Don’t Sweat It!

IMAGE VIA @MILKMAKEUP/INSTAGRAM

WORDS BY LUCY ANDREWS AND IZZY WIGHT

Don’t sweat it.

There’s something very trustworthy about a person who leaves a product review. They’ve tried it, contemplated the results and gone to the effort of typing out a comprehensive (more or less) summary of their experience.

Granted, sometimes it’s because the reviewer is petty and needs to take their anger out on the internet (the time my Amazon garlic press was simply not pressing) – but for the most part, reviews are left for the greater good of the online shopping community.


 


Regardless, I will never invest in a beauty or skincare product without a thorough scroll through the comment section. It saves me a lot of impulse purchase regrets and most of the time, the people know what they’re talking about. How else am I supposed to distinguish a ‘shimmery finish’ from a ‘greasy smear’?

And speaking of grease, it’s no secret that summer in Australia makes even the tiniest of pores perspire. Sweat-proof makeup is an essential – particualrly for those with oily or combination skin. Tired of my makeup melting off, I decided to trawl the internet to find some of the best no-sweat makeup products. Here are the beauty crowds top-rated picks.

Mac Cosmetics Stack Waterproof Mascara


Star rating: 4.3 of 287 reviews on Mecca

Mac made waves back in March of 2022 with the release of its viral Stack Mascara. Since then, the product has garnered a cult following and become a lash staple for beauty junkies both on and offline. Its waterproof version is still continuously buildable and clump-resistant, but with the benefits of 24-hour smudge resistance. As one reviewer writes, “I am highly active and sweat a lot. This is the only waterproof mascara that looks decent and lasts a long time.”

Get it here.

Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil


Star rating: 4.7 of 67 reviews on Mecca

As a girl who has succumbed to tweezing her brow ends, nothing is more valuable than a brow pencil that really stays. The Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting pencil uses a waxy tip to secure pigment to both hair and skin. The powder-to-wax formula mimics the look of hair, creating clean-yet-soft lines. “I’ve used this for four years and it’s my go-to brow product,” one reviewer writes. “[You] can get nice defined lines and the brush blends it into the hairs well. Stays all day, [for] eight-plus hours. Love it!”

Get it here.

Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Cheek and Lip Tint


Star rating: 4.2 out of 2597 reviews on Sephora

A longtime makeup favourite for a reason, Benefits Benetint is the sweatproof alternative to a liquid blush (or lipstick) on those ultra-hot days. It’s a multi-use, highly buildable pigment designed to be used anywhere on the face for a flush of sunkissed – not sunburnt – colour. “I have always had a problem with my blush not lasting all day, but with this I have never had that problem,” one review reads. “It’s the perfect tint for both your cheeks and lips and is such a good product for a natural makeup look.”

Get it here.

Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Makeup Setting Spray

Star rating: 4.4 out of 3060 reviews on Sephora

No sweat-proof beauty roundup would be complete without the final step – a heavy-duty setting spray. This alcohol-free version from Milk locks in makeup for up to 12 hours while maintaining a natural, breathable glow. On long days, use it between steps for extra staying power. As one reviewer writes, “[It] looked so fresh and dewy without being greasy. It really does provide hydration and longevity, unlike any setting spray I’ve tried before.”

Get it here.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation


Star rating: 4.3 out of 2965 reviews on Mecca

It’s not always easy to find buildable, blurring coverage that can last through soaring temperatures. With over 30 shades available, Too Faced’s Born This Way Foundation smooths over pores and imperfections with a matte – but never drying – finish. “This is my favourite foundation,” one reviewer writes. “It doesn’t feel heavy and lasts during the day or night. It has a natural finish and doesn’t make my skin oily.”

The 15 Best Setting Sprays We Tested in 2024 That Keep Your Makeup Intact

For fresh-looking makeup that lasts all day and night.

