Rant & Rave: Setting Sprays

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Setting Sprays

I’ve come around to them, because in more extreme environments/weather I can really notice a difference when using some, but the key is to find one that actually works and doesn’t have a heavy feel.

— Christine


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Natasha Avatar

Love when they prolong the wear of my make, obviously lol. I really like the UD All Nighter Spray. I like the Kat Von D one too. The exact name escapes my mind.

Hate when they are fomulated with high alcohol content and dry the skin. The Skindinavia one for oily skin was sooo drying. Or they sit on top of the skin and never sink. MAC Fix + was good for that until I learned that it wasn’t a setting spray.

Lacey Avatar

I’ve only tried a few from Urban Decay and maybe one other brand, but I haven’t been wowed with any. I actually prefer UD All-Nighter to the De-Slick, and under makeup (even before primer)! Any of the sprays I’ve tried have made me even shinier when used over makeup. The trials of very oily skin!

I love UD All-Nighter as a spray to dampen a shadow brush for wet/dry formulas or glitter bombs, though!

Lauren Avatar

I like both Urban Decay DeSlick and Urban Decay All Nighter.

For the weekends, I also recently bought the Coola Setting Spray with SPF. I like that I can add some SPF in an easy way that also happens to preserve my makeup.

Meghan Avatar

I like using setting sprays because I have oily skin and it can really make a difference with my makeup. I don’t like setting sprays that contain a lot of alcohol because it can be more drying and may cause more oil production. I like the Tata Harper facial mist (I had a deluxe trial size), I’m currently using the UD All Nighter, I have the Clinique Moisture Surge one I’ll use next, and I’d like to try the Caudalie Grape Water. I used to only use the Caudalie elixir but it’s so expensive, and it’s just water so I figure I’d try something new. I’ve also really been enjoying MAC Fix + lately because it makes my skin look so dewy and not oily, but I’ve been using it before applying a base, not after 🙂

ElKay Avatar

UD All Nighter is my favorite. I tried the Skindanavia brand since they make the UD, but it’s not the same. I also really like Mac Fix+.

Sarah Avatar

I only have rants about setting sprays! The ones that work alwaysssss have alcohol denat, which I want nowhere near my face after it caused me severe cystic acne. And other sprays that people use are just toners in a bottle that do nothing besides reduce powderiness on your face, which I could just do with water. If you want to use a toner, great… Incorporate it into your skincare! Spraying it over your makeup won’t do much.

Lyn Avatar

I have tried a handful of setting sprays at different price points (UD, NYX, e.l.f., etc.) and never had any luck with them. They seem to mess up the finish of my makeup, and they don’t make it last longer. I’ve tried all sorts of combinations and methods, but I just don’t think they’re right for me.

Rachel Avatar

I feel like they do nothing for dry skin. My makeup still looks cakey (especially on my forehead) and I don’t notice any difference in longevity.

Kat Avatar

I think some are better than others, and some definitely serve different functions. I definitely notice an increase in the longevity of my makeup when I use the Urban Decay All Nighter, but not with the MAC Fix+. They both help to make my makeup look more natural after I apply it (i.e. reduce that powdery look dry skin can sometimes get), but only the UD one actually increases my wear time. I usually actually use my Fix+ before my makeup if my skin is extra dry or inflamed, since it has caffeine and cucumber in it. It’s almost more of a skincare item for me than a makeup product.

Nancy T Avatar

The only one I’ve ever tried is the e.l.f. one, and only because I had learned it was a dead-on dupe of MAC Fix+, so I went for it. It does set my makeup pretty well and adds back a dewiness to my face. Also useful for applying an eyeshadow damp. Load up brush with the shadow, spray brush lighly and WOW! I may also try UD All-Nighter eventually.

Samira Avatar

I have the MUFE one and don’t use it regularly but when I do it’s under, not over, makeup. It makes a really solid primer that works well to extend makeup, but because it’s so sticky it can be harder to blend things in. So I only do it on special occasions.

Kuávsui Avatar

The ones I’ve tried have been little more than mild toner if we exclude the one time I had my face done by a “professional” who 1) used foundation that was like three shades too light, making my face look like the full moon (I was chubbier then) and 2) set my makeup with HAIRSPRAY. Effing hairspray! My face was so angry for days afterwards and so was I because I was actually hosting a livestream for a local festival which means I was actually Seen like that. So I really have only experience of the extremes that don’t really even count, and I am just sort of eternally baffled by them. Is there one for oily skin? Will it make my makeup melt even faster?? I need help but I am curious!

Shannon Avatar

When I was young and going to underage clubs all the time (30 years ago), we ALWAYS set our makeup with hairspray (AquaNet even, lol!)

Urban Decay makes one for oily skin called De-Slick. You spray it on before and after makeup application. Sometimes I use it in the summer, but usually use UD’s All-Nighter.

You can pick up a small bottle of it at Sephora for $10 and then if you like it, buy the big one and refill the little one for travel!

Rachel R. Avatar

Rave: Being someone with oily skin, I love that setting sprays help keep my makeup from melting off. I usually use e.l.f.’s Mist & Set: It’s inexpensive and works great. Nyx’s Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray is good, too, on days I want to be more matte (duh).

Rant: I have to be careful. Some of them (esp. higher end) have fragrances I’m allergic to. Some are have too much alcohol and are drying; others are too sticky. I think a lot of them are spendy for what they are, and for me to use on a daily basis.

