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Setting Spray Vs Powder: The Ultimate Guide to Setting Your Makeup

CEO Tinh Phung
Have you ever been torn between using a setting spray or setting powder to lock your makeup in place? We understand your dilemma. While both options aim to achieve the same goal, setting powders offer...

The-Puzzle-Makeup-Kit

Have you ever been torn between using a setting spray or setting powder to lock your makeup in place? We understand your dilemma. While both options aim to achieve the same goal, setting powders offer a wide range of additional benefits. With countless formulas available, from pressed to loose powders and mattifying to dewy setting sprays, deciding which one to choose can be overwhelming. But worry not, we're here to provide you with all the essential details to help you make the right choice based on your preferences and skin needs. So, whether you prefer a matte or dewy finish, read on to discover the best option for setting your next glam look.

The Lowdown on Setting Powder

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If you've ever felt perplexed by the powder game, we've got you covered. Setting powder is available in two options: translucent (without color) or pigmented, which blends with your unique skin tone. It is applied after applying any cream or liquid products, such as foundation or concealer, and helps to prevent your base from shifting on your skin. Depending on the type of setting powder and how you apply it, it can also brighten, mattify, or sculpt your skin.

There are plenty of formulas to choose from, including pressed and loose powders, as well as glowy and mattifying options. Ultimately, the choice depends on the finish you desire.

Loose Powders: The Multi-Tasking Heroes

GloWish powder brush

Once you start using loose powder, there's no going back. It's a game-changer that goes beyond expectations. Here's how to make the most of this multi-tasking hero:

  • To set your makeup: A light dusting of finely-milled loose powder blurs and softens the appearance of pores and texture while enhancing the staying power of your makeup, especially on hot and humid days when melting is a concern. Simply dip a large fluffy brush into the powder, tap off any excess, and lightly dust a veil of powder across your face.

  • To mattify your makeup: If you have oily skin, loose powder not only prevents your makeup from shifting but also helps to control shine. Dip a large fluffy brush into our Huda Beauty Easy Bake Loose Setting Powder, $35, and apply a light dusting all over your face for long-lasting makeup. Alternatively, if you want to keep the high points of your face looking dewy, only apply powder to your T-zone or other areas prone to oiliness.

  • To sculpt and define: We can't talk about loose powders without mentioning THE secret to flawless makeup that lasts - baking. Baking is a powder application technique that brightens, sets, and defines different areas of your face, resulting in a sculpted finish. To bake, dip a damp makeup sponge into your powder and apply a thick layer to the areas you want to brighten and set. We recommend baking the undereye area, around frown lines, the center of your forehead, and underneath your cheekbone contour. Allow it to set for three to ten minutes, and then dust away any excess powder using a fluffy brush. For more details, check out our baking guide.

However, a word of caution for those with dry skin: loose powders can sometimes feel drying. If you desire a matte finish, make sure to hydrate your skin before applying makeup and use a light dusting of powder.

Pressed Powders: The High-Coverage, Mess-Free Alternative

Setting Spray Vs Powder: WTF Should You Use To Set Your Makeup?

Pressed powders are convenient and offer high coverage without the mess associated with loose powders. They are particularly suitable for those new to using powder products.

These powders come in a wide range of shades, allowing for precise application using a flat puff or makeup sponge. Simply dip your brush into the formula, sweep or press the powder onto your skin, and build it up for your desired coverage. Our go-to choice is the GloWish Luminous Pressed Powder, $33, as it provides a stunning yet natural skin finish. We also recommend trying the BLK/OPL Oil Absorbing Powder, $12.

By combining different powders, you can further enhance your makeup. For example, use our Easy Bake Loose Setting Powder, $35, to bake under the eyes and prevent creasing and smudging. Then, dust the GloWish Luminous Pressed Powder all over your face to achieve a glowing, natural finish.

The Lowdown on Setting Spray

Setting Spray Vs Powder: WTF Should You Use To Set Your Makeup?

Setting sprays work by sealing every layer of your makeup, including foundation, mascara, and even setting powders. There is a wide array of formulas available, catering to various preferences, such as a natural complexion, natural sheen, or a matte finish, depending on your skin's needs.

For a subtle glow, consider using the Rare Beauty Always An Optimist 4-in-1 Prime & Set Mist, $24. This mist is enriched with a botanical blend of lotus, gardenia, and white waterlily, providing hydration and plumping benefits while preparing and setting your makeup. If you prefer a matte finish, our Huda Beauty Resting Boss Face Waterproof Setting Spray, $33, is an excellent choice. We also highly recommend reapplying SPF throughout the day. That's why we love the Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen, $44, which offers enhanced protection when applied on top of your makeup.

To apply a setting spray, make it the last step in your routine. Hold the spray at least 14 inches away from your face, close your eyes, and spritz it on the center and sides of your face, forehead, chin, and neck. Once it dries down, you're ready to go.

So Which One Should You Use?

Setting Spray Vs Powder: WTF Should You Use To Set Your Makeup?

Well, it's entirely up to you, boo! Setting products offer more than just longevity for your makeup. With a variety of formulas available, it's best to consider your desired finish, skin type, and wear time before making a decision. You can even combine setting powder and setting spray for an extra-long-lasting and flawless look. So go ahead and experiment! We love using both when we go all out with our glam.

However, if we had to choose one, the versatility of a good loose powder is unparalleled in our eyes!

What's your go-to product for setting your glam look? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. We never accept payment for reviewing products, and any affiliate links provided are only meant to earn us a commission if you make a purchase through them.

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