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Lady Applying Setting Spray and Setting Powder on Her Face | Source: Shutterstock
Lady Applying Setting Spray and Setting Powder on Her Face | Source: Shutterstock

Setting Powder vs Setting Spray: Learning the Difference

Naomi Wanjala
Feb 11, 2023
02:15 P.M.
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Do you want to learn the difference between a setting powder vs setting spray? While both are makeup-finishing products, learning how to use them can come in handy and help you achieve a perfect look.

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When applying makeup, especially for beginners, it can be challenging to know how to use different products. While there are several videos with makeup tutorials, some aren't detailed enough to explain how to get a perfect look.

It can be frustrating when you apply makeup, and then after a few hours, the makeup fades away, and your face begins to look shiny—most of the time, that happens when you don't use the right makeup product.

A woman using a setting powder | Source: Getty Images

A woman using a setting powder | Source: Getty Images

So whether you're going for an everyday look or you want detailed makeup for a wedding, mastering how to use a setting powder or a setting spray can come in handy to help your makeup stay intact throughout the day.

So now that you know what you need to help your makeup stay on fleek, knowing the difference between a setting powder vs setting spray can help you make an informed decision on which one best suits you.

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What Is a Setting Powder?

A setting powder is a makeup finishing product that absorbs excess oil and helps you achieve a flawless look throughout the day. Have you ever been to an event with your friends, and way past midnight, you noticed their makeup still looked fresh? Chances are, they're using a setting powder.

A woman applying powder on her face. | Source: Getty Images

A woman applying powder on her face. | Source: Getty Images

Aside from that, a setting powder has additional benefits, such as blurring imperfections like lines and pores and brightening your complexion. The product also helps prevent excess shine while making your skin look perfect all day.

The primary purpose of setting products is to ensure your makeup is long-lasting until when you want to take it off.

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When doing your makeup and you aim to achieve a matte finish, consider using a setting powder. The product comes in a loose, jet-milled powder form, normally applied using a beauty blender or a brush.

Woman applying setting spray | Source: Shutterstock

Woman applying setting spray | Source: Shutterstock

Suppose you're wondering if you can get a setting powder that blends with your skin tone; the product is available in many shades. The translucent version can be used for all skin tones; however, if you want to deepen your foundation, consider using the tinted version.

What Is a Setting Spray?

Setting spray is a liquid midsts makeup finishing product that contains water and alcohol. Like a setting powder, the spray serves the same purpose—preventing makeup from creasing, sliding, and facing quickly.

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According to celebrity makeup artist Sofia Schwarzkopf Tilbury, setting prays are perfect for weddings and nights out dancing and can also be used in warm weather conditions. While setting spray entails applying a brush or beauty blender, a setting spray is misted onto the skin using an atomizer.

A photo of a setting spray | Source: Shutterstock

A photo of a setting spray | Source: Shutterstock

According to Keri Blair, a senior national makeup artist at MAC Cosmetics, a setting spay gives a smoother effect with less visible texture. A setting spray helps keep all facial makeup in check, including mascara, lipstick, and even setting powder, and the product can be applied all over the skin and not just on the face.

What Are the Benefits of Setting Powder?

Now that you're familiar with the difference between a setting powder vs. a setting spray let's dig a little deeper to learn the advantages of using a setting powder.

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The product's primary purpose is to absorb excess moisture and oil. Since the skin produces oil, when applying your makeup, it's essential to set your face with powder to help it last longer without the products melting away.

Setting Powder | Source: Shutterstock

Setting Powder | Source: Shutterstock

If you've been wondering how to use a setting powder, apply it on top of foundation, concealer, or liquid cream products to achieve an airbrushed finish.

But there's a slight difference between a setting and finishing powder, which is usually used after the setting powder, adds a more blurred look to the skin, and controls shine.

What Are the Benefits of Setting Spray?

Like setting powder, a setting spray is applied after the makeup routine is complete. The product's benefit is that it has different finishes; it can give you a matte or a smooth look. Plus, it also ensures the makeup stays fresh for a long time.

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Woman using a setting spray after applying makeup | Source: Shutterstoock

Woman using a setting spray after applying makeup | Source: Shutterstoock

Another advantage of a setting spray is it can strengthen the highlighter or apply shadow dampness. All you need to do is apply some product onto the brush and spritz it with the setting spray.

Unlike setting powder which absorbs into your pores, a setting spray gives you a lightweight, skin-like finish and is perfect for dry skin, especially if you need a boost of hydration.

Woman holding a setting powder. | Source: Shutterstock

Woman holding a setting powder. | Source: Shutterstock

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When Should You Use Setting Powder or Setting Spray?

With a wide range of products on the market to set your face, it can be challenging to know whether to use a powder or spray since both products can help keep your makeup in place. The primary purpose of setting products is to ensure your makeup is long-lasting until you want to take it off.

Setting powders are perfect for normal or oily skin. So whether you choose to use pressed, loose, translucent, or tinted powders, they will give your face a soft and mattified finish by controlling oil more so in the T-zone area.

On the other hand, a setting spray can come in handy if you want your makeup to stay fresh throughout the day. While anyone can use them, setting sprays are perfect for dry skin as it gives an additional layer of moisture.

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