The 12 Best Setting Sprays for Long-Lasting Makeup

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The 12 Best Setting Sprays for Long-Lasting Makeup
Photo: Sephora/ InStyle

We've all been there: You put extra time and care into flawlessly blending and buffing your foundation, meticulously applying your eyeliner, and painting on your favorite lipstick. Then, maybe the heat or nerves has caused beads of sweat to drip down your forehead and above your upper lip. Before you know it, your makeup is smudged and runny, and there's no opportunity for you to do some quick damage control.

Luckily, there's an extremely easy way to avoid messing up your makeup. Enter makeup setting sprays. These ultra-fine mists lock your look in place without feeling like you have an extra layer of product on your face. "The main purpose of setting spray is essentially to set your makeup and increase the longevity of wear," professional makeup artist Jonet Williamson tells InStyle. "Some setting sprays are formulated to also help with oil control."

That being said, there's a ton of setting sprays out there, and each comes with their own set of benefits to suit various skin types and makeup styles. We sorted through the endless sea of options so that you don't have to and found the best setting sprays for every skin type, desired finish, and makeup look. We also paid close attention to their formula and lasting power to ensure we are recommending the best of the best. One product that really shines through the rest is the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Setting Spray for its oil-free formula, natural finish, and long-lasting hold.

Keep reading for the best setting sprays of 2022.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Setting Spray

Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Setting Spray
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What We Love: The finish is the perfect mix of dewy and matte.
What We Don't Love: It doesn't spray as evenly as we would like.

The MVP of setting sprays, this Urban Decay product remains a favorite among makeup artists and beauty lovers alike because the oil-free formula works great on all skin types. Those with oily skin, though, will especially appreciate that it's infused with kaolin clay for excess oil and shine control. It also has a satin finish that isn't too dewy or too matte. The microfine mist is lightweight and holds makeup in place for up to 16 hours, which means that you won't have to constantly re-spray.

Size: 4 fl oz | Lasting Power: 16 hours | Scented: Yes | Finish: Satin

Best Value: e.l.f Cosmetics Illuminating Mist & Set

e.l.f Cosmetics Illuminating Mist & Set
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What We Love: It has tons of soothing ingredients and a pleasant scent.
What We Don't Love: It could be more of a finer mist.

Packed with soothing ingredients like aloe, green tea, cucumber, and vitamins A, C, and E, this affordable setting spray does way more than just hold makeup in place and at a fraction of the cost. Whether you're going for full-coverage or an everyday look, this setting spray has you covered and will lock makeup in place all day long while nourishing the skin at the same time. It also helps prevent your makeup from fading and adds a glowy boost, just as the name implies.

Size: 2.02 fl oz | Lasting Power: All day | Scented: Yes | Finish: Glowy

Best Splurge: Tatcha Luminous Dewy Mist

Tatcha Luminous Dewy Mist
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What We Love: It adds a dewy finish and youthful glow to the skin.
What We Don't Love: It may be too shiny for oily skin types.

This mist is a must-have for anyone (OK all of us) who are after that elusive lit-from-within glow. Made with humectants and botanical oils, the hydrating formula works as a primer before applying makeup or as a way to refresh your skin throughout the day and keep your makeup from getting dry or cakey. It even helps combat signs of aging by using amino acids and other ingredients to increase collagen production, which also makes skin look plumper and more radiant. Although it is on the pricey side, the dewy finish and youthful look it gives makes it well worth the splurge.

Size: 1.35 fl oz | Lasting Power: 16 hours | Scented: Yes | Finish: Dewy

Best for Oily Skin: NYX Professional Makeup Matte Finish Setting Spray

Best Makeup Setting Sprays
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What We Love: It boasts a shine-free finish and all-day hold.
What We Don't Love: It feels a little sticky.

If you have oily skin, you are most likely familiar with melty, runny makeup. This popular spray from NYX sets makeup while mattifying skin, combating shine, and minimizing the appearance of pores. And it keeps your glam locked in and perfect all day long without letting sweat, texture, or dry spots ruin your look. The price cannot be beat either and it works just as well, if not better, than some higher end products.

