Makeup Setting Spray Reviews

I have been working on a review of makeup setting sprays for a good chunk of the summer. I live in KS where it is hot and humid in the summer so if you don’t want your makeup to slide down your face by midday a makeup setting spray is a must.

I actually didn’t use a makeup setting spray before this summer and just dealt with the melting!  This year I decided enough was enough and set out to find a great setting spray!  Some of these can also be used as a primer but I only used it as the last step in my morning makeup routine to set my face.  
I decided to test a mix of drugstore and higher end makeup setting sprays. I tested each of them for at least 5 days in a row (some a lot longer). I applied them only one time in the morning and did not reapply during the day. I wore my makeup at minimum for 12 hours a day. I have combination skin that is oily in the summer. 
Here is the lineup!


Size – 3.4oz
Price – $28 or $8.24 per oz 
Ingredients – Avobenzone 3.0%, Homosalate 4.0%, Octinoxate 6.0%, Octisalate 3.0%, Alcohol denat, Butyloctyl salicylate, Isododecane, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Silicia silylate, Water, PVP, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Mentha piperita (Peppermint) stem/leaf oil, Menthaviridis (Spearmint) leaf oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) leaf oil
Scent – mint
Finish – matte  
Pros- contains SPF, smells good 
Cons – contains alcohol, takes a long time to dry, greasy, pricey – the most expensive per ounce that I tested.  
Review – I was excited to try this out when I received this in a Popsugar Must Have box. I’ve tried Supergoop products before and I like them.  Also it’s great that this also has SPF in it so I don’t have to apply that separately. I tried this a couple of times in different weather to see if I could get a better result when it wasn’t as humid. Unfortunately I had the same experience no matter the temperature, greasy skin!  First it takes a long time to dry, hours on my skin. Then by mid-day my skin just was so greasy when I used this! I would have to use several blotting sheets during the day to keep the shine away. My makeup would be melted off before the end of the day. I’ve heard that some people really like this, but for me it did not work at all. 

Size – 3.4oz

Price – $22 or $6.47 per oz 

Ingredients – Water, Butylene glycol, Cucumisa Sativus (Cucumber) fruit extract, Chamomilla sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, Tocopheryl acetate, Caffeine, Panethenol, Arginine, Ethylhexlglycerin, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Lavendar fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Dehydroacetic acid, Phenoxethanol, Benzoic acid

Scent – Lavender

Finish – normal 

Pros- smells good, dries fast, a nice fine mist, alcohol free 

Cons – probably should reapply once for best results

Review – I heard great things about this so I absolutely wanted to try this out. I bought this limited edition scented one brand new from someone I know online. The smell is a light lavender scent. The spray, or mist rather, is really fine and I found it to be perfect!  It dries incredibly fast and has good staying power. Mostly I love how my skin looks after using this, it’s not heavy and looks really natural. I probably could reapply this about mid- day for optimal usage but it still really keeps the grease from creeping up on my face with only applying in the morning. Needless to say I loved this!


Size – 3.4oz

Price – $24 or $7.05 per oz 

Ingredients –  Water, Alcohol,  PVP, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium sorbate, Sodium benzoate, Mineral oil, Aloe barbadensis leaf extract, Polyhodroxystearic acid, Isononyl isononanoate, Ethylhexylsonoate, Sodium cocamidopropyl, IPG – dimomium chloride phosphate, cucumber fruit extract, fragrance

Scent – light

Finish – matte  

Pros- dries fast, long lasting, great finish

Cons – contains alcohol and mineral oil, only available at Sephora

Review – I have become a big fan of Kat Von D products over the summer and this setting spray is no exception. This is definitely a favorite and is the longest lasting spray I tried. There is truly no need to reapply over the day. I love the finish as it makes your face really soft and it looks great. It doesn’t have the greatest ingredients but I had no adverse reaction to using it.  


Size – 3.4oz

Price – $16.99 or $4.99 per oz. 

Ingredients –  Water, Alcohol denat, PVP, Dimethicone, PEG-7 Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyhydroxystearic acid,Isononyl isononanoate, PPG-3 benzyl ether, Myristate poloxamer 407, Ethylhexl isononanoate, sodium benzoate, sodium cocamidopropyl PG- Dimonium chloride, Phosphate, Potassium sorbate, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, limonen, linalool, fragrance. 

Scent – light 

Finish – matte  

Pros- dries fast, nice spray 

Cons – contains alcohol and more chemical ingredients, doesn’t last all day, greasy 

Review – This was the first drug store brand that I tried and I’d heard some good things about this one.  Unfortunately this one did not work well for me.  It left me really greasy after just a few hours and I did not feel it worked well at locking in my makeup at all. Total fail for me. 


