Pattern Background Image

7 February 2023

Setting sprays vs face mists, what’s the difference?

Long gone are the simple days of creams and powders in the beauty world, whether it’s makeup or skincare we’re now faced with serums, sprays and just about everything in between. It can be overwhelming to know what’s what. Sprays in particular come in two varieties: setting sprays and face mists. If you’re asking yourself what they do, you’re not alone. Are setting sprays and face mists the same? The short answer is no, one is a makeup product and one is a skincare product. Setting sprays contain polymers for locking in makeup, while skin mists are designed to dampen the skin in preparation for skincare.

Setting Sprays

Setting spray is typically formulated with water alcohol and is designed to lock in makeup. After spending time and energy on your precious face, makeup setting spray is the final step that keeps all your hard work in place. To prolong the life of your makeup, hold your spray approximately 15 centimetres from your face and evenly distribute it over each area of your makeup. On occasions where you might need a stronger hold, try spraying your face between every layer of makeup, ensuring that it completely dries before moving on.

Quick tips for setting spray:

  1. Waterproof setting spray can be beneficial around eye makeup, as watering eyes can cause product to run
  2. Shake your setting spray before spritzing to ensure the ingredients are mixed and apply evenly
  3. Give your eyeshadow brush a quick spray to get more pigment out of your product

Setting spray recommendations:

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

All round favourite: Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. Urban Decay is one of the setting spray OGs, promising to hold your makeup in place for up to sixteen hours. This holy grail provides a natural finish and includes temperature regulating technology that prevents smudging.

Tarte’s Shape Tape Stay Spray

Waterproof: Tarte’s Shape Tape Stay Spray is your new BFF if you need a product to protect your makeup through all conditions, be it rain in the cold weather or sweat in the warm. This weightless mist won’t alter the finish of your makeup but it will ensure it doesn’t transfer, move or settle throughout whatever your day throws at it.

Mac Prep + Prime Fix+

To prime and finish: The Mac Prep + Prime Fix+ is another cult favourite, not only does this spray finish your makeup, it also primes your skin. Mac’s lightweight and alcohol-free formula refreshes skin with green tea, chamomile, and cucumber, keeping it hydrated both before and after makeup application.

Morphe’s Mattifying Continuous Setting Mist

For a matte finish: Morphe’s Mattifying Continuous Setting Mist is an incredibly fine mist that actually consists of a translucent powder that settles over makeup to create a smooth, matte finish. As a continuous mist, it applies seamlessly to the face and has a staying power of up to twelve hours.

Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray

For a dewy glow: Queen of glow Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray is the answer to your lit-from-within prayers. This smoothing spritz is designed to create an effortlessly flawless finish and is best matched with a glowy foundation and concealer for the ultimate dewy complexion. Another alcohol-free option, this spray even suits makeup lovers with sensitive skin.

Skin mists

Skin mists or facial mists are skincare products designed to dampen skin prior to the application of serums and other products. A dampened face will ensure all the goodness of your skincare is absorbed and nothing goes to waste. This applies to products including water-based cleansers, serums such as hyaluronic acid, facial oils and moisturisers. You don’t, however, want to apply all products to damp skin, products with harsher ingredients such as retinol, AHAs and BHAs are best applied to dry skin. It’s always essential to read the specific instructions on a product to be sure.

Quick tips for skin mists:

  1. In addition to helping your skin absorb other products, skin mists can be a hydrating and refreshing boost on their own
  2. Keeping a hydrating mist with you on a flight is a great way to keep your skin nourished
  3. Use a facial mist for a quick cool down on a warm day or even for a post-pilates-pick-me-up

Skin mist recommendations:

Go To’s Prep Step

For a hydration boost: Go To’s Prep Step is formulated with moisture boosting and locking ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin and propanediol, making it the perfect sidekick to your skincare heroes.

La Roche-Posay’s Thermal Spring Water Facial Mist

For sensitive skin: Known for its suitability to sensitive skin, La Roche-Posay’s Thermal Spring Water Facial Mist is no different to its other skincare favourites. Particularly rich in selenium to protect the skin, this water mist also contains minerals and antioxidant properties for the ultimate soothing formula.

Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater

For irritated skin: Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater is a skin-loving cocktail of calming ingredients including gardenia extract, thyme extract and aloe vera. This subtly fragrant concoction leaves skin with a healthy glow.

Sign up to the Beauty Drop’s VIP list today to get access to exclusive drops and deals. Don't forget to follow us on Instagram for even more beauty tips and inspiration.

Suggested Blogs

  • Cream Makeup is giving Main Character Energy

    Read More
  • 4 Beauty Trends Set To Take Centre Stage This Spring

    Read More
  • Out with the old and in with the new! Skincare we're loving.

    Read More
  • Our big brand partner reveal

    Read More

Become a Beauty Drop VIP

The Beauty Drop logo