We can all agree that we want to get the most out of our foundation — it has to be long-wear, weightless, and flawless in photos — but so much of the final finish relies on the tool you use to apply the product. For some, the go-to is a buffing makeup brush, while others rely on their tried-and-true Beautyblender. But in the last few years, brands have come out with another solution: the silicone sponge.
The tool resembles the inserts you put into your high-school bra, but instead of adding a few cup sizes, it's made for seamless foundation application. Because they're made with non-porous material, brands are marketing these silicone tools as the more hygienic option. But pro artists and makeup lovers are torn when it comes to this tool's actual blending power.
"The advantage of a foam makeup sponge is that, due to the porosity and bounce, it flawlessly blends the makeup into skin. This creates an airbrush finish," says makeup artist and vlogger Mayerling Cintron. "A silicone sponge, which is flat, just spreads the product, making it virtually impossible to achieve the same results." But some makeup fans love it because, unlike foam sponges that tend to suck up makeup, a silicone option gets every drop of foundation exactly where you want it — on your face.
Whichever side of the sponge debate you're on, there's no denying that the silicone tool lasts a lot longer than the average Beautyblender. Since it doesn't absorb product, you can keep it in rotation until there is damage to the outer lining — unlike foam sponges, which need to be replaced every three months. Just make sure to wipe your silicone sponge down with antibacterial soap after every use.
If you want to put the benefits of silicone applicators to the test and determine if they're a right fit for you, we've rounded up some of the best on the market, ahead.