Over the past two years, I’ve worn less makeup than I ever have before. Between working from home and limited opportunities for social activities, it just felt like there was no need to get all dolled up. My main focus was nailing down a successful skin care routine that I’d actually be able to keep up with. (I’m not all the way there yet, but I’m close!).
Now, however, as I start to attend more outdoor gatherings and prepare for my office's reopening, there’s more of a reason for me to put on my best face. While I still don’t wear makeup as often as I once did, I’ve found that doing it less has left me on the hunt for the perfect primer and setting spray to keep my products in place — and my complexion looking flawless.
My biggest struggle has been finding the right formulas that work with my combination skin. It tends to veer more toward the oily side, so I need products that work well together, are long-lasting and won't transfer onto a mask. I thought my solution would only be found in two separate products, but surprisingly, it only took one: the Milk Hydro Grip Set + Refresh Spray. (A win-win for my skin and my wallet!)
Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Set + Refresh Spray
This wasn’t my first rodeo with Milk Makeup. In fact, my old beauty routine involved using the TikTok-famous Hydro Grip Primer before applying makeup, followed by a setting spray of a different brand. I liked that it left my skin a little tacky because it felt like my foundation and concealer had something to hold on to instead of just sliding off my oily skin. Despite its tackiness, my makeup never stayed put, and I grew tired of ending my days with a face mask covered in product.
So, when I noticed people on TikTok talking about the brand's follow-up to the primer — the hashtag #milkhydrogripsettingspray has more than 3.6 million views — I thought, this is it! Maybe the setting spray was the problem, and I needed to try a new one. To make sure I was really getting the full experience, I waited to try it until I had all-day plans, both indoors and out, that required me to wear a mask — the true test.
The first time I tried it, I was slightly disappointed. I followed the instructions on the Set + Refresh Spray packaging to the T: Shake well, then spray two even mists onto the face while holding the bottle 8-10 inches away and let it dry. I wore it to an outdoor New York Fashion Week show, where the snow was coming down pretty hard, but I had faith everything would hold up. However, when I got in the car afterward and was able to remove my mask, I saw half of my makeup on the fabric.
Disappointed but not deterred, I decided to give it another go the next day during a visit to the Christian Dior exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. This time, instead of only following the instructions on the box, I tried something different. I put a little foundation on my brush, followed by a spritz of the Set + Refresh Spray to give the makeup some hold and help it set better. It’s a tactic that’s worked for me in the past, so I had high hopes for success.
While there was definitely less product on my mask compared to the first day, my special technique didn't prevent all of my makeup from transferring. Still, I didn’t want to give up on it. I had a good feeling about this one! Luckily, the 3.38-ounce bottle holds a lot of product, so I could afford several rounds of trial and error.
The third try came the following day — another morning-to-evening itinerary packed with events and errand runs — and I had one more technique left to try. For my first two wears, I used a different primer for my face and used it only as a setting spray. This time, however, I used the spray first as a primer and let it dry before applying my makeup. Then, I used it as a setting spray on top.
And wouldn’t you know … it worked! After a full day of commuting and breaking a small sweat underneath my mask, I finally pulled it off and found it spotless. Not a speck of makeup was found anywhere but on my face.
I almost couldn’t believe it. Now knowing that the key is to use the Set + Refresh Spray as a primer and setting spray, I’ve applied it that way ever since. I no longer worry about makeup transfer. I even had enough confidence to use it when making my first appearance on the TODAY Show to model a few ‘90s fashion trends that are returning. I had to stand under a very bright and hot spotlight, but my makeup didn't budge once.
In addition to keeping my makeup look intact, this spray did a good job of freshening up my face after a few hours of being out and about. Because my complexion is naturally oily, it can also appear super shiny. Sometimes that shininess can make my skin and makeup look dull, but a few mists of this product results in an instant refresh that gives me a "dewy" effect that I love. And in the sun, my skin literally glows!
Despite several attempts on the road to success, I’m glad I didn’t give up on the Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Set + Refresh Spray — because it’s definitely become a staple in my makeup bag.
For more stories like this, check out:
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