For about ten years I’ve been spraying my face with hairspray in the vain attempt to set my makeup so it doesn’t slide or melt off after an hour. It was only when I was planning my wedding makeup when I decided to try a real setting spray because I wasn’t too keen on being near candles with a face full of Elnett – a highly flammable bride is not the one.
Since then I’ve tried a number of different setting sprays, and in my humble opinion, these are the top three.
NOTE: all three of the companies listed do NOT test on animals – something I believe is very important for a cruelty-free beauty industry. I’ve decided to stop using any products that test on animals, contain parabens or other potentially damaging ingredients for the environment, and buy from companies that actively support sustainability.
I’m still learning but plan to write more about sustainability in the beauty industry and will endeavour to only recommend cruelty-free products.
1. NYX Professional Makeup Matte Finish Setting Spray (£7 from Boots)
This one first came to my attention after a review by US teen went viral, because even after a car accident, an ambulance ride, hours in the hospital and the journey home, this girl’s makeup was still FLAWLESS thanks to the NYX setting spray. You can’t really get better hold than that.
There are two options, Matte finish and Dewy finish; both long lasting. The Matte is better if you have oily skin, but I chose Dewy because I have pretty dry skin especially in the winter.
Pros: This product is definitely long-lasting. My makeup will stay on all day at work, in wind and bad weather and at the gym.
Cons: It smudges makeup if you don’t let it dry first – especially eyeliner and mascara. It feels a bit sticky when you first put it on, a little gluey perhaps. But once you’ve used it once or twice you get used to it.
Overall rating: 4/5 – great for a night out or if you want to go to the gym with a full face of makeup! At £7 it’s a bit of a steal because it lasts a long time even when you use it every day.
2. Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray (£23.50 from Urban Decay)
At a slightly higher price than the NYX setting spray, Urban Decay All Nighter is a refreshing and light setting spray that helps makeup last all day. It also gives you a healthy glow that stays set for up to 16 hours according to the website. I used this setting spray on my wedding day and my makeup still looked good at the reception, over 12 hours after using it.
Pros: Light, refreshing, doesn’t smell weird or sit heavily on the skin.
Cons: Quite expensive but worth the investment. Probably wouldn’t leave you flawless even after a road traffic accident. Not quite as hardy as the NYX setting spray.
Overall rating: 5/5 – I can’t see a real problem with this one; it’s light and ideal for all skin types.
3. PIXI Makeup Fixing Mist (£16 from Look Fantastic)
I’m a sucker for packaging and so I love PIXI makeup – the light greens, coppers and pinks make your beauty haul look super pretty. This fixing spray is lightly scented with rose water and green tea, which smells great and makes your skin feel light and refreshed.
Pros: Smells great, looks great and keeps makeup fresh throughout the day.
Cons: The spray nozzle itself is a little bit harsh so you have to brace yourself a little bit before you spritz. If you’ve got sensitive skin then try this in the shop first to make sure the perfume doesn’t irritate it.
Overall rating: 4/5 – a middling price for a fixing spray and it feels luxurious.