When it comes to applying makeup, there is plenty of controversy on the most effective way to make your skin look natural and smooth. The infamous Beauty Blender sponge is no doubt the most popular applicator. However, how different is it from any of the other name brand sponges or the $3 sponges that can be purchased at a drugstore?

The Beauty Blender was what started it all. The way it applies foundation and concealer leaves a smooth face without any streaks. Other popular brands for these blending sponges, such as Real Techniques, do a very similar job to that of the original Beauty Blender for a much lesser price. So, what’s the difference? For a sponge blender, the Beauty Blender brand absorbs the least amount of makeup and maximizes the amount being applied. It is a soft, fuzzy material that is egg shaped with a pointed top. The top makes it easy to apply around eyes, while the wider end blends in larger areas of the face. The softness allows the sponge to bend in any way while making sure there are no streaks.

Real Techniques is a makeup brush and applicator company that came out with their own sponge. Similarly to the Beauty Blender, their makeup sponge is soft and applies the makeup very smoothly. This blender, however, has a very different shape. Also having a pointed top to easily apply makeup around the eyes, the Real Techniques sponge has one flat side and one rounded, egg-like side. The flat side is great for patting makeup and first applying it, while the rounded side does a great job blending in the makeup.

Another way to apply makeup is a flat, oval-shaped silicone sponge which has very recently become an internet fad. It was originally created by Molly Cosmetics but is now a popular product among several makeup companies. This product is great for anyone whose biggest pet peeve is losing some of their makeup inside of their sponge. This silicone makeup applicator absorbs absolutely no makeup, allowing the product to go a long way. A lot of people feel the silicone material does not blend in the makeup very well and leaves streaky marks around the face.

Before any of these fancy sponges came about, women have always used the basic white, triangular sponge that comes in huge packages. With these being a fraction of the cost, why would anyone purchase any other makeup applicator? The biggest difference is that the material of this type of sponge absorbs a lot more of the makeup, causing it to be used up much faster. These types of sponges are also very challenging to clean, explaining why they are commonly purchased in large packages.

These different types of makeup sponges each have their pros and cons. Whether softness, ability to blend, absorbing of makeup or cost are your big concerns, there are plenty of options to apply makeup for anyone who can not handle the idea of using their hand.