Several setting sprays we recommend displayed on a yellow surface
BYRDIE / LETICIA ALMEIDA

Setting spray is one of those makeup products you may have gone most of your life without. But once you get your first taste of the water-resistant, glam-extending, complexion-enhancing magic, it’s off to the races. When applied as the final step in your makeup routine, setting spray can help ensure your makeup look stays put and protected against the elements.

To find the best options on the market, we tested nearly 30 formulas, evaluating each one based on feel, application, performance, water resistance, and wear, and ahead, we’re sharing which ones perform best. From mattifying picks to glow-boosting options, we’ve got you covered with a host of setting sprays for a variety of skin types and makeup preferences.

 

 

 

Best Overall

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

PHOTO: Sephora

What We Like

  • Dries quickly
  • Light, comfortable feel
  • Extends makeup wear
  • Smudge and transfer-resistant

What We Don’t Like

  • Nothing

Finish: Natural | Amount: 1, 4 ounces | Waterproof: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Urban Decay was among the first to launch a setting spray, and not surprisingly, the brand continues to reign supreme in this makeup category. After spritzing on the fan-favorite All Nighter Spray, it absorbed quickly into the skin and we loved the refreshingly lightweight feel.

Suitable for all skin types, the non-irritating formula plays well over other products, delivering a natural-looking glow that makes your makeup pop. What’s more, it keeps your glam looking fresh for up to 16 hours.

Thanks to Urban Decay’s patented Temperature Control Technology, this award-winning product actually lowers the temperature of your creams, liquids, and powders to ensure long-lasting, transfer-resistant wear. To investigate the waterproof claims, we splashed water on our faces. Sure enough, our makeup didn’t budge.

Read Full ReviewUrban Decay’s Setting Spray Kept My Makeup Locked in Place for Hours

person spraying Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray onto face in front of vanity mirror
BYRDIE / TAMARA STAPLES

 

Best Budget

E.l.f. Cosmetics Stay All Night Micro-Fine Setting Mist

e.l.f. Cosmetics Stay All Night Micro-Fine Setting Mist

PHOTO: Amazon

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight feel
  • Extends makeup wear

What We Don’t Like

  • Not waterproof

Finish: Dewy | Amount: 2.7 ounces | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Setting spray isn’t necessarily a luxury beauty product, even if it makes you feel fancy. Case in point: this budget-friendly, highly effective formula from e.l.f. that feels super lightweight on the skin. The micro-fine mist leaves a healthy-looking dewy finish in its wake and we appreciated that it didn’t feel wet or look greasy.

This setting spray isn’t billed as waterproof, but it promises to lock in your makeup for up to 16 hours. And while it contains synthetic fragrance, which can be irritating for sensitive skin,1 we didn’t find the scent to be overwhelming.

person spraying e.l.f. Cosmetics Stay All Night Micro-Fine Setting Mist onto face
BYRDIE / TAMARA STAPLES

 

Best Drugstore

NYX Cosmetics Matte Makeup Setting Spray

NYX Cosmetics Matte Makeup Setting Spray

PHOTO: Amazon

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Dries immediately
  • Controls shine and oil

What We Don’t Like

  • Slightly sticky
  • Not waterproof

Finish: Matte | Amount: 2 ounces | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

NYX’s Matte Finish Setting Spray was a hit both in The Lab and when we tested it at home. While it felt slightly sticky at first, we found that it dried immediately and didn’t smear makeup underneath.

As the name suggests, this best-seller provides a mattifying effect while controlling shine and oil production. One thing to note is that it’s not waterproof. During our splash test, splashing water on the face resulted in minor smudging, though we didn’t need to redo our makeup.

 

Best for Sensitive Skin

Tower 28 SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray

Tower 28 SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray

PHOTO: Sephora

What We Like

  • Light, comfortable feel
  • Gentle formula
  • Doesn’t smudge makeup
  • Helps reduce redness and irritation

What We Don’t Like

  • Smells like chlorine

Finish: Natural | Amount: 1–4 ounces | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Reactive skin? Go with Tower 28’s cult-loved SOS Spray. Not only does it feel lightweight and virtually unnoticeable on the skin, but it also helps to tame redness and irritation and can be used alone as a calming skincare product.

