setting spray vs setting powder
Image credit: Allure

Nobody puts on makeup in the anticipation that it won’t last all day. We look at the products that last the longest—those that endure work, a night out, and perhaps even that impending winter. Through it all, we’ve concluded that a decent setting product is necessary for extending wear. But which one still begs the question? The two staples of setting powder and setting spray are familiar to you. Depending on your skin type and the finish you want, to keep your makeup in place, you can use either setting spray or setting powder. Despite having similar sounds, they differ in a few significant ways ( setting powder vs setting spray). Keep reading to learn the best setting spray for powder foundation and the difference between setting powders and setting sprays( Setting spray vs setting powder).

Setting Spray vs Setting Powder

Every makeup routine must include setting powder and sprays. Despite their resemblance, both products aim to make your makeup last longer. However, there are several important distinctions that can change how well they work and how long they last.

Knowing the difference between setting powder and setting spray( setting spray vs setting powder) will change the way you look depending on your skin’s type, condition, and desired level of finish.

What Is Setting Powder?

Setting powder is frequently used on the face to achieve a matte appearance. It is a loose, jet-milled powder that is applied with a brush or a puff. It does exactly what it says and keeps your makeup in place all day.

Depending on the aesthetic you want, setting powders are available in an enormous variety of colors or as a translucent veil. While tinted variants are used to warm up or deepen a foundation, colorless versions are universal for all skin tones.

Who Are Setting Powders Best Suited For?

If your skin is oily or mixed, using a setting powder can offer better results as it helps to absorb moisture and keeps your makeup looking fresh even if you have cracking or excess oil throughout the day.

Many of us often ponder questions like “Can you apply setting spray over powder?” and “Do you need both setting powder and setting spray?” ( setting spray vs setting powder).

Setting powder, which absorbs better than powder and sits on the skin for a shorter period, should be used instead of setting spray( setting spray vs setting powder) when applying foundation or a lot of concealers to prevent that glossy effect.

The Benefits of Setting Powder

You could prefer a powder if your complexion is oily or mixed or if your makeup bleeds throughout the day. 

Setting powders are useful for removing oil, often only where it is needed and not all over. It is ideal for keeping makeup in place and can help absorb surplus oil from your skin.

How to Apply Setting Powder

Depending on the finish you want, you can either use a lot or a little powder after selecting it. Here is an example of how to accomplish it:

  • To ensure even (but precise) placement, use a soft brush with a tapered end.
  • Swirl your brush into your powder and use it to make circular motions all over your face, paying special attention to the t-zone and the area around the sides of your nose (these are areas where the skin gets oilier and the product can wear away faster).
  • For a complete face, use a large, flat powder brush.

What Is Setting Spray?

An atomizer mists a liquid over the skin as a setting spray. A setting spray produces a softer result with a less obvious texture than setting powder, which is used to absorb oil all over or only in specific places (with a more matte finish).

It is used to keep all of the makeup on your face in place, including lipstick, mascara, and setting powder. It is also used on the entire body, not just the face. And while some keep things matte, others offer a more dewy look.

Which Skin Types Respond Better to Setting Sprays?

Setting sprays can be used instead of powders on dry and mature skin types( setting spray vs setting powder). Their capacity to keep moisture and produce a softer, more youthful appearance aids in minimizing aging symptoms and enhancing skin health. 

To combat excessive oil production, persons with oily skin can benefit from setting sprays containing components like aloe vera, witch hazel, and rose water.

The Benefits of Setting Spray

Different setting sprays are more suited to different skin types. Humectant mists are ideal for dry skin since they pull and hold moisture to the skin.. 

For instance, Tatcha claims that its Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, which contains 20% botanical oils, leaves the skin moisturized and velvety. Then there are illuminating mists, which spray on the face to add radiance and glow and contain tiny, light-reflecting particles.

How to Apply Setting Spray

  • If you don’t want big water droplets to mess with your makeup, hold the spray at least 14 inches away from your face.
  • Spray your forehead and then the middle of your face while keeping your eyes closed.
  • Finish by applying two more sprays to your face’s sides and one last time to your chin and neck.
  • You can proceed once it has dry.

