The Difference Between A Makeup Sponge & A Foundation Brush

April 23, 2018 by Lisa Fogarty
shefinds | beauty

If you love makeup and don’t own a BeautyBlender or makeup sponge, you may wonder if you’re the last beauty-obsessed person on Earth not to take the plunge. And if you’re loyal to your BeautyBlender but can’t remember what a foundation brush feels like on your skin, you may have the opposite problem: you may no longer be sure if your modern makeup application is in fact, the best method possible. Do beauty sponges really beat out old-school makeup brushes? That’s the million dollar question.

There are a few major differences between a makeup sponge and classic foundation brush. Neither is better than the other, necessarily. It really all comes down to your skin type, the type of makeup you apply to your skin, and your personal preference. Above all else, you have to be happy with the feel of a tool on your skin and be able to say to yourself: oh yes, I look good!

If you’re on the fence about whether to buy a BeautyBlender or go back to a foundation brush, allow us to provide just a bit more clarity.

Major Differences Between A Makeup Sponge And A Foundation Brush:

foundation brush

Reasons To Use A Foundation Brush

Foundation is notorious for being a little challenging to apply. It can take some practice to make it blend just so and look completely natural. Since the goal of foundation is to make it look like you have flawless skin, this can be hard. For decades, a simple foundation brush was good enough, and it still is for many makeup lovers. For one thing, a quality brush lasts longer than a sponge so you won’t break the bank having to replace it often. Here are a few more stand-out benefits of using a foundation brush:

If you have dry skin, you can apply foundation straight to your skin with a brush without dampening it first (something you should do when using a BeautyBlender). Dry skin types need all of the moisture they can get and adding water to your face will only make your skin drier and could create a clumpy situation when it comes to your makeup.

Brushes also excel at full-coverage makeup. Brushes absorb less makeup on their bristles than a sponge. For that reason, you save money on the product in the long run and you can more precisely apply foundation to your face for full coverage that blends well.

[Photos: Shutterstock]


Reasons To Use A BeautyBlender Makeup Sponge

There are several great reasons why the BeautyBlender makeup sponge has so many fans. For starters, it glides effortlessly over your face, which is especially helpful around the delicate eye area. Less pushing and pulling means less skin damage. Sure, you may spend more money on replacing your BeautyBlender, but if you’re the type of person (be honest with yourself) who rarely washes her makeup bushes and runs the risk of re-using a bacteria-filled brush on your clean skin, you are better off with a tool that you’ll be forced to replace.

Thanks to the shape of a makeup blender, it’s a versatile sponge that can be used not only for foundation, but to apply concealer, bronzer, and highlighter, as well. When you consider how much use you will get out of your BeautyBlender and how you’ll need to purchase a different makeup brush for nearly every application type, you may find the investment in a BeautyBlender is well worth it.


BeautyBlender ($19)

Given the popularity of the BeautyBlender, it makes sense that you can now find several sponges that are similar in shape and structure. Some of these sponges boast better reviews than others, but to play it safe, the BeautyBlender remains the gold standard for makeup sponges. The BeautyBlender is washable, reusable, and recyclable. It’s recommended that you change yours every three months.

kabuki foundation brush

Lamora Foundation Brush ($9.90)

When you’re shopping for a good foundation brush, it’s important to read reviews and find one that is made with quality bristles that won’t shed while you’re using them. This Kabuki flat foundation brush is soft, silky, and dense. It has a quality wooden handle and synthetic bristles. More than 2,000 reviewers agree it’s excellent for applying and blending liquid, cream, and powder makeup.

For more tips on foundation and makeup application, check out:

--How To Apply Foundation The Write Way

--5 Foundations That Actually Make Your Skin Look Better

SheFinds receives commissions for purchases made through the links in this post.


Lisa Fogarty is a lifestyle writer and reporter based in New York who covers health, wellness, relationships, sex, beauty, and parenting.

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