How can I reduce my use of make-up sponges etc?

We’ve had an email from Charley:

I’ve read your pages about reducing toilet paper and sanitary towels. I’m not sure I want to go that far yet but I do want to find an alternative for makeup sponges like for applying liquid foundation. Do you know if there are any recycled sponges on the market or what else can I use?

I’m hoping we’ve got some make-up experts in the Recycle This community — I’ve only worn foundation twice in my entire life so I don’t know much about that sort of thing. It’s an evasive answer but that is one way to reduce using synthetic sponges/foam pads – and other make-up consumables such as packaging: wear less make-up and less regularly. I realise it’s not an answer for everyone but it is something to consider. I think I used to wear make-up out of habit but once I got over the shock of going cosmetically nude, I quickly normalised to not wearing make-up.

Now to Charley’s actual question: with Google, I can find sponge scourers make from recycled but not finer make-up sponges. Anyone got better Google skills or with more cosmetics knowledge, know where/what to look for? You can get natural sponges for applying make-up (which could be composted at the end of the life) but they usually have their own environmental impact. Anyone got any advice on those?

Alternatives: again, possibly not for everyone but switch to a powder foundation that can be applied with a brush – a good quality brush washed regularly will last a long, long time. (On a similar point, I can’t believe I stuck with sponge eye shadow applicators for so long — trained into them by the “free” ones with some shadows I guess — when a shaped brush does a far better job and lasts a lot longer too.)

I know a lot of people make their own make-up removal pads to use instead of cotton wool but has anyone made their own reusable application pads?

Any other suggestions or ideas for Charley to try?

Related Categories

bathroom, reduce this

Search for other related items

6 Responses to “How can I reduce my use of make-up sponges etc?”

  1. Astroflammante says:

    I wonder if the same kind of pads used to get the make-up off could be used to put it on too? (Probably best to keep separate sets for the two jobs, though.)

    It’s been years since I put foundation on with a sponge, the kind I use these days goes on smoother if I use my fingers. But I think the remover pads I’ve made from old t-shirts might actually work for this; they’re very smooth and soft. And easy to make, just 5-6 layers of well-washed cotton knit cut to size with a zigzag seam around the edge to keep it together.

    Can’t hurt to try, I suppose. Just don’t do it before an important date or something…

  2. Kathleen says:

    Use your fingers…..when done applying, place your hands (palms & fingers ) all over your face, pressing, to set the foundation. Nothing to toss!

  3. I always washed and reused my sponge makeup applicators back when I used them. You can use a brush to get a similar finish on your liquid foundation after applying it with your fingers. And you might be surprised at how well a cloth cut from an old t-shirt works for applying makeup – much better than the sponges in my opinion.

  4. Karmae says:

    My partner uses brushes mainly for all makeup application including foundation and the brushes are washed and conditioned on a regular basis. They are good quality brushes and they last a long time.

    Theyre was a famous make-up artist – Kevyn Aucoin – who only ever used fingers for applying makeup.

    I use moisturizer with a drop or two of foundation in it and just smear it all over my face with my hands.

  5. If the sponges are no longer usable, what about using them as stuffing for the inside of a plush toy? I think they would give a nice squishiness that would be great for a toy. Just a thought. Love the blog btw. Upcycling is a wonderful eco-friendly practice that should be encouraged.

    • FrannieLeVee says:

      Jacqui, that’s brilliant! I’ve got some old latex sponges I don’t want to use or to throw away, and I make softie toys for fun. Thanks for the great idea.

Leave a Reply

Your name
Your email (it will not be published. If you want people to contact you, leave your email address in the message too.)
Your website (if you've got one)