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The difference between makeup, skincare and setting sprays

January 1 | 3 minute read

Types Of Facial Sprays Hero 16x9

Words by Emily Deacon & Jen Horsley

Originally published on | July 6

These days there are so many facial sprays to choose from – but what do they all do?

What’s the difference between each type? And how do you know which one will best fit your routine? We’re here to help! From locking down your makeup for 16 hours to refreshing a cakey concealer situation at 3:00pm, these sprays do it all. Let’s get spritzing

Setting spray

As the name suggests, these handy sprays are all about setting your makeup in place. A setting spray is a great alternative to powder, especially if you don’t like the feel or look of a traditional setting powder. Think of it as a way to lock in your final makeup look without it changing the actual finish (for example, it won’t turn a dewy look matte, or vice versa).

So, how do you know if you need to incorporate a setting spray into your routine? If you’re in and out of different climates, need your makeup to last all day or are looking for a lightweight (and effortless) way to lock down your makeup then this one’s for you! Our pro tip: try spritzing a setting spray on your eyeshadow brush before dipping into your shimmery shades – it will help intensify the level of pigment.

Our pick: The M·A·C Cosmetics Fix+ Stay Over. This addition to our setting spray lineup is alcohol-free and promises up to 16 hours of budge-proof wear time. Sign us up! It also provides antioxidant protection against environmental pollution and blue light, as well as keeping skin feeling hydrated. It receives bonus points for having a fine-mist pump, too!

Skincare spray

The quiet (and lightweight) achiever of the skincare world – and perfect for the makeup wearer who wants skin-loving benefits – these sprays work overtime to keep you feeling fresh, hydrated and balanced. A skincare spray can be used for various purposes, from making your makeup appear dewier and more natural, to granting you a hydrated canvas for your base products. This is the type of spray you’ll want to have in your bag, desk drawer or glove box so that you can hit refresh whenever you need a little pick-me-up on the go.

Our pick: Tatcha’s Luminous Dewy Skin Mist. Think of this as a spray-on moisturiser (lazy hydration, anyone?) that delivers immediate moisture and radiance in just a few spritzes. Its silky formula can be applied before makeup to give the skin a dewy finish, or after makeup throughout the day to replenish moisture. It’s packed with botanical oils and red algae extract to help prevent dehydration.

Makeup spray

The idea of a makeup spray is to change the finish of your final makeup look (as opposed to a setting spray which simply sets and doesn’t adjust anything). A makeup spray is your best friend if you’ve over-powdered, gone too hard on your contour [makeup-cheekscontour] and need to soften it or your concealer [makeup-facecomplexion-concealer] has started settling in your fine lines. A makeup spray makes your makeup more malleable and easier to rework – just apply a few spritzes over your look and work with a brush or your fingers to blend, buff and diffuse. Easy!

Our picks: The Urban Decay All Nighter Vit-C Setting Spray. Sound familiar? Urban Decay has reimagined their original (and seriously well-loved) All Nighter Setting Spray and added a generous serve of skin-brightening vitamin C. A few spritzes of this will have your skin feeling energised, smoothed and firmed – and looking extra radiant!

M·A·C Cosmetics Prep + Prime Fix+ is another great option for when you need to adjust your makeup look after the fact. The main difference between this and its sibling, Fix+ Stay Over, is that Prep + Prime Fix+ can be used to refresh a lacklustre complexion and help adjust the finish of your look, whereas Stay Over will lock down your makeup, keeping it in place and prevent it from melting off (yes, even on the dance floor).

Related topics and brand tags

MakeupFacial SpraysSetting SpraysSetting powderFacial mists

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