Setting Powder Vs Setting Spray: Which is Best?

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What do you do to make your makeup last longer? If you answered I use a setting product, then you are on the right track. That’s one of the many ways to make your makeup last longer and avoid it from seemingly sliding off. 

But what kind of setting product do you use? Do you use a setting powder or a setting spray? With lots of different products in the market today, different people have their preferences in what they want to use.

In the setting powder vs setting spray debate, which side are you? If you are still undecided, we’ll help you make up your mind about that debate by discussing with you what they are, what they’re used for, and who should use which.


Setting Powder Vs Setting Spray: Let’s Differentiate The Two

Before we start the debate on which product should be best used and by whom, let us first define these two products. 

What Is Setting Powder?

As the name implies, this product comes in powder form. This is very finely milled and is available as translucent or in a shade that matches your skin tone. 

Setting powders  are meant to be used after you apply your makeup so that it is locked in place. The ingredients of this product could include silica, cornstarch, and talc.

Do take note that these are different from the pore-minimizing finishing powders that are available today. However, apart from helping your makeup last longer, it also has a smoothing effect to make the skin look airbrushed and soft

What Is Setting Spray

On the other hand, setting spray is in a liquid form. It comes in a spritz bottle that you mist over your face as the last step when applying your makeup. 

Like setting powders, setting sprays  also help make sure your makeup lasts longer. Setting sprays could come in a matte finish but it is more common to find setting sprays that produce a dewy or natural finish. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

When To Use Setting Powder

One of the main reasons why setting powder is used is to help absorb excess oil as well as moisture on the face. Our pores produce oil and that could make your makeup melt or slide. 

Setting powders are usually used after you apply foundation, concealer, or other cream and liquid products. By absorbing the excess oil that is already in the skin, the foundation is better kept in place.

The setting powder can be used by anyone. But is especially useful for those with oily skin. Even if you have dry skin, you can still use a setting powder. But you might not need as much. 

Plus, you only need to place it in areas where oil is more prone to be produced like the t-zone of the face. 

Setting powder is what you would use if you prefer to “bake your makeup”. This technique will involve applying a lot of the setting powder on certain areas of the face where you want to bake. 

Then you leave it for about 5 minutes and dust off the excess afterward. 

To apply the setting powder to your face, you should use a buffing brush. Apply some of the setting powder using circular motions.

If it seems that your makeup is looking a bit cakey, you could remedy that by using a spritz of hydrating toner over the face. 

When To Use Setting Spray

Setting sprays are usually (but not always) used after you applied all of your makeup. You spritz it all over the face even over your lipstick and mascara 

Setting sprays come in various formulations that add more benefits when using them. There are some that are formulated to help trap moisture into the skin. 

There are also hydrating formulas that contain hyaluronic acid, which is great for those with dry skin. 

Others may contain light-reflective ingredients that could also help give the face more radiance or a dewy glow. 

If you are a fan of matte finishes, there are also setting sprays that come in that finish. However, they may not make your face as matte as powders can. 

Setting sprays are more preferred by those with dry skin or those with mature skin to help boost hydration. This does not make the wrinkles and fine lines more visible, which you could expect if you use powder. 

Those who like to set their makeup fast would love using the setting spray because you just spritz it all over your face and you are good to go. Use the spray bottle about 10 inches away from your face and spray an even layer over it. 

A setting spray is also ideal for people who may not be able to find the right shade of setting powder for their skin tone.

For those who want to make their eyeshadows look more vibrant and last longer, you could also spray some of it on your eyeshadow brush before you get some of the eyeshadow. This helps pack the pigment so your eyeshadow color pops.

Which Do You Use?

The one you use will depend on the type of skin you have. Most of those who have oily skin are better off using the powder because it absorbs the excess oil and leaves the skin matte. 

Those with dry skin would be better with the setting spray as it leaves the skin with a dewy finish. There can also be added moisturizing ingredients to it to help with the dryness of the skin. 

However, you can also use both of them regardless of whether your skin is oily or dry.

You can use the powder in areas of the face that seem too oily or in areas where you want to achieve a more airbrushed look. 

Similarly, you can also use the setting spray for dryer areas of the face or if you just want to make your makeup look more vibrant or dewy. 

Instead of simply spraying it all over your face, you can apply it to a brush or a sponge to apply in targeted areas of your face.

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).