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How to Use a Makeup Sponge

Is a makeup sponge part of your beauty toolkit? For us, it’s a must-have! Makeup blenders, in particular, are a fairly recent innovation that has had a big impact. 


French girls have totally fallen in love with makeup blender sponges because, when used damp, they give a glowy finish that’s integral for achieving natural-looking makeup in seconds. 


Whether you only apply a touch of concealer once in a while or you like a full foundation and contour makeup look, using a makeup sponge correctly will help up your makeup game. In this post, we’ll focus on a more French approach to using a makeup blender, with tips for simplistic makeup that’ll help your skin look naturally radiant. 


First, we’ll give you a quick overview of the different types of makeup sponges, and then we’ll provide tips for using them depending on the products you like. 

Types of makeup sponges

There are two major types of makeup sponges to choose from, so let’s quickly summarize the details you should know about them. 

Makeup blender sponges

Colored makeup sponges on a white background 

When we hear the word makeup sponge, the first thing that comes to mind is a round, reusable sponge, much like the original Beauty Blender and the other sponges inspired by it.

These sponges are meant to be used damp to apply and blend complexion makeup. You wash them with soap and water after every use. You can use the same sponge again the next time you do your makeup. 


These reusable sponges are fantastic for complexion makeup. They blend away streaks and harsh lines, and because they’re damp, they don’t absorb your foundation. The water in the sponge helps add more moisture and glow to the foundation, contributing to a healthier and more natural finish.   

Disposable sponges

Colorful makeup sponge set on white background 

Before blenders became standard in all of our makeup kits, many women were using disposable sponges to do their makeup. They were usually wedge shapes, but occasionally you could also come across flat sponges. They were never especially popular in French beauty since French women preferred to use their fingers to apply their makeup. 


Some brands market their wedge sponges as reusable. In practice, they’re usually flimsier and more likely to harbor bacteria compared to makeup blender sponges, so while you might be able to wash and reuse them, we don’t recommend keeping them around for long. 


These days, many makeup artists still use disposable wedges. They can just throw them away instead of having to carefully sanitize a reusable sponge for their next client. They work well in a pinch, although their smaller size and straight edges mean that getting a seamless blend takes a little longer. 

How to use a makeup sponge for foundation makeup

Drizzling liquid foundation on a clean pink makeup sponge

 

This is the French approach to using a makeup blender for natural-looking makeup. It works whether you use a foundation or a product with lighter coverage like tinted moisturizers or BB cream. 


  • Always start with clean and very well-moisturized skin. If you want, you can even use your sponge to apply your skincare steps! 
  • Next, soak your sponge with water until it doubles in size, and then wring out the excess, so it’s damp but not dripping. 
  • Dispense your cream or liquid foundation makeup on the back of your hand. The heat from your skin will help warm it up so it’ll glide more easily. 
  • Dip the sponge into the makeup on your hand. 
  • Start with the area of your face where you would like the most coverage, and gently bounce the sponge over your skin. 
  • Never drag the sponge over your skin since that can leave visible streaks. 
  • Use overlapping bouncing motions to spread your foundation and to give your skin a seamless, poreless blend. 
  • If it looks like you’ve overapplied makeup to any part of your face, use one of the sponge’s clean sides to blot away the excess and to prevent a cakey look. 

Applying concealer with a sponge

Woman applying concealer with a sponge 

Many French women use concealer instead of foundation since they can just dab it where they’d like to even out their skin tone a little. Getting a concealer to blend into bare skin isn’t always easy, but with a makeup sponge, it’s a piece of cake!


It’s best to apply concealer directly to the area that needs the added coverage, either with a brush, a finger, or the applicator that comes with your concealer. Then, use the clean, pointed end of your damp sponge to blend out the concealer into the rest of the skin so it becomes truly undetectable.  

