Makeup Setting Spray For Dry Skin – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Makeup Setting Spray For Dry Skin - Reviews and Buyer's GuideIf you’ve been using your hairspray to set makeup at the start of the day or night, but are tired of how it dries out or hurts your skin, there are a thousand makeup sprays that are designed specifically for you. Makeup setting sprays are a lot gentler on the sensitive skin of your face, because they’re primarily based around water and alcohol, as opposed to the lacquers and repellants found in hairspray that hold your hair in place, but can leave your skin feeling dry, red, or irritated.

Even on the surface level, hairspray often leads to your face feeling sticky, or too tight, and does a lot of damage to sensitive skin at a deeper level.

Setting powders have been used for years, but if your busy routine doesn’t have time for another step in the makeup process, setting sprays can be a great alternative that keeps your face fresh and ready to go all day long!
Of the myriad of skin care and makeup setting products available on the market today, we’ve picked the five that are best for the price, for their skin benefits, or for other factors. Here are our five favorite makeup setting sprays that are perfect for dry, sensitive, or delicate skin!

Top Five Makeup Setting Sprays for Dry Skin in June 2019

Mac Fix + Skin Refresher/Finishing Mist
(Editor’s Choice)

  • Size: 3.4 fluid ounces;

  • Ingredients: Green tea, aloe, caffeine, glycerin, cucumber;

  • Duration: Lasts “several hours”, exact time unspecified.

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NYX MSS 01 + 02 Makeup Setting Spray

  • Size: Two 2-oz. bottles;

  • Ingredients: Ribwort plantain extract, water, alcohol;

  • Duration: Lasts “all day”, exact time unspecified.

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Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray

  • Size: 4 fluid ounces;

  • Ingredients: Aloe, water, alcohol, citronella oil, fragrances;

  • Duration: 16 hours.

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Too Faced HangoverX 3-in-1 Primer/Setting Spray

  • Size: 4 fluid ounces;

  • Ingredients: Coconut, aloe, alcohol, water, willow bark;

  • Duration: Lasts “all day”, exact time unspecified.

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Urban Decay Chill Makeup Setting Spray

  • Size: 4 fluid ounces;

  • Ingredients: Aloe, water, alcohol, citronella oil, citrus oil;

  • Duration: 12 hours.

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1. Mac Fix + Skin Refresher/Finishing Mist – Top Choice For Sensitive Skin

Makeup Setting Spray For Dry Skin - Reviews and Buyer's GuideEspecially good if you’re trying to treat the damage of previous hair or makeup sprays, Mac Fix + Skin Refresher and Finishing Mist is a great option that both primes your face for the day and soothes, heals, and treats your skin.

With ingredients like green tea, cucumber, and aloe, this spray is relaxing and restorative, and leaves your face feeling clean and relaxed.

Why We Love It

More of a mist than a spray, the lightweight formula results in a bright, glowing look that will still hold your makeup in place all throughout the busy day!


The light texture keeps your skin from feeling cakey, and the spray holds all day, but the main reason this entry made our list is because of its skin-friendly, soothing properties that will help undo the damage that other, harsher chemical sprays can do to the sensitive skin around the face and neck

Slightly smaller bottle size can make the price a little bit daunting, especially as compared to other entries on the list, and, while your makeup will be set throughout the day, the mist spray offers very little protection against accidental clothing brushes.

Good to Know:
Works well for oily skin and dry skin alike, best used with a light touch, and should last throughout the day, 3.4-ounce bottle, can be applied either before or after applying makeup to the face.

2. NYX MSS 01 + 02 Makeup Setting Spray

Makeup Setting Spray For Dry Skin - Reviews and Buyer's GuideIf you’re searching for a new brand of makeup spray, but need something a little more versatile than the usual run of the mill choices, or if you need to be able to choose between various looks throughout the day, NYX MSS 01 + 02 Makeup Setting Spray is the perfect way to keep mixing things up!

Why You Should Pay Attention to This Product?

Technically two smaller bottles in one package, NYX setting spray comes in two different styles—dewy finish, for a soft and naturally glowing look throughout the day, and matte finish, for a smooth, glossy look that can take you through the day and well into the night.

Like a lot of other options on the list, the NYX setting sprays are long lasting, lightweight, and durable, but we like them best because of their easily personalized nature. Whether you’re heading out for a night on the town or getting ready for a day of work, you can pick and choose the finish you want, and make sure your makeup will last for hours, no matter what you choose.

The small size of the two bottles can make them pretty easy to run through too quickly, and some users have reported slight allergic or acnegenic skin reactions after using NYX setting spray.

Good to Know:
Made in China, active ingredients are water, alcohol, Oregon Grape extract for calming, antioxidant, and astringent properties, and ribwort plantain extract for soothing effects on skin.

3. Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray

Makeup Setting Spray For Dry Skin - Reviews and Buyer's GuideIf the previous entry was perfect for switching between night and day wear, Urban Decay’s All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray is especially designed for a night on the go—but that certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t use it at the start of your day just as well!

With a slightly stronger formula than the first two entries, the Urban Decay All Nighter spray locks your favorite look in place to prevent smudging, melting, or wearing thin—and also promises, based on a survey that took response from more than 85 individual testers, to last for at least 16 hours of setting power.

