Are You Using Your Blending Sponge Incorrectly?November 30, 2016
There’s a reason why beauty blending sponges are so utterly popular. The plush, cushiony sponges can leave skin with a radiant, airbrushed finish that puts all social media filters to shame—that is, if they’re used correctly. It seems like a no-brainer, but there are plenty of mistakes that can be made along the way. Since we would hate to see you commit a major makeup and skin care gaffe, we’re giving you a heads up. Are you guilty of these common beauty blending sponge mistakes? Keep reading to find out!
Mistake #1: You’re using a dirty sponge
One of the biggest mistakes when using a beauty blending sponge is neglecting to clean it after each use (or at least once a week). There’s a few reasons for why this step is crucial. First, your sponge is a breeding ground for pore-clogging bacteria and gunk, which can easily transfer to your complexion with a makeup application. Also, product buildup on your sponge can make it less efficient at applying makeup evenly. Not to mention, it’s just plain gross. If it has been over three months of the same sponge, toss it and swap in a new one.
Mistake #2: You’re scrubbing it too hard
We know we told you to clean your beauty blending sponge, but don’t abuse it! Use gentle massaging motions with your cleansing solution to squeeze out excess product. If you scrub it too hard, the fibers can tear and/or stretch too wide.
Mistake #3: You’re only using it for makeup
Think your beauty blending sponge is only good for applying makeup? Think again! You can use a clean—keyword: clean—sponge to apply your skin care products instead of using your fingers. Dampen the sponge just slightly before using it to apply serum, sunscreen, and moisturizer. Make sure to use a different sponge for each product—more on that next.
Mistake #4: You’re using one sponge for multiple products
Beauty blending sponges have taken on many shapes, sizes, and colors—for good reason. Each sponge is engineered to help get you the best application of product, be it powder, liquid or cream texture, so it’s worth your while to invest in a few different ones. We recommend color-coding your sponges to ensure that products—and their respective textures—don’t mix.
Mistake #5: You’re wiping, not tapping
Unlike a makeup brush, a sponge is not meant to be swiped across your face. It’s not catastrophic if you do, but it won’t help you achieve that natural, airbrushed look. Instead, gently tap the sponge onto skin and blend using quick patting motions, also called “stippling.” What this does is deposit makeup onto the skin and blend it at the same time. Win-win.
Mistake #6: You’re storing it in a damp, dark place
A cosmetics bag seems like the most logical place to store a beauty blending sponge, but it’s actually a not-so-great idea. Since it’s dark and enclosed, mold and bacteria can start to form on the sponge, especially if it’s moist. Keep your sponge exposed to oxygen and light at all times in a breathable mesh bag.
Mistake #7: You’re using it dry
A good trick to making sure your makeup sponge offers streak-free blending and a dewy finish is to dampen it with water before using it. There are a few exceptions where a dry sponge is more practical though, like when applying powder. It’s a bit easier to blend powder when the sponge is dry. Introducing a damp sponge onto powder can make it cake-up, which should never (ever!) be the end goal.