Size: 2.03 fl oz | Lasting Power: All day | Scented: No | Finish: Matte

Best for Dry Skin: Rare Beauty Always An Optimist 4-in-1 Prime & Set Mist

Flawless Makeup Setting Spray
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What We Love: It's very hydrating and smooths skin texture.
What We Don't Love: Makeup can transfer easily.

This multitasking spray from Rare Beauty takes care of your skin during every phase of your glam, starting at prep and carrying you throughout the day. It's formulated with hydrating ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronate, which lock in moisture and make the skin look more supple. Since dry skin can get easily irritated, the formula also features a soothing botanical blend of lotus, gardenia and white waterlily. On top of providing a healthy-looking glow and extending the wear of makeup, this all-in-one mist will smooth away uneven texture as well.

Size: 2.87 oz | Lasting Power: 8-12 hours | Scented: Yes | Finish: Radiant

Best With SPF: Milani Cosmetics Make It Last Sunscreen Spray SPF 30

Best Setting Sprays
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What We Love: It has built-in UV protection and an antioxidant-rich formula.
What We Don't Love: It has a strong sunscreen smell to it.

Yes, no one wants their makeup to melt off their face, but protecting your skin against sun damage is equally as important as having flawless foundation. Luckily, Milani has combined makeup setting spray and SPF 30 into a single holy grail product. This micro mist locks makeup in place for up to 16 hours while hydrating the skin and shielding it from harmful UVA/UVB rays. It also features a lightweight feel and glow-boosting formula, making it perfect for daytime use.

Size: 2.02 fl oz | Lasting Power: 16 hours | Scented: Yes | Finish: Dewy

Best Long-Lasting: L'Oréal Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Make-Up Extender

L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender
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What We Love: It has a lightweight, oil-free formula.
What We Don't Love: It's not the best for dry skin.

If you're looking for a setting spray that doesn't budge, we've got just the one for you. L'Oréal's spray is ideal for extended periods of time because the lightweight mist keeps makeup looking freshly applied for hours on end — 24 to be exact. Unlike other sprays, it extends the wear of your makeup without causing it to cake, crease, or settle into fine lines, which is great news for those with mature skin. Bonus: The formula is oil-free and non-comedogenic, so you can rest assured knowing it won't clog pores or lead to breakouts.

Size: 3.4 fl oz | Lasting Power: 24 hours | Scented: No | Finish: Dewy

Best Primer: MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Primer & Setting Spray

Best Makeup Setting Sprays
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What We Love: It preps the skin and provides a great base for applying makeup.
What We Don't Love: It's pricey.

This two-in-one product primes skin for smooth, even makeup application and keeps it fresh for 12 hours when used to set. It also works as a great pick-me-up for your skin throughout the day thanks to its refreshing, hydrating formula. It's a great option for sensitive skin, too, as the formula is infused with green tea, chamomile, and cucumber, which soothes and calms redness. This versatile spray can even help improve the pigment of your favorite eyeshadows — just mist the bristles of your brush with the Prep + Prime Fix+ Primer & Setting Spray before applying to make your eyes really pop.

Size: 3.4 fl oz | Lasting Power: 12 hours | Scented: Yes | Finish: Dewy

Best Waterproof: Tarte Shape Tape Stay Spray

Tarte Shape Tape Stay Spray
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What We Love: It is a very fine mist and makeup doesn't budge even with water.
What We Don't Love: The scent can be too overpowering for some.

With this water-resistant, micro-fine setting mist by Tarte, you'll no longer have to worry about inclement weather ruining the makeup you put time and effort into. The formula is also sweat- and transfer-proof and infused with soothing ingredients like cucumber and aloe. One or two sprays of it will set your makeup for up to 16 hours and a few additional spritzes throughout the day will instantly refresh your skin. It also promises to prevent makeup from cracking, fading, or settling into fine lines and it is dermatologist-tested, so even sensitive skin types can enjoy this waterproof miracle spray.

Size: 4 fl oz | Lasting Power: 16 hours | Scented: Yes | Finish: Natural

Best Airbrush Finish: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Makeup Setting Spray

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Makeup Setting Spray
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What We Love: It enhances your complexion and makes the skin feel soft and supple.
What We Don't Love: The finish is very dewy, which may not be for everyone.

