What Is Setting Spray, and Do You Really Need It?

Should you use setting spray? It can help your look last. Use a setting spray for a professional and long-lasting makeup finish.

Setting Spray: How to Make Your Makeup Last

The most common questions you generally hear in regards to makeup involve how to make your makeup last as long as possible. Which is understandable, touch-ups are no fun and we don’t always have time for them in our busy schedules. But, it would be nice to come home after a long day and not look like you just had a long day, amiright?!

One of the more popular products available that claim to prolong the wear of your makeup, is setting spray. I think the only time I have actually applied setting spray is when I have had my makeup done professionally. So if professional makeup artists are using it religiously, should we all be?

What exactly does setting spray do?

Basically, setting spray accomplishes the same for your face that hairspray does for your hair. It is applied after your other products are used and is meant to hold everything together, making it last longer. They contain ingredients that specifically bind to the makeup, called polymers, that contain alcohol.

Does it really work?

Professional makeup artists swear that setting sprays absolutely make a difference in the wear of your makeup and prolong the life of your makeup application. They are especially adamant about the results when being used on performers that sweat and use a lot of energy.

Is setting spray necessary for everyday use?

Setting sprays will get the job done when you are needing heavy-duty, long-lasting wear in events such as a wedding or any all-day event that you may be sweating. This is why professional makeup artists use them frequently because the majority of their clients are hiring them for specific big events in which they will need that makeup to hold up for a long period of time or through a strenuous activity. However, for everyday use, it really isn’t necessary.

Not only is it probably not necessary, but many setting sprays contain harsh chemicals that can be dangerous to use frequently. The more alcohol a spray contains, the more effective it will be. Alcohol applied to the skin is very drying and can even be irritating to some skin types. These alcohol ingredients can reduce cell regeneration and erode the skin when used repeatedly. Setting sprays are typically not made of skincare ingredients and are made with chemical adhesives that can clog pores, prevent the skin from breathing or sweating, and contribute to acne. Some setting sprays contain aerosols that are harmful to inhale, as well.

It may not be harmful to use a setting spray once in a while, but if that information has completely turned you off from using them ever, there are homemade options that can work quite effectively and made with only a few ingredients, so you know it is safe.

How to make a homemade setting spray

Aloe Vera has many skin benefits. To make a setting spray using this powerhouse gel, fill a clean glass spray bottle with 2 tablespoons of aloe, a few drops of lavender essential oil, and about a cup and a half of distilled water. Shake it up and spray it on.

A couple of other amazing ingredients for your skin are rosewater and witch hazel. Combine a tablespoon each of rose water and witch hazel with a cup and a half of distilled water into a sterilized glass spray bottle. Shake it well before each use.

How do you use setting spray?

To use setting spray correctly, wait until the rest of your makeup application is completely finished. Hold the spray with your arm at a 90-degree angle and spritz one to three times, lightly misting your skin and letting the product fall naturally onto your face. Leave it to set without rubbing it in. If you need extra waterproofing, it may help to spritz after each step of makeup application.

So in short, if you are looking for a product that will prevent your makeup from moving, creasing, settling, or smearing for long periods of time, then you should invest in a setting spray. It is the holy grail of makeup products to accomplish all of these things. That being said, it is best used for special occasions and not on a daily basis, considering the ingredients used.

Resources— Byrdie, The Zoe Report

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