The real difference between makeup brushes and sponges

If you're going to go to the effort of putting makeup on every day (or at least every so often), it's always a good idea to be aware of what tools can best help you achieve the look you're after, so you don't end up spend hours upon hours in front of the mirror. A smart place to start is understanding the difference between using a makeup brush versus a sponge. 

While both beauty tools are commonly used for applying foundation, the difference is all in the finish, makeup artist Abraham Sprinkle told InStyle. "If I want a seamless wash or blend, I love a sponge, but for saturation or precision, I use a brush," he said. Other beauty experts agree, including Blushington's makeup and beauty lounge expert Samantha Freda, who explained that "using a sponge gives an extremely blended, flawless finish. A brush allows for really concentrated placement." (via Byrdie) But is one actually better than the other, or is it all personal preference?

Makeup sponges are best for applying foundation

Freda does have a preference when it comes to the best way to apply foundation and declared sponges should be your go-to: "The coverage is buildable, the end result is practically flawless, and the makeup will last you all day." The best way to work your sponge? "You always want to get your sponge wet before using it to allow for even distribution," she advised. That said, if you personally prefer using a brush for foundation, just avoid going overboard and painting your face with too many layers. leaving you with a caked-on look.

When should brushes be your top tool ? For the perfect smokey eye, of course! Actually, when it comes to most powder-based products, including blushes, setting powders, and highlighters, brushes work best because they give you more control over how much product you're actually applying to your skin, per Sprinkle.