What is the difference between setting spray and setting powder?

What is the difference between setting spray and setting powder?

An intricate makeup look can take hours to complete, it’s only natural that if you’ve taken the time to shape your face using contour, added highlight, or done an elaborate show-stopping eye makeup look, you’ll want it to last for as long as possible. That’s where both setting sprays and powders come in. These two things can make a drastic difference to the longevity of your makeup, stopping it from smudging or fading whether you’re commuting to work, going on a night out, or running errands.

If you’re not sure which of the two is best, keep reading as we discuss the key differences of each product and how best to use them. We’ll also be featuring some product recommendations to help you get started if you’ve never ‘set’ your makeup before.

What do setting powders and sprays do?

Setting sprays and powders are often used as the last step in your base makeup routine. Their purpose is to ensure the longevity of your makeup, locking it into place and keeping you looking your best through the day and night. However, the way that each of them works to keep your makeup looking fresh is slightly different.

Setting powders consist of finely milled oil-absorbing ingredients such as talc, which give more of a matte finish to your skin and draw away any excess oils or moisture. Powders can be used multiple times throughout the day, so they are particularly beneficial for people with oily skin types. Setting sprays on the other hand utilise ingredients that create a protective barrier over your makeup which helps to prevent smudging, fading, water, and feathering. Setting sprays can have a mattifying finish, but more often than not they create more of a dewy glow.

Do you need setting powder and setting spray?

It isn’t necessary to own both a powder and a spray, but it wouldn’t be technically correct to say they can be used interchangeably. We’d recommend having at least one of them in your makeup arsenal, but to have both would be even better to create different effects.

This is because using a setting powder can blend your makeup nicely, and help to tackle problem areas such as the t-zone more directly by offering a more targeted application, whereas setting spray will reduce the need for touch-ups by stopping your makeup from smudging or sliding. They also come in a range of finishes so that you can create a dewy look or enhance your mattifying finish. As such, they can work beautifully together to keep your makeup intact and in place.

How to use a setting powder

Setting powder works best when applied on top of liquid-based products. Compact powders often come with a powderpuff to help you apply it evenly, while loose powder can be better applied with a brush, as you can gain better control over the amount of product you’re using. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, however, and you may simply have a personal preference on which application method you prefer. If you are applying the powder with a puffer, dab the sponge into the product and then lightly tap it on your face, making sure that you blend out any concentrated areas. This tool is great when targeting specific oil-prone areas.

Alternatively, if you are using a brush you’ll need to use a light pressure to pick up some of the product and gently sweep it across your face. Remember to tap the brush first to drop any excess product that may fall onto your clothes. It is best to use a small amount and gradually build it up. We’d suggest using a reliable brush that would distribute the product evenly, with soft bristles for seamless blending, such as the Guerlain Pinceau Powder Brush.

Guerlain Terracotta Pinceau Powder Makeup Brush
£47.00 RRP Sale price £41.00 (Save £6.00)

How to use a setting spray

Setting spray has an almost effortless application. At the end of your makeup routine, simply close your eyes and hold the bottle roughly 15 cm away from your face before spraying liberally to ensure even coverage. Once you’ve applied the spray, allow it to dry for a couple of minutes before touching your face. In most cases if you are using a setting spray alongside a powder, apply the powder first to prevent your makeup from caking, the exception to the rule is that if you have dry skin you may benefit from applying the spray first and lightly using the powder to create a matte look.

What is the best setting spray?

A good setting spray can keep your makeup looking fresh from day to night. The Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix offers up to 12 hours of protection, so no matter if you’re dancing the night away or want to keep your makeup effortlessly intact during office hours, you’ll benefit from this moisturising spray that results in a flawless finish. Perfect for normal to dry skin, this can be applied with or without powder.

Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix Setting Spray 100ml
£28.00 RRP Sale price £19.99 (Save £8.01)

Another way to enhance your makeup routine is to use the Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray enriched with hyaluronic acid and agave extract which gives a long-lasting dewy glow and a moisturising effect. This all-day spray is sure to keep your makeup in place whilst enhancing your natural glow.

Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Make Up Setting Spray Ultra Glow 30ml
£15.00 RRP Sale price £12.40 (Save £2.60)

What is the best setting powder?

When it comes to setting powder, we recommend opting for a translucent shade to give a flawless finish that matches your foundation tone. Choosing a translucent powder also makes application much easier as there will be less work required to create a seamless blend. If you’re willing to spend a little more, we find that one of the best setting powders for a higher budget is the Shiseido Synchro Skin Invisible Loose Matte Powder, as it can last for up to 16 hours and is infused with vitamins C and E to give your skin an extra nourishing boost and a healthy glow. The sheer coverage provides a light matte finish and can blur imperfections with ease whilst maintaining a lightweight feel.

Shiseido Synchro Skin Invisible Loose Powder Matte
£45.00 RRP Sale price £38.00 (Save £7.00)

Alternatively, for a more affordable option, the MAC studio fix powder works well to keep your makeup intact. It isn't translucent, but is available in a variety of shades so you'll be able to find a near perfect match for your skin tone that mimics a translucent sheen. The formula works to mattify oily areas but remains breathable and lightweight for a comfortable feel that doesn’t dry out the skin.

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation
£34.00 RRP Sale price £2.00 (Save £7.00)

Finally, if you prefer a subtle everyday glow, a powder in a neutral shade can offer an extra tint of colour. If you’re on a tight budget, opt for something like the L’Oreal True Match Perfecting Powder which can be used to set your liquid base whilst providing a radiant look and flawless complexion.

L'Oreal True Match Perfecting Powder 1.R/1.C Rose Ivory
£8.99 RRP Sale price £8.00 (Save £0.99)

Look your best all day, every day with Hogies

At Hogies, we stock an impressive range of cosmetics with huge savings available, so that you can create your dream look with high-end products at a fraction of the cost. No matter if you need long-lasting base makeup, eyeshadow palettes, a show-stopping lipstick or a cleanser for effective makeup removal at the end of the night, there’s something for everyone. For further discounts, check out our clearance cosmetics range.