With balmy spring and summer ahead, no one wants to worry that their flawless finish either smudged or ran. But who has the time to constantly retouch foundation or re-apply? I certainly don’t. Luckily, I found my saving grace: setting sprays. Think of them as the opposite of what Rose is to Jack at the end of Titanic: they will never let your makeup go or float away. Setting sprays been around a few years and were initially embraced by those in showbiz for their ability to hold makeup in place without requiring a lot of touch-ups, and for making looks durable enough to withstand hot temps and stage lights. If you’ve been relying on setting powder alone to lock in your look, you may want to give these 10-second alternatives a try. You can use them alone, or following your powder to keep that in place over a long day.
Here’s why they’re worth a look: they hold everything from light makeup to full-on glam. We’re talking foundation (liquid or powder), mascara, eyeliner, BB or CC creams, you name it, without any added shine, stickiness, weight, odor, or cakiness—one of the main issues that arise with some powders. Sprays also prevent makeup from setting into fine lines, wrinkles, and scars which gives a more flawless, smooth, matte finish.
The fact that they’re easy to use is an added bonus. All you do is spritz in an X formation eight to 10 inches from your face after you’re done putting on all of your makeup. They dry quickly and are perfect to use in a rush. Here are three that we’ve recently tested that do the trick.
Most all-around staying power
Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray | $30
Setting spray trailblazers SKINDINAVIA helped formulate this one, which works great on all skin types. It’s specially made to withstand hot and sticky situations by lowering the temp of your makeup(!), which helps deliver long-lasting, all-night results. The product is supposed to last up to 16 hours; in my experience, I got about ten, which is still commendable. You can always do a second spritz later in the day for extra lasting power. You may be all over the dance floor, but your makeup will remain in place.
Best for normal to oily skin
Model in a Bottle, Original Setting Spray | $18
This one is better suited for normal to oily skin due to its alcohol base; if you’re dry or sensitive, go with one of the other picks. This one will keep makeup looking straight-out-of-a-magazine all day or night. No one needs to know where you contour, right? Once spritzed, the tingly sensation is just a sign that it is working, but it quickly dries and sets in place. The added aloe helps preserve moisture and acts as a nice balance to the alcohol-based ingredients. Note: this product is also available in a Sensitive Skin formulation, but I found it to still be a bit intense for my own sensitive skin (it still contains alcohol).
Best for sensitive and dry skin
Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix | $29
The best for sensitive skin, this alcohol-free spray works just as well as alcohol-based ones, but you’d never know the difference. Available in large and travel size, this one lives up to its claim and keeps makeup put for 12-plus hours. What’s more is that you can instantly feel it hydrate your skin. Because it’s particularly lightweight, this is a great one to keep in your bag to use throughout the day as an instant refresher and soother—especially during super hot weather.