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Setting Spray vs Setting Powder: Which One Should You Go for?

Setting Spray vs Setting Powder: Which One Should You Go for?


When it comes to makeup, there are few rules. Yet, there are lots of doubts about what are the best practices. Doubts arise especially when different products, such as setting spray vs setting powder, overlap on their main task. Should I be using a setting spray, a setting powder, or both? Well, we understand that this won’t make the decision any simpler, but our answer is that it depends! It depends on your skin type, your desired results, your experience with makeup and how much time you have to do makeup every day. Let us start by telling all we know about these products. After reading, you’ll be able to decide whether setting spray or setting powder is better for you!

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Setting spray

Being a glamorous finish touch to your makeup looks, setting spray can do a lot more than extend makeup’s longevity. More popular among expert makeup users, this makeup step adds an invisible layer that sets your look for success. Available in multiple finishes—from glowy to matte—you’ll certainly find the one that better suits your needs. If you have oily skin, you’ll love setting sprays with a matte finish, such as NYX Pro Makeup Matte Finish Long Lasting Setting Spray. On the other hand, if your skin lacks hydration and radiance, a glowy setting spray like the Makeup Revolution Glow Fix Illuminating Setting Spray will do wonders for your final look! Add this finalizing step to your makeup routine and you’ll never regret it.

What is a setting spray?

An essential to all makeup artists, a setting spray is a liquid—that comes in a spray or aerosol bottle—that sets your makeup look, granting lasting wear while preventing smudging and fading. Usually, with a base of water and alcohol, setting spray allows you to go through your day without thinking about makeup retouch. As if improving makeup wear wasn’t enough, it also helps to bring life to makeup when you go too heavy on powder. Equally important, some formulas offer extra benefits, like a matte finish or extra glow!

How to apply setting spray

This is factually the makeup product that requires less skill to be applied! All you need to do is to place the bottle in front of your face, after finishing all your makeup. Then, from a distance of about 15cm/6inch, spray generously (and don’t forget to close your eyes and mouth!). You may notice that your skin feels wet, but don’t worry! It’ll all dry out very quickly and your makeup won’t go anywhere. If you like the freshness and fanciness of this makeup step, there are no contraindications to reapply throughout the day.

Setting powder

The best friend of oily skin, setting powder is a step that immediately transforms the finish of your makeup. As you’d expect from a setting product, it’ll also contribute to setting the foundation into place. With face powder, you’ll be able to conceal excess shine from the foundation and delay the oiliness that peaks through during the day, especially on the T-zone. In addition, setting the foundation with a setting powder will help to blend all powder makeup on top of it, like powder bronzer, blush as well as powder highlighter. Aren’t these all great reasons to use a setting powder?

What is setting powder?

The setting powder instantly improves the appearance and performance of your makeup. With the first ingredients on the list typically being talc and silica, it seals your cream makeup, creating a beautifying veil that removes excess shine and holds the makeup into place to make sure your look stays on for hours!

There are a lot of options to choose from, and the right one for you depends on the result you need. To divide them into categories, we can say that we have the invisible powders and the tinted setting powders, which can come in loose or compact formulations. The invisible ones are usually white powder that looks invisible on all skin tones and is ideal for those who want a transparent mattifying veil without adding coverage. Tinted formulas add coverage, yet there are a lot of different options here as well. You’ll find tinted setting powders ranging from sheer coverage to foundation-like coverage (yes, you can use a powder foundation as a setting powder for extra coverage!).

Let us also clarify the differences between loose powders and compact powders. Loose powders feel incredibly lightweight, even lighter than air—and that’s why you need to be careful applying it, as it dusts everywhere. With such a light texture and weight, it’s difficult to overdo it. It looks and feels very natural on the skin, for a matte yet luminous complexion! As for compact powders, they’re easier to carry around and usually offer more coverage—powder foundation often comes in a compact. Compact powders are also mess-free, as they won’t fly around with every brush stroke.

How to apply setting powder

As we’ve previously mentioned, loose and compact powders are very different in texture. However, the application won’t differ that much! In order to apply it like a pro, use a powder brush, such as Flormar Powder Brush. If you’re using a loose powder, pour a small amount of product on the lid and go in with the brush. If you’re using a compact powder, go with the brush directly on the pan. In both cases, tap the excess and start by applying it to the T-zone. If you have dry skin, go for the cheeks with the product remaining on the brush after applying it to the center of the face. On the other hand, if you have oily or combination skin, you may be more generous in the amount of powder you apply.

Setting spray vs setting powder: which one is better?

Even though both products play an important role in setting your makeup for the day, each one performs differently and offers different (and complementary!) results as well as benefits. Let’s see which are the winning features of each setting product!

Why you should use a setting spray

A setting spray is easy to apply, refreshing and eliminates the appearance of excess product and/or powder (it makes the makeup look more skin-like). In addition, it contributes to extending the longevity of your makeup with a few spritzes. It’s a makeup step that needs only a few seconds to be perfectly done and offer a great benefit in exchange of that time.

Why you should use a setting powder

The setting powder seals in all of your makeup-cream work underneath, such as foundation, concealer and even cream blush, bronzer, or highlighter. It eliminates excess shine while preventing oiliness to peak during the day. Moreover, it creates a layer between cream and powder foundation, so it’s an essential step for skin makeup blending (if you’re going from liquid foundation to powder blush, for example, you’ll need a setting powder layer to guarantee that the blush won’t look patchy).

Our conclusion

The battle of setting spray vs setting powder is unfair, considering that one does not replace the other. Setting powders are perfect for combination to oily skin types, as they control shine and prevent oiliness to interfere with your makeup result. On the other hand, setting sprays can be refreshing and can add an extra layer of hydration to dryer skin types. We hope that our indication about features and benefits is enough to allow you to decide which option is the ideal one for you!

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