Beauty Tip: Using A Wet Makeup Sponge

beauty tip of the weekBack in the day, when I was beauty blogging somewhat professionally, I used to do something called “Beauty Tip of the Week“.

It was one of the most fun posts I’d write and I actually miss writing them, so… here we are once again!

And while some tips may seem familiar (but I’ve updated them for right now), most of them will be brand new – since I’ve become a makeup artist, I am playing and learning even more about makeup and beauty products, and it’s crazy how much I thought I knew, but really don’t. So I have plenty to share.

But for right now? Here’s a beauty tip that I can’t recommend enough, and it has to do with foundation and your trusty makeup sponge.

Because unless you’ve found a foundation made from heaven, getting a perfectly smooth application straight from the pot, especially with those that are full-coverage foundations, are not the easiest.

And if you’re not into brushes or using your finger tips to apply your foundation, then you may know that a tiny wedge cosmetic sponge is a makeup artist secret, and probably one of the easiest – and best – ways to apply foundation. But an even better way to get a truly smooth application, though, is this little secret: dampen the sponge.

Yep, that’s right, good ole water will do wonders! Simply use a slightly damp, wet makeup sponge when applying your foundation. A wet makeup sponge will allow for a smoother application, but not only that – it will get into ever little nook and cranny for complete coverage on the skin, not to mention, it will even soften fine lines and wrinkles.

What do you think? Have you tried using a wet makeup sponge for makeup application? Or will you be trying it now?

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  1. I here it also helps because if the sponge is already wet it’ll absorb less of your foundation if you apply it directly to the sponge, but i don’t know for sure as i’ve never used a sponge but now I’ve heard this tip i might just go out and buy a pack of them! 🙂

  2. i used to think that this is the only way to apply foundation when i was younger because my mom and aunt did it this way. but i didn’t like the finish too much because it tends to be cakey. i guess it depends on the type of foundation used. and it also needs a lot of practice imho, because when you apply it on your face you wouldn’t see the results right away until it fully dries up, so there’s a chance that you are applying a lot on one part already (in my experience at least…)

    1. Thanks for your comment, Sunmom. 🙂 This only works for cream and liquid foundation. I tried it with a liquid foundation and it looked quite nice, and yes, totally agree – results are seen when it’s fully ‘dry’, though your sponge should only be damp, so it doesn’t go on too wet.

  3. Yes yes yes! Especially for cream or gel based foundations. I use my MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation with a damp wedge sponge, and it give me a flawless looking application. No kidding. And it’s the best way to prevent cakey foundations, as the water in the sponge would take care of that and prevent overloading the foundation on to your skin.
    As for liquid foundations, I still prefer my MAC #187 brush. Best brush ever for liquid foundation. Gives you an almost air brushed look.
    Remember…it’s damp sponge, not dripping wet sponge. 😉 (And trust me, a dripping wet sponge is no good for foundation. =P )

    1. Yay, glad you do this tip and it works so well for you, SzeLing! 🙂

      LOL, yes, a dripping wet sponge def won’t be good, imagine the mess! 😛 I’ll edit one sentence I wrote above in case it gives the impression to completely wet the sponge., thanks for pointing that out! 🙂

    2. I have also used my MAC 187/188 dampened with a squirt of water from a bottle before applying liquid foundation, that works good also…..i think it keeps your brushes from absorbing too much foundation as it does for a sponge as well.

  4. I like using the sponge wet if my foundation gives me cakey coverage or coverage that is way too thick. also, not all cosmetic sponges work the same i realised. the usual suspects we get at the drugstores absorb more foundation than what goes onto our face. Covermark Japan does a good sponge, though a little bit more exxy than the normal latex ones. It doesn’t absorb the foundation so most of your expensive foundation goes onto your face!

    1. Thanks for the rec, Daphne. 🙂 I too def think it depends on the sponge. Have you heard of something called the Beauty Blender? It’s an egg shaped sponge and is bright pink, “apparently” it’s the hottest thing and the best way to blend, but it’s so expensive, especially since it’s just a glorified sponge!

  5. I’ve never been that into cosmetic sponges- I always assumed they just absorbed the make-up, meaning you have to buy more sooner. Brushes always leave me with tide marks, so I also just use my fingers. I always assumed everyone did this (my mother and sister certainly did) until I got to uni and friends gave me weird looks when I told them.
    Is there any particular advantage to using a sponge?