Using a makeup sponge for blush and contour

Woman in bathrobe applying makeup with a black makeup sponge 

Powders aren’t especially popular in French beauty because they can leave the skin looking too matte and dry. Instead, cream blushes, bronzers, highlighters, and contour makeup are much more common. 


Using a sponge blends out those colorful, precise complexion products in a way that gives them a skin-like finish. 


  • As with concealer, it’s best to first dab the product on the skin, concentrating on the areas where you want it to be more saturated. 
  • For blush, that means the apples of the cheeks, while for contour or bronzer, it usually means below the cheekbone and along the temples. 
  • Using a clean side of the sponge, gently tap over them to blend, and add a bit of a dragging motion if you also want to distribute the product further out. 
  • Finally, if you think your blush or contour is a little too dark or vibrant, you can actually dip the sponge into a bit of your foundation and concealer and then bounce it over the makeup. It’ll help to soften the blush, as though it’s emanating from within your skin.  

Soak it up

When you use it correctly, a sponge is the ultimate makeup aid. No other tool can blend things quite so seamlessly for natural-looking makeup every time. Use it damp, and that added moisture will help you realize all of your French beauty fantasies! 

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Queen’s Gambit Makeup and Fashion
March 03, 2021
Queen’s Gambit Makeup and Fashion

Netflix launched a limited series in October called The Queen’s Gambit, and we are obsessed with the hair, makeup, and fashion! The show is based on Walter Tevis’ novel, and tells the story of chess genius, Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy). We share her highs, lows, addictions, successes, and everything in between.  But if there’s one thing we can't get enough of it’s her impeccable ‘50s & ‘60s inspired style. Beth finds herself in a field dominated by men wearing classic white shirts paired with thick-framed glasses. Suddenly, she’s a style icon, managing to seamlessly blend the starkly contrasting chess and fashion worlds together.  Here are some of the most iconic looks from the show.  Classic Makeup Beth Harmon’s makeup follows a natural evolution throughout the show, as she grows up and finds her own unique sense of style. Her signature look is usually ‘60s inspired with perfect winged eyeliner and a bold lip. We all know how difficult it is to get those wings right, which is why Beth’s makeup has us mesmerized. There’s only one moment where she veers away from this classic look and channels a wild child style.  Insider secret: The Queen's Gambit makeup artists had to go against their natural urges and apply her makeup badly on purpose for these scenes! Get Beth’s Classic ‘60s Look: Use a black liquid eyeliner to perfect those wings (we’ve got a step-by-step guide for you below).   Apply some classic French mascara for a natural, feminine look.  Try our long-lasting matte lipstick in your favorite shade to complete the look.  Bold Bangs A younger Beth models some of the boldest cropped bangs we’ve ever seen. A little harsh on the eye, but very common for children in orphanages at the time. Every child would get the same cut because it was practical and easy to manage.  Although the look is severe, there’s a soft charm to it that draws you in. While it’s not for everybody, this hairstyle combined with the fiery red color creates a real statement look.  Tea-length Dress In the show, the first item of clothing Beth is able to buy with her own money is a checked, tea-length dress. It’s full-skirted, totally retro, and oh-so feminine.  