Setting vs Fixing Spray

Are you tired of your makeup melting away halfway through the day? Probably, you’re now asking why some sprays claim to “set” while others promise to “fix” your makeup.  Understanding the difference and use of setting vs fixing sprays can be perplexing, but worry no more. 

In this post, we’ll cover the mystery behind these beauty essentials. Get ready for a comprehensive exploration of setting vs fixing sprays. By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to decide which spray is right for you. 

Let’s dive in…

What is The Difference Between Makeup Fixing and Setting Spray?

Makeup fixing spray acts as a sealant, locking makeup in place to resist smudging and fading for extended wear. On the other hand, setting spray creates a lightweight barrier over makeup. By doing this, the setting spray helps makeup last longer and maintain its appearance throughout the day.

Comparing Setting and Fixing Sprays

setting versus fixing spray


Setting spray: Designed to prolong the wear of makeup by creating a protective layer that prevents it from smudging, fading, or melting. It helps to set makeup in place, ensuring it stays fresh and intact for longer periods, making it ideal for daily wear or events with shorter durations.

Fixing spray: Primarily formulated to provide an extra layer of security to makeup, fixing spray acts as a sealant that locks makeup in place. It offers superior longevity by forming a protective film over the makeup, making it resistant to smudging, transferring, or fading. Fixing spray is essential for special occasions, long workdays, or outdoor activities where makeup needs to withstand various environmental factors.


Setting spray: Works by creating a lightweight barrier on the skin’s surface, which helps to prevent makeup from settling into fine lines, creasing, or fading. It typically contains ingredients that hydrate and nourish the skin, ensuring makeup looks fresh and natural..

Fixing spray: Functions as a sealant, forming a protective film over the makeup to ensure it remains intact for extended periods. Fixing spray often contains film-forming agents or polymers that enhance makeup adherence to the skin, providing a long-lasting finish that withstands sweat, humidity, or other external factors.


Setting spray: Typically contains hydrating and skin-conditioning ingredients such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, or botanical extracts. These ingredients help to keep the skin hydrated and nourished while prolonging the wear of makeup without drying it out or causing irritation.

Fixing spray: May include additional film-forming agents, such as acrylic polymers or silicone derivatives, which create a protective barrier over the makeup. These ingredients enhance the longevity of makeup by increasing its resistance to smudging, fading, or transferring. 


Setting spray: Often offers a natural or dewy finish, imparting a subtle glow to the skin while helping to blend makeup seamlessly. It leaves the skin looking fresh and radiant, without appearing overly matte or flat.

Fixing spray: Can provide a matte or dewy finish, depending on the formulation and desired outcome. It helps to lock makeup in place without altering its finish, ensuring it stays true to the desired look while providing long-lasting hold and durability.


Setting spray: Extends the wear time of makeup by a few hours, making it suitable for everyday use or events with shorter durations. It is a light mist that helps to keep makeup looking fresh and vibrant throughout the day without the need for frequent touch-ups.

Fixing spray: Offers superior longevity, ensuring makeup remains intact for extended periods, making it ideal for long days, special occasions, or events where touch-ups may be limited. It provides a long-lasting finish that withstands various environmental factors, ensuring makeup looks flawless from morning till night.

What Exactly is Setting Spray?

Setting spray is a makeup product designed to prolong makeup wear by creating a lightweight barrier on the skin’s surface. It helps to set makeup in place and prevent it from smudging, fading, or melting throughout the day. 

Setting Sprays for Different Skin Types

Oily Skin

Setting sprays for oily skin are formulated to control excess oil and shine while maintaining makeup longevity. Look for setting sprays that are oil-free and mattifying, as they help absorb excess oil and prevent makeup from sliding off or becoming cakey.

Dry Skin

For dry skin, opt for setting sprays that provide hydration and nourishment to prevent makeup from looking dry or flaky. Ensure the setting spray is infused with hydrating ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, or botanical extracts to replenish moisture and keep the skin hydrated. 

Benefits of Using a Setting Spray

Prolongs makeup wear

Setting spray forms a protective barrier over makeup, preventing it from smudging, fading, or melting the whole day. By locking makeup in place, setting spray significantly extends the wear time of your makeup, ensuring it looks fresh and vibrant from morning till night. This is especially beneficial for long days or special occasions when frequent touch-ups are not feasible

Controls shine 

If you have oily or combination skin, controlling shine can be a challenge. Setting spray formulated with mattifying ingredients helps absorb excess oil and shine, providing a matte finish that lasts for hours. By reducing shine, setting spray maintains a polished and matte complexion. You avoid circumstances of your makeup from looking greasy or cakey.

Sets makeup in place

One of the primary functions of setting spray is to set makeup in place so that it can stay put the whole day. Whether you’re dealing with foundation, concealer, eyeshadow, or blush, setting spray helps prevent makeup from settling into fine lines or creasing. You achieve a smooth and flawless finish with it. 

How to Use Setting Spray

Complete your makeup: Before applying setting spray, ensure your makeup application is complete. This includes foundation, concealer, powder, blush, bronzer, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick. Allow any cream or liquid products to set and dry before proceeding.

Shake the bottle: Shake the setting spray bottle well to mix the ingredients thoroughly. This ensures an even distribution of product and optimal performance.

Hold at arm’s length: Hold the setting spray bottle at arm’s length away from your face. This distance helps to ensure a fine mist and prevents the spray from being too concentrated in one area.