    1. Hey Jen! 🙂 I too use my fingers for personal use. I think for those who are using full foundation all over the face, a sponger helps for a fuller coverage, and easier to get into the ‘grooves’ of the face. Also, it’s great for blending so we don’t see any weird lines.

  6. They also say that applying two-way cake foundation by damping right? Damp to apply the base foundation, dry to touch-up. Ermm… How do you keep the sponge clean tho? Do u use a new sponge all the time or advisable to wash it frequently?

    1. Sounds about right!

      And yeah, sponges are a bit of a hassle because you have to wash them regularly. And once it’s a few months old I think you should dump it and get a new one, for hygiene reasons. A bit of a hassle but ‘worth it’ since the application looks so flawless! Just wash it with baby shampoo, should work fine 🙂

      1. If you use a sponge, you would have to wash it weekly, but you should be washing your brushes weekly also….at lease i do. I also read that if you use the Sonja Kashuk blue foundation brush or the Beautyblender, you can apparently use them with loose mineral foundation, but i haven’t tried that.

    2. hi. from wad i learnt about 2-way foundation is that it’s given this name because it can be used 2-way; ie. damp or dry. so you can actually damp your sponge and use it or just applied it directly to your face dried. hope this helps 🙂

  7. I LOVE THIS APPLICATION! I have been applying my MAC Prolongwear Foundation with a damp (one spray of water from spray bottle is enough dampness for me) Sonja Kashuk blue foundation sponge (similar to Beautyblender) for months now and I will never again use my MAC 190..188…187 brushes again. I also dot my foundation on one side of my face first and stipple it into my skin rather that applying the foundation directly onto the wet or dry sponge. The finish is so nice. I do think though, that if you used any sponge dry, you would defiitely use alot more foundation, but I have not found this using a damp sponge.

    1. That’s so awesome, Valerie! Seems like you have a great foundation application routine that works for you! I so agree too that a damp sponge uses less foundation, so you also save on that!

  8. Hi gals! Love your blog Renee. Brand new but enjoying it so much.

    I have used damp sponges on and off through the years. Back when I was in HS it was the thing to do using the sea sponges. (1982! ugh)

    I love the look, but my question is do you think that when you use the damp sponge it could be removing some of your sunscreen under neith? (I use moisturizer with sunscreen). I do also have sunscreen in my foundation. I’m just afraid of diluting the sunscreen. I realize the sponge is only damp and not “wet.”

    I have not used a wet sponge for years, but have instead been mixing my foundation with my moisturizer to give a lighter look. Now I’m reading that’s not a good idea so wanted to go back to the damp sponge…

    I am very pale and it takes about two seconds for me to burn, so it is imperative I don’t dilute my sunscreen.

    Thanks for any opinions!

    1. Thank you Paige! Hmm, I reckon it could, but sunscreen tends to be a bit sticker and “bind” to the skin, so perhaps it’s not removing too much. I would recommend making sure the sunscreen is completely dry before doing this!

  9. Damp sponges work like magic. I asked a makeup artist to use my Clinique Superblend (liquid) foundation when she did my makeup for a friend’s wedding, and it looked fantastic the whole day. No caking, no patches of dry skin (usually my problem!), very smooth matte finish.

  10. Yeh, applying 2-way cake foundation by using damp sponge makes my face looks like a baby, fresh n flawless when i use the right foundation tone for my it also lasts all day long 🙂 🙂

  11. I use my beauty blender with mac fix plus! it works great for blending out liquids. I use it for my foundation and concealer.


  12. I feel like dipping it into the foundation, it seems to use up a lot more product for the same amount of coverage. The sponge soaks up a fair amount that doesn’t actually make it onto your skin. So I feel like I’m wasting too much of my very expensive foundation. Also washing the sponge, with special cleanser and water, every time you use it (as recommended), adds extra time to my morning routine that I don’t really have.

    I will definitely try using it just for blending once the foundation is already on my face now!

  13. I’m so glad to hear all your thoughts ladies! 🙂 Keep ’em coming, and if you have any more questions do let me know as well.

  14. my skin is extremely dry and flaky so I’d give my face a light mineral water spritz before applying foundation, that way my skin is still a little damp and foundation goes on smoothly and gives me a dewy finish 🙂

    1. Aw, that’s such a great idea, Janette! I am glad that’s working for you, a little bit of water works so well doesn’t it? 🙂

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