How many times a day do you touch up your makeup? Do you constantly blot, then reapply? Do you really have that kind of time? Who does? If you’re like most of us, you probably don’t give a second thought to giving your hair a spritz of hairspray to keep you coif in perfect form, but if you’ve never given the same courtesy to your makeup, you could be missing the chance to look your best, no matter what time of day, or night, it is.
Makeup setting sprays can keep your foundation, eyeshadows, mascara and more, locked in place. A good setting spray protects you from makeup melt down in the heat and humidity. They can also prevent your carefully crafted look from dissolving due to your own natural oils and sweat. These setting sprays can hydrate, mattify, or simply keep your makeup from sliding off, so you’ll look gorgeous, even on the longest days.
Don’t confuse these setting sprays with facial spritzers, which are primarily used for hydration. They, too, are lovely additions to your beauty regimen and some of them do claim to help set your makeup, but since most are water based, their lasting power might not be what you’re looking for. If you have oily skin, look for a mattifying setting spray like Urban Decay De-Slick or NYX Cosmetics Matte Finish Make Up Setting Spray. If you’ve got dry skin, choose a hydrating formula like Bella Jade Makeup Setting Spray, with wonderful herbal elements that enhance your skin, and watch out for formulas with an alcohol base that might tend to dry you out.
Whatever your skin type, a makeup setting spray is perfect for special occasions, and everyday wear. Some are pretty spendy, so you may want to use a more affordable brand for daily use, and save the big bucks option for special occasions. Whatever you decide, you’ll discover that you’ll actually save time and money, because you won’t constantly be reapplying your makeup throughout the day, or buying expensive blotting papers. If you want to look fresh from dawn to dusk, consider trying one of our recommended Top 10 Makeup Setting Sprays.
1. JAPONESQUE Makeup Setting Spray
If you’re looking for a seriously flawless makeup finish, the JAPONESQUE Makeup Setting Spray could be the product you’re looking for. Unlike so many, this setting spray comes in an aerosol can, which delivers a much more precise and fine mist that most pump bottles. This weightless formula absorbs fast and dries invisible. And because it’s water based, it won’t dry out your skin. Once your makeup is complete, simply close your eyes and lightly mist with this face saver. It dries with a lovely matte finish, so your face will look perfectly fresh and beautiful for hours to come. For a similar feel, but without the aerosol can, Urban Decay All Nighter gets rave reviews for it’s wicked staying power. If you’ve got serious oily skin problems, Urban Decay De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray helps prevent makeup meltdown while controlling excessive oil.
- Aerosol can creates a finer mist than pump sprayers
- Leaves a nice matte finish
- Very light on the skin
- Sets your makeup for hours longer wear
- Not everyone’s a fan of aerosol
- Pretty expensive for a three ounce can
- Nozzle has a tendency to drip product
- May not be best for those with dry skin
2. Best Mattifying Setting Spray: NYX Cosmetics Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray
If you’ve got an oily complexion, it’s hard to keep your makeup looking fresh throughout the day. If you’re like me, it’s hard to keep your makeup on at all. This super affordable, matte finish NYX makeup setting spray can come to the rescue. With a quick spritz on your forehead, chin and cheeks, your makeup will look fresh for hours, without the oily sheen peeking through. It gives you a gorgeous shine-free finish that is lightweight and comfortable, while working hard to make sure your makeup stays put without fading. If you’re looking for a more glowing glam, NYX Makeup Setting Spray, Dewy Finish is the answer to get that velvety look. Create a completely flawless looking palette for your makeup with NYX Cosmetics Pore Filler. It smooths and minimizes the look of enlarged pores, to give you the appearance of perfect skin.
- Keeps your makeup from fading for hours
- Gives a matte finish
- Minimizes oily shine through
- Very affordable
- Scent is a bit off-putting
- Can feel a little sticky at first
- Spray bottle doesn’t always mist evenly
- Contains alcohol, which can be drying
3. Top Rated: Bella Jade Makeup Setting Spray
Bella Jade Makeup Setting spray is a wonderfully refreshing and hydrating mist that you can use both before and after you put on your makeup. Formulated with herbal extracts of organic rooibos, white and green tea, it provides hydration as well as anti-aging benefits. There has been an abundance of research that reinforces the anti-aging, healthy benefits of tea for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This setting spray also includes other key ingredients that help repair, restore and rejuvenate your skin, helping to instantly tighten and improve elasticity. When you add all that good news, along with the fact that it beautifully sets your makeup for long wear, it’s a winner. This non-irritating, paraben free formula is also cruelty-free, which makes me like it even better. Plus it’s one of the more affordable options, and the four ounce bottle is big compared to many. The Bella Jade Antioxidant Facial Scrub and Mask is also super popular for it’s anti-aging benefits and natural ingredient list.