If you’re looking for one of these dresses, the best place to head is your local vintage shop. You can pair it over a blouse like Beth does, or wear it on its own and show a little more skin. Throw a modern sweater or jacket on top for an eclectic look.  Embrace Straight Lines The ‘50s were all about the hourglass figure, with Christian Dior popularizing the “New Look” for women. But the ‘60s saw a backlash with anti-hourglass silhouettes being most desired.  Think straight-cut dresses, jackets, and sweaters. While it's not inherently feminine, this silhouette can be oh-so-flattering. Beth shows us this with her simple-yet-stylish mini dresses. Queen's Gambit Makeup: Perfect Winged Eyeliner If there’s one thing Beth is famous for, it’s wearing winged eyeliner throughout the Queen's Gambit. But how do you get this look? First thing’s first, you’ll need a black liquid eyeliner with a fine point. If you’re new to this, use the dot to dot approach by marking out the line of the wing you want to create. The goal here is to go upwards and outwards. Check you’re happy with the symmetry on both eyes, then lightly connect the dots.  Leave it to dry before adding voluminous mascara to your lashes for a glamorous ‘60s look.  And if you really struggle to keep a steady hand, you can try a winged eyeliner stamp to help you. Chessboard Chic Taking inspiration from Edie Sedgwick, Jean Seberg, and Pierre Cardin, Beth dazzles in outfits filled with striking geometric patterns, subtly mirroring the chessboard. A whopping 12 of her on-screen outfits feature geometric print! A simple, sleeveless checkered dress and square printed shirt were standout looks. Beth’s style is fitting for the time, yet filled with her desire to break out of the box and find her own way.  To recreate this look, choose one item of clothing to work the geometric pattern in, and keep everything else simple. You don’t want to look like a walking chessboard!  Monochrome Magic As a further nod to her deep love of chess, we see Beth in a multitude of monochrome outfits.  Her black and white shift dress was perhaps the most striking black and white outfit of all. So elegant and sophisticated, but with a cheeky element of fun thrown in.   Black and white are timeless and will never go out of style. You can go all black, all white, or mix and match as you like! Luxe Loungewear Even when she’s relaxing on the sofa at home, Anya Taylor-Joy’s character looks effortlessly chic.  Think pale blue cashmere PJs, a dusty pink cardigan, soft cozy sweaters, and plain black slacks. Each piece can be worked into her going out wardrobe, taking her from night to day. To get Beth’s luxe lounge look, go for pieces that are multi-functional. Think practical, comfy, and pretty.  If only we could look this good vegging out on the sofa! Vintage Accessories Aside from geo patterns and monochrome colors, you can count on Beth to be rocking a Peter Pan collar or a silk scarf.  The round collar features everywhere: from dresses all the way to a buttoned vest. It’s a lovely feminine style with a vintage nod.  When it comes to scarves, Beth often ties them around her head, but they work just as well around the neck to brighten up any outfit.  The Final Episode: Classic 1950s And '60s Makeup We couldn’t do a roundup of the Queen's Gambit makeup and fashion without mentioning Beth’s iconic all-white look in the final episode.  This is the most confident and feminine Beth looks throughout the entire season—proving that you don’t have to choose one or the other. Her hair is sleek to create a more mature, sophisticated look, and her classic ‘60s makeup is immaculate. Her red lips look striking against her white coat and hat, and she looks super sexy.    We didn’t want the show to end. But if it had to, we’re glad Beth went out looking like this.       All Images are property of Netflix