Spray in a “T” motion: Begin by spraying the setting spray in a “T” motion across your face. Start at the forehead, move down to the chin, and then across the cheeks. This motion ensures even coverage and sets makeup in place effectively.

Spray in an “X” motion: After spraying in a “T” motion, switch to an “X” motion for additional coverage. Cross the spray over your face from one cheekbone to the other and from the chin to the forehead. This ensures every part of your face is covered with setting spray.

Allow to dry naturally: After applying the setting spray, allow it to air dry naturally. Avoid fanning or blowing on your face, as this can disrupt the setting process and affect the longevity of your makeup. You can choose to apply a little more refreshing mist throughout the day.

What is a Makeup Fixing Spray

A makeup fixing spray is a product formulated to seal and secure makeup, preventing smudging, fading, or transferring. It creates a protective barrier, ensuring makeup remains intact for extended wear. 

Benefits of Using Fixing Spray

Increases longevity of makeup

Fixing spray significantly extends the wear time of makeup by forming a protective barrier that prevents it from fading or melting throughout the day. This ensures your makeup remains fresh and vibrant for extended periods. 

Resists smudging and transfer

By creating a sealant over makeup, fixing spray helps prevent it from smudging or transferring onto clothing or other surfaces. This ensures your makeup stays in place, even in humid or challenging conditions. 

Provides a matte or dewy finish

Fixing spray offers versatility in finish options, allowing you to achieve either a matte or dewy look depending on your preference. Matte fixing sprays help control shine and provide a smooth, matte finish, ideal for those with oily skin or who prefer a shine-free complexion.

On the other hand, dewy fixing sprays impart a luminous glow, adding radiance and hydration to the skin for a fresh and natural appearance.

Choosing the Right Spray

Choosing the right spray involves considering several key factors to ensure optimal results that cater to your individual needs and preferences.

Consider your skin type

If you have oily or combination skin, opt for a fixing spray that helps control shine and keeps makeup in place without slipping or sliding. 

For dry or sensitive skin types, a setting spray with hydrating ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid would be more suitable, as it provides hydration and prevents makeup from looking cakey or dry.

Asses your makeup type

Take into account the type of makeup you typically wear and the level of coverage you prefer. If you wear heavier or full-coverage makeup, especially for special events or occasions, a fixing spray would be more appropriate to ensure long-lasting hold and durability. 

For everyday makeup or lighter coverage, a setting spray can suffice to prolong the wear of your makeup without feeling heavy or uncomfortable.

Desired finish

If you prefer a natural or dewy finish, opt for a setting spray with a lightweight formula that imparts a subtle glow to the skin. 

On the other hand, if you prefer a matte finish or need your makeup to withstand sweat or humidity, a fixing spray with a matte or long-lasting formula would be more suitable to lock in your desired look.

Experiment with formulas

Try out various setting and fixing sprays to determine which one offers optimal longevity, performance, and comfort without feeling heavy or sticky on the skin.

Pay attention to how each spray interacts with your skin type and makeup products, and don’t hesitate to adjust your makeup routine until you find the perfect match for your needs.

How to Apply Setting and Fixing Sprays

  • Start by ensuring your makeup is complete and evenly applied. Hold the spray bottle approximately 6-8 inches from your face to avoid oversaturation or uneven distribution. 
  • For makeup setting spray, gently mist your face with an even layer of the product, moving the bottle in a circular motion to ensure all areas are covered. Allow the spray to dry naturally, or use a fan to speed up the process. 
  • When applying fixing spray, follow the same process but focus on spraying a slightly heavier layer to ensure a secure hold. Concentrate on areas where makeup tends to fade or smudge, such as the T-zone, cheeks, and chin. 
  • Once applied, allow the spray to dry completely before touching your face or applying additional makeup. Avoid rubbing or touching your face to prevent disrupting the setting or fixing spray. 

Read also: Primer Vs Concealer.


What’s the difference between setting and fixing spray?

Setting spray is designed to prolong makeup wear by creating a lightweight barrier on the skin’s surface. Generally, it helps the makeup last longer and maintain its appearance throughout the day. Fixing spray, on the other hand, acts as a sealant, forming a protective film over the makeup to ensure it remains intact and flawless for extended periods

Can I use a setting spray as fixing spray or vice versa?

I do not recommend you interchange the setting and fixing sprays because they will not provide the desired results. They have distinct formulations and functions. Setting spray helps set makeup in place, while fixing spray locks it and offers superior longevity. 

Should I use both setting and fixing spray together?

Yes, you can, although it is not necessary. However, if you have specific makeup needs or require long-lasting hold for special occasions, you may layer both products for added security. Start with setting spray to prolong makeup wear, then follow up with fixing spray for enhanced longevity and durability.

What goes first, fixing or setting spray?

Setting spray should be applied before fixing spray. Start by applying setting spray to set makeup in place and prolong its wear time. Once the setting spray has dried, follow up with fixing spray to provide an extra layer of protection and ensure long-lasting hold. This sequence helps maximize the effectiveness of both products for optimal makeup performance.

Verdict: Setting vs Fixing Spray

Armed with the knowledge gained from this exploration, you’re now equipped to make informed choices that suit your unique needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking to prolong the wear of your makeup, control shine, or achieve a flawless finish, setting and fixing sprays offer solutions to elevate your beauty routine. 

Embrace the power of these transformative products, and let your makeup journey be an adventure filled with endless possibilities. With the right spray, your makeup game will always be on point.

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