Clarice Metzger
Updated Dec 09, 2019 @ 9:57 am
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Setting Sprays vs Facial Mists
Credit: Anna Buckley, HelloGiggles/Cover FX, Ulta

Have you been hearing a lot about facial mists and setting sprays? (And secretly wondering who in the HELL is this man Mario Badescu?!) How could you not? Setting sprays and facial mists are not new to the market by any means, but it seems like, lately, we’re seeing more new formulas and products than ever.

Everyone from celebrities to beauty editors has raved about the wondrous benefits of facial mists and the magical powers of setting sprays. Looking to add a face spray to your makeup routine but aren’t sure where to start? Look no further, because we’re breaking it down for you.

What’s the difference between a facial mist and a setting spray?

First, know that your confusion is valid. There are a couple of different facial sprays on the market, including facial mists and setting sprays. Jasmine Serna, Wet n Wild’s assistant product development manager, tells HelloGiggles, “Setting sprays and facial mists are different, although some products claim to do both.” She adds, “Facial mists focus on skin care with hydrating ingredients for the skin, while setting sprays focus on sealing and prolonging makeup wear.”

So when should you use a setting spray?

Are you tired of your face melting off halfway through the day or do you feel like your makeup just doesn’t last? Then it’s time to incorporate a setting spray into your beauty routine. “Setting sprays focus on keeping your makeup in place. Some may have hydrating ingredients as well, but it primarily contains cosmetic ingredients that keep makeup products in place,” Serna tells HelloGiggles. Spray it all over your face after applying your makeup. It helps to keep your makeup together, while you go from your desk to drinks.

Why use facial sprays?

Warning: After one use, you might be hooked. You can use facial mists first thing in the morning—before and/or after applying your makeup. Spritz it throughout the day when you need a pick-me-up or right before bed. Unlike a moisturizer, facial mists won’t mess up your makeup during the day, but they can leave your skin feeling just as hydrated. “Facial mists usually focus on skin care with hydrating ingredients—sometimes calming or pore-minimizing ingredients—because the main ingredient is water,” Serna explains. “Facial mists are more moisturizing and are meant to be applied after skin care for a boost of hydration or to refresh makeup.”

To help you find the right setting spray and facial mist, we rounded up our favorite products.

The best setting sprays you’ll want to incorporate into your makeup routine.

1Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

This lightweight setting spray will give your makeup some serious staying power. Desk to drinks? Covered.

2Wet n Wild Photofocus Natural Finish Setting Spray

Perfect for those on a budget, Wet n Wild’s setting spray uses aloe vera to ensure your skin stays smooth while keeping your makeup in place.

3Cover FX Mattifying Setting Spray

The Cover FX setting spray not only sets and secures your makeup for all-day wear, but it also reduces shine and minimizes the look of pores. Perfect for those with oily skin.

4Make Up For Ever Mist and Fix Setting Spray


Serious sweaters are no match for Make Up For Ever’s formula, which boasts a 12-hour staying power.

5NYX Cosmetics Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray

A favorite amongst drugstore setting sprays, NYX’s product is humidity- and sweat-proof. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it’s kind to your wallet.

6MAC Prep + Prime Fix+

Packed with vitamins and minerals, MAC’s Prep + Prime spray gently soothes and refreshes the skin while setting your makeup to finish off your look.

7e.l.f. Illuminating Mist & Set Matte Magic

The bottle may be small but for $5, we’ll take it. e.l.f’s Illuminating Mist & Set is perfect for that subtle, dewy finish and it literally lasts all day.

8L’Oréal Paris Infallible Makeup Extender Setting Spray

This undetectable, ultra-fine setting spray sets makeup perfectly to last all day.

The best facial mists that are total crowd pleasers:

1Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater

Mario Badescu’s facial spray is a refreshing, hydrating mist, and you can use it any time. The fragrant herbal extracts and rosewater make for a pleasant pick-me-up for dehydrated, tight, and uncomfortable skin.

2Caudalie Beauty Elixer Facial Spray

You’ll definitely want to try this cult-favorite toning mist that tightens pores, sets makeup, and provides an instant shot of radiance to the skin. It’s made with rosemary, astringent mint, and soothing rose organic essential oil for the ultimate spa-like experience and a true boost of hydration. Spray it on in between layers of makeup or use on its own for an overall brighter complexion.

3Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Facial Mist

Made with hyaluronic acid, hibiscus flower AHA, and of course, the delicious smell of watermelon, this fog-like facial mist contains all the essentials for smoothing and refreshing skin.

4Evian Brumisateur Natural Mineral Water Facial Spray

You can do more than drink Evian—you can spray it on your face, too. Evian’s facial spray has a neutral pH, making it perfect for hydration, toning, and refreshing skin throughout the day.

5Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Face Mist

Available at Dermstore

Made with plant-based ingredients and formulated with antioxidant-rich rose, hydrating coconut water, and anti-inflammatory witch hazel, Herbivore’s Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water is the perfect pick-me-up.

6First Aid Beauty Hello Fab Vital Greens Face Mist

Now you can get your serving of greens—for your face! This face mist is packed with superfood anti-inflammatory ingredients, including kale, spinach, and aloe leaf juice.

7Pixi by Petra Vitamin Wakeup Mist

Wake up your face with a quick spritz of this mist. It’s complete with oil-balancing grapefruit peel oil and soothing orange blossom.