Can You Use Setting Spray Before Makeup?

LuxeLuminous is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

Let’s pause for a moment to admire the beautiful makeup you’ve just done on your face. The only way to make this better is to make sure it lasts the whole day. 

You do that by using a setting spray. Before setting sprays were invented, most people who wear makeup would take multiple bathroom breaks for touch-ups. 

Setting sprays are usually used after you’ve applied all of your makeup. But can you use setting spray before makeup as well? Is there any reason to?

Yes, you certainly can. In fact, there are many people who use that same technique to further make sure that their makeup lasts and doesn’t smudge all over the place.

Although most of us will only use a setting spray after we finish our makeup look, there are other ways it can be used. 

We’ll tell go into that that below before we get to the tricks, let’s start with the basics.


What Is A Setting Spray?

Make It Last Setting Spray

A setting spray may also be known as a setting mist or a finishing spray. It is formulated to lock your makeup in place. Setting sprays ensure that your skin and makeup look flawless for a longer period of time. 

Setting sprays may have different formulations depending on the brand that you buy and what they are formulated to do.

Most are likely to contain glycerin and water plus a variety of polymers to help with moisturizing the skin while keeping your makeup in place. 

Some setting sprays have additional ingredients that make them more beneficial to specific skin types.

Niacinamide is added to some setting sprays to help with oil control. 

On the other hand, hyaluronic acid is added for better moisturizing properties. This kind of No products found. is suitable for those with dry skin. 

Setting sprays may also vary according to the finish. Some provide a mattifying finish  while others have a dewy  one. 

Some people have reported using hairspray as a substitute, but that’s not a good idea.

Can You Use Setting Spray Before Makeup? And What Happens If You Do?

elf setting spray

Setting sprays are usually used after applying your makeup to set it. But should it really just be used after you apply your makeup? 

Well, some setting sprays can also be used before applying your makeup. Depending on the formulation, they can have various effects on the skin. 

Some may help moisturize the skin so that it can be a better canvas for your makeup. However, you should note that some setting sprays contain alcohol, which could be drying to the skin.

When used before applying makeup, setting sprays can still help your makeup stick properly to your face.

Depending on the ingredients, it could cause various effects on the skin. 

Nevertheless, it is safe to use before you apply your makeup. Plus, a setting spray will help your makeup to stick even if it forms a layer over your skin. 

Ways To Use A Setting Spray

As discussed, setting sprays are used after applying makeup to help seal the makeup and keep it in place. It can be applied before makeup to help hydrate the skin or create a layer where your makeup sticks better. 

The main function of setting spray is to make your makeup stick. However, its use isn’t limited to just spraying it all over the face before or after applying makeup.

Here are some other ways to use a setting spray.

As A Skin Primer

Some setting sprays are formulated to act as a skin primer so you can apply them before your foundation. One of the key ingredients to look for is glycerine. This substance helps hydrate the skin and make the makeup on top of it stick to your face better.

Those with oily skin who want to avoid excess shine can use a mattifying setting spray before applying makeup. This will help the foundation blend smoothly — especially in problem areas where it tends to cake.

As A Cream Or Powder Blender

One of the secrets to flawless makeup is proper blending. Setting spray can be a good way to improve this. 

You simply have to spray it over a freshly powdered face to make the powder have a skin-like finish. It takes away the dry and powdery look

Alternatively, it can be used to help blend cream products as well. Cream blushes, bronzers that are freshly applied could be easily blended with a sponge that’s damped with setting spray. 

This can help correct heavy spots so you can easily feather them out for a flawless finish. Just make sure that your sponge isn’t too damp.

As A Pigment Intensifier

Do you want bolder and more vibrant colors out of your eyeshadow? That is possible by wetting your eyeshadow or the brush that you use to apply them (just pay attention to this).

Instead of simply using water, you can use a spritz of setting spray to help intensify the colors. This will help the eyeshadow or blush stick to your skin as well.

Using a setting spray works well with shimmery eyeshadow for that ultra shine. Similarly, it could intensify black eyeshadow so you can use it as an eyeliner with the help of an angled brush.

As A Skin Refresher Or Hydrator

Even if you’ve managed to prevent your makeup from moving by using the setting spray after applying your makeup, you can use it again to help refresh or hydrate your skin. 

For this purpose, you should be looking for setting sprays that contain hyaluronic acid or glycerin. The Pixi Glow Mist  is a great example of this kind of setting spray.

Pixi Beauty Glow Mist | All-Over Mist For Luminous Complexion | Set & Refresh Makeup | Hydrate Skin With 21 Natural Oils | 2.70 Fl Oz
Pixi Beauty Glow Mist | All-Over Mist For Luminous Complexion | Set & Refresh Makeup | Hydrate Skin With 21 Natural Oils | 2.70 Fl Oz
NATURAL OILS: Enriched with 21 natural oils plus Propolis, Aloe Vera and Fruit extracts.; CRUELTY FREE: Not tested on animals. Paraben-free. Suitable for all skin types.
$15.00 Amazon Prime

As An Aid For Full Coverage Foundation

Is it your wedding day? Well, that means your makeup should outlast the party! You can make your foundation stick better and cover better by applying a layer of setting spray sandwiched between two layers of foundation. 

This layering helps make sure that your makeup lasts but isn’t cakey or isn’t sliding off your face.

It helps you achieve flawless skin all throughout the day or night.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).