Though this product doesn’t claim to be waterproof, it safeguarded one of our tester’s makeup during the splash test and didn’t smudge when she blotted with a towel. Just a heads-up: It smells like chlorine, but if you don’t mind that, your sensitive complexion will thank you.

 

Best for Dry Skin

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dewy Set Setting Spray

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dewy Set Setting Spray

PHOTO: Sephora

What We Like

  • Multipurpose formula
  • Cool and refreshing
  • Nice scent

What We Don’t Like

  • Mist comes out too quickly

Finish: Dewy/radiant | Amount: 0.4–3.4 ounces | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

It can be hard to avoid a dry finish when you have dry skin, but this multipurpose mist from Anastasia Beverly Hills offers a simple solution. Dewy Set can be used as a first step to prep your skin, then spritzed on again to set your makeup and refresh it throughout the day.

We should note that the nozzle works almost too well in that it’s easy to overdo it with too much product. It leaves the skin feeling pretty wet after just a few spritzes, but it dried quickly and didn’t disrupt our makeup. It feels cooling on the skin, has a nice coconutty-vanilla scent, and leaves a radiant, glowy finish behind.

A woman spraying Anastasia Beverly Hills Dewy Set Setting Spray on her face
PEOPLE / TAMARA STAPLES

 

Best Matte Finish

One/Size by Patrick Starrr On ‘Til Dawn Setting Spray

One/Size by Patrick Starr On ‘Till Dawn Mattifying Waterproof Setting Spray

PHOTO: Sephora

What We Like

  • Blurs imperfections
  • Extends makeup wear
  • Waterproof

What We Don’t Like

  • Somewhat perfumey
  • Makes skin feel slightly tight

Finish: Matte | Amount: 1–3.4 ounces | Waterproof: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

If you prefer a matte finish, we recommend One/Size On ‘Til Dawn. The lightweight formula sets makeup instantly, and though it created a minor tightening sensation on the skin, it wasn’t uncomfortable. Beyoncé’s makeup artist even recently shared that this is the setting spray she used on the Renaissance World tour—and it lasted through a rain storm in Washington D.C.

Once dry, it leaves the complexion looking smooth and crease-free with a soft-focus blurred effect that kept our makeup intact all day—even through splashes of water. And while this setting spray is mattifying, it didn’t look flat or feel dry on the skin. It smells kind of perfume-y, which some people don’t mind, but the added fragrance could be irritating.

A woman sprays ONE/SIZE by Patrick Starrr On 'Til Dawn Mattifying Waterproof Setting Spray on her face
INSTYLE / TAMARA STAPLES

 

Best Dewy

Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist

Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist

PHOTO: Sephora

What We Like

  • Light and refreshing
  • Glowy, radiant finish
  • Nice scent

What We Don’t Like

  • Mister is almost too fine

Finish: Dewy/luminous | Amount: 0.4–1.4 ounces | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Going for a dewy dumpling look? Tatcha is your best bet. The brand’s Luminous Dewy Skin Mist has a light, refreshing feel, and a nice subtle scent. Thanks to a hydrating blend of red algae, hyaluronic acid, and squalane, a few spritzes are all you need to plump up your skin2 and create a healthy glow.2

We found that it felt totally weightless on the skin and worked to set makeup in place while creating a luminous finish. You don’t have to worry about the mist being too aggressive or soaking your face, in fact, we wish it was a bit more powerful as it takes many sprays to evenly coat the face. While Tatcha doesn’t describe this product as waterproof, it definitely passed our splash test. We just wish the bottle were a little bigger, considering the steep price point.

