I was having a similar problem with cotton balls and pads and finally found a towel that works great as an applicator for toners and even as a washcloth for facial cleansers. It's the Reusable Bamboo Towel by Bambooee (http://www.bambooee.com/shop/
). It it a highly absorbent,strong, bleach-free, soft towel made of bamboo that is 14" x 10" that can be cut to size for our purposes. I just love it. No more dripping because it is highly absorbent. It has a little texture if you press it against your skin, but it is so worth trying for the price. I found it at Whole Foods for $1.69.