Rant & Rave: Setting Sprays

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Setting Sprays

I spend most of the day indoors or going from car to one air conditioned place, so I don’t find that they’re part of my daily routine. They’re useful for when I’m going to spend more time outside or if I have really, really long day elsewhere. I like when the mists are super fine, but when they aren’t fine, they can make eye makeup go quite awry!

— Christine

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18 Comments

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I’ve always steered clear from setting sprays bc i have always had oily skin and didn’t think that they would work.
Now that i’m (much) older, my skin has become much dryer and have gravitated to sprays that claim to set but also just add a hint of luminosity – not shine or dewy – just a luminous, healthy look to the skin.
The one i can’t live without is the Josh Rosebrook hydration spray. I love this stuff and use it during all steps of my routine. I spritz after i washed my face (before serum, beauty oil) and then spray again after i’ve completed my mu. Also, l find myself reaching for it throughout the day during the summer months. Not sure if it’s considered a true setting spray but it’s just an incredible product.

LOVE! I’m a spritzhund.. I have a variety of face sprays. The three I currently use:

Jane Iredale D20 hydration spray( I’ve been using this one for many years). I use this one for spritzing after foundation and then tamping with beauty blender to set my base layer.
Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow (amazingly fine mister, nice lit from within finish). I usually use this after moisturizer and before foundation. I let it dry naturally before moving on to base layer.
Kate Sommerville Unkomplicated SPF 50 (blurring with the bonus of another layer of sun protection..what’s not to love). Clean the nozzle with a q-tip after every use and it will not clog and the mist will not get spattery. If I am going out, this setting spray is a must and my final makeup step.

Does the Unkomplicated spray go on matte, natural or glowy?
Almost all the sprays I’ve tried have left me with a very shiny face, not a thing I want as my combination skin produces enough oil to have me blotting every 2nd-3d hour.

Hi Helene: Satin natural finish would be my guesstimate since it does not go completely matte. I have dry mature skin. I would filter reviews from Sephora first..those with oily skin for a better idea since I am opposite to you in terms of skin type. Ignore any clogging reviews since that is easily avoided with proper spray care. I have gone through 3 cans since product release..

I have a bad relationship with setting sprays. I simply don’t see any use for them (my face primer and powder already set things into place), most have either or both fragrance and alcohol (which I don’t want on my face) and most of all… I hate being sprayed on my face. Seriously, I find it uncomfortable and disturbing… I simply can’t stand to be sprayed with water on any part of my body, especially face. It’s odd, because I don’t mind showers. 😆 But spray me with a water bottle and I cringe.

I never purchased a setting spray, most of them I got as free sample. I had one from ELF, several of the Too Faced ones, the MAC Fix+, some I don’t even remind. MAC Fix+ is the only one I ended up using somehow, to wet my BeautyBlender on the go or to foil shadows (but still, plain water works the same for me).

Rant: Very little as I love me a setting spray! I am put off by weird smells and tacky feeling after they have dried down. If they are suppose to keep your makeup matte then I wish they would and the same for glowy. If the setting spray says it is going to give me a glow then that is what I want. Most setting sprays contain some components that are not great for your skin so there is that to consider. My favorite, MAC Fix + has Butylene Glycol as its first ingredient so it is there in significant amounts. I still use it and who knows whether it is damaging to my skin. I don’t think I notice any changes but then at my age my skin is changing all the time. It is something for younger women to think of though as a lifetime of exposure is likely not a good thing.

Rave: I love the refreshing feeling in the summer time. I love the scent of the ones that I use routinely. I use them in many steps of my makeup application which I have mentioned many times on the blog so won’t bore you with another listing! They do make my makeup last longer and help with that cakey makeup look that some foundation/powders leave behind.

I love most of them, including the Clarins one you’ve photographed (and its predecessor, in the tall, narrow, cylindrical bottle). I love them to refresh during the day or to set my makeup or make it look more “bound together” and natural. I do have a few that I’m not as crazy about, mostly because the sprayers don’t work well to deliver a fine mist (the MUFE one I got is a perfect example – good product, I think, but less than reliable sprayer)

Rave: Because I do 95% of my traveling on public transit and walking, which definitely means working up a sweat once we hit 90°F, I depend on my setting sprays to keep everything intact until I take my makeup off at night. Personal favorite for AZ monsoon season is UD All-Nighter. When there’s less humidity, I use MAC Fix+. However, I am thinking about trying that Watermelon Glow setting spray soon. Sounds so refreshing! 🍉

Rant: A few oversized droplets can spoil an eye look or blush with streaks. Yuck! Another thing I hate is that if I use UD All-Nighter when it’s not humid or lacking moisture in the air, it makes my skin on my face look like it added 10-15 years to my appearance! 🤬

I’ve honestly found plain distilled water in a spray bottle to be the perfect thing for me. I find true setting sprays to cause foundation to “pool” in my pores, and really do nothing to extend wear. The only real reason I tried it in the first place was to help “meld” powder products, but plain water works just as well, although if I’m feeling particularly dry, or the climate is more arid, I add a bit of glycerin/rosewater & glycerin, and/or a drop of face oil. I’m not saying setting sprays are a waste of money, in general, but they just don’t work for me.

Rave: I have normal skin and I find make up disappears on me during the day, so a setting spray is a must for me. I have tried all kinds of sprays and have no complaints. I haven’t come across any that haven’t had a fine mist or that have ruined any part of my make up so far. I also use them to dampen my BB.

I don’t use setting sprays – I am worried that they would irritate my skin and/or eyes. I guess the formulas now would be much improved upon those a few years back, but I just don’t see the need myself. I will be interested to hear what other readers think in the comments above.

To be real? They feel super luxurious and juicy! Love a good spray when I’m done with my face.

Pros: Eliminates powdery look, great to prevent makeup smudging when crying, makes shimmer more intense (especially when I add a little more product right after I spray).

Cons: Alcohol in some can be drying, doesn’t do much in the way of oil control, can cause eyeshadow to run.

Mostly I use sprays such as Fix+, a Tarte hydrating, and Tatcha’s. Not so much as setting sprays but to make sure any powder products don’t look powdery. A fine mist is key, droplet marks are going to emphasize powders. I am also careful to keep the spray out of my hair. Nothing will make the roots of my hair look oilier, faster, than a dose of glycerin. If I have used cream color products and skipped finishing powder then I don’t usually use a spray.

I like setting sprays, as they help “meld” my makeup together, and hold it in place, especially in summer. I remember when I was in cosmetology school in the early 90’s before setting sprays, we were taught to finish bridal makeup by spraying hairspray over the bride’s face to keep her makeup in place all day! 😉

I love fine mist sprays like GlamGlow Glosetter and Glow Recipe Ultra Fine Mist to set powder as I go. I alternate between those two, generally spraying 1-2x throughout application, before my final setting spray.
I like MAC Fix+ and Tatcha, but neither has a good mist, both spit product, which can appear patchy, especially Tatcha (which for the price is not cool).
Once I finish the GlamGlow and Glow Recipe, I’ll transfer my other products into those bottles and benefit from the superior sprayer.
To finish, I always apply UD All NIghter then put on mascara. I’ve learned my lesson there.

I agree with everyone about the finer the mist, the better. I also have dry mature skin and I live in tropical heat. My go to is the Morphe because the aerosol is amazing. I love how it makes even the lightest of foundations even airier. I never cared for the Fix+ or UD but like the formulas of the Tatcha and caudelie. I thought about buying an empty spritzer with the perfect mist to use great formulas that just don’t meet the misting mark. Any suggestions? Also, great list of setting sprays to try next. Def want to try the watermelon glow!

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