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The Best Makeup Applicator

Last updated on June 1, 2022

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

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Our Picks For The Top Makeup Applicators

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Bearals Assorted Eye & Lip Makeup Applicators, 200-Piece

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Assorted Eye & Lip Makeup Applicators, 200-Piece

This set includes mascara wands, makeup wands, eyeliner brushes, lipstick applicators and eyeshadow brushes. You’ll get 200 pieces in this set, each designed for comfort and convenience. Each group of applicators comes in its own packaging to keep them separated.

Overall Take

Extra UsefulWhether you're hosting a makeup party or applying makeup professionally, this set will keep you well stocked.

 Runner Up

Cuttte Dual Sided Eyeshadow Makeup Applicators, 120-Piece


Dual Sided Eyeshadow Makeup Applicators, 120-Piece

This set includes 120 eyeshadow applicators, available in four different colors for extra convenience. The handle is slightly longer than usual at 2.44 inches to make it easier to grip while you’re applying eyeshadow. It comes in a carrying case to help you store it as well as take it on the go with you.

Overall Take

Super ConvenientThese applicators come in four different colors to make it easy to keep them separated for different uses.

 We Also Like

Artist’s Choice Mini Sponge Wedge Makeup Applicators, 100-Piece

Artist's Choice

Mini Sponge Wedge Makeup Applicators, 100-Piece

With 100 wedge-shaped sponges in this set, your makeup cabinet will stay well stocked. The crisp edges provide enhanced control, and the soft material keeps it comfortable. The latex-free synthetic material is soft to keep you comfortable.

Overall Take

Versatile UsesThis wedge-shaped sponge can be used for applying liquid foundation, concealer and cream blushes and eyeshadows.

 Also Great

G2PLUS Multifunctional Micro Brush Makeup Applicators, 500-Piece


Multifunctional Micro Brush Makeup Applicators, 500-Piece

This package includes 100 makeup applicators made from plastic and fiber. They can be used for a wide range of applications in addition to makeup, including crafting and household cleaning. The total length is only 4 inches with a head diameter of 2.5mm.

Overall Take

Great for Everyday UseThese applicators are great for your everyday beauty needs, including separating eyelashes and applying eye makeup.

Buying Guide

Beauty is big business, with the global beauty industry generating $500 billion in sales a year. For the many people who work in that industry, having the right tools can make all the difference. Professionals who apply makeup or host beauty parties to sell products all need carrying cases, wipes and applicators to carry with them on the job.

The biggest challenge for professionals is safety. Moving from one person to another means using clean products each time. Bacteria can spread on applicators and sponges, so you’ll need to maintain a plentiful supply at all times.

There are different types of makeup applicators. You’re probably already familiar with eye makeup applicators, although some use brushes instead of applicators for that. With creams, though, sponge-based applicators tend to work better since they can be rinsed out and reused. The applicators used for powder-based eyeshadows typically feature two sponge tips on a plastic handle. The sponge is lightweight with small pores to allow the powder to soak in just enough to transfer it to the eyelid.

Small pores are also important in sponges you’re using to apply cream-based cosmetics. These sponges can come in a variety of shapes, but often a wedge shape works best for larger surface areas like your face. With foundation, the wedge shape lets you more easily maneuver the applicator over your face.

One thing to consider as you’re shopping is whether you need disposable applicators or not. Disposables work best for professional makeup artists or direct marketing makeup salespeople who apply cosmetics to a variety of customers. You’ll want to use new applicators with each person to keep things sanitary. This means you’ll probably have to buy large quantities.

Applicators you use personally can be reused many times, typically, especially if you’re using them with powder-based cosmetics. For foundation, you can wash your sponges in warm, soapy water after each use and set them out to dry. The sponge will likely become discolored over time, but you’ll be able to use them multiple times before switching to a new sponge.

What to Look For

  • The shape of the applicator makes a big difference. This is especially true with cosmetics like eye shadow and blush. You’ll want to be able to get the angle you need to shade and contour.
  • Makeup applicators come in various assortments. You can buy hundreds of the same type or get a combination of a variety of applicator types. If you only need certain types of applicators or you’re selective about the products you use, it might be easier to find a type you like and buy those in large quantities.
  • You’ll need somewhere to store all your applicators when not in use. If you regularly take your applicators on the go, a portable case with a handle will likely work best. Durability will help ensure that your case holds up as you tote it around.
  • Look at the build of any applicator you’re considering. You’ll want one that allows you to easily grip it while also providing the application experience you prefer.
  • If you’re sensitive to materials like latex, look for an applicator that’s labeled as free of those materials.
  • If you have a tough time getting your foundation to blend, a damp sponge can help. It will better distribute the foundation to avoid clumps and streaks.
  • Those who apply makeup professionally may find investing in a certain color or type of applicator can help establish your branding. You may even be able to find makeup applicators that match your logo. You can also invest in a case that further promotes your branding by ensuring it matches your applicators and logo.

More to Explore

Makeup is an important part of the theater world today. No actor steps on stage or in front of a camera without a face coated in makeup. But an actor known as Thespis is believed to be the first actor to wear makeup for a performance. Thespis, who is perhaps best known as the inspiration for the term “thespian,” was a Greek actor who wanted to differentiate himself from the chorus onstage. Using a blend of mercury and lead, he decorated his face before each performance.

Thespis’s inspiration continued into the Shakespeare era, where Queen Elizabeth I inspired actors to have chalk-white skin and ruby red lips and cheeks. Actors who played Shakespeare’s darker-skinned characters would use soot to create the look.

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