 

Best Radiant

Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Set + Refresh Spray

Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Set + Refresh Spray

PHOTO: Sephora

What We Like

  • Cool and hydrating
  • Dries quickly
  • Doesn’t feel wet or sticky

What We Don’t Like

  • Not waterproof

Finish: Radiant | Amount: 1.7–3.4 ounces | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Milk’s Hydro Grip Spray really impressed us. It felt cool on the face and dried quickly into a radiant finish. While the lightweight formula is very hydrating, it didn’t feel overly wet or sticky.

Once dry, this skin-friendly setting spray promises to keep your makeup in place for up to 12 hours. A splash of water did result in some slight smudging, but almost nothing transferred when we patted our skin with a towel.

Person spraying MILK MAKEUP Hydro Grip Setting + Refreshing Spray on their face
BYRDIE / TAMARA STAPLES

 

Best Waterproof

Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Setting Spray

Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional: Super Setter Pore-Minimizing Setting Spray

PHOTO: Sephora

What We Like

  • Light and cooling
  • Doesn’t run or smear
  • Extends makeup wear

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t blur very well

Finish: Natural | Amount: 1–4 ounces | Waterproof: Yes | Cruelty-Free: No

If you need a waterproof formula, The POREfessional has your name on it. This micro-fine mist has a virtually weightless, slightly cooling feel. It applies evenly and works beautifully to prevent makeup from smearing.

While this product didn’t really deliver on its pore-blurring claims, it definitely seems to lock in the products underneath. Calling it a “little rain jacket for [her] makeup,” one tester said that everything stayed intact after giving her face a good splash. With that said, you can count on The POREfessional to make good on its promise of 16-hour wear.

person spraying Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional: Super Setter Pore-Minimizing Setting Spray
BYRDIE / TAMARA STAPLES

 

Best for All Skin Types

MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Primer and Setting Spray

MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Primer and Setting Spray

PHOTO: Amazon

What We Like

  • Multipurpose formula
  • Leaves skin smooth

What We Don’t Like

  • Finicky nozzle
  • Slightly sticky

Finish: Natural | Amount: 3.4 ounces | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: No

MAC’s Prep + Prime Spray has been a beauty-bag staple for several years—and for good reason. The nozzle was a little finicky at first, but once we got it working, it helped to reduce a powdery finish and set the makeup in place. It’s not dewy or mattifying, it just has a natural finish, which makes it great for all skin types.

This multipurpose mist can also be used to prep and hydrate your skin and refresh your face throughout the day. Though it had a slightly sticky feel, it smoothed the skin and left it looking refreshed. And while it’s not billed as waterproof, it seemed to offer some moisture resistance and promises to help your makeup last for 12 hours.

 

Best Multi-Use

Rare Beauty Prime & Set Mist

Rare Beauty Always An Optimist 4-in-1 Prime & Set Mist

PHOTO: Amazon

What We Like

  • Four-in-one formula
  • Refreshing and hydrating
  • Waterproof and transfer-resistant

What We Don’t Like

  • Nothing

Finish: Radiant | Amount: 2.9 ounces | Waterproof: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Rare Beauty’s take on setting spray is this multipurpose mist that not only sets your makeup but also hydrates, primes, and refreshes your skin. After trying it first-hand, we can confirm that it lives up to its claims as a four-in-one formula.

One tester said that it melted her foundation into her face and left her with a “natural, glowy” complexion and smaller-looking pores. This all-star spray is also waterproof and transfer-resistant. Thanks to a blend of niacinamide (vitamin B3)3 and white water lily,4 it even helps soothe stressed skin.

 

Best Value

Beauty Bakerie Spray Your Grace Setting Spray

Beauty Bakerie Spray Your Grace Baking Spray

PHOTO: Ulta

What We Like

  • Reasonably priced
  • Dries quickly
  • Light and non-sticky

What We Don’t Like

  • Not ideal for those with sensitive skin

Finish: Natural | Amount: 3.4 ounces | Waterproof: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

This reasonably priced setting spray from Beauty Bakerie comes in a generously sized can. The aerosol format delivers a continuous mist, making it easy to coat your face evenly.

