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Setting Spray vs. Setting Powder: When To Use Each & How

Posted on February 19 2020

Setting Spray vs. Setting Powder: When To Use Each & How

Both setting spray and setting powder are used to keep your makeup in place, but that doesn’t mean they’re interchangeable—they have several key differences that make them both suitable for extending the wear of your beauty products, but on different occasions.

So, should you reach for a setting spray or a setting powder? We break it down below.

Setting Powder

What It Does: Generally speaking, setting powder is applied with a brush and used on your face in areas where you want a matte finish. It’s available in a variety of shades that can warm up your foundation as well as translucent versions that are made to suit all skin tones.

Who It’s For: Setting powders can be used to combat oil, so they’re ideal if you have combination to oily skin. Additionally, a powder can be great if you wear a full face of foundation or multiple spots of concealer—it’s great for holding those products in place. If your makeup typically bleeds throughout the day, a powder is also your best bet.

How To Apply: After you finish applying your foundation, concealer, blush, highlighter, and any other face makeup, gently swirl your brush into the powder and apply it over the top in circular or sweeping motions. Focus on the areas that tend to collect oil and shine, like your T-zone and sides of your nose.

Product To Try: Mosaic Illuminator—available in Light, Medium, and Deep shades.

Setting Spray

What It Does: Typically, a setting spray is a liquid that you mist onto your skin to keep your makeup in place, covering your whole face including eyes and lips. It gives a softer, more dewy effect than powder, is colorless, and adds minimal texture to skin.

Who It’s For: Setting sprays are ideal for dry skin because they infuse your complexion with moisture, although there are different types of sprays made for a variety of skin types and most are suitable for all. If your skin tends to flake or get rough patches—especially in colder weather—a spray is preferred as it adds an extra layer of moisture.

How To Apply: After applying all of your makeup—lip products included—hold the setting spray about a foot from your face (to avoid large water droplets from getting on your skin) and with your eyes closed evenly spritz your entire face, from your forehead to your neck. Allow the spray several seconds to dry and set.

Product To Try: Sea Mineral Hydra Mist—made for all skin types.

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