While makeup setting sprays have been on the beauty market for years, people are still confused as to how and when to use them. And others just don’t bother using them at all! We’re here to a) help you and b) change your life – your makeup is about to look SO much better. Trust.
What is setting spray, anyway?
Despite its name, a makeup setting spray won’t keep your makeup in place for longer. Yep, we’re dead serious! A setting spray actually works by merging your layers of makeup so it emulsifies on your skin in order to give it a flawless quality and make it look less powdery. To put it simply: a setting spray should be applied as the last step of your makeup routine so it can melt your makeup together so it can better bonds with your skin. So if you’re constantly after natural-looking makeup, setting spray is your new bae. Just don’t go overboard when using a setting spray as it can cause your makeup to move or streak if too much is used.
So, what’s the deal with finishing and fixing sprays?
While we’re here to fill you in on setting sprays, there are actually a bunch of other facial mists so here’s the lowdown so you don’t get confused.
Makeup fixing sprays are the ones that help your makeup last longer. For a lack of a better description of this product, a fixing spray is kind of like hairspray for your face! If you’re looking for something to keep your face intact all day, this is the one. And if you want, you can spritz your fixing spray on top of your setting mist to really make sure your makeup will stay in place, while also looking on point.
Next on the list is the finishing spray. This product is the most lightweight of them all and is best used as a refresher for your skin. This one can be carried with you during the day and spritzed when needed to keep your makeup looking fresh.
And we can’t forget setting powder. While it’s not technically a spray, it is used in a similar manner to a fixing spray. A translucent setting powder won’t change the colour of your foundation but it a light dusting will help to keep it in place and prevent it rubbing off.
Which setting spray works for your skin type?
There are a million and one setting sprays on the market but they all work differently depending on your skin issue. If you have dry skin, look for one that is filled to the brim with nourishing botanical oils or hyaluronic acid. If sensitive skin is a problem, look for mists that don’t contain any alcohol, which could cause irritation. Oily and combination skin will react best to a mattifying spray that helps to keep oiliness at bay and for those days when you’re really under the pump and your makeup must survive, try a waterproof setting spray.
The best of the best in setting sprays
We’ve done the hard yards for you and compiled our top 10 setting sprays. Each spray is formulated for a different skin type but they all have one thing in common: they do their job extremely well. Hello, flawless makeup 😍
1. Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray
THE CULT FAVE
There was a point in time where every YouTuber, beauty blogger and Instagram influencer was using this Urban Decay product. And we can say that it is definitely worth the hype. UD even conducted a seven day study into this spray and found that 78 per cent of participants said that All Nighter helped their makeup last for 16 hours and over 80 per cent thought their makeup looked better, stayed on better and didn’t settle into fine lines. This product is also super lightweight and makes your makeup look on point. Winning!
$49 @ MECCA.
2. M.A.C Prep And Prime Fix +
THE HARD WORKER
Despite having the word ‘Fix’ in its name, this is definitely a setting spray! And it’s a damn good one at that. It expertly emulsifies your makeup together to give you a ~flawless~ finish and it’s also super soothing for sensitive skin thanks to the addition of cucumber, green tea and chamomile. This product can also be used to prep your skin before you apply makeup (but after your skincare routine). It’s super versatile!
$36 @ M.A.C.
3. Cover FX Illuminating Setting Spray
FLYING UNDER THE RADAR
This alcohol-free setting spray isn’t as well known as the others but it’s seriously great (you can thank us later!). This mist is perfect for dry or sensitive skin thanks to the exclusion of alcohol, which can sometimes cause dryness. In a seven-day study, 93 per cent of consumers thought the product gave skin a more radiant appearance while 90 per cent found the product to be lightweight and sat comfortably on the skin all day.
$45 @ Sephora.
4. Gerard Cosmetics Slay All Day Spray
NEW BABE ON THE BLOCK
We’re in love with this setting spray because of the fab job it does at keeping your skin looking glowy while also keeping oil at bay. This spray is infused with green tea which helps to minimise the chance of powdery or cakey makeup lewks.
$30 @ Adore Beauty.
5. NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray
TWO FOR ONE
We couldn’t just list one of NYX’s setting sprays because both of them are equally as good and we had to applaud them for perfecting both a matte and a dewy makeup setting spray. The matte spray keeps your skin looking radiant but never oily, while the dewy mist leaves you looking fresh AF. And, according to fan who wrote a review about the product on Ulta’s website it keeps your makeup intact even during a car accident! AMAZING.
6. e.l.f Matte Magic Mist & Set
BUDGET FRIENDLY BAE
Don’t let the price tag fool you on this one – it’s extremely high quality! The lightweight formula is filled with vitamin B and E to hydrate and soothe skin so it’s perfect for skin that’s on the drier side. This product will keep your makeup looking fiiiiine and your wallet with thank you. And, it’s also vegan and cruelty-free. Yay!
$9 @ e.l.f.
7. Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix Setting Spray
THE LONG LASTER
Make Up For Ever claim that this spray will keep your makeup fresh for 12 hours and we have to say, they’re not wrong. The unique complex used within this product helps to increase your skin’s hydration by 40 per cent after two hours of spraying, all while enhancing radiance.
$19 @ Sephora.
8. Kat Von D Lock-It Setting Spray
THE GAME CHANGER
This mist produces a super fine spray in order to disperse a higher concentration of micro-droplets onto your skin that helps to prevent wet spots on your face. It’s super gentle but works effectively to prevent uneven makeup application and is formulated without parabens, sulfates or phthalates.
$19 @ Sephora.
9. Too Faced Hangover 3-in-1 Setting Spray
THE NEW NORMAL
We’re always impressed when a product can serve two purposes, but this setting spray actually does three things! It can be used as a priming mist before applying your makeup, a setting spray for flawless makeup and as a refreshing boost of hydration when needed. So basically carry this babe around with you errywhere – she’s a keeper!
$46 @ Mecca.
10. Mecca Max Life Proof Setting Spray
THE HOME-GROWN HERO
When it comes to Mecca Max’s own products, they pretty much always kill it and this one is no different. This product is perfect for all skin types and will keep your skin hydrated while also providing non-slip security for your makeup. All hail Mecca Max!
$25 @ Mecca.