Size – 4oz

Price – $30 or $7.50 per oz

Ingredients –  Water, Alcohol denat, polyhydroxystearic acid, PVP, methyl perfluorbutyl ether, methyl perflouroisobutyl ether, dimethicone PEG-7 phosphate, PPG-3 benzyl ether myristate, caprylyl glycol, methyl methacrylate crosspolymer, poloxamer 407, sodium hydroxide, sodium cocamidopropyl PG dimonium, chloride phosphate, glycereth-5 lacate, N,2,3-trimethyl-2, isopropyl butamide, ethylhexyl isononanoate, isononyl isononanoate, fragrance, aloe barbadensis leaf extract. 

Scent – light 

Finish – matte  

Pros- dries fast, works well

Cons – contains alcohol and more chemical ingredients, leaves some dry spots on face. 

Review – This was the first makeup setting spray I purchased and tried and it works well. I think this is the longest lasting of all, except maybe the Kat Von D; that I tried as my makeup looks great after many hours of wear. I don’t like that it tends to dry my face out and leave dry patches after several days of use in a row, probably due to all the chemicals in this spray. Ultimately, I think there are better sprays out there. 


Size – 2.03oz

Price – $7.99 or $3.94 per oz

Ingredients –  Water, alcohol, propylene glycol, PVP, Phenoxethanol, Disodium EDTA, niacinamide



Pros- dries fast, works well, cheap, easily available

Cons – contains alcohol, not really a dewy finish, spray is quite forceful

Review – The NYX spray comes in dewy and matte finishes and I chose the dewy. This has a short ingredient listing including some alcohol which is prevelant in makeup setting sprays. I found it interesting that this contains niacinamide which is often in skincare whitening products. I really didn’t notice that effect but I thought this did work well as a makeup setting spray. The one thing I didn’t like was the spray is not really a mist. It had a much heavier spray and it was a bit hard to apply it evenly. Despite that this was one of my favorites. 


Size – 2.02 oz

Price – $6.99 or $3.46 per oz

Ingredients –  Water, AMP-acrylates/allyl methacrylate copolymer, propylene glycol, tocooheryl acetate (ve) retinyl palmitate (va), asorbyl palmitate (vc), green tea extract, cucumbis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, butylparaben, phenoxyethanol

Scent – none

Finish – normal

Pros- dries fast, cheap, easily available

Cons – contains parabens,  spray is quite forceful 

Review – This is the cheapest spray I tested and for the cost it worked ok but I would spend a little extra and get the  NYX for a cheaper version. This also has a lot of parabens which I don’t exclude in my skincare but don’t seek out either. Again the spray on this was forceful and uneven, similar to the NYX. If I was going to use this as my normal setting spray I would put this in a different mist bottle. Wasn’t a big fan of this one.  
Size – 4.22 oz. (full size I got the travel version)

Price – $30 or $7.11 per oz

Ingredients –  Water, methylpropandrol, pentyleneglycol, AMP-acrylates/Allylmethacrylate copolymer, ethylhexylglycerin, phenoxyethanol, parfum, tropa olum majus extract, biosaccharide gum-1, methylparaben, tocooherol benzyl salicylate, limonene, linalool

Scent – none

Finish – matte

Pros- dries fast, works well, nice spray 

Conscontains parabens, pricey

Review – This is a nice setting spray. I thought it worked well and had a really nice mist. It is quite expensive and is a bit limited as to where you can purchase it. I liked it but there were others I liked better. 

PH testing. So this is the portion of my review that I caution you to take with a grain of salt. I PH testing these makeup sprays out of curiousity and I will post the results here. Keep in mind that I tested these in a completely unscientific method with ph strips in my bathroom. I am not even sure that ph matters one bit since I used this as my final step over many layers of skincare and makeup. My opinion is this; I wouldn’t stop from using  a makeup setting spray just because it has a high ph. However, if I get the same results from one or more sprays, I would choice to use the one with lower ph.  Here are the results listed from a low ph of around 4 to a high of 7. 

MAC, NYX, Urban Decay, Supergoop, Loreal, Kat Von D, elf, Makeup Forever

Results – So after months of testing I came up with a clear winner, two clear losers and a few really good setting sprays. In order of my preference here they are!
MAC, Kat Von D, NYX, Makeup Forever, Urban Decay, elf, Loreal, Supergoop

The MAC Prep + Primer Fix+ was my overwhelming favorite. It just worked so well with my skin that I say this is my holy grail product. The Kat Von D and NYX were both close runners up. The Loreal and Supergoop just did not work well for me and I don’t even plan to finish these they were so ineffective for me. The middle group of Makeup Forever, Urban Decay and elf are ok sprays but I feel like there are betters out there for me. 

Hope this helps you to make an informed decision about makeup sprays. Since all of our skin is so different I’m curious how each of your experience has been with these, so please comment below!  Overall, I really had fun testing these out!

Author: had4567

One thought on “Makeup Setting Spray Reviews”

  1. Just so you know, the lower the pH is, the more acidic it is. So the setting sprays that are 7 are basically pure water. The ones that are four are around the acidity of tomato juice, or acid rain. Above seven is a base.


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