January 30th 2019
If you’ve ever misted your freshly made up face with hairspray, you’ll be familiar with the desire to make your makeup last as long as possible, but I must assure you that there’s another way. I was a ‘mister’ in the 90s (no, not a boy…), and I have far too heady memories of the chemical cloud invading my orifices, not to mention the sticky film of highly fragranced lacquer and resulting irritation that followed a good hairspray face date. It seemed worth it at the time, given that it made my tweeny bopper glittery blusher last throughout the school disco and beyond, but these days the hairspray trick is well and truly redundant, no matter your age, as there’s a makeup setting spray to suit everyone. Whether oily skin, hot flushes, flakiness or simply time itself are your makeup longevity nemeses, this line up have it covered…
Urban Decay makeup setting sprays enjoy well deserved cult status among makeup maniacs like myself, not to mention clubbers, office workers, gym bunnies and holiday goers. Given that most of us fit into at least one of these categories the majority of the time (hating on you if it’s the last one), it’s time you got acquainted with the makeup world’s magic mist. A variation on Urban Decay’s classic ‘All Nighter’ setting spray (does exactly what it says on the bottle), Chill Setting Spray, £24 for 118ml, not only prolongs and adds polish to your makeup, but it also cools and hydrates, taking you from hot and bothered to dewy and serene in a spritz. As well as freezing makeup for up to 12 hours, this contains aloe vera to soothe parched and clammy skin and boasts time-release temperature control technology to actively ‘chill’ the skin’s surface. The time release part evaded me somewhat, but a squirt of this in a stuffy office is pretty refreshing whether you need to give your makeup added powers of endurance or not.
This is the first ever makeup setting spray I remember seeing on the shelves, and the reformulated Clarins Fix’ Make Up , £24 for 50ml, does indeed feel very grown-up. Stimulating, reviving and almost aromatherapeutic, this feels more mini-facial than makeup sealing, but it stops makeup from sliding as its name suggests, with added silica microspheres to mop up oil. One thing to note is that it’s quite heavy on the fragrance front, so if perfume gives you skin grief this may be one to dodge. Otherwise, it’s dreamy.
Forget the espresso, green juice or strong mug of char, what your skin and energy levels need first thing is a shot of this zippy, glow-giving mist. Under, over or even mixed into makeup, MAC Mineralize Charged Water, £19 for 100ml, creates a radiant, refreshed base that belies fatigue and flagging spirits. Slightly sparkly (don’t let that put you off- the effect is more radiant than razzle dazzle), the spray contains green tea extracts to pep up skin and ACTUAL diamond powder to create luminosity. If your makeup looks a bit ‘meh’ and flat at any point, Charged Water will quite literally charge to your rescue, as it has done to countless models and makeup artists on shoots and backstage at shows throughout the years. This is hands down one of my favourites; it’s nourishing and, in my experience, entirely non-irritating, which isn’t always a given with other fixants (*hairspray).
Kiko Makeup Fixer, £7.99 for 75ml, probably comes as close to the dreaded hair product formally mentioned of the bunch, but the fact that it contains soothing chamomile and tailored cosmetic alcohol makes it far less detrimental to both skin and your airways. That’s leaving out the fact that it’s incredibly effective; it puts makeup under lock and key for a good 12 hours, and probably more if you’re a party animal. It dries instantly and is invisible to the naked eye, but spray from a distance to avoid pain.
Don’t have a particular brief or concern but want it all? Enter Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist, £16 for 80ml. Hydrating yet also shine-evading, the rosewater and green tea based elixir makes sure that your makeup doesn’t do a runner while also calming and conditioning skin. A cocktail of plant extracts plus skin barrier boosting glycerin and inflammation fighting niacinamide, your skin will drink this up and look better for it, makeup or no makeup. Keep it desk side, in the fridge, in the glove pocket, but most importantly, to hand; it’s a gem.
Estée Lauder Set + Refresh Perfecting Makeup Mist, £21 for 116 ml, is a hit of ‘big skin energy’ - it’s got hydrating electrolytes for boost moisture levels and caffeine to stimulate circulation. It also does a good job of perking up makeup without making it go patchy too - the mist is fine enough to revive without removing your ‘look’ (which would be missing the point of a setting spray completely but it has happened to the best of us).
Lugging a makeup setting spray to a wedding or on a weekend break seems a bit excessive, but then again these are probably the occasions when you most require your makeup to do the distance. Smashbox Photo Finish Set and Refresh Primer Water, £12 for 30ml, two-in-one primer and setting spray that works hard to earn a (small) space in your hand luggage - spray it on after cleansing to seal in moisture, post-makeup to set and anytime you need a pick-me-up during the day or night.
Cover FX Mattifying Setting Spray, £23 for 120ml, helps to absorb excess sebum and keep t-zone oil slicks at bay thanks to a kaolin clay enriched formula, plus it dries almost instantly so you won’t have to hang around with a clammy base before leaving the house. It’s fragrance and alcohol-free too so a sounds option if your skin’s on the reactive side. It won’t mimic the mattifying effects of a setting powder, but it locks down makeup and prevents meltdowns.
January 30th 2019
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