How Makeup Setting Sprays Work

A common question my clients ask me is how makeup setting sprays work and aren’t they in danger of making the makeup run instead setting it? Also, they want to know the difference between the hydrating sprays that I use, the finishing spray and the setting spray that I use right at the end of their booking.

Hydrating sprays have no other purpose than to hydrate the skin. Finishing sprays and setting sprays are both used to enhance and prolong the wear of makeup, but they serve slightly different purposes. Here’s the difference between them:

  1. Hydrating Sprays : Hydrating sprays, like the popular Mario Badescu sprays, offer a quick and refreshing burst of moisture for the skin. Formulated with soothing ingredients such as aloe vera, herbs, and botanical extracts, these sprays provide instant hydration and help to rejuvenate and revive dull or dehydrated skin. With a simple spritz, they can be used throughout the day to give your skin a boost of moisture and leave it feeling hydrated and refreshed. I use them after cleansing the clients skin and just before moisturising to add an extra boost of hydration.
  2. Makeup Finishing Sprays: Makeup finishing sprays are designed to be applied as the final step in your makeup routine. They typically contain ingredients that provide a dewy or radiant finish to the skin. The primary purpose of a finishing spray is to add a subtle glow, blur the appearance of fine lines, and create an overall polished look. Finishing sprays often contain hydrating ingredients like glycerin or botanical extracts, which can help to refresh and nourish the skin. They are particularly beneficial for those with dry or dull skin who want to achieve a luminous complexion. A famous finishing spray is M.A.C’s Fix+ but you can easily make your own by adding about 2 teaspoons of glycerin to a 50ml spray bottle of rosewater, which can be purchased very inexpensively in an Indian grocery store.
  3. Setting Sprays: Setting sprays, on the other hand, are specifically formulated to lock your makeup in place and extend its longevity. They are typically lightweight, mist-like products that help prevent smudging, fading, and creasing of your makeup throughout the day. Setting sprays work by forming a thin, protective layer over your makeup, acting as a barrier against external factors like humidity, sweat, and oil. They often contain ingredients like polymers or film-forming agents that help to set the makeup and hold it in place. When the water or  alcohol from the spray evaporates, a thin layer of polymers is left on the skin to seal the makeup.  My favourite professional setting spray is a product called  PPI Blue Marble  setting spray  which, if you are in Sydney Australia, can be bought at Scotty’s Makeup in Glebe. It is a good all round spray because it is alcohol free, making it suitable for clients with sensitive skin. I like to use this after letting the makeup settle whilst doing their hair. For personal use, I either use the leftover bottles of this or Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray. I’ve also heard great things about the Morphe Setting Spray. Setting sprays are available in different finishes, including matte, natural, and dewy, allowing you to choose the desired look for your skin type and preference.

To use both types of sprays and avoid making the makeup run, you typically hold the bottle about 8-10 inches away from your face and mist it evenly across your skin, with your eyes closed. Allow the spray to dry naturally without touching or rubbing it in. Sometimes little droplets are visible and those you can gently buff in with a small round concealer brush.

In summary, while makeup finishing sprays give your skin a radiant finish and provide a subtle glow, setting sprays are primarily used to prolong the wear of your makeup and keep it intact throughout the day. Depending on your needs, you can choose one or both types of sprays to achieve your desired makeup look.


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