Makeup » Makeup Sponges vs. Makeup Brushes vs. Your Fingers

Makeup Sponges vs. Makeup Brushes vs. Your Fingers

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The question of what makeup applicator to use and when is actually a lot easier to answer than we all thought. Simply put, when you want to apply something, the methodology of application is based on the finish you want to achieve.

Here are a few ways that each makeup application method differs from the other and how this can affect your choice, as truthfully, one is not necessarily better than the other on all counts. Also, you can always combine different application methods to customize your look accordingly.

Applying Makeup with a Makeup Sponge

Makeup sponges have been in use for quite a while throughout the history of makeup. The creation and inclusion of sponges like the BeautyBlender really changed not only how we do our makeup but also the final effect we were aiming for. Surprisingly it is about more than just the soft, natural look that can be achieved with the makeup sponge, but the actual effect it has on skin.

  • The best makeup sponge creates less skin damage. While this may seem like a stretch, it’s true! The dab and roll motion with a wet makeup sponge stretches and pulls at skin much less than other application methods. Though the damage is minimal or negligible in most cases from other methods, a difference, no matter how small, should be accounted for.
  • Makeup sponge is easier on the delicate skin around the eyes.
  • Makeup sponges like the BeautyBlender have to be replaced often to prevent bacteria build-up, and they wear down quickly. This is a benefit for those who do not diligently clean their makeup tools.
  • The shape is easy to hold and incredibly versatile, allowing you to apply multiple products with a single tool.

Applying Makeup with a Makeup Brush

Makeup brushes have a few benefits over makeup sponges and finger application. Most importantly, a brush doesn’t have to be wet to be used, which is great for people who have drier skin. Why? A wet brush or makeup sponge adds water to the makeup and surface of the face, which can create a clumpy appearance and cause skin to actually be drier.

  • When using a powder, you definitely want to utilize a makeup brush. Brushes give better control over the amount of powder deposited, built up and spread out evenly for a smooth finish.
  • Makeup brushes absorb less makeup, making them good for liquid makeup, but without using the right amount, you could end up with a streaky appearance, so using the right amount is key.
  • Brushes have longer lifespans than makeup blenders.
  • Brushes are better for applying full-coverage makeup.
  • They feature synthetic bristles.

Applying Makeup with Your Fingertips

Applying your makeup with your fingertips is ideal for some and not for others, but there are a few obvious and not so obvious benefits of using your fingers to apply your makeup. There is an art to this style of makeup application, but once you have it down, you can do your makeup anywhere.

  • The most obvious benefit to a fingertip application is that you are unlikely to lose your tools!
  • Your fingers are warm, which can make it easier to blend out your makeup, especially if it is a cream-formula makeup. This can be duplicated by using warm water to wet your makeup sponge, but eventually it will get cold so you’re on a timeline.
  • Your ring finger provides the perfect amount of pressure for soft, seamless application and blending of your makeup.
  • Using your ring finger is especially helpful when applying pressed powders, as you can deposit more color and manipulate it with better control.

Photo via @anajohnson