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What does setting spray do?

What does setting spray do?
Holly James
Beauty Writer5 months ago
View Holly James's profile

Setting spray is one of those products that many of us buy without really knowing why. From Urban Decay's Famous All Nighter Setting Spray to MAC's Fix+, these fine mists are commonly found in every MUAs makeup kit, ready to add the finishing touch to any masterpiece, but what does a setting spray actually do and is it really needed?

What is setting spray?

A setting spray is essentially a liquid based formula, made up of ingredients that prolong the life of your makeup. The purpose of a setting spray is to ensure that your makeup stays in place and looks , protecting against smudging, creasing or fading so that it looks as fresh as when it was first applied.

  • Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray 118ml

    Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray 118ml

    4.79 Stars 115 Reviews
    £22.10

The number 1 Setting Spray in the UK, the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray is a 100% vegan formula that offers an impressive 16 hours of hold with temperature control technology that guards against sweat and shine.

What does setting spray do?

Essentially, Setting Spray sets your makeup; a good setting spray holds your makeup in place so that it stays exactly how you applied it. It does this using ingredients that form a protective veil on top of your makeup that guards against smudging, water or sweat and fading. It can also enhance the appearance of your makeup by creating your desired finish whether that be dewy, matte or glowing.

  • NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray - Matte Finish Longlasting Maxi Size

    NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray - Matte Finish Longlasting Maxi Size

    £20.00

The NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray Matte Finish is a lightweight mist that helps not only to hold your makeup in place, but also prevents unwanted shine, leaving your complexion mattified and flawless without stripping it of moisture.

Is makeup setting spray necessary?

If you want your makeup to last, then a setting spray is absolutely necessary. Just like hair spray keeps your locks in place, or a top coat prevents your perfect manicure from chipping, setting spray offers the same protection and longevity for your makeup so should be used as the final step in every makeup routine.

  • MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Mattifying Mist 100ml

    MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Mattifying Mist 100ml

    3.94 Stars 16 Reviews
    £21.00

A cult favourite, the MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Mattifying Mist helps to achieve a smooth and shine free finish, combining oil absorbing powders with hydrating ingredients to give you an overall healthier looking complexion.

Do you put setting spray on before or after foundation?

Setting spray should be applied after your foundation, as the final step in your makeup routine. Not only effective in holding foundation, a setting spray holds all makeup including eyes, lip and base in place so should be sprayed all over the face on top of all cosmetics. Though some setting sprays do double up as a primer, not all offer the same smoothing benefits of a primer, so make sure to read the instructions on the formula you choose.

  • benefit Porefessional Super Setter Setting Spray 120ml

    benefit Porefessional Super Setter Setting Spray 120ml

    4.94 Stars 17 Reviews
    £20.80

The benefit Porefrssional Super Setter Setting Spray is a long-lasting and weightless mist that instantly blurs the appearance of imperfections and locks in your look for up to 16 hours. The multi-tasking spray hydrates the skin and delivers a smooth, soft focus finish on the complexion, perfectly enhancing your foundation.

Is setting spray bad for your skin?

As with all skincare and cosmetics, the right setting spray for you should be picked depending on your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, choose an alcohol-free setting spray that won't irritate or dry out the dermis. Alternatively, for acne-prone or oily skin, opt for a mattifying setting spray that will help to control shine by absorbing excess oil to keep your complexion looking balanced. If you have dry skin, a hydrating or dewy finish setting spray will be better for locking in moisture and retaining it throughout the day.

  • PIXI Makeup Fixing Mist 80ml

    PIXI Makeup Fixing Mist 80ml

    3.88 Stars 8 Reviews
    £16.00

The PIXI Makeup Fixing Mist is formulated with rose water and green tea to help soothe sensitive skin and prevent against irritation. Suitable for all skin types, the mist nourishes the complexion and helps to keep your face looking and feeling refreshed, and your makeup looking flawless for hours.

What's the difference between setting spray and finishing powder?

Essentially, both setting sprays and finishing powders help to extend the longevity of your makeup. As mentioned above, setting sprays infused with hydrating ingredients are a great moisture boost for dry skin, however for oily skin types, a powder may also be beneficial to absorb excess shine and prevent build up throughout the day. Mostly interchangeable, finding the right finishing product to lock in your makeup is something that is personal to everyone, depending on the finish you are looking for, your preferred application method and the texture.

  • L'Oréal Paris Shake & Glow Luminous Setting Spray 100ml

    L'Oréal Paris Shake & Glow Luminous Setting Spray 100ml

    4.33 Stars 6 Reviews
    £9.99

The L'Oréal Paris Shake & Glow Luminous Setting Spray is infused with Coconut Water and Glycerine to keep the skin supported and moisturised, offering a natural looking glow on top of your makeup. Also blended with Vitamin E, the refreshing spray helps protect the skin from environmental aggressors and keeps the cakey makeup at bay, reducing the appearance of creasing and smudging.

How to use setting spray

A setting spray should be applied as the final step in your beauty routine. Once you have finished creating your look, apply your finishing spray; take note of the instructions on the bottle as some setting sprays may require shaking to activate the formula before use. Make sure your eyes are closed when applying your setting spray to avoid irritation and then hold approximately 8 inches away from the face and spray evenly across your face and neck where you have applied makeup to lock it in.

  • Barry M Cosmetics Makeup Setting Spray - Matte

    Barry M Cosmetics Makeup Setting Spray - Matte

    4.5 Stars 4 Reviews
    £4.99

Vegan and cruelty-free, the Barry M Cosmetics Makeup Setting Spray Matte is an ultra-light mist that covers the complexion in a veil of hydration, fixing your look into place and protecting the skin against pollution, dirt and aggressors.

Shop all Setting Sprays and Powders on LOOKFANTASTIC.

Holly James
Beauty Writer
View Holly James's profile
Working with brands at LOOKFANTASTIC for over two years I have developed my knowledge of all things beauty from key skincare concerns to niche makeup tricks and haircare hacks. I have a major passion for finding effective solutions that are easily accessible to everyone so that we can all achieve our best, glowing complexion.
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