Step-by-Step Winged Eyeliner
February 24, 2021
Step-by-Step Winged Eyeliner

Perfect winged liner is one of the most challenging makeup techniques to master. At first swipe, you end up with an overly subtle winged eyeliner, so you decide to add just a touch more, and next thing you know, you’ve overdone it… Don’t even get us started on getting both eyes to match!  The only thing that might be tougher than winged eye makeup is a vivid red pout, so it’s funny how one of our favorite go-to looks in French beauty is a combination of these two. Through years of practice, we've refined our skills and uncovered some of the best winged eyeliner hacks that make achieving that subtle wing a little easier. Today, we’ll be sharing all of our tips with you!  What kind of winged eyeliner look do you want?  Are you aiming for a natural winged eyeliner look, or would you prefer a dramatic cat eye? Winged eyeliner comes at a few different intensity levels, and the angle of your wing will have a big impact on your look.  These days, the sharp “fox” winged eyeliner look has become especially popular, but we’re still enamored with the subtle winged eyeliner of the ‘40s and the sultry winged eye makeup of the ‘70s. While you do need to decide on the kind of look you want, our tips will help you achieve the perfect winged eyeliner every time.  Winged eyeliner for different eye shapes Taking your eye shape into account will help you figure out how to master the wing since when you draw on a liquid liner, you’re effectively changing the borders of your eye.  The more sharply angled your eyeliner, the more upturned your eyes will look, while if you go horizontal, they’ll look a little sleepy and sultry.  As for the lash line, a rounded shape will make the eyes look doll-like, while progressing from thin to thick towards the outer corner will make the eyes look almond-shaped.  What about the inner corner?  In classic French beauty, we like to stop the eyeliner before the inner corner, and sometimes even at the eye’s center; this opens the eyes and gives the face a very fresh look.  However, in recent years, it’s become trendy to aim for a sultry look by bringing the eyeliner all the way down to the inner corner in its own little wing. Feel free to experiment and see what style you like best! Choose the right eyeliner  Liquid and gel eyeliners are the ideal choice for a winged look, but some are easier to work with than others. Gels usually come in a pot, so they require a separate brush, which can be inconvenient at times.  As for liquids, many come with ultra-thin brush applicators that are difficult to control. Felt-tipped pens, like the Feutre Fin, are ideal. With a tapered, sturdy felt tip, a pen eyeliner offers a precise wing but can still cover a lot of space when necessary.  Keep your distance from the mirror  This is one of our most useful winged eyeliner tips, so read closely.  Instead of holding your mirror close to the face as you draw on your eyeliner, take a step back. This will allow you to see both of your eyes simultaneously, which is essential for achieving perfectly symmetrical eyeliner wings. Otherwise, working too close to the mirror can easily result in two gorgeous eyeliner wings that look nothing like the other – giving you a lopsided look.  Steps to a perfect wing Now, for the actual application! If you start with the hard part first, the rest of your winged eye makeup will be a breeze. It just so happens that the most challenging part of winged eyeliner is the wing itself.  Start with the eye you usually struggle with, and draw the lower line of the wing by following your lower lash line.  Do the same thing on your other eye while checking for symmetry in the mirror. Then, draw on each wing’s top line, creating a little triangle at the outer corner.  Once again, do the same on the other eye and check that everything lines up. If your wing is a little more dramatic, you may need to fill it in a little as well.  Small lines from outer corner to inner corner Now it’s time to draw your liner over the lash line. To avoid gaps between the liner and your lash line, pull your lid upwards (gently!) as you apply. Then, working from the outer corner inwards, draw the eyeliner on in short strokes.  Don’t worry too much about achieving a perfect line yet — once you let go of your lid, you’ll be surprised to see how even and delicate your winged eyeliner looks. You can then correct or thicken up the line after you have that base layer down.  Keep the eye open to fit a hooded lid   One common struggle many makeup lovers face is how to apply winged eyeliner to hooded eyes. The secret is to draw the top line of your eyeliner wing while your eyes are totally open so that your eyeliner sort of “skips” over the crease. It’ll look like there’s a little step or divet in your eyeliner when your eyes are closed, but when they’re open, it will look incredibly flattering.  No more winging it  Using liquid eyeliner might seem daunting at first, but with our winged eyeliner hacks and suggestions, we know that not only will you master the wing, but you’ll also refine it to suit your flare.

How to Get the Sexiest Smokey Eye Look Ever
March 19, 2021
How to Get the Sexiest Smokey Eye Look Ever

