The Gloss Report: Makeup fixing sprays

December 3rd 2014 / Elizabeth Bennett Google+ Elizabeth Bennett


Flawless makeup that stays put is the holy grail of grooming. We set out to see whether these makeup fixers could pass the Gloss test

NYX Make Up Setting Spray - Dewy Finish


Price £8

Buy online

Feedback "Keeping your make-up looking fresh throughout the day is one of life’s biggest beauty battles. A combination of sweaty commute, daily stresses and inevitable rainfall mean that by 5pm I’m typically a completely melted mess. So the Glossy Posse thought it was about time we tested some make-up fixing products to see if we could finally keep our faces looking flawless.

"I was testing the NYX fixing spray that promised a ‘dewy finish’ - a look that I am on a constant mission to achieve. In practice it came out less like a lightweight spray and more like a bombardment of wet droplets that caused all manner of problems for my recently applied mascara - not a terrific start. It also smelt a little like cheap hairspray. Call me old fashioned, but I like something to have a nice scent if it’s being sprayed all over my face.

"After leaving it to dry for around five minutes I was left with a glowy sheen and my make-up did appear smoother and even slightly silkier. By the end of the day much of this fresh-faced glow had vanished and I definitely didn’t have the ‘just-applied’ look about me. Having said that, there was a noticeable improvement in the even coverage of my make-up, particularly when it came to the staying power of my concealer.

"This isn’t exactly a miracle product, but it’s relatively inexpensive and is quite effective for temporarily fixing make-up and giving a light fresh-faced gleam to makeup. In general it’s probably best used as an instant pick-me-up rather than a day-long saviour."

Reviewer KR

Score 6/10

Cheeky Freeze Frame Make Up Setting Spray


Price £10

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Feedback "I demand a lot from my make-up. I apply it at 8am and expect it to last the distance come rain, shine or gym session. Reapplication pre-night out is a faff and carting cosmetics cases about isn’t ideal. Who wouldn’t wish for a magic potion to keep it all in place?

"I’m not sure that this setting spray quite earned ‘abracadabra’ status, but combined with a primer and finishing powder it certainly boosts your make-up’s staying power. Spritzed on from arm’s length, it made my face feel quite damp, but it soon dried to a matte, invisible finish. I found I needed to touch up my make-up much less during the day, but by evening some of it had begun to slide. Nothing a dab of concealer couldn’t fix, but my make-up wasn’t quite ‘frozen’ in place as promised. Then again the thought of an impenetrable seal over my face is a little disconcerting - I think a little slippage is the natural order of things. A good safety net, but not one for those seeking bulletproof makeup."

Reviewer AH

Score 7/10

Kiko Face Make Up Fixer


Price £7.90

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Feedback “Everything about this product sounds like a great idea to me. Fragrance-free: perfect for sensitive skin. Chamomile extract: even better for sensitive skin. Plus who doesn't want their make-up to stay on for longer? Come lunchtime my concealer has usually stopped concealing quite so well, and my eyes look somewhat dull compared to when I last looked at them in the mirror that morning. However, much as I love Kiko as a brand, this spray does not have me as a fan. It's essentially hairspray for your face. You know how when you spray a bit too much Elnett or similar, and end up having a coughing fit? That's what happened when I used this fixing spray. The smell, though gloriously fragrance-free, was pure aerosol; that alcohol-filled scent that you get when trying to spray body spray that has run out. That said, it delivers a fine mist and settles instantly so you can't see it or even feel it - so fumes aside, it looks and feels good. Hours later my make-up did seem more intact than usual, but I'm not sure it's worth the breathing problems first thing in the morning."

Reviewer JJ

Score 5/10

Mac Fix+


Price £14.50

Buy Online

Feedback "I have oily skin, so for me it’s all about powder, powder and more powder. I can sniff out a mattifying/fixing product from a mile off and the last thought that would ever cross my mind would be to spritz my face with any liquid, even if it is made by the pros at MAC. That said, I was feeling adventurous and gave it a whirl. After applying my primer, foundation and a little powder (instead of half a pot as per usual) I then spritzed my face with Fix+. I usually detest any spritzing products but this formula, complete with green tea, chamomile and cucumber, was actually very refreshing. It only took a few seconds to dry and after a hectic commute to work my colleagues complimented my 'dewy' and 'glowy' complexion. This was definitely a departure from my usual powdered self and it didn't last all day, but then neither do the effects of my finishing powder. However, it did leave me with a more natural-looking radiant complexion, which really was a pleasant surprise. If it can do this for problem skin, I'd imagine it would work wonders for all other skin types."

