Can you use setting spray over powder?

setting spray over powder?
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Isn’t it frustrating to see your makeup ruined after taking time and effort doing it?

Good thing you can use a setting product to avoid this issue. 

A setting spray or powder can hold everything together and help make your gorgeous makeup last for hours. 

But, if these two products perform the same way, is it better to choose just one of them?  Can you use setting spray over powder? 

The quick answer? Yes, you can definitely use setting spray over powder. You just need to follow the proper application process to avoid ruining your makeup.

By the end of this post, you will learn how to set your makeup with a finishing spray or powder.

What Is Setting Powder?

According to Keri Blair, a senior makeup artist at MAC Cosmetics, setting powder is typically applied to achieve a matte finish. 

She also explained that you would need a puff or a makeup brush to apply a setting powder. Its loose and jet-milled powder formula helps set your makeup. 

The setting powder ensures you can make your gorgeous and flawless makeup finish last all day. 

You can choose from different shades to help you achieve your preferred makeup look. 

CMU College of Makeup Art & Design Makeup instructor Dino Dilio also mentioned that you could get a colorless type if you want a setting powder that is universally flattering for any skin tone. 

You can also go for a tinted setting powder to warm, deepen, or enhance your foundation.

Benefits of Setting Powder

For Oily and Combination Skin

Applying a setting powder helps women with oily and combination skin avoid makeup blunders. 

This includes caking and bleeding. 

Whenever you set your makeup with powder, you get to enjoy having your makeup stay matte. 

It helps reduce oil production, which often ruins your flawless look.

Aside from this, the setting powder helps brighten your skin by helping conceal imperfections. 

For instance, you can apply setting powder after applying concealer. 

This helps hide your dark circles and skin blemishes for a longer period. 

For Dry Skin

Women with dry skin can also get the mattifying benefits of setting powder. 

You can simply apply the product to necessary areas such as your T-zone, which includes your nose, forehead, and chin.

Who Is Setting Powder Best For?

Setting powder is a must-have for anyone who loves applying makeup. 

It works for anyone, whether you have normal, dry, or oily and combination skin. 

This makeup finishing product helps absorb and control oil from your skin. 

This helps maintain your gorgeous and radiant makeup finish. 

Setting powder is also best for those who love baking. 

This makeup technique is done by applying lots of setting powder and leaving it on for 5-10 minutes. 

It is used to highlight specific areas such as under your eyes, under your cheekbones, and even your forehead.

How to Choose a Setting Powder

Selecting from a variety of setting powders can be overwhelming. 

This is especially true if you are not sure which type is ideal for you.

To give you an idea, here are the different types of setting powders that you can choose from: 

Loose Setting Powder

Loose setting powder is often used to set liquid or cream-based makeup products such as foundation and concealer. 

It is also typically used to bake your makeup. 

This type of powder is finely milled, making it less oily compared to other setting products. 

It’s ideal for women with oily or combination skin types. 

Pressed Setting Powder

Pressed setting powder is also used to set your makeup. 

It helps ensure your makeup look will last all day. 

However, unlike loose setting powder, it’s not milled finely, so it contains more oil. 

So, if you have oily skin, you need to stay away from this type of setting powder.

This type of setting powder is best used by women who have dry skin. 

It helps prevent your makeup from looking rough or uneven. 

Aside from this, you can also use pressed setting powder as a makeup base. 

You can apply it prior or after liquid foundation for added coverage.

Matte Setting Powder

As the name suggests, the matte setting powder helps mattify your makeup. 

This is done by absorbing excess oil on your skin. 

Matte setting powder is best for those who don’t like dealing with greasiness after applying makeup. 

With this powder, you can rest assured that your makeup will remain matte for hours.

Luminous Setting Powder

You can choose a luminous setting powder if you want to illuminate parts of your face. 

This product is also best if you want to highlight your skin’s natural glow. 

Luminous setting powder is easy to spot as it typically contains mica or pearl.

Translucent Setting Powder

If you are a makeup beginner, you might want to choose a translucent setting powder. 

This product is universally flattering for everyone. 

It does a great job of setting your flawless makeup without making significant changes to its color. 

Its main job is to simply hold the products together and ensure they stay in place for the rest of the day. 

Tinted Setting Powder

If you want to look for a setting powder that will perfectly match your skin tone, a tinted setting powder is ideal. 

Tinted setting powders come in different shades and colors. 

So, you can quickly spot the one that will look flattering on you. 

You can also use a tinted setting powder to adjust the color of your makeup. 

This is especially helpful if your foundation does not exactly match your skin tone.

Best Setting Powders

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

Laura Mercier is still one of the leading setting powders in the market. 

It’s tough to beat because it effectively eliminates oil and shine. 

It also easily blends with the rest of your makeup, so your face will look smooth and flawless. 

You can also choose their Medium Deep Setting Powder if you have a deeper skin tone. 

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Translucent Pressed Setting Powder

The IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Translucent Pressed Setting Powder offers skin-loving ingredients like collagen and antioxidants. 

It also uses peptides to provide you with a mattifying makeup effect. 

It’s also perfect for women who love traveling. 

It’s small, and compact container makes it easy for anyone to bring it anywhere, anytime.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish

If you want a lightweight setting powder that does a great job in holding your makeup in place, the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish is your best choice. 

This setting spray brand allows you to have makeup coverage you want without making your skin look like it has a lot of product on it. 

It feels like a second skin, so it may feel like you are not wearing anything. 

How to Apply Setting Powder

Applying setting powder can be done by dabbing it all over your face. 

It can also be applied sparingly to areas you want to highlight. 