This setting spray by Charlotte Tilbury is TikTok-famous for its long-lasting hold and Instagram It offers 16-hour hold, complexion-boosting benefits, and a lightweight, hydrating formula. The unique formula features all the ingredients necessary for a healthy glow including Japanese green tea, aloe vera, and aromatic resin, which work together to blursaway pores, soften the look of fine lines, and improve the wear of your makeup. No fading or melting here! It is designed to be used as a primer and a setting spray and has a fresh, floral scent that you'll love. Note: If you are prone to oil, we recommend following up with a powder to keep any shine under control as it does have a dewy, glowy finish.

Size: 3.4 fl oz | Lasting Power: 16 hours | Scented: Yes | Finish: Dewy

Best Pore-Blurring: Benefit Cosmetics The Porefessional: Super Setter Pore-Minimizing Setting Spray

Flawless Makeup Setting Spray
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What We Love: It has a blurring effect and makes the skin look flawless.
What We Don't Love: It could hold up better in heat.

If the appearance of pores are your main concern, this texture-blurring setting spray will help smooth them away in addition to enhancing your glam. Its long-wear, water-based formula keeps your makeup fresh and locked in for up to 16 hours. It's also fade-, transfer-, and smudge-resistant. Those with oily skin won't have to worry about shine interrupting their day either thanks to its mattifying finish, which leaves the skin with an airbrushed, soft-focus finish. It's perfect for occasions where you'll be taking tons of flash photos!

Size: 1 or 4 fl oz | Lasting Power: 16 hours | Scented: No | Finish: Matte

Best Anti-Aging: Caudalie Beauty Elixir

Caudalie Beauty Elixir
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What We Love: It tones and tightens the skin.
What We Don't Love: It doesn't offer much hold.

This versatile spray improves the look of lines and texture with its skin-refining formula, which smooths, blurs, and brightens the complexion. Not only is it great for minimizing imperfections, but it also helps prevent the common signs of aging using antioxidant-rich ingredients like grape extract. It can be used as a setting spray, or as a midday touch-up spray for skin that's lacking in moisture. The versatile elixir could even be used as a toner as it features peppermint essential oil and soothing rose and rosemary oil.

Size: 1 fl oz | Lasting Power: 8-12 hours | Scented: Yes | Finish: Dewy

What to Keep in Mind

Formula

When it comes to selecting the right formula, Williamson suggests starting with the ingredient list. From there, you can tailor it to your skin's needs and your glam style. "With anything skincare related I always highly suggest paying attention to the ingredients and what it is formulated to do," she shares. "I believe there's a setting spray for every skin type. If you're someone with drier skin you'll want to use a setting spray with hydrating ingredients like essential oils and hyaluronic acid for added moisture. For oily skin, you may want to use a setting spray that will also help control oil and shine on the skin."

Staying Power

You should also pay attention to the staying power of your finishing spray as you'll definitely want your makeup looks to stay in place for as long as possible. Finishing sprays can offer hold from anywhere between 12 to 24 hours depending on the specific product. Consider how long you intend to wear your makeup and the setting — will it be hot out, will you be sweating etc. These factors will help determine how long-lasting your setting spray should be.

Your Questions, Answered

How do you use a setting spray?

Regardless of your makeup expertise, Williamson assures that setting sprays can fit seamlessly into your existing routine. "Ideally, you'll want this to be the final step in your makeup routine and should be sprayed about six inches from your face so that it falls lightly onto the skin," she explains. For some, it might be beneficial to prime their skin with a spritz or two or finish up with a sweep of powder to really refine the complexion and create long-wearing results. "A trick that I like to do for my clients with oily skin is to spray a layer of setting spray before and after makeup," Williamson adds. "For makeup that holds up under masks, I'd suggest double setting, which means using a setting powder and spray."

Can you apply setting spray to other parts of the body?

It's also important to note that setting spray isn't exclusive to the complexion; it can also be applied to the eyes and lips. In addition to locking your glam in place, Williamson recommends using a setting spray to take your eyeshadow to new heights. "Setting sprays can also come in handy when doing your eye makeup," she says. "It can turn a matte shadow into a cream liner and intensify the color payoff of shimmery shadows."

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