Price: $11.49 (42 percent off MSRP)
- Contains tea extracts known to promote healthier skin
- Can be used as a primer before applying makeup
- Sets makeup and leaves a nice matte finish
- Very affordable
- Scent is kind of odd
- Sprayer doesn’t produce a fine enough mist
- Not as good for setting eye makeup as some
- Can irritate your eyes
4. Best Buy: e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set
When you can find a makeup setting spray that’s both easy on your wallet and seems like nearly a dupe of the the spray you paid four times as much for, it’s a day to celebrate. e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set is a great setting spray to keep your makeup in place all day, and it’s radiance boosting invisible hold keeps up with those big name competitors in this category. The lightweight, comfortable and, most importantly, alcohol free formula, improves your overall makeup wearability and prevents colors from running or fading. If you’re planning a long day (or long night) and you want to look great, this inexpensive option is a hit. It absorbs quickly, and doesn’t feel tacky once applied. Hey, even if you don’t plan to burn the candle at both ends, at just a bit over six bucks, you’ll want to use it every day. Add to your flawless face routine with e.l.f. Poreless Primer. It transforms your skin into a smooth canvas, so makeup goes on evenly for a long-lasting matte finish.
- Effectively sets makeup
- Performs as well as much more expensive brands
- Radiance boosting formula
- Alcohol free
- Feels much like plain water
- Doesn’t set makeup as well as some
- May irritate skin
- Spray can be splotchy
5. Skindinavia The Makeup Finishing Spray
When it comes to delivering the most long lasting results, this makeup setting spray gets rave reviews. The ultra-fine mist will keep your makeup looking fresh and flawless for up to 16 hours, which is pretty amazing. The weightless formula prevents fading and meltdown, even in frigid temperatures and during the sweltering summer months. It reduces makeup settling into pores, fine lines and wrinkles so you’ll never have to worry about looking like some old renaissance painting. This popular spray is perfect for all skin types, and to make it look even better and last longer, pair it with Skindinavia The Makeup Primer Spray. If you happen to have oily skin, but still want to indulge in either of these products, Skinidnavia has oil control versions of both primer and setting spray.
Price: $10.45 (5 percent off MSRP)
- Holds makeup longer than most
- Fine mist makes for light application
- Feels good on your face
- Especially good in hot, sweaty weather
- Tiny bottle for the price
- Can feel a bit sticky or tacky if applied to liberally
- Scent can be off-putting
- Spray bottle doesn’t deliver a fine enough mist
6. L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray + Set Makeup Setting Spray
Do you feel like you’re constantly having to touch up your makeup? Who has time for that? If you’re so done with having to mess with smudged eyeliner, melting foundation and eyeshadow creases, Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Setting Spray is a lightweight mist that locks in your look, and keeps your makeup looking fresh and flawless for hours without fading. This lightweight, oil free setting spray isn’t just for your foundation, it’s also great to set your eyes and lips, preventing color from smudging or settling into fine lines. The good sized spray bottle produces a nice fine mist, that doesn’t leave splotches or marks. And if you’re someone who worries about spending even more money on your beauty regimen, the fact that this spray extends the wear of your makeup means you’ll actually use less of your expensive cosmetics. Good news, yes? Check out L’Oreal’s entire Infallible line, from foundation and concealers to eyeliner, lipstick and finishing powder, all at extremely affordable prices.
Price: $12.10 (5 percent off MSRP)
- Definitely extends the wear of your makeup
- Pump delivers a nice fine mist
- Dries quickly without feeling tacky
- Doesn’t dry out your skin
- Scent may be off-putting
- Not mattifying enough for some
- Can feel a bit sticky
- Some packaging issues reported
Find more L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray + Set Makeup Setting Spray information and reviews here.
7. Final Seal Matte Makeup Sealer
If you tend to get naturally dewy (yes, I mean sweaty), especially if you’re a performer of any kind, Ben Nye’s Final Seal is the makeup setting spray for you. It is specially formulated to deal with that sweaty moment when you least want your makeup dripping off your face. Final Seal setting spray is a water resistant formula that will keep your makeup looking perfect even during the most gruel performances. The light, minty fragrance is especially pleasant, but be careful around your eye area as it can sting like crazy. While the finish isn’t as mattifying as some, it’s a little easier to wash off at the end of the day. You can also get Final Seal Makeup Setting Spray in an eight ounce bottle, making the per ounce price much more affordable. For the very best results, spritz this setting spray on top of foundation but before doing your eye makeup, and for sure, use a makeup setting powder for outstanding results.