You can follow these steps to ensure you apply a setting powder properly according to your preferred makeup look and finish.

  1. Grab a soft, fluffy makeup brush, preferably one with a tapered tip. This provides you more control and precision so you can apply and place your setting powder in parts of the face you want to set.
  2. Gently swirl the makeup brush into your powder. Apply it to your skin using circular motions. Focus more on areas in hard-to-reach areas like the sides of your nose. Make sure to apply more powder to your T-zone to help reduce oil production.
  3. If you want to set your entire face, use a large powder brush. It’s better if you have one with flat-shaped bristles. This helps ensure you won’t accidentally apply too much powder to your face.

What Is Setting Spray?

A setting spray, like a setting powder, is applied to finish your makeup. 

However, it comes in liquid form and helps you achieve a soft and smooth makeup finish.

Setting spray is typically spritzed all over the face to ensure your makeup lasts all day. 

You can even use this on your lipstick, so it doesn’t come off easily. 

You can also choose between setting sprays that offer a matte or dewy finish. 

This helps you find a specific finishing makeup product that suits your preferences.

Benefits of Setting Spray

For Oily and Combination Skin

Using a setting spray with a mattifying finish helps reduce oil while prolonging your makeup’s staying power. 

It also creates an invisible shield that protects your makeup from smudging or sliding off. 

So, if you have oily skin, using a setting spray will help seal and improve your makeup looks.

For Dry Skin

Using a setting spray helps retain moisture and hydration to your skin. 

This helps ensure you can achieve a glowing or radiant-looking makeup finish even if you have dry skin. 

This is especially true if you use an illuminating setting spray. 

Setting sprays also help hold makeup together without highlighting textured skin. 

This is a common dilemma for those with extremely dry skin, especially during cold winter season.

Who Is Setting Spray Best For?

Setting sprays are best used by women with dry or textured skin. 

It’s also ideal for those who want to apply makeup without enhancing their wrinkles and fine lines.

This finishing makeup spray is also recommended for those with dark skin tones. 

Compared to a setting powder, a setting spray can create a truly invisible skin barrier. 

It looks flattering to any skin tone, so if you can’t find the perfect shade of setting powder, you can just use a setting spray instead. 

How to Choose a Setting Spray

Choosing a setting spray boils down to your needs and preferences. 

For instance, if you want to achieve a matte finish, using a setting spray with a mattifying effect is right for you. 

Find out which specific setting spray will work for you:

Hydrating Setting Spray

If you have dry skin, it’s best to look for hydrating setting sprays. 

Look for ones that have ingredients like aloe vera or hyaluronic acid. 

These help lock in moisture in your skin.

Mattifying Setting Spray

If you want a shine-free makeup finish, you might want to use a mattifying setting spray. 

This setting spray helps control oil production on your face. 

With this, you can rest assured that your makeup will last for hours.

Illuminating Setting Spray

If you are more into dewy makeup finishes, having an illuminating setting spray is a must. 

The illuminating setting spray helps brighten your skin by making it look radiant and glowing. 

Best Setting Sprays

NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray Matte

If you want matte makeup finishes without compromising moisture, this setting spray is for you. 

The NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray Matte helps regulate oil while keeping skin hydrated.

MAC Fix+ Magic Radiance

For women who want setting sprays with a brightening effect, the MAC Fix+ Magic Radiance will do the trick. 

This product was given the Best of Beauty Award in 2021. 

It has vitamin C, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid. 

This help make your skin look radiant all day.

Urban Decay All Nighter Long Setting Spray

This lightweight setting spray helps keep you fresh for hours. 

Its oil-free formula is ideal for any skin type, especially for those with oily and combination skin.

This is ideal if you want setting sprays with anti-shine properties. It is said to make your makeup last for at most 16 hours.

How to Apply Setting Spray

Applying a setting spray is done by spritzing it all over your face. 

However, you need to follow careful steps to ensure it doesn’t ruin your makeup. 

Follow these tips when applying a setting spray: 

  1. Positioning the setting spray too close to your face may ruin your look. So, it’s best to hold it 14 inches away from your face before applying.
  2. Close your eyes and spritz the finishing spray in the middle of your face. Then, spray it on your forehead.
  3. Follow by spraying on the sides of your face, chin, and neck.
  4. Let it dry before going out.

difference between setting powder and setting spray

Setting powder helps lock in your concealer and foundation. 

It also helps highlight areas on your face, such as under the eyes and forehead. 

It allows you to achieve a matte finish because it helps control oil production.

Setting spray, on the other hand, is used to hold all the makeup products you applied to your face. 

It also helps lock in moisture on your skin, so your makeup will look smooth and radiant. 

Is setting spray better than powder?

Applying a setting powder or a setting spray on your face can provide you with similar results. 

Both products help hold makeup products together. 

This means that you don’t have to experience makeup blunders such as caking, smudging, or fading. 

However, setting powder and setting spray have differences. 

This is especially when it comes to their effect on your skin. 

Some recommend using setting powder if you have oily and combination skin. 

If you have dry skin, it’s best to try setting spray. 

However, I recommend that you try both of these products first. This way, you can personally find out which makeup setting product will work for you. 


Setting sprays and powder both offer amazing benefits for those who love makeup. 

Both do a great job in holding makeup in place. 

They also ensure you no longer have to deal with common makeup issues, such as product sliding off  your face. 

The best choice is to make sure you find time to try both products. 

Try to set your foundation with a setting powder and see what it does to your skin. 

You can use a setting spray on different occasions. 

This way, you will determine which of these two works best for you.