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The Best Setting Spray

Last updated on August 8, 2022

Our Review Process

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Our Picks For The Top Setting Sprays

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Matte Finish Setting Spray

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval


Matte Finish Setting Spray

Reduce shine and extend the life of your makeup with this setting spray, which comes in a 2.03 fluid ounce bottle. Alcohol and a VP/VA copolymer not only help set your makeup, but also create a protective barrier against moisture in the air. The smaller format of this bottle lets you easily store it in your makeup kit or tuck it into a pocket in yo...

Overall Take

For Frequent TravelersThis 2.03-ounce bottle of setting spray makes it great for taking on the road with you.

 Runner Up

Rimmel Stay Matte 2-In-1 Primer & Setting Spray


Stay Matte 2-In-1 Primer & Setting Spray

This transparent spray works as both a primer and finishing spray to extend the wear of your makeup. Simply spray the primer before applying makeup to minimize the appearance of pores and spritz your face after makeup to lock in your look. Alcohol and polymers work to protect your makeup throughout the day.

Overall Take

Speedy SolutionSave time with this product, which has a primer and setting spray in one bottle.

 We Also Like

Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Oil Control Setting Spray

Elizabeth Mott

Thank Me Later Oil Control Setting Spray

With a formula free of parabens and sulfates, you'll get a skin-friendly solution with this setting spray. Alcohol and polymers help shield your makeup to give you a long-lasting look. The spray is lightweight to give you a matte appearance without leaving you feeling sticky.

Overall Take

Easy to UseApply your makeup, then close your eyes and spritz your face with this easy-to-use option.

 Strong Contender

Milani Make It Last Hydrating Prime & Correct Setting Spray


Make It Last Hydrating Prime & Correct Setting Spray

There are four different options with this setting spray. The original formula gives you up to 16 hours of protection, while the charcoal option helps absorb oils to keep your face looking smooth. There's also an option with SPF 30 sunscreen built in and a hydrating spray that delivers moisture to your skin while you're wearing it. Each bottle is o...

Overall Take

Multiple OptionsChoose from four different options with this setting spray, including original, charcoal, sunscreen and hydrating.

Buying Guide

If you put your makeup on in the morning, only to find it significantly faded by the end of the day, you aren’t alone. With consumer demand for safe, sustainable ingredients in the cosmetics they use, manufacturers have been challenged to create long-lasting makeup using natural dyes and moisturizers.

Setting spray is designed to lock in your makeup to extend its lifespan. But there are two major types of setting spray, and each has its own benefits. One type of spray shields the skin from the surrounding environment, including helping it hold up even as you sweat. Shielding sprays also help blend the makeup to give you a smoother look.

The other type of spray only sets the makeup, so you won’t get that extra element of protection you’d get from shielding sprays. With this type of spray, you’ll get that same smooth, blended look you get from the type that shields. The biggest benefit of this type of spray is that it typically serves to moisturize the skin. Shielding sprays will usually have more alcohol.

Since both types of sprays go by the name “setting spray,” it’s important to know the difference. If you want a setting spray that shields, look for a polymer listed as one of the main ingredients. Polyvinylpyrrolidones (PVP) and AMP-acrylates copolymers are the most common, but acrylic resins and polysaccharides are also effective shielding polymers.

With shielding sprays, the polymers in the mist merge to create a protective film. It also has some waterproofing built in. But as with any product that has alcohol among the ingredients, shielding sprays can dry out the skin. You might need to ramp up the moisturizer while you’re using it, or use your setting spray only on days when you really need your makeup to last.

What to Look For

  • Skin texture differs from one person to another, so what you need in a setting spray won’t be the same as someone else. Those with dry skin might need to skip the sprays with alcohol and go for one that builds in hydration. If you have oily skin, avoid sprays that promise to give you a dewy complexion and go for one that focuses on a matte appearance. Normal skin means you can choose from a variety of setting sprays until you find one that you like.
  • Setting spray typically comes in a smaller format. You only need a few spritzes each day, and the compact size makes it easy to slide into your makeup case or bag.
  • It’s important to shake the bottle each time before use to avoid inconsistencies.
  • Always hold the bottle about six to eight inches from your face and close your eyes before spraying. Spray in an X formation first, then a T formation to ensure full coverage.
  • Give your spray several minutes to dry naturally before disrupting your makeup. If you’re still getting dressed, wait to pull your shirt over your head until your setting spray has fully dried.
  • Primer can also help extend the life of your makeup. You spray primer before you apply makeup. The primer soaks into your pores and creates a smoother surface. You can find setting sprays that serve as both a primer and a finisher.
  • Some setting sprays can dry out the skin, but you can find some that build in ingredients for hydration, as well as some with SPF. If you have the opposite issue, look for a setting spray that builds in a little charcoal for oil absorption.
  • If you have allergies or sensitive skin, first test your new setting spray on a patch of skin before spritzing it all over your face.
  • You can bring out colors in your more vivid eye shadows by spritzing a little setting spray on the brush. This will bring out the dyes in the makeup.

More to Explore

If you haven’t heard of setting spray, it might be because it’s a newer innovation when compared to other beauty products. It was developed in 2005 by Allen Goldman while he was in South Beach. Goldman was chatting with a woman at the poolside bar when he noticed the heat and humidity were starting to affect her makeup.

Goldman returned home fully inspired. He began working on various formulas that could not only set the makeup in place but shield it against extreme temperatures and moisture. His result led to the foundation of a company that specializes in setting sprays, Skindinavia. From there, both Skindinavia and competitors have worked to create setting sprays that not only retain the quality of someone’s makeup but also hydrate the skin.

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