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Beautyblender makeup sponge review

Even if you’ve mastered pro-level winged liner, cut creases and contouring, there’s still one makeup technique that remains a work in progress: flawless foundation application. While there are several tools that apply foundation, including brushes and fingers, few deliver a natural, smooth appearance.

The Beautyblender makeup sponge claims to solve this problem with an impeccable application that emulates an airbrushed effect. Its unique texture blends foundation without streaks or blotchiness, quickly and evenly. The brand promises the sponge uses less foundation than other application methods because it’s water-activated and offers better product distribution.

We wanted to see whether the Beautyblender lives up to its claim to apply makeup evenly, so we decided to try it. Here’s what we found. 

Testing the Beautyblender makeup sponge

We tested the Beautyblender with someone whose everyday beauty routine includes moisturizer, liquid foundation, concealer, face powder, bronzer and blush. They apply moisturizer with their fingertips and use makeup brushes for the remaining products. The tester had never used sponge applicators before.

Their main goal with the Beautyblender was to achieve a smoother application. They noted this is somewhat challenging to do with makeup brushes, whose fine bristles often leave streaks. They also hoped the Beautyblender would leave a lighter, more natural finish by using less product.

What is the Beautyblender makeup sponge?

The Beautyblender is a teardrop-shaped makeup sponge made with proprietary latex-free foam. 

It’s most often used to apply liquid and cream foundation, and it also applies powder products like blush or face powder. In addition to providing a smooth, even application, the Beautyblender claims it allows users to apply makeup more quickly than other applicator tools without sacrificing coverage quality. 

How to use the Beautyblender makeup sponge

The Beautyblender makeup sponge applicator is water-activated, meaning you’ll need to saturate it with water before use. Otherwise, the sponge will be too dry to apply your makeup most effectively.

To use the Beautyblender sponge, hold it under running tap water, squeeze it and allow it to expand as it absorbs water. If it feels too saturated, squeeze the Beautyblender lightly to release excess water.  

Next, dip the round end of the sponge into the foundation and blot the Beautyblender around the face to distribute. To apply foundation to smaller areas, such as the sides of the nose, use the pointed end of the Beautyblender.

The sponge must be cleaned after every application to avoid staining as well as mold or mildew accumulation. Place the Beautyblender under running tap water to squeeze out moisture and makeup. To remove what’s left, massage the sponge with liquid makeup brush cleaner until the water runs clear. If you’re never used makeup brush cleaners before, visit the BestReviews buying guide for more information.

Lastly, let the Beautyblender dry fully in a well-ventilated area between uses. If possible, leave the Beautyblender on a clean bathroom counter or dry silicone brush pad.

Key features of the Beautyblender makeup sponge

Unique texture

The Beautyblender is made with proprietary foam whose unique texture is soft on skin. It applies foundation, as well as other makeup products, without creating streaks or patchiness.

Dual tip

The Beautyblender’s rounded tip covers large areas quickly and efficiently, including the forehead, cheeks and chin. The pointed tip, on the other hand, is ideal for applying foundation to smaller areas like under the eyes, the sides of the nose and the hairline. 

Water activation

The Beautyblender requires water to work, and once saturated, it doesn’t absorb foundation. This means better product distribution and less product waste.

Ergonomic design

The teardrop-shaped sponge, which measures 1.77 by 1.77 by 2.56 inches, is easy to hold and use. At only 1.06 ounces, it weighs notably less than most makeup brushes. 

Safe for all skin types

The Beautyblender is made with latex-free foam and water-soluble dye. The sponge is vegan and nontoxic, plus it’s free of parabens and sulfates. It’s suitable for oily, acne-prone, combination, normal and mature skin. 

Beautyblender makeup sponge price

The Beautyblender retails for $20 and comes in more than a dozen colors. 

Where is the Beautyblender makeup sponge sold?

Beautyblender sponge

The Beautyblender makeup sponge is sold at Amazon, Ulta and Sephora.

Beautyblender makeup sponge benefits

It only took one application to discover that the Beautyblender offered a better application than our makeup brush. Besides leaving our face smooth and streak-free, it was much easier to apply foundation to smaller areas, like the corners of the eye. Overall, it offered a lighter application with even coverage. 

The Beautyblender sponge blended products together better than expected, including foundation and concealer. Rather than applying the products on top of one another, we were able to dab and blot them into a single, well-blended color. 

While the Beautyblender is lauded for absorbing water and not product, it’s also effective at leaving moisturizer in place. As a result, we didn’t end up with the patchiness we’ve experienced with makeup brushes, which often drag moisturizer and other products across the face unevenly. 

Beautyblender makeup sponge drawbacks

There’s a modest learning curve with the Beautyblender. It takes a few uses to understand exactly how damp it needs to be for a smooth application. We also found the Beautyblender didn’t expand too much, even when saturated. 

The Beautyblender is prone to staining even when it was thoroughly washed with soap and water. While this was more of an aesthetic concern, we would have liked for the sponge to retain its original color better. 

We had to deeply clean the Beautyblender after each use, and even then, we felt some water and foundation was still trapped toward the center. Compared to other makeup applicators, it required more time for care and cleaning. The Beautyblender also began to degrade sooner than expected.

Should you get the Beautyblender makeup sponge?

Based on our experience, we feel the Beautyblender makeup sponge lives up to its promise of smooth, flawless application. It’s a versatile makeup tool that delivers consistent results no matter the product formula, including liquid, cream and powder. The Beautyblender is an ideal purchase for anyone seeking to upgrade their makeup application without investing too much time or money in a product.


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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