There's nothing worse than finally perfecting your makeup look just for it to melt off within a few hours. While long-wear makeup could help keep your look fresh until bedtime, a proper setting spray or powder will help you keep that "just done" glow all day.
Shop TODAY consulted a few makeup artists to learn how to apply each of these products like a pro and uncover which ones they can't live (or work) without. Plus, we shared a few of our own personal favorites.
Best setting powders, according to experts and editors
Size: 0.49 oz | Shades: 14
Shop TODAY senior partnerships editor Francesca Cocchi was sold on this powder after her makeup artist used it for her wedding! According to the brand, it provides up to five hours of wear and evens out your skin tone. At less than $4, it's a great budget-friendly option.
Size: 3 oz | Shades: One
Celebrity makeup artist Sean Harris loves using this powder for television because it sets makeup, creates a smooth velvety texture on the skin and doesn’t change the color of the foundation.
“It’s an absolute must-have in my kit,” he says.
Size: 3 oz | Shades: Six
Celebrity makeup artist Emily Amick loves this setting powder for clients with medium-to-deep skin tones.
“It is semi-translucent, but gives a nice golden warmth to the skin, whereas white setting powders can make people with deeper skin tones look a little gray or ashy,” she explains. “It works really well under the eyes to set concealer, and in the T-zone, providing a subtle highlight without any shimmer.”
Size: 0.39 oz | Shades: Eight
“This powder is my go-to for any editorial look,” says Harris. “It sets makeup, yet keeps the skin fresh and luminous.”
It's available in up to nine different colors ranging from translucent white to deep brown. According to the brand, it even has a light blurring effect in addition to keeping your makeup in place, making it the perfect final step to your routine.
Size: 0.35 oz | Shades: Five
Los Angeles-based makeup artist Ashley Gomila is a fan of this setting powder from Beautyblender to "create a very nice blur and [it] softens the skin's overall appearance." Your skin will both look and feel luxurious with ingredients such as rose quartz, ruby, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and freshwater pearls.
It's also a favorite of Shop TODAY associate editor Kamari Stewart who's used it almost daily for over a year. "I love that it matches my skin tone so well," she says. "It's the ideal final touch for my makeup and leaves my skin looking perfectly matte."
Size: 0.42 oz | Shades: Five
Amick loves MAC's Blot Pressed Powder for touch-ups on set.
“Loose powders are amazing, but they’re not very convenient to apply when you’re moving around a lot,” she says. “I carry every shade of these translucent powders in my set bag so I can touch up talent throughout the day. They absorb oil, so if you get shiny and need a quick fix, just pop the shade that’s right for you in your handbag and go!”
Size: 1 oz | Shades: Three
This small compact has everything you need to color correct, blur the appearance of pores and set your makeup. It comes in three different color combinations, so you can choose the one that best suits your skin tone.
It's also a favorite of assistant partnerships editor Lauren Witonsky, who says she loves to use it for touch-ups throughout the day without looking cakey.
Size: 0.52 oz | Shades: 48
This powder is one of celebrity makeup artist Tobi Henney's go-to products. She likes it for additional coverage and says it's "great during more extreme weather when it's hot," which is perfect for the summer temps that lie ahead. It's available in almost 50 different shades and, according to the brand, provides 12-hour mattifying coverage without causing acne.
Size: 1 oz | Shades: Four
This is a holy grail product amongst makeup artists, according to Amick. "It reduces shine and blurs fine lines instantly, and it works for most skin tones," she explains. "I like to press it into the skin with a sponge for maximum staying power and de-shining."
Not only is it a bestseller on the brand's site, it's also the go-to for Shop TODAY production coordinator Camryn Privette who refers to it as "the OG for a reason."
Size: 0.28 oz | Shades: Four
From the brand's ever popular Magic Cream to their iconic Pillow Talk mascara, it's no surprise that experts also love their setting products. This is another go-to for Henney. It comes in four shades and boasts the ability to blur away lines and imperfections so you can achieve a truly flawless look.
