The great debate between using a makeup sponge vs. a brush for makeup application continues to live on, with makeup artists all over the world oftentimes choosing sides. Some can’t travel without their bright pink, egg-shaped sponges, while others choose to lug their 50-plus makeup brush rolling case around to each appointment.
Founder of the vegan makeup, no-makeup makeup brand Veil Cosmetics, Sébastien Tardif, loves to use both beauty tools, but during different points of application. Below, he advises us on when it’s best to use a brush and when to opt for the sponge.
When to use a makeup brush
Unless you want to completely waste about one-third of your foundation, don’t use a sponge for your base application. Instead, opt for our Foundation Brush made with vegan hair, which won’t absorb all of your liquid foundation and won’t waste your hard-earned money. This foundation brush features a fluffy, rounded tip to help evenly disperse pigment, sans any streaks. Plus, the rounded tip helps avoid pigment congestion in pores and textured skin, a common issue that many foundation-wearers experience. Use our Foundation Brush with our Sunset Skin Liquid Foundation for an incredibly weightless, no-makeup makeup finish that blends with the skin seamlessly.
Our Foundation Brush provides an airbrush-like finish for a light to medium coverage, while flimsy sponges usually offer an even lighter coverage—or you’ll have to add multiple layers to help build up the base (did we mention how much product this wastes?). Additionally, sponges are notorious for being difficult to wash and are breeding grounds for nasty bacteria and germs. Easier to clean and much more environmentally-friendly than the one-time-use wedge sponges, makeup brushes should be washed biweekly with a mild liquid soap.
When to use a makeup sponge
So, should you ever be using a sponge during makeup application? For finishing touches, yes. Whether you’re using a reusable beauty sponge or the disposable wedges, makeup sponges can be useful when used towards the end of your application. Opt for a sponge for finishing touches, like cleaning up streaky bronzer or absorbing excess foundation or concealer. Sponges work wonders in applying a light layer of blush or highlighter, and can be used with cream products for a more natural finish.
When it comes to touching up specific areas of the face throughout the day (like a blemish or dark circles), you might want to select a concealer brush, like our Concealer Brush, over a sponge—a sponge requires water for use, which isn’t very practical or ideal for on-the-go touch ups.
Regardless of whichever side you’re on, there’s one universal beauty rule we can all abide by beside using vegan makeup: wash your tools as often as you can and replace sponges once they start getting too textured and ripped, and brushes once they have lost their original shape.