I used the sponge applicator a couple of times, and didn't really care for it. It felt wasteful to me in the sense that a lot of the polish stays in the sponge long after you're done. I've taken to using a disposable, vinyl glove and dabbing a bit of the cream polish onto my fingertip. I can get a lot more precision that way. Sure, sometimes I feel the need to reassure my shoes I'm not giving them sort of medical exam first. But, it's a small price to pay and we usually have a good laugh about it later.
On the plus side, I'm happy to report that none of my AEs have prostate problems!
I take the sponge off, grab my polishing cloth (tshirt) and apply some directly to the cloth then polish the shoe. Agree the sponge is wasteful and I don't feel like I get much control of the polish.