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How To Use Setting Spray For Makeup

Setting spray does the same thing for makeup as hair spray for your luxurious locks. It helps lock your look in place. However, there are several other benefits to using a setting spray. A few quick sprays can make your makeup appear more vibrant. It helps the makeup melt into your face for a natural look, or your eyeshadow will melt together to appear blended to perfection. When you know how to use setting spray for makeup, you’ll love the results. 

Learning about setting sprays is a must, though. There are a variety of formulas on the market, so you need to make sure that you have one that works well for your skin type. Learning how to use setting spray properly is essential to ensure you get excellent results. Not applying setting spray correctly can result in patchy, uneven makeup that doesn’t last all day. Read on to learn everything you need to know about applying setting spray!

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What Is Setting Spray?

Setting spray is the final makeup product in your makeup routine. It helps provide the finishing touches to your already fabulous look by making colors pop, helping makeup blend together better, and protecting makeup to last longer. 

However, not all setting sprays are the same. Some formulas are specially designed to be packed with good for your-skin ingredients, such as Vitamin C. There are different setting sprays designed to work with your skin type, too. For example, a product designed for oily skin will have drying ingredients in the formula to prevent midday shine. A person with dry skin shouldn’t use this setting spray. Learning about the different finishes guarantees, you’ll have the look you want.

Setting Spray Finishes

Various types of finishes are available to ensure that your setting spray is compatible with your skin type, and to give you the look that you want. The main types of setting spray finishes are:

  • Matte
  • Dewy
  • Luminescent

Learning about the different finishes can help you make sure that you always look flawless, even as the day goes on. 


Matte setting sprays help give your skin a flat, matte look. This finish is ideal for anyone with oily skin. Some matte setting sprays are formulate to be drying, ensuring that they control excess oil production as the day goes on so that it doesn’t impact your makeup, and you don’t wind up with a midday shine. 

Recommended Matte Setting Sprays

NYX Matte Setting Spray ($9.50)

When it comes to matte setting sprays, there aren’t a lot of products that can compete with this one from NYX. It’s perfect for anyone that has oily or combination skin. The formula helps prevent excess oil from making you look like an oil slick, but it’s not so drying that your face will get flaky. Why we love it:

  • Also available in a mini
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Offers all day makeup wear
  • Helps makeup be transfer proof
  • Vegan

Check out this fan favorite here!

Urban Decay Ultra Matte Setting Spray ($15-33)

A list of setting sprays or an article on how to apply setting spray is never complete without the holy grail of setting sprays. Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray is available in a travel size for $15 so you can try it without committing to a full size version, but that’s not all you’re going to love. Other things we love about it: 

  • Delivers a truly matte finish without drying out your skin
  • Helps makeup last all day long
  • Vegan
  • Infused with Kaolin Clay to prevent shine
  • Doesn’t settle into fine lines
  • Prevents transfer

Check it out here!


Dewy setting sprays are available for every skin type. They provide a slight glisten to your skin, which most people prefer over a strictly matte look. However, it you have oily skin, it’s essential to make sure that your skin doesn’t look too shiny by the time afternoon hits. If you find that it does, a matte setting spray is a better option. Aside from that situation, you’ll love the radiant glow that dewy setting spray gives you!

Recommended Dewy Setting Sprays

Cover FX Dewy Setting Spray ($31)

CoverFX is a vegan and cruelty free makeup brand that is well-known for their face products, including their primers and setting sprays. You can pick up setting sprays in a travel size for $15, too! Why we love it: 

  • Lightweight
  • Prevents transfer
  • Flawless dewy finish
  • Cactus extract helps keeps your skin hydrated

Check it out here!

Milani Make It Dewy Setting Spray ($10)

Milani Make It Dewy Setting Spray is a 3-in-1 multitasker designed to prime your face, correct an uneven skin tone and set your makeup. The vegan formula is specially designed to pack a hydrating punch for a refreshing feeling that you’re going to love!

This well-known setting spray is a drugstore staple for millions because it helps makeup last fo rup to 16 hours. Not a fan of the dewy finish? Not a problem! You can also pick up a standard formula to make yoru makeup last, a matte version, or a version with SPF in it to protect your skin from harsh UV rays. 

Check it out here!


Luminescent setting spray gives you an all over glow that you can’t miss. It’s become increasingly popular among anyone that wants a super dewy look. Instead of spraying one layer after another of dewy setting spray and buying high-gloss everything, you can simply pick up some luminescent setting spray for the look you want. 

Recommended Luminescent Setting Sprays

E.l.f. Illuminating Mist & Set ($6)

The Illuminating Mist & Set spray from e.l.f. Cosmetics delivers a radiant glow that is bound to get you one compliment after another! Why we love it: 

  • Affordable
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Locks makeup in place all day
  • Infused with Vitamins A, C and E
  • Has green tea extract

Check it out here!

How To Use Setting Spray

Setting spray for makeup is easy to use once you get the hang of it. Keep in mind that you want the product to cover your entire face.

Shake The Bottle

Before application, shake up the bottle. Ingredients can settle to the bottom of the bottle, making it less effective.

Close Your Eyes And Spray

Some people spray in a circle with an extra spritz in the middle. You can also spray in the shape of an X and then the shape of a T. (Both the X and T shapes are necessary to spray your entire face.) You can spray it in lines going back and forth too. If you spray your entire face, it doesn’t matter what shape you spritz in.

Remember that it works just like hairspray. If you only spray a portion of your hair, that part will hold all day. This is what will happen if you only spray part of your face. Only a portion of your makeup will stay all day.

Use A Sponge

If you’re not a fan of the spraying method, using a makeup sponge is equally, if not more so, effective. To use this method, spray it on your makeup sponge. Then, gently press it onto your face. Your makeup will still look flawless at the end of the night.

Let It Dry

Once your face is covered, you need to let it dry. Don’t get dressed or touch your face. Instead, let it sit for at least 2-3 minutes until it’s dry. It’s important to note that different products have different drying times.

Other Ways To Apply Setting Spray

Applying setting spray to your face in an X or T is critical for a full face of makeup, but that’s not all you can do with setting spray! You can also: 

  • Spritz an eyeliner brush with setting spray and dip it in eyeshadow for colorful eyeliner
  • Spray your eyeshadow brush with setting spray for seriously pigmented powders
  • Use waterproof setting spray on your beauty blender or foundation brush while applying foundation to make your foundation waterproof

Take some time to play with these ideas to really have fun with learning different ways to apply setting spray!

Related Articles

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray Review

NYX Matte Setting Spray Review

Setting Spray Tips

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