- Seals your makeup for all day staying power
- Water resistant formula is especially good for performers and those who perspire
- A little goes a long way
- Works well, even if you’re into water activities
- May make your mascara run
- Pretty spendy for a two ounce bottle
- Minty smell can be overwhelming
- Sprayer nozzle needs frequent cleaning to keep it misting properly
8. L.A. Girl PRO Setting Spray
To keep that matte finish of freshly applied makeup, a spritz or two of this setting spray will both moisturize and set your foundation and more. The lightweight, non-sticky formula gives your makeup for all day wear. The ultra-fine mist is refreshing and dries quickly, to help you stay beautiful longer. Unlike some makeup setting sprays, this one is great for setting your eyeshadow, liner and mascara, as well as foundation and powder. Because it’s nicely mattifying, it works great for those of us with oily skin, but beware that it may be a bit pore clogging, so be sure to thoroughly cleanse your face at the end of every day (which you should be doing anyway.) I also like the fact that it’s paraben and fragrance free. For even longer makeup wear, consider starting your routine with L.A. Girl PRO Prep HD High Definition Smoothing Face Primer, which also has the added benefit of filling in fine lines and minimizing the look of pores. For additional mattifying power, consider L.A. Girl HD Pro Setting Powder as the final step before using the makeup setting spray. Its 100 percent natural mineral silica formula also helps to set your makeup for a flawless look.
- Gives your makeup great staying power
- Fragrance and paraben free
- Creates a nice matte finish
- Very lightweight
- Even though it’s cheap, the bottle is tiny
- May clog pores and cause breakouts
- May not be best for very oily skin
- Nozzle doesn’t reliably produce a fine mist
9. Physicians Formula Instaready Setting Spray
I admit it. I’m automatically inclined to like a product that was developed by a skin care doctor. That’s why Physicians Formula is an appealing and widely popular brand. This lightweight makeup setting spray is formulated to help wake up your skin and it nicely finishes your makeup, to keep it looking perfect and fresh throughout the day. This triple threat spray, which is ideal for all skin types, instantly absorbs and can be used as a skin prep before applying your makeup, a setting spray to help keep your makeup in place, and a hydrating mist you can use throughout the day to refresh your tired and work or play weary skin. This setting spray works to instantly mattify, blur, and visibly retexturize skin. Best of all, it’s hypoallergenic, fragrance free, gluten free, paraben free and cruelty free. If you like to finish your foundation with loose powder, Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Loose Powder is wildly popular with users who love its talc free formula. If you’re not into heavy foundations, but you still want a clear, smooth complexion, Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin CC Cream is a terrific option to make every day a mostly no makeup day.
Price: $11.05 (5 percent off MSRP)
- Mattifies and sets makeup well
- Can be used as both a primer and a hydrating mist
- Pretty affordable for a nice large bottle
- Cruelty free
- Formula is lighter than many
- May not be best for oily skin
- Nozzle may malfunction with frequent use
- Alcohol formula an issue for some
10. Best for Oily Skin: Urban Decay De-slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray
If you have super oily skin and you’re looking to prevent makeup meltdown, Urban Decay’s De-Slick could be the formula that saves the day. An overwhelming number of users report their makeup looked less shiny, didn’t slide and rarely needed to be touched up. Those are impressive results for people like us who hate to add another layer of stuff onto our already oily skin. De-Slick is one of the longest-lasting oil-control products, and, unlike many makeup stting sprays, the sprayer delivers a calibrated, microfine mist that goes on so light, you’ll hardly feel it. After you’ve applied it and let it dry, you won’t even know it’s there (until you look in the mirror to touch up your makeup, and realize you don’t need to). This setting spray never feels sticky or goopy, and it totally reduces your need to blot. So bring on the heat and humidity, because with this spray in your back pocket (or makeup bag) you’ll be worry free. If you’ve got plans to stay out until the wee hours, UD All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray has wicked holding power, and the big bottle means you won’t run out any time soon.
- Effectively sets even eye makeup
- Controls oil for a mattified look
- Delivers an ultra-fine mist that dries quickly
- Prevents makeup meltdown
- The tiniest bottle for a lot of cash
- You’ll still end up with some shine
- Not as long lasting as some