Gabrielle Avatar

Because I wear full coverage foundations and concealers (curse you hereditary acne and redness!), setting sprays have saved me from looking like a total matte cake-face. 🙂

I don’t have much of a rant for them, other than I haven’t found my “holy grail” of sprays yet. I’ve been using the e.l.f. one and really like it, but it runs out so quickly. The Ulta brand spray I purchased had a busted spray top, so I had to transfer the product to a different spray bottle which was a pain. I love the Pür Miracle Mist, but it’s better when used in the winter on my dry skin so it doesn’t do much for me in the summer. The hunt continues!

Katherine T. Avatar

I will use UD All Nighter Spray but only for special occasions (weddings, parties, hot days, outdoor events, client visits ). It’s not too heavy and it works, but I always feel like I’m spraying hairspray on my face ? And many sprays have alcohol. I think my pores breathe better without these sprays, so I usually skip the sprays and just use blot paper/powder.

Tessa Avatar

I’ve never gotten into setting sprays. I tend to have dry skin, so there’s not much point.

I have been thinking about trying some of the SPF replenishing ones, though. Supergoop and Coola especially. I could get into a no fuss SPF I can spray over my face whenever I need it!

Lulu Avatar

I’ve never been one for setting sprays because I think they’re like “Fancy Waters” but I just got the Supergoop SPF one, and I’ve really noticed that my makeup lasts longer. Also I like that it has SPF. The only thing is you have to keep your eyes closed due to SPF when spritzing. Otherwise, daily love item.

Maureen Avatar

During the summer they really make a difference for me. I’ve loved the UD – All Nighter because my skin is oily and makeup tends to slip off a bit after a long day, but this one keeps it all in place. No crazy rants about any as of yet 🙂

Deborah Austin Avatar

A couple of years ago I was perusing the MAC counter and someone mentioned the setting sprays.
They gave me a spritz and immediately my face felt awful! I knew it was going to be shiny before I looked in the mirror. I disliked it immensely! I really don’t need another product on my face anyway. : )

Madoka Avatar

I only very recently started using setting sprays, mostly with the hope that it will return some natural dewy-ness to my face after powder (which is a must for my oily skin). I bought the Coola SPF spray first. It definitely does make my makeup last longer but didn’t do enough in terms of adding dewy-ness. A friend then recommended the Mac Fix+, which served the purpose wonderfully but does not extend makeup wear. So now I use Fix+ plus as the 2nd to last step of my routine and then Coola on top of that as the last step. I do love that the Coola has SPF! I carry it with me and re-apply if I’m going to be out all day.

IRockFaces Avatar

Fix + is pretty good at making any powder products on my face disappear into my skin so it looks like I have a nicely painted canvas that’s not cakey in the least. I don’t think they are all created equal though. Some of them may really boost lasting power for makeup but most of what I buy already lasts all day long until I take it off so idk. I only use it to take away any dryness and melt everything together.

Susan Dowman Nevling Avatar

I love UD All Nighter and use it daily. Definitely makes the makeup look more natural and definitely lasts longer.
Although not a true setting spray, I also like Caudalie Beauty elixir. It makes the make look more natural, is uber refreshing and may add some time to the wear. It adds a faint glow a feels wonderful.

Cat Avatar

I love the setting spray I have by Skindinavia, which is pretty much identical to UD’s All Nighter. After applying all of my powder products, the setting spray leaves a nice finish and really does make a difference in how long my makeup lasts and how it wears. Plus, now that it’s warmed up a bit here, it feels nice to spray something cool on my face. I also love the deluxe sample bottle that once contained MUFE Mist & Fix. I refill it with the Skindinavia spray because it’s a nice size to hold in my hand and the sprayer produces the perfect, fine mist.

Mariella Avatar

I really like the 2 I’ve tried – UD All-Nighter and Clarins Fix Makeup (I was so happy to see that you’ve tried it too, Christine, and you seemed to be liking it). I do like how both really increase the wear of my foundation especially and particularly now that it’s warm and humid here in S. Ontario (typical crazy Canadian weather….temps of around 30C with mad humidity are not unusual!). I like that the Clarins one comes in a glass bottle but I do wish it were about twice the size! My “rant” would be having to wait for the sprays to set/dry down before touching my face! I guess my other “rant” would be that I’d like to try the Skindinavia ones but they’re not available here.

Karen Avatar

I tried Model In A Bottle once. It worked but smelled and felt like hairspray. Since then I’ve tried several from UD, Skindinavia and NYX. UD De-Slick on summer work days does the trick for my powder foundations. When I’m not worried about melting even NYX will get rid of the cakiness. I can’t imagine doing without now. Funny the comment about the hairspray, I used to lock in my hard to curl hair to go out probably setting my makeup without realizing it. No wonder I don’t remember needing primers and problems with melting, lol.

Susan Avatar

The UD All Nighter really works for me. A couple of years ago I taught summer school in a building with no trees, set on a concrete slab with no a/c, when the temp got to be in the low 100s. I didn’t wear a lot of makeup but what I wore stayed on flawlessly even though the kids and I sweated like pigs.

I have tried a couple of the Setting sprays with SPF in them but the alcohol content is so high they burned when I put them on. Nice idea but they need to reformulate.

Pearl Avatar

I use UD’s Chill and I’ve been pretty happy with it. It was recommended to me by 2 different people when I asked about setting sprays for normal to oily skin. I was using MAC’s Fix+ because it was sold to me as a setting spray but like others have said, didn’t do anything for setting my makeup after everything was applied. UD’s Chill has a nice smell, if a bit chemical, but I LOVE the smell of MAC’s Fix+. If they made a perfume that smelled like that I’d wear it!

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