, but one of the eggs is almost ivory in color so it would be groundbreaking if there weren't some kind of residual makeup stain.

Price at time of publish: $18

Shape: Egg | Material: Non-latex sponge | Absorbency: Heavy | Good for: Liquids, creams, or powders; though we recommend picking one egg for each type of product

Best Makeup Sponges
People / Tamara Staples

Best for Airbrushed Finish: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge


  • Affordable (only $6!)
  • Versatile shape makes it great for a variety of product applications
  • Creates an airbrush-level smooth finish


  • It gets quite large when damp

This makeup sponge is a popular one when you're scouring the aisles at Ulta — it's almost always in short supply. And its reputation exists for a reason: It creates a finish so smooth, your skin will look airbrushed (very nearly, at least). We've home-tested this product for upwards of a year, and it's definitely earned a spot on this list.

This makeup sponge has a sort of asymmetrical egg shape with a pointed tip. The unique design allows for a smooth edge to apply liquid blush, a pointed section for concealer, and a round side for general foundation, contour, etc. And it doesn't absorb too much product, so you don't have to worry about waste.

No matter what you're blending, if you've dampened this sponge, you're going to see a smooth-as-butter finish. Though, be warned, the sponge grows massively when wet; not necessarily a con, but you have to be mindful when working in smaller areas of the face. It's also super easy to wash with soap and water and lasts for a while when properly cleaned. And though it's recommended to swap out makeup sponges every three months, we can extend usage for this one by an extra month or two.

Price at time of publish: $6.79

Shape: Slanted dome with flat edge | Material: Latex-free foam | Absorbency: Light | Good for: Liquids, creams, or powders

Best Makeup Sponges
People / Tamara Staples

Things to Consider Before Buying a Makeup Sponge

"Typically with sponges, even though they make a lot of novelty shapes now, you are essentially going to be offered something that either tapers to a point or has a sort of slice out of the side to create a flat edge," says Murdick. You want to look for a pointed tip to reach spots around the eyes and nose, and a wider round base for applying foundation to the cheeks, chin, and forehead.

"For folks who like to pat on foundation, I'd stick with the ones that taper to a point," she adds. "The ones that have a flat side are better for folks who use more of a sweeping motion in their application." As shown during testing, the dimension of the sponge's shape doesn't play a huge role since the flat side of the silicone blender applied foundation as well as the three-dimensional sponges.


The material can also play a factor in the effectiveness and usability of a makeup sponge. For instance, our favorite silicone option will only work with liquid makeup, but it's easy to clean, quite durable, and will last longer than a traditional sponge. Comparatively, when you use a classic sponge, it's damp, which helps blend makeup more smoothly than a dry silicone sponge. Both can be equally effective, so the "best" option really depends on your preference.


Makeup sponges are fabulous tools for creating a smooth finish, but it is essential to keep them clean for the same reason you wouldn't use a dish sponge on your face. "The only way to ensure sponge cleanliness is to clean it often — every single use if possible," says Murdick. "When I am cleaning sponges I will always let the soap and water soak in for around 10 minutes before rinsing so I know I am getting as much makeup out as possible."

Cleanliness is a consideration here because some makeup sponges are just easier to keep clean, though "there is no guarantee of getting them 100 percent clean — make sure you swap your sponge out often," says Murdick. If you're someone who rarely cleans their makeup brushes, then you should either consider a silicone sponge, or replace your beauty blender more often.

makeup blender sponge
People/Tamara Staples

How We Tested Makeup Sponges

During a day of pampering, we played with an assortment of makeup products and tools to see how well each worked in action. When assessing makeup sponges, our team looked at absorption, level of application, and how easy the sponges were to clean.

To test absorption, we applied foundation to the back of our hands, dabbed some on the sponge, and stamped a white piece of paper to see how much foundation transferred. A good makeup sponge is dense and less absorbent, meaning more foundation goes onto the paper. After, we used the sponges to apply a full face of foundation, and considered how they felt, how well the shape aided application, and how the final look turned out. Applying makeup is fun, but cleaning your tools can be a pain, so we also checked for ease of cleaning, using soap and warm water to rinse each sponge.


What's the difference between a Beautyblender and a makeup sponge?

A Beautyblender is a specific brand of reusable makeup sponges. This is a case of a proprietary eponym, like Kleenex or Band-aid. We included the Original Beautyblender on our list as our best classic pick, since it has inspired many iterations of makeup sponges since its debut in 2007. Regardless of what you call it, a good makeup sponge will spread your makeup evenly, help blend it onto your skin, and won't take too much effort to clean.

Do you use a makeup sponge wet or dry?

We feel the need to put an emphasis on this: You should absolutely wet your makeup sponge. While you can use it dry, it will not create the seamless finish makeup sponges are used for, and your makeup will more likely get pushed around your face rather than actually blended. Take it from someone who used makeup sponges dry for far too long before seeing the light: Damp is the ideal condition.

To prepare your sponge, get it completely wet under running water. Then, after it has expanded, squeeze out all of the excess water. You don't want your sponge dripping wet, but it should be damp to the touch. If it starts to dry out, and you don't feel like heading back to a sink, you can also spritz it with a facial mist or anything to give it a little refresh.

"An easy application technique is to pick up a bit of foundation on the sponge and then pat it all over the face," says Murdick. "The sponge easily blends as it applies, so it doesn't take much work to get a smooth finish."

How often should you change your makeup sponge?

Generally speaking, these beauty tools should be replaced every one to three months. While regular cleaning will extend the life of your sponge, it will inevitably start to hold on to bacteria. "If your sponge is starting to deteriorate in any way — definitely toss it," says Murdick. "If you are not good about cleaning your sponge after every use, I would not keep it for that long!"

However, certain materials, like silicone, do not hold on to bacteria, so the Dual-sided Silicone and Sponge Blender is a safer choice for long-term use if you don't see yourself buying a new sponge every few months.

How often do you wash a makeup sponge?

This partially depends on your skin type. If you are prone to breakouts, you should wash your blender after each use. For less sensitive skin types, you can probably get away with once a week (at a minimum). That said, cleaning your makeup sponge is the best way to ward off bacteria growth. Plus the more product you wash out of your makeup sponge after use, the better it will work during the next application.

What shape of makeup sponge is best?

The classic teardrop or oval-shaped makeup sponge is favored by makeup artists and bloggers. The small tapered end is perfect for targeted jobs like blending concealer around the eyes and the large end helps press the foundation into larger areas like the cheeks and chin. Should you want to use multiple sponges for various products and parts of your face, you can also try a set like the Beauty Bakerie Organic Blending Eggs; it comes in an egg shape without the point but with plenty of surface area to blend out foundation.

Take Our Word For It

Madison Yauger is a senior commerce writer for PEOPLE who's tested hundreds of lifestyle products across all categories. With a background in news and lifestyle journalism, she has a wide network of expert sources and a penchant for accuracy. For this story, she spoke to TikTok creator and celebrity makeup artist Melissa Murdick, heavily researched the market of makeup sponges, and used insights from our lab tests to determine the best makeup sponges of 2023.

What Is People Tested?

We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.

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In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.

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