Reviewer KB

Score 8/10

Collection 2000 ‘Fix Me Up’ Long Lasting Makeup Fixer


Price £5.99

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Feedback “Once I’ve finished applying my make-up in the morning, I’m left looking fresh-faced and ready to present myself to the world. But throw in a last-minute rush to leave, a packed train and heated office and things tend to head down south. By the end of the day, my eyeliner is smeared under my eyes, my blusher has disappeared, and my eyebrow pencil has smudged on to my temple. I’d never used a finishing spray before but I hoped that this would be the beginning of a new love affair.

"The Collection 2000 Makeup Fixer claimed that it adds radiance and would keep my makeup in place all day. All so promising - until I used it.

"This spray comes out in a pump, meaning that its application can be quite uneven. Despite keeping it at the recommended distance, I was left with wet patches all over my face – not a great look. The bottle describes it as a ‘weightless mist’ but I found it quite heavy and thick. I thought that it would eventually absorb into the skin, but no such luck. When the wet-look did finally disappear, there was a hint of dewiness but my face was left feeling sticky and I could feel it every time I moved.

"My foundation did stay in place, but I’m not sure if that was really down to this product. The rest of my make-up began to fade as normal and the so-called ‘radiance’ was very short-lived."

Reviewer HI

Score 2/10

Diego Dalla Palma Make-up Fixer


Price £19

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Feedback "I’ve been rained on, leaned on and found myself face first on the back of a stranger this morning. Oh the joys of the London commute. But was I left racoon-eyed and shinier than a mirror ball when I stepped into the office? Surprisingly, no.

"This particular fixing spray was light, pretty fast-drying, refreshingly un-tacky and easy to use: just spritz, wait and dash out the door. Whether it’s worth the price tag though, I’m not completely convinced. It did give my eye make-up some extra staying power, but the shine of my T-zone could only be kept at bay until about midday.

"That said, despite rain flying every which way (except on my actual umbrella), my face was left relatively unscathed. My hair on the other hand was another story. The words ‘crazed’ and ‘yeti’ have never been more apt…"

Reviewer AM

Score 7/10

Urban Decay Chill Makeup Setting Spray


Buy online

Price £20

Feedback "There are a lot of good things about this product. First up, unlike a lot of sprays, it's really easy to apply - you get a fine mist of product across your face that dries instantly, not a faceful of water that makes your mascara run. The finish gives enough glow to refresh your skin, but not so much that it looks shiny, and it does seem to do a good job of keeping make-up in place. This may be something to do with the 'thermal control technology' that claims to chill the surface of your make-up to stop it overheating and sliding off. Very futuristic.

"My main issue is the same one I have with many foundations: I hate the feeling of a product sitting on my skin. Despite its impressive performance, I’ve knocked off a few points because I could feel this on my face for several hours after application. For me, the perfect products are the ones you can apply and then completely forget that you’re wearing them."

Reviewer LO

Score 7/10

Clarins Fix Make-up


Price: £22

Buy online:

Feedback: “The text for this product says that it ‘Sets make-up and prolongs hold, while providing a feeling of instant freshness and wellbeing. Also provides continuous hydration and comfort’. So I decided to put this spritz to the ultimate test by wearing it out fitness training in the rain. The results? I don’t wear a huge amount of red-carpet worthy make-up to do my press-ups in, however what I did have on (bit of blush, concealer, nude eyeshadow) stayed put despite sweat and horrid February British drizzle.

“One thing I didn’t like is that it leaves the skin shiny (but extremely glowy), although it definitely feels hydrating. The shine could easily be solved with a bit of translucent powder applied over the top however, and all-in-all I’d say it would make a great fix for occasions such as important days, weddings, parties or nights when you need your make-up to go the extra mile.”

Reviewer: ST

Score: 8/10

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