14 Best Setting Sprays of 2024 for All-Day Makeup Perfection, According to Makeup Artists

Editor Tip: Believe it or not, you can apply the Luminous Dewy Skin Mist onto hair for a quick shine boost or use it as a detangler.

Key Ingredients: Okinawa red algae, hyaluronic acid, green tea, rice and algae | Finish: Dewy | Waterproof: No

Best Dewy Setting Spray: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dewy Set Setting Spray

Anastasia Beverly Hills

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dewy Set Setting Spray

Why It’s Worth It: The Anastasia Beverly Hills Dewy Set Setting Spray is a one-way ticket to glowing skin—and it even smells like a vacation, thanks to yummy notes of coconut and vanilla. Its water-based formula feels like nothing, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t working some skin-plumping magic. As this lightweight spray sets your makeup, your skin will enjoy a dose of hydrating glycerin and moisturizing castor oil.

Editor Tip: Don’t be fooled by its glitzy bottle. This fan-favorite setting spray’s formula is free of glitter, sparkle, or shimmer.

Key Ingredients: Butylene glycol, purslane plant extract, panthenol | Finish: Dewy | Waterproof: No

Frequently Asked Questions

How does setting spray work?

Los Angeles-based cosmetic chemist Victoria Vohland told Allure that setting sprays create a barrier to prevent makeup from slipping, using primarily water, alcohol, and film formers. “A film former is a chemical put into cosmetics to give long-wear [benefits],” Vohland explained. Polymers and forms of glycerin are often used to form these protective films. Vohland went on to add that the alcohol in the spray functions as a volatile to repel water like a protective barrier.

“The setting spray is a more diluted version of a hair gel,” Vohland remarked. “What hair gel does is it coats the hair and keeps it in place, similar to what a setting spray does.” Despite the chemical similarities, setting spray formulas are tweaked to be safer and gentle enough for use on the face.

What’s the best way to apply setting spray?

Using a setting spray may seem pretty straightforward—spray it all over your face when you’re done with your makeup and call it a day, right? Not quite. According to New York City-based makeup artist Tommy, a little technique goes a long way. Tommy suggests applying setting spray in a zig-zag motion, starting on the forehead and moving down to the chin. “I spritz it on the skin from a distance to help rehydrate the face after applying makeup,” he says.

Another tip, courtesy of makeup artist Kate Lee, who works with celebrities such as Charlize TheronAnne Hathaway, and Emma Roberts, is to dampen a Beautyblender with a setting spray before using the sponge. This tactic helps smooth out dry patches and prevent creased makeup.

What kind of setting spray is best for me?

Ingredients vary between setting sprays, so keep your goals for your makeup and skin in mind as you browse the backs of bottles. If you want to curb your skin’s oil production, King advises looking for ingredients like silica to help absorb sebum. Botanical extracts can be a big help if you’re looking to moisturize and condition. Cincinnati-based cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos suggests hydrating, adhesive ingredients like glycerin. “Glycerin can be pretty tacky and may help makeup grip,” Dobos previously told Allure.

Meet the experts

  • Ashlee Glazer, a makeup artist
  • Ginger King, a cosmetic chemist
  • Victoria Vohland, a Los Angeles-based cosmetic chemist
  • Tommy, a New York City-based makeup artist
  • Kate Lee, a Los Angeles-based makeup artist
  • Kelly Dobos, a Cincinnati-based cosmetic chemist

How we test and review products

Before reviewing any makeup, we ask questions about a number of factors: What ingredients are in it? Does the brand offer a wide shade range inclusive of consumers with all skin tones and undertones? Is it safe for readers who have sensitive skin or wear contact lenses? Is it on the affordable side or more of a splurge? Is its packaging consciously designed or needlessly wasteful?

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