We love that it dries quickly and doesn’t have a heavy or sticky feel. Makeup didn’t smudge, smear, or transfer, even when we splashed our faces with water while testing this one. While the formula contains synthetic fragrance which we don’t prefer, especially for those with sensitive skin, we found the scent to be pleasant and non-irritating.

 

Best Mister

Pixi Beauty Makeup Fixing Mist

Pixi Beauty Makeup Fixing Mist

PHOTO: Amazon

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Dries quickly
  • Hydrating and refreshing
  • Mister applies spray evenly

What We Don’t Like

  • Not waterproof
  • Contains fragrance

Finish: Natural/dewy | Amount: 2.7 ounces | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

This setting spray from Pixi is super popular—and not just because the name rolls off the tongue. While the affordable formula isn’t waterproof, it hydrates and soothes the skin, sets your makeup, and leaves your face feeling refreshed.

It dried quickly, leaving us with smooth makeup and soft-looking skin. And we’d be remiss not to talk about the mister—it works to evenly coat the face with just the right amount of product. Some setting sprays come out too aggressively, which can leave big droplets on your skin and ultimately ruin your makeup. We love that this one comes out evenly and we never have to worry about it messing up our makeup.

woman spraying pixi beauty setting spray
BYRDIE/TAMARA STAPLES

 

Best Oil-Absorbing

Flower Beauty Flower Beauty Jet Set Invisible Powder Spray

FLOWER Beauty Jet Set Invisible Powder Spray

PHOTO: FLOWER Beauty

What We Like

  • Invisible
  • Mattifying
  • Great for oily skin

What We Don’t Like

  • Not great for dry skin

Finish: Matte | Amount: 1.5 ounces | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

This popular spray offers an invisible mattifying effect, controlling shine without leaving a powdery white residue behind. It’s a great pick for those with oily skin or anyone who lives in a really humid climate because it works to set makeup and effectively absorb oil and mattify shine. If you’re dry, this will only enhance that.

 

Best Scented

Mario Badescu Facial Spray

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater

PHOTO: Amazon

What We Like

  • Refreshing rose scent
  • Affordable
  • Hydrating

What We Don’t Like

  • Not waterproof
  • Not ideal for those with sensitive skin

Finish: Dewy | Amount: 5 ounces | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

This popular mist helps revive dehydrated skin but the natural rose scent is so nice you might be tempted to spritz it all day long, with or without makeup. We love the finish, which offers a dewy glow, and the floral infusion feels good on the skin. While it’s not ideal for extending the wear of makeup, it does a great job of reducing a powdery finish and making the skin look and feel more hydrated.

 

What to Look for in a Setting Spray

  • Claims: Not all setting sprays do the same thing. When you’re shopping for one, keep in mind what you want to get out of using a setting spray and look for products that align. For example, if you have oily skin and you’re hoping to reduce shine and extend the wear of your makeup, choose one with a matte finish that promises to lock in makeup for 12+ hours.
  • Finish: Determine the finish you want to achieve, as well as your skin type. If you tend to get oily, a mattifying setting spray could help to counteract any shininess. If you have dry skin or you want to achieve a glow, one with a luminous finish is best for you.

 

FAQ
  • How do I apply setting spray?

    After you’ve finished applying your makeup, give the bottle a generous shake, then hold it about six to eight inches from your face. With your eyes closed, spray on a light veil in a zig-zag motion. Allow it to dry for at least a minute.

  • When should I apply setting spray?

    You can apply setting spray on top of foundation, on top of a full face of makeup, or after each step (misting the face after eyeshadow, lipstick, and other product layers).

  • Do you really need to use setting spray?

    While setting spray isn’t a necessity, it will amp up your makeup game and help your products last. Some setting sprays even add to your makeup, creating a dewy or matte finish and blurring imperfections that your foundation might have missed.