Smokey eye makeup is up there with the most popular makeup looks of all time. One quick search for a smokey eye tutorial will field millions of how-tos in seconds. And for good reason. A smokey eye is sexy, sophisticated and the perfect makeup look for any party or celebration. And although it may seem complicated, when you know what to do, you’ll find it’s pretty simple.  That’s why we’ve put together this simple guide on how to get the sexiest smokey eye step by step. It should take around ten to fifteen minutes to complete, but a little longer if you’re a newbie. Remember, the more you practice your technique, the better the result.  So what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in.  Here’s what you’ll need to get started: Eyeshadow base (primer) Dark-colored kohl eyeliner Lighter eyeshadow (pearl or creams work well) Darker eyeshadow (see color recommendations below) Eyeshadow brush (a couple if possible, but you can wash between uses) Eyelash curler Mascara Which color should I go for? If you’re after a deep smokey eye then opt for a rich, matter color in black, brown, or deep gray. These colors will create an edgier look and make a bolder statement.  If you’re looking for a more natural smokey eye, choose something less harsh, like a plum color. For a jeweled tone, purples, blues, and greens are striking. You can also use a shimmery eyeshadow if you like, for extra sparkle. Don’t do any other makeup before your smokey eye  You might think that applying your foundation and concealer before working on your eyes is the natural thing to do. But the pros apply eye makeup first.  Why? Because no matter how careful you are, there are bound to be flecks of eyeshadow powder and mascara that fall down your face.  If you’ve already done the rest of your makeup, then you’ll have to touch it up. It’s much easier to fix mistakes like this without a full face of makeup.  So no matter how much you want to apply other makeup first, don’t do it! Trust us on this one.  Prime your eyelids Not everyone does, but if you have shiny lids, priming your eyelids first is a must. Without it, your eye makeup is bound to melt and smudge all over the place. And nobody wants that.  Primer will create a solid foundation for any layers of eyeshadow you apply on top and will help you build color that lasts. Plus, it will prevent it from creasing. Use a brush or cotton pad to sweep it over both lids. Leave it to dry before starting your smokey eye makeup. Begin with a kohl eyeliner Start with a kohl eyeliner as a base. This is what will anchor your eyeshadow, and keep it on all night. We recommend picking the same color as the eyeshadow you’re using, but feel free to mix things up and experiment with color combos. Concentrate the eyeliner on the inner and outer corners of your upper lid, leaving the space in the middle bare. Use a brush to blend this across your upper lash line. This is how you begin creating that smoldering, sexy look, and it stops it from looking too intense.  Next, use the same eyeliner on your lower lash line, blending it out with the same brush as before.  Apply a light base color Every smokey eye look tutorial will recommend contrasting a light eyeshadow with a dark one. This adds to the smokiness.  Using a clean brush (or washing the previous one), sweep the lighter color across the eyelid, following along to the brow bone. This is how you create the shadow for your smokey eye.   Apply dark eyeshadow Next, grab your chosen darker eyeshadow color, and apply to the eyelid with a clean brush. Use enough to coat the color on your lid, but make sure you stop below the brow bone this time.  Once you’re done, blend the color into your upper lash line (where the eyeliner is) as well as into the line between the dark and light shadow. Use a clean brush to do this, working small circular movements.  The most important thing when creating a smokey eye makeup look is to avoid harsh lines, and to blend... and blend again.  When you think you’re done, take a step back and check both eyes for symmetry. You’re looking for an even blend on both eyes.  Curl the eyelashes The next step is to use an eyelash curler to give your lashes a sexy curve. Heat it with a hairdryer for ten seconds, and test it on the back of your hand before putting it near your face. Hold the curler for 10 seconds on each eye.   Complete the look with a swoosh of mascara To complete your smokey eye, finish with as much or as little mascara as you like. If you’re going for a bolder look, amp up the volume here. If you’re going for a natural smokey eye, then stick to one or two layers.  We love our Classic French Mascara for voluminous lashes in just one coat. Start at the root of your upper lashes, and wiggle up to build length and volume. You can apply mascara to your lower lashes too, but keep it to a minimum to avoid a spidery look.  And that is your complete smokey eye look tutorial!  Remember: Let your smokey eye makeup stand out Even if you’ve opted for a natural smokey eye, it’s still a strong look. And you want it to stand out. So keep the rest of your makeup to a minimum, and stick to neutral colors.  A little bronzer, a neutral blush, and a nude lip will complete the look, but your eyes will remain the star of the show.   And that’s it! We now pronounce you ready to create the sexiest smokey eye look ever.