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The Real Deal with Setting Sprays

You just spent around $30 on a setting spray that you’re expecting will shellac your makeup to your face for 24 hours. But, I gotta tell ya... 

... the setting spray you’re using... it’s not real.  


I need you to pause. Breathe. Embrace the fact that Instagram and YouTube can sometimes be wrong. Just sometimes. I’m here to tell you that I’ve seen some very determined clients try to tell me that the product I've worked with professionally for years is in fact a "setting" spray because someone on YouTube told them it was.

I’m here to help you accept the news I’m about to break...


...these products are so useful for your makeup routine, but it's not okay for you to think that they’re all extending the longevity of your makeup. 

NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray... worth mentioning. It is meant to set makeup. Its price point is phenomenal at around $6 a bottle. But… it doesn’t work. Well, it didn’t work for me. I love NYX products -- they’re wallet-friendly and comparable to high-end brands. But this missed the mark. 

MAC Cosmetics Fix Plus Finishing Spray is iconic. I use it in my routine everyday, not to mention on nearly every single client I have. The glycerin-based hydrating spray wakes up the skin prior to the application of moisturizer. It will make those thirsty pores real happy. But it will not set your makeup.

A few sprays of Fix Plus will make your powdered makeup feel much more comfortable on your skin following an intense application. Fix Plus is meant to finish, meaning it will complete the experience of makeup application by fitting the makeup to the skin. It’s like a bed sheet -- it completes the bed but isn’t the part that keeps you warm all night.

Lastly, the unsung hero of the setting spray world that you’ve probably never heard of. This is the only -- I repeat, only -- setting spray on the market that I've found to work as it claims. Final Seal by Ben Nye is a setting spray formulated for professional use in theater and cinema. It smells minty fresh (like Listerine, to be honest), and has lived up to every promise. A 16-ounce bottle is $38, just six dollars more than Urban Decay's All Nighter at $32 for a one ounce bottle. The math is simple. There are some downsides to this Godsent product, though. It's minty scent could irritate the eyes and it could aggravate overly sensitive skin. But, its the only setting spray that I could tell you from experience, honestly and truly works.

Now. Urban Decay All Nighter? She works. She works hard. At $32 a bottle, she better be doin’ somethin’. The brand claims a 16-hour wear, which is why I added this product to my kit in 2016. I’ve used it on clients who told me their makeup lasted them until the next day (don’t sleep in your makeup, please. That’s another post). I personally haven’t had that kind of experience. Though I think this spray is phenomenal, it’s not the greatest riding solo; you have to make sure your skin care and priming routine are on point, and this setting spray will do its job right.

You had to know this.


Children, at some point, need to know that Santa Claus isn’t real, and you needed to know that not all setting sprays do what you think they do. But, just like Santa, if you believe in the spray, you’ll be able to feel its magic.

Probably not. It’s not the same. But, do you, girl.

Always, Alexa 

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