No Bullsh*t Beauty: Do I Really Need A Setting Spray In My Life?

Are setting sprays a mist opportunity (sorry)? Let's find out.

Every week, STELLAR’s online editor Valerie Loftus sifts through all the latest products and craziest trends to bring you the info you need to know.

It seems like everyone and their ma is bringing out a setting spray these days. The once specialist product is now being heralded as a makeup bag essential, which rightly makes people suspicious. What are they selling us now? Are setting sprays really any use?

And I have to be honest: Before I ~saw the setting spray light~, I assumed they were a swizz. Water in a fancy bottle! That’s it! HOWEVER. I must eat my words, because I have come to love them for two reasons.

I have combination skin, prone to spots, with a chin that gets shinier and shinier as the day goes on. In my pre-setting spray life, I’d combat this by packing on powder – I’d set my makeup with a ton of it in the morning, then powder again halfway through the day when my makeup started to fade. All of this powder inevitably made my face look dull and cakey, but I went with it because shine is the devil, right?

Step in the setting spray. Nowadays, after I finish setting my foundation with (a much smaller amount of) powder, I mist it with a spray, which melts all the cream and powder products I’ve used together. This is something that’s very hard to describe or even photograph, but try it and you’ll see what I mean. My face looks more radiant, my makeup more even.


Then, about halfway through the day when my makeup is starting to look tired or a little oily, I mist my face with setting spray again to bring it back to life. It’s a little bit of magic, let me tell you, and it’s loosened the vice grip I had on my powder compact – something I *never* imagined would happen.

Let’s get down to it then: What setting sprays have I been sampling? The Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water (€25) is a primer in name, but has been sitting on my desk as an extra little bit of lunchtime refreshment for a few weeks now, and is working a charm. Lancome’s Fix It And Forget It (out from August 29) is a slightly fancier option, and aims to set makeup in place while keeping the skin hydrated and shine-free. A good all rounder.

Containing hydrating rosewater, the Glossier Soothing Face Mist (€17) is more of a skincare product, but it still works beautifully over makeup. It smells luxurious, too.

Budget brands are also knocking it out of the park – NYX’s Matte and Dewy Finish Setting Sprays (€10 each) are both excellent at what they do, whether you want to keep shine at bay or invite it in.

So, to answer my own question, yes, it’s worth getting in on a little setting spray action. Go forth and mist.


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