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When you’ve taken the time to apply your makeup perfectly, you want it to last. Whether you’re heading out to a ten-hour workday or a night of dancing, your makeup’s durability will be put to the test. Beauty gurus and makeup artists preach the importance of primers, but setting sprays can be just as helpful and important. Applied on top of your makeup, these sprays help keep everything in place. Best of all, these setting sprays are simple to use, so it won’t be a hassle to add this product to your beauty routine.

Part 1
Part 1 of 3:
Choosing Your Setting Spray
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  1. 1
    Choose the right spray for your skin type. Just like all facial products, different products work best on different skin types. If you have very dry skin, you may want to avoid products with alcohol in them, which can dry out your skin even more. Instead, find alcohol-free setting sprays that have moisturizing and hydrating properties. If you have naturally oily skin, look for an oil-free setting spray that provides a matte finish.
    • If you have combination skin, you can play around with different setting sprays until you find one you like. Many sprays are marketed for all skin types, so those would be a good place to start.
    Alicia D'Angelo

    Alicia D'Angelo

    Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist
    Alicia D'Angelo is a makeup artist based in New York City. She currently works for teams with Dior Makeup, YSL Beauty and Pat McGrath Labs as well as bridal companies Once Upon A Bride and Miss Harlequinn. Her work has been featured in, New York Live,, VH1, MTV, Vevo, Entertainment Weekly, Refinery 29, and She has a Visual Communications degree from FIDM-Los Angeles.
    Alicia D'Angelo
    Alicia D'Angelo
    Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist

    Our Expert Agrees: Choose a setting spray based on your skin type and needs. If you have oily skin, for example, look for a mattifying setting spray. For dryer skin, avoid setting spray with alcohol in the ingredient list. If you have normal or combination skin, you can use a regular setting spray, or you can choose based on how you want the finish of your skin to look.

  2. 2
    Consider the climate. During hot, humid days, makeup has a tendency to "melt" off your face. Find a setting spray that is cooling and sweat-resistant. If you are in a cold climate or in the dead of winter, try a hydrating setting spray to protect your skin against the harsh, dry air.
  3. 3
    Pick a spray that gives you the finish you want. This is a matter of personal preference. Some people like their finished, make-up face to be matte and completely shine-free. Others prefer a dewy, glowing look. Make sure you take this into consideration when you are picking a setting spray. Some will mattify your face, and others will give you a bit of a dewy sheen.
  4. 4
    Use a spray with SPF on sunny days. No matter how great our makeup looks, there is no better beauty hack than protecting it from the sun. If you are venturing out into the sunshine, find a setting spray that has SPF in it. Apply it to your face before heading out, and reapply it throughout the day.[1] Not only will it help your makeup last flawlessly, but it will protect you from sunburns and other negative effects of sun exposure.
    • While an SPF setting spray can give a little bit of sun protection, you still need to wear sunscreen, as you won't apply enough spray to effectively protect your skin.
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Part 2
Part 2 of 3:
Enhancing Makeup Application
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  1. 1
    Use it to dampen your foundation sponge. Many people use a Beauty Blender, or a generic version of this well-known makeup sponge, to apply their liquid foundation. To use this sponge properly, you’re supposed to dampen it before applying makeup. Instead of using water, you can use setting spray to dampen the sponge.[2]
    • This may not work with all sponges. Some brands may deteriorate from a setting spray, so be careful.
    • The moisture on the sponge will help blend and smooth the foundation easily and evenly.
    • The setting spray will also help prevent the foundation from coming off over the course of a long day.
  2. 2
    Spray it on your eye shadow brush. Many powder eye shadows go on very lightly, and it seems like you have to pack on multiple coats to get the bold, pigmented color you want. Setting spray can help with this. Take your shadow brush and dip it into the powder eye shadow you will be applying. Then, before you apply it to your lid, spray the brush with your setting spray. This will make the shadow more opaque and bold than the dry powder alone.[3]
    • The eye shadow will be damp going onto your lid, but it will dry quickly.
    • The setting spray will help your eye shadow stay in place and last all day, without smudging or creasing.
    • If you're trying a new look or doing a look that requires blending, avoid doing this. Wait until you have completed your look, then close your eyes and spray them.
  3. 3
    Spritz your under-eye concealer brush. To cover dark circles and make your eyes appear brighter, apply concealer under your eyes. Use your finger to dab a few dots of the product. Then, spray your concealer brush with setting spray before using it to blend in your concealer.[4]
    • By getting your concealer brush damp with the setting spray, you will make it easier to blend the concealer.
    • The setting spray will hydrate the delicate skin under your eyes, and it will also keep the concealer looking smooth and flawless, rather than splotchy or crease.
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Part 3
Part 3 of 3:
Sealing Your Look
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  1. 1
    Shake your spray bottle. Different sprays contain different ingredients, and many include ingredients that can settle to the bottom of the bottle. To make sure you are getting the proper mixture, give your bottle a few gentle shakes. You don’t need to shake it vigorously – just enough to mix it all up.
  2. 2
    Spray your entire, finished face. Hold the bottle six to eight inches away from your face. You want to give your entire face an even misting, so don’t spray it closely. Spray the product a few times, making sure you get full, even coverage.
    • Setting spray works best on the top layer of makeup, such as bronzer, eye shadow, and blush. If you want to keep your foundation and concealer in place, use a primer before applying them to your face. Primer and setting sprays can be used together.
    • One way to ensure full coverage is to spray the setting spray in an "X" shape over your face, and then again in a "T" shape over your face.[5]
  3. 3
    Let the spray dry naturally. Once you’ve sprayed your setting spray, let your face air-dry. It won’t take too long for your skin to absorb the spray. Don’t rub or blend the spray anywhere on your face, or you will risk messing up your makeup.
  4. 4
    Reapply your setting spray throughout the day. Throw the setting spray into your purse so that you can have it whenever you want it. Depending on the specific setting spray you’ve chosen, it can cool you off, mattify your makeup, and rehydrate your skin throughout the day.
    • If you touch up or reapply your makeup, make sure to spray again.
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      About This Article

      Alicia D'Angelo
      Co-authored by:
      Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist
      This article was co-authored by Alicia D'Angelo. Alicia D'Angelo is a makeup artist based in New York City. She currently works for teams with Dior Makeup, YSL Beauty and Pat McGrath Labs as well as bridal companies Once Upon A Bride and Miss Harlequinn. Her work has been featured in, New York Live,, VH1, MTV, Vevo, Entertainment Weekly, Refinery 29, and She has a Visual Communications degree from FIDM-Los Angeles. This article has been viewed 149,851 times.
      1 votes - 100%
      Co-authors: 9
      Updated: January 19, 2022
      Views: 149,851
      Categories: Makeup
      Article SummaryX

      To help your makeup last as long as possible, use a makeup setting spray to add a protective barrier over your face. Apply your makeup as normal, then shake the setting spray bottle a few times to make sure the ingredients are evenly combined. Then, hold the bottle 6 to 8 inches away from your head and spray the product over your face. To ensure you get even coverage, try spraying in an "X" shape over your face, then spray again in a "T" shape. Once you've finished applying the spray, let it dry naturally, since rubbing or blending it can cause you to ruin your makeup. For more advice from our Beauty co-author, including how to choose the right setting spray for your skin type, keep reading!

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      Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 149,851 times.

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      • Janet Adekumola

        Janet Adekumola

        Jun 21, 2020

        "I really find this article helpful. When I first applied the setting spray on my make up, I sprayed it too close to..." more
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