Best Setting Powder

The best setting powders include:

#1. Armani Beauty Neo Nude Compact Powder Foundation 

It is better to choose talc- or mineral-based powder for oil-absorbing properties, such as Armani Beauty’s Neo Nude Powder Foundation. 

It’s ideal for the “no makeup” makeup look as well.

#2. Ilia Soft Focus Finishing Powder 

This powder contains substances like silica, mica, and cornstarch, which are good for giving the skin a silky, texture-free look that is transparent and unnoticeable. 

Hence, you can use Ilia’s Soft Focus Finishing Powder for a blurred appearance because of its light recipe made of organic powders and oils. 

#3. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Powder Foundation 

A variety of setting powders with skin tones are available from Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r, including “banana powder,” a glowy shade that won’t make you seem ashy or washed out. 

The favorite face powder for a light finish over foundation, concealer, and other face makeup is Pat McGrath Labs’ Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Powder, which is granulated and simple to apply.

Is Setting Spray Better Than Setting Powder? ( Setting Spray vs Setting Powder)

A setting spray produces a softer result with a less obvious texture compared to setting powder, which is used to absorb oil all over or only in specific places (with a more matte finish). It is also used to keep all of your makeup on your face in place, including lipstick, mascara, and setting powder.

Is Setting Spray the Same as Finishing Powder?

No, setting powder gives the face an airbrushed gloss and diffuses makeup to help blend, while the finishing powder, applied after setting powder, blurs skin imperfections and reduces shine.

Best setting spray for powder foundation

#1. Cover FX Illuminating Setting Spray 

A fantastic mattifying and illuminating spray is available from Cover FX in its selection of setting products. Switching to a spray might be better if you have dry, flaky skin, especially in the winter. People with drier skin prefer sprays since they set makeup without adding texture or more coverage.

While witch-hazel and rose water are two more ingredients that can help manage oil, aloe is a calming ingredient that is good to have in a setting spray.

#2. MAC Prep + Prime Fix 

There are other formulations of MAC Prep + Prime Fix+, including rose, coconut, and lavender, that are calming. 

The delicate mist keeps your makeup looking polished and is ideal for a mid-afternoon skin refresh.

#3. Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Spray 

This is one of the best setting spray for powder foundation that is excellent for combination skin and works to combat dryness and dullness. 

This ultra-fine mist will keep skin dewy all day thanks to the use of hibiscus extract and coconut water.

#4. Colour Pop Hydrating Setting Mist 

This is one of the best setting spray for a powder foundation that softens and moisturizes skin while extending the wear of makeup. 

The components in mattifying mists, which are designed for oily skin, can keep skin matte and control excess shine.

Setting Spray or Powder First?( Setting spray vs Setting Powder)

Before foundation and setting spray, use powder. Apply setting spray liberally. 10 to 15 seconds until sticky and wet. 

Do You Need a Setting Spray if You Use Powder?

If you have oily skin and enjoy wearing a full face of makeup, a setting spray is important unless you enjoy touching up your makeup. When you end your routine by spritzing on this light solution, it dries to a silky, matte finish that will prevent your T-zone from becoming oily spray.


The needs of your skin and the style you’re striving for will determine how you set your makeup. In either case, experts advise using this “invisible” step in your morning and evening cosmetic routines to produce results that last all day.

Disclaimer Disclosure

We duly express our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences about the content or products in question. Opinions and viewpoints expressed on this site are the opinions of people and the blogger. Any claim or other representation about a product should be verified with the manufacturer, as we won’t be held responsible for any positive or negative effect. 

Setting Spray vs Setting Powder FAQs

How long do you leave the setting powder on?

Apply the powder, let it bake for 5 to 10 minutes, and then dust off the excess.

What does setting spray actually do?

The solvent in the setting spray evaporates as it applies to your skin, leaving the polymer behind. It also creates a film when the polymer droplets combine, keeping your makeup in place and offering some waterproofing power.

Do you apply setting powder before or after foundation?

After foundation and concealer, use powder. Dab the brush in the powder and pat off any excess on the container’s side.


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