Size: 0.7 oz | Shades: One
Harris loves the Tatcha Silk Powder because it creates a silky smooth finish on the skin. According to the brand, it blurs pores and even shields the skin from pollution and blue light.
“I love it because the subtle sheen of the powder leaves the skin gleaming with radiance,” he says.
Best setting sprays, according to experts and editors
Size: 2.03 fl oz
This budget-friendly option is a tried-and-true favorite of Stewart's after it consistently kept her looks in place during a Caribbean vacation. She says it even kept her white sheets makeup-free after a nap in a full face of makeup.
Writer Jannely Espinal is also a fan of its sunscreen component and describes it as leaving her skin grease-free and makeup glowy.
Size: 4 fl oz
Amick describes this setting spray as an "insider secret."
“It’s a setting spray a lot of theater actors and stage performers use for truly waterproof, no-budge sealing of your makeup,” she says. “I wouldn’t recommend it for everyday use because it is powerful, but if you have a special occasion and really need your makeup not to move until you wash with soap and water, this setting spray will work wonders.”
Size: 3.4 fl oz
Not only does Mac's Fix+ spray set your makeup, but it also hydrates and soothes skin, as well.
“I love using this to spray to refresh makeup throughout the day. The variety of scents make this a spa-like experience, too,” says Harris.
Size: 3.38 fl oz
Gomila likes this peptide-filled setting spray because it "works up to 18 hours and is humidity-resistant." According to the brand, the blend of peptides and mimosa flower extract to help the skin appear more lifted over time while blurring pores and reducing shine.
Stewart pairs the Beautyblender setting powder with this spray and is a fan of the slight watermelon-like scent that gives her an additional feel-good boost.
Size: 4 oz
Senior editor Jess Bender started using this setting spray a few weeks ago and has nothing but rave reviews for it.
"The way that it keeps my face — particularly my eyeliner — intact for the entire work day and beyond is pretty remarkable. I don’t need to worry about my mascara smudging underneath my eyes during my commute (typically inside a humid, AC-less subway train) and walking into the office with raccoon eyes!"
Size: 4 fl oz
Both Amick and Harris are big fans of this setting spray with a serious cult following. Amick loves that it feels lightweight but successfully locks in your makeup for longevity.
“I love using this setting spray because it keeps makeup in place for hours while minimizing oil and shine — it’s my favorite for music videos,” says Harris.
It's also a favorite amongst Shop TODAY editors. "Don't fall asleep in makeup...but if you accidentally did, this one would keep it locked in place after a night out," says Witonsky.
Size: 3.3 fl oz
Pair your Flawless Finish Powder with the setting spray from the brand that's a go-to for both Henney and Shop TODAY editor Vivien Moon. It's alcohol- and oil-free and sets makeup for up to 16 hours, according to the brand.
Size: 5.1 fl oz
Although this isn’t exactly a setting spray, Amick loves this hydrating facial mist for a moisturizing boost throughout the day.
“It’s also great if you’ve powdered your face a little too much or used a drier foundation and want to take away that ultra-matte, cakey look that sometimes occurs.”
Size: 1.35 fl oz
When Harris is trying to achieve an ultra dewy look on the skin, he makes sure to use the Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist. Key ingredients include squalane and the brand's signature anti-aging trio of green tea, rice and algae.
“It is the ultimate mist for supple, glowing skin,” he says.
Tips for applying setting powders and sprays
“I love using a setting powder to lock in the makeup and eliminate shine,” Henney tells us. “You can opt for a loose or a compact pressed powder and apply with a makeup brush.”
Gomila says it’s an “extremely important step” and “good practice to set the entire face post-makeup application” with a light dusting of setting powder. She suggests using a soft bristle, medium-sized brush.
Once you’ve set your makeup with powder, lock it in with a setting spray which Gomila says is the final step in perfecting a long-wear look. “When applying, spray at least 10 inches away from the face, then be sure to fan the product in with your hands until it dries,” she advises.
You can also spritz your face throughout the day whenever you’re in need of a light refresh.