How to Choose the Perfect Setting Spray

Setting spray is essential to your makeup routine–it makes your flawlessly applied look stay all day … well, if you’ve chosen the right product, that is. There are so many options on the market that it can be difficult to choose the right setting spray for you.

Even though the vast majority of makeup artists and enthusiasts consider setting spray an integral part of the makeup routine, there are definitely more than a few people out there who haven’t even heard of the product. So let’s start by discussing what a setting spray is and why you need it.

One of the best comparisons here is with nail polish. After you paint your nails, you use a topcoat to lock in the color and make it last longer. Setting spray does the same thing with your makeup. It’s actually very similar to a primer, but it’s applied after your put on your makeup rather than before. Its primary purpose is to keep your makeup in place all day. Depending on which setting spray you have, it may have other uses as well, such as giving your skin a dewy look or controlling oil production.

To apply a setting spray, shake it up to ensure all the ingredients are completely mixed together. Hold it at arm’s length and give your face a few spritzes. I like to spray the left, front, and right side of my face to make sure all my makeup is covered. Allow your setting spray to dry naturally; rubbing it in will cause your makeup to smear.

Read on for a few tips on how to choose the best setting spray for your skin and makeup, as well as for some recommendations.

If you have dry skin, look for sprays that promise moisture or a dewy finish. This will keep your skin from looking dull and flaky in addition to keeping your makeup in place. Alternatively, if you have combination or oily skin, look for an oil control or matte finish setting spray to keep your makeup from smearing and becoming shiny throughout the day.

In general, you’ll want to look for a lightweight, non-sticky product. If you’re sensitive to scented makeup, watch out! Some setting sprays have strong scents that are very hit-or-miss: some love them, others hate them. When purchasing a setting spray, test it to see if you like the scent. Another way to find out if the product has a bad scent is to read reviews online.

Recommendations for Dry Skin


Nyx Makeup Setting Spray – Dewy Finish, $8. Not only is this setting spray affordable, it’s definitely a favorite among makeup enthusiasts. It’s lightweight and comfortable but still manages to keep your makeup look fresh all day.


MAC Prep+Prime Fix+, $23. Although a bit more expensive, this product’s attributes include soothing and refreshing the skin while keeping makeup in place. It’s even infused with green tea, chamomile, and cucumber.


Urban Decay Cooling Makeup Setting Spray, $30. Urban Decay’s setting sprays are definitely a cult favorite, and this one even gives a cooling sensation as you spritz it onto your face. It’s ultra-lightweight and not sticky, as well.

Recommendations for Oily or Combination Skin


Nyx Makeup Setting Spray – Matte Finish, $8. My personal favorite setting spray, this product gives you a shine-free matte finish and keeps your makeup in place all day. The low price is definitely a plus as well.


Makeup Revolution Pro Fix Oil Control Makeup Fixing Spray, $8. Another affordable choice, this spray has high-tech ingredients that promise to hold your makeup in place for twelve hours!


Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist, $8-$28 (depending on size). This three-in-one mist controls oil, sets makeup, and even has SPF 50 which delivers UV photo aging protection.

What’s your favorite setting spray? Leave me some feedback in the comments below!




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