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Back to Basics: Does Setting Spray Really Work?

Why Setting Sprays Really Work

15 Apr 2022

You spend precious time perfecting your signature makeup look—the last thing you want is for it to fade away before you have a chance to show it off. That’s why setting spray is a must-have in your beauty arsenal. These water-based formulas help lock makeup in place, keeping your masterpiece looking fresh. Here, we’ll clue you in on what setting spray does and answer common setting spray-related questions. We’ll also give you the rundown on how to use our setting sprays for a look that lasts all day (and all night) long. Learn all the need-to-knows ahead.

What Is Setting Spray and What Does Setting Spray Do?

If you’re not using setting spray when you’re wearing makeup, you’re missing out. Put simply, setting sprays help extend the wear of your makeup. In addition to keeping your makeup looking fresh, some setting sprays can help mattify shine or infuse your look with a goddess-like glow—it all comes down to the formula you pick (more on that in a bit).

How Does Setting Spray Differ From Primer?

Both setting spray and primer are designed to help makeup looks last, so you may be wondering if you really need to use both. While some choose to use one or the other, we recommend thinking of primer as your makeup base coat and setting spray as the top coat. Primer creates a canvas for you to work with, while the setting spray locks all of that perfectly-applied makeup into place. They’re the perfect pair for maintaining a last-all-day look.

How To Use Setting Spray In Your Routine

If you’re confused about when to use setting spray, don’t stress: It’s a common question amongst makeup newbies. Thankfully, we’ve got the answers. The most common (and easiest) way to use setting spray is at the end of your beauty routine. After you finish applying your makeup, reach for your preferred finishing spray. Then hold the bottle about six inches from your face and lightly mist it onto your skin—the aim is to get your skin slightly damp, not drenched. Use around one spritz per area of your face (so one spray each for your forehead, each eye, cheeks, and lips).

When you’re wearing a full face of makeup, you may want to opt for the sandwich method of application—it takes a bit more time, but the payoff, in our humble opinion, is well worth it. This method entails spritzing a small amount of setting spray onto your face after your primer and between each layer of makeup to help set each one separately. If you’re opting for this method, be sure to let the spray dry fully between layers (this is especially important if you’re using powder products!).

Pro Tip: If you’ve got a long day ahead of you, stash a bottle of your fave setting spray in your bag. Whenever your skin feels tired, you can spritz a bit of the facial setting spray onto your face.

Is Setting Spray For Everyday Use?

Setting spray isn’t just for when you’re rocking a full face—you can wear it anytime you’re wearing makeup to help keep your look on lock. At NYX Professional Makeup, we have different setting sprays for every makeup vibe and skin type, so you can rest assured that whatever look you’re after, we’ll help it stay fresh and beautiful. Keep reading to find your match and learn how to use your preferred setting spray.

Matte Finish Setting Spray

We’ll start our list off with a classic: America’s #1 makeup setting spray*, NYX Professional Makeup Matte Finish Setting Spray. The lightweight vegan formula adheres to your makeup, providing long-lasting hold with a natural-looking matte finish. The easy-to-use formula extends makeup wear for up to 16 hours, so you can slay all day. Just spritz it on after applying your makeup, let it dry, then go on with your day.

*L’Oreal calculation based in part on data reported by NielsenIQ through its Scantrack Service for the Makeup Spray sub segment for the 52-week period ending January 1, 2022, for the US xAOC market according to L’Oreal’s custom product hierarchy. Copyright © 2022, Nielsen Consumer LLC

Pro Tip: If your skin is shine-prone, prep your face with our Shine Killer primer. Then, spritz a small amount of the matte finish setting spray onto your foundation brush or sponge and apply your base as usual. This simple hack will help keep your foundation in place.

Plump Finish Setting Spray

Plump your skin to perfection with our Plump Finish Setting Spray, which is part of our electrolyte-infused makeup collection. The supercharged formula leaves the skin looking hydrated (without feeling oily or greasy) and helps reduce makeup transfer and smudging for up to 24 hours. It’s one of our faves for rocking a fresh-faced beat.

Dewy Finish Setting Spray

If you prefer a dewier look, our Dewy Finish Setting Spray will help you get your glow on. Perfect for with skin that appears dull and dry, the lightweight, water-based formula sprays onto the skin easily and helps prolong the wear of your makeup. It also boasts a subtle shimmer to give your skin a lit-from-within glow. Spritz it on throughout the day to keep your makeup looking fresh and dewy.

Radiant Finish Setting Spray

It’s your time to shine. Complement an eye-catching makeup look with Radiant Finish Setting Spray, which contains gold and champagne-tinted micropearls to help give your skin a radiant, sunkissed finish (sans those damaging UV rays). Make sure to shake the bottle well before spritzing it over your face to ensure the shimmering particles are evenly distributed through the long-wear formula.

Pro Tip: Setting spray isn’t just for your face makeup. Spritz your eyeshadow brush with a setting spray to help get maximum pigment and color payoff from your go-to NYX Professional Makeup eyeshadows.

Bare With Me Multi-Tasking Spray

Even the most sensitive skin can rock an all-day look with Bare With Me Multi-Tasking Spray. Made with soothing aloe vera and cucumber extracts, the refreshing formula provides long-lasting calming hydration for a comfortable feel. The multi-purpose formula can also be used as a gentle makeup primer and as a mid-day skin refresher—it’s a true triple threat.

Next: Prime Time: How To Pick The Right Makeup Primer


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