This entry really made our list because of its tough, ready for action formula, which makes it perfect for any activities you have planned, day or night. In addition, the soothing, anti-inflammatory and pore-promoting ingredients help restore and treat damaged skin, so you can get your game face on without wondering about what’s happening underneath!

Some users have reported issues with the formula, which is more heavily scented than some of the other entries on this list. In addition, repeated or sustained use may result in some slight reddening or irritation of the skin or flare-ups of more sensitive areas.

Good to Know:
Compatible with all skin types, active ingredients are aloe, alcohol, citronella oil for anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and stimulant properties. Product can be ordered in a smaller size from the same online retailer.

4. Too Faced HangoverX 3-in-1 Primer/Set Spray

Makeup Setting Spray For Dry Skin - Reviews and Buyer's GuideAnother entry that soothes even as it sets, Too Faced HangoverX 3-in-1 Primer/Set Spray has three primary uses—use it before applying makeup to prime the face and make sure the makeup can get a better hold, add a few more sprays in order to lock in your look and set your makeup for the rest of the day, and then let the rejuvenating properties of this formula get to work!

Without any alcohol, silicone, or oils, Too Faced HangoverX is the perfect makeup spray if you’ve got sensitive skin that’s more prone to flare-ups or irritation.
The simple, natural ingredients, as well as the many uses of the spray itself, earned this spray its spot on the list, especially for users who have sensitive or delicate skin! The alcohol-free formula make it less likely to irritate the skin, and no silicone means your skin can breathe a little easier.

Because it is a more skin-friendly spray, and therefore lacks some of the harsher ingredients that other sprays use to really lock in a face of makeup, some users have reported that they haven’t seen quite the results they were hoping for, or that makeup setting required a few more spritzes than they would have liked.

Good to Know:
The active ingredients include coconut water, aloe, and willow bark (used for its astringent, anti-inflammatory, and conditioning properties), which results in a subtle coconut fragrance to the product. The product is certified cruelty free and oil-free.

5. Urban Decay Chill Makeup Setting Spray

Makeup Setting Spray For Dry Skin - Reviews and Buyer's GuideThe second entry from Urban Decay on our list, Urban Decay Chill Makeup Setting Spray is another great option for all day wear that works best for makeup lovers with dry skin or skin that’s been chapped by the weather as we head into winter!

The formula is carefully designed to hydrate and restore dry and damaged skin, and also promises to lock in a face of makeup for up to 12 hours of continuous wear, so that you don’t have to worry about touching up your makeup throughout the day!

Why We Love It

With no fragrance and a quick-drying formula, Urban Decay Chill is perfect if you have dry or damaged skin that makes touching up your makeup a real hassle. It hydrates and restores even as it sets, so that your skin will have the same healthy glow with or without makeup in no time at all! It’s also especially good for hot or dry days, when your skin is more prone to dried-out damage.

Because it is specifically designed to hydrate dry skin, if your skin is naturally oilier than it is dry, you may want to try another option. In addition, some of the oils used to provide a solid set may result in slight flare-ups.
Good to Know:
Active ingredients include aloe, alcohol, naturally occurring floral and citrus oil extracts to provide a sweet, floral fragrance while soothing the skin, and citronella oil for the usual anti-inflammatory properties. Order contains one 4-oz bottle.

Makeup Setting Spray For Dry Skin – Buyer’s Guide

Q: How do makeup sprays work, exactly?

A: At the most basic level, makeup setting sprays use polymers that have been dissolved in alcohols or other solvents to quickly dry makeup and lock it in place. After setting, sprays also protect against sweat, natural oils, or any rubbing or creasing that may build up through the day. They can be applied before makeup, like a primer before paint, or after, as a sealant.

Q: Why can’t I just use hairspray?

A: As mentioned at the beginning of the article, hairsprays—while they work great for holding in flyaway hairs and making sure your ‘do is sleek and steady—have a lot of harsh chemicals that can damage the sensitive skin on your face.

Even on a surface level, hairspray is also going to feel stiffer or “stickier” than makeup sprays, which are designed specifically to be used around the face and on the skin, instead of on your hair.

Q: What should I look for?

A: As a general buyer’s guide, you should look for a setting spray that works best for you, specifically. If your skin is naturally dry, or you find your skin drying out during the winter months, try a hydrating spray, like the Mac Fix + spray, that will keep in some of the natural compounds and oils that makeup can strip away. On the other hand, if your skin is more naturally oily, try to stay away from setting sprays that boast hydrating properties and look instead for a more lightweight formula, like the Too Faced HangoverX spray.

Q: Will it help my clothes? Will it hurt my clothes?

A: While makeup setting sprays will almost certainly not hurt the fabric of your clothes, the sprays are only meant to hold up against your daily wear and tear—sweat, exposure to the elements, and so on. So if you happen to brush a sleeve against your face, unfortunately, most makeup sprays are not going to magically save some of your makeup from brushing off.

Wrapping It Up

For most of us, touching up makeup throughout the day is a hassle that takes precious time out of our busy schedules.

That’s what makes makeup setting sprays so great—if you find one that works for you, you can save time in your morning routine and throughout your daily routine, while still making sure that you look and feel great and in control for the rest of the day or the night!

While the abundance of choices available today can make finding just the right setting spray seem a little bit daunting, our five favorite sprays will hopefully be able to help you narrow down your decision to the spray that matches your lifestyle, your life, and your own personal sense of style!

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