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Makeup setting spray is the ultimate final touch. It’s refreshing, it keeps makeup from looking powdery, and helps your glam stay in place.
This added essential has only recently gained popularity for mainstream use. Before Youtubers and influencers layered on the spritz of the season, setting spray was exclusively used by professional makeup artists.
The chemical-filled store-bought setting spray was meant to keep makeup intact during a photo shoot or before models worked the catwalk. The lights often made makeup move or melt and setting spray soon become critical to keeping mascara from dripping.
Often propelled through a gas canister, setting spray is applied directly from bottle to face. Along with making dispersed contact on chin and cheeks, the product also hits the nose and mouth, likely being aspirated in the mouth and lungs–much like hair spray.
Though packaging has advanced to less intense spray options to a simple pump and apply, the ingredients aren’t any safer.
Fortunately, with the ingredients below you can create your own non-toxic makeup sprays that will calm skin, shrink pores, and keep makeup in place all day.
The Dangers of Not Making Your Own Makeup Setting Spray
Besides saving money (the average cost of setting spray is between $15-$30 with the most popular brands being around $45 for 4oz’s of product), these DIY setting sprays will cost $1-$2 per ounce of product, with be chemical-free, toxin-free, and can heal and nurture skin over time as opposed to triggering premature aging.
Here’s a quick list of the ingredients you’re dodging by making your own makeup setting spray.
- Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) is commonly used in setting spray to prolong its shelf life. According to the National Toxicology Program, it’s anticipated to be a human carcinogen. BHA is a preservative found in a ton of make-up products and processed foods and provides no benefits to your skin.
- DMDM Hydantoin, yes, it’s as scary as it sounds. This intimidating ingredient doesn’t directly pose a serious threat beyond being an irritant. Unfortunately, DMDM is often contaminated and contains traces of formaldehyde which is a certified carcinogen–and we all know what formaldehyde is used for. Yikes! Certainly not the thing to make your skin look alive!
- Fragrance/Parfum An intoxicating fragrance is one of the greater allures companies use when marketing makeup setting spray. But when it claims to smell “refreshing” or “invigorating” it likely contains a toxic mix of mystery chemicals that manufacturers are legally allowed to label as “fragrance”.
- Parabens or more commonly labeled methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, and butylparaben are used as a preservative in standard lotion recipes. But what they can actually do is alter hormones, specifically estrogen. The thyroid gland is located near the neck and is dangerously close to anything toxic that is sprayed on the face.
There are very simple, natural ingredients that will replicate the function and purpose of the aforementioned nasty ones. Take a look at some of my favorite DIY makeup setting sprays.
DIY Setting Spray Recipes
It’s important to be able to enjoy makeup without working about health repercussions. And even though an all-natural setting spray can do a world of good for the skin and makeup’s longevity, it’s also just really fun to apply!
With these easy makeup setting spray recipes, you don’t have to sacrifice the fine, finishing mist and enjoy the final steps of applying your makeup or refreshing your face. I’ve listed the recipes according to their secondary benefits besides setting makeup.
Soothing Makeup Setting Spray
This hydrating recipe is meant to calm skin before makeup application, reduce the look of powder once makeup is applied, and to soothe your face after removing the makeup. It’s an all-in-one setting spray that can be used around the clock.
Combine ingredients in the glass spray bottle and shake before use. Store setting sprays in the fridge for additional soothing benefits and to help preserve the recipe.
● Reduces redness caused by inflammation
● Keeps makeup from looking cakey
● Helps soothe sensitive skin that reacts to makeup
● Provides a soft base for makeup application
● Gentle enough to be used once makeup is removed
Brightening Makeup Setting Spray
Looking for a dose of nourishment in your setting spray? This brightening recipe is great when wearing your makeup under harsh lightening to keep skin from looking washed-out and appearing healthy and vibrant. If your makeup looks too matte add a spritz or two over your entire face to soften the finish.
- 1 Glass spray bottle (4-6 oz)
- ¼ Cup of Witch Hazel
- ¼ Cup Distilled Water
- 2 Drops of Lemon Essential oil (or directly put clean lemon peel into the bottle–looks pretty and the oils will pull from the peel)
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Glycerin
- 2 Drops Vitamin E oil
Combine ingredients in the glass spray bottle and shake before use. Apply at arm’s length. Do not over apply this spray as the oils could disturb the makeup if sprayed in excess.
- Nourish and hydrate skin
- Soften a matte finish
- Helps fill fine lines
- Prevents creasing in makeup
Glow-Up Setting Spray
Want a little extra shimmer to your look? Makeup setting spray doesn’t have to be all function and no fun! In the following recipe, there’s a secret ingredient that can turn any makeup look into your next glow-up.
*Add as much highlighter as you want for your desired shimmer and glow.
● Lightweight finish
● Can control shimmer by how much you apply
● Leaves a gentle glow and sparkle
● Can be used on face and body for all-over luminosity
● Soothes redness and calms skin
● Helps makeup last longer
Tips to Applying & Creating Your Own Setting Spray
Now that you’ve got your own makeup setting sprays to help lock makeup in place, prep, and prime skin, and create a lasting glow–here are a few application and DIY tricks from the pros:
- Spray as you go. To get the most out of your setting spray don’t wait until the very end to apply it. Instead, apply between steps, so a spray after eyes, then after foundation, then finally when the look is complete.
- Sanitation. Avoid using tap water and be sure to sterilize your storing container so that no bacteria can grow. Only use purified or distilled water when creating DIY beauty products.
- Keep Your Skin Type in Mind. If you’re prone to oiliness use less Witch Hazel when creating your makeup setting spray and if you’re prone to dry or redness use more rose water.
- Using Essential Oils. Essential oils are a great way to naturally scent setting sprays and also have calming and cleansing properties that you’re skin will thank you for. However, essential oils can interact poorly with plastic bottles so if you plan to use them in your recipe, store your setting spray in a glass bottle.
It’s said that if you try one setting spray, you’ve tried them all. But when it comes to doing things the all-natural DIY way–we know that’s simply not true! There are always ways to customize your own makeup setting spray to fit your skin’s needs and your beauty preferences.
So, do you love a dewy glow, need a boost of hydration on top of all that foundation? Give these recipes a try and let me know in the comments below which is your favorite.