I know next-to-no one who’s looking to add more steps to their beauty regimen, and if those steps come at the end of one’s routine, that goes double. That’s exactly why I’ve never given setting spray its full due. Despite dozens of them coming across my desk, I’m not even totally sure how to use setting spray or how I could work it into my routine.
Turns out, I might be missing a very helpful step in my regimen. “Setting spray can be used at the end of every makeup application to set a look,” says Markphong Tram, a New York-based makeup artist. Yep, yep. Pretty straightforward. But then he goes on: “I personally use different types of setting spray for different purposes.” In addition to those that amp up hydration, there are ones that absorb oil on the skin, as well as ones that add a bit of a gleam to the complexion.
Essentially, they’re like facial mists but formulated with specific ingredients that help preserve or boost the masterpiece you’ve just created on your face. “I like to use a hydrating setting spray to melt down a powder for skin-like effects, or simply just to set makeup,” says Tram. “Depending on the occasion, I’ll use a different kind of setting spray—for example, a bride on her wedding day, a busy day running around, or hot weather that could melt makeup. In that case I’ll use a setting spray as well to refresh the makeup.”
“Setting spray is not for every day, and is mainly used to achieve long-wearing makeup,” says Gina Brooke, an international makeup artist and cosmetic brand consultant. “Most setting spray contains alcohol, so if you have dry skin, use one that’s alcohol-free.” To help you navigate the beauty shelves, keep scrolling for Brooke and Tram’s setting spray product recommendations.
If you’re trying to make sure your look stays put, “this product is great for longevity,” says Tram.
Both Tram and Brooke swear by this one. “It lasts all night,” says Tram. “This one’s the best on the market because it contains a temperature control technology that lowers the temperature to avoid makeup from fading and cracking,” says Brooke.
Sometimes all you need is a refresh, and a spritz of this will do the trick. Tram notes that spraying it over your makeup—at any point in the day—will hydrate and refresh your skin.
“Those who prefer long-wearing makeup but less product on their face can use this brightening mist,” says Brooke. “The lemon peppermint sets the makeup and gives your complexion a boost of moisture throughout the day, and hyaluronic acid helps to hydrate while antioxidants tone and brighten the skin.” Her tip? Spritz before and after applying your makeup.
This is your spray if you’re into the dewy skin look—though Brooke notes it’s not best for oily skin types. “I use this when a client wants a dewy finish for their makeup look,” she says. Take note: A little goes a long way here.
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