These days, we demand more from makeup. We want no fuss, no touch ups, makeup that looks just as good at 5pm as it did at 8am. Over the past decade, fixing sprays have been developed to give us what we want.
The early entrants to the market were the pro makeup companies. They were quite expensive (and still are, in my opinion) and were considered the luxury of makeup artists and models. Now high street and budget brands are catering for the every-woman.
With so many fixing sprays on the market, how do we know which one to choose?
I’ve done a little buying, spritzing and reviewing of 5 very popular and widely available sprays, so you can make an informed choice.
- MUA Cosmetics Pro-Base Fixing Mist £5 for 60ml (£8.33 for 100ml)
- Collection 2000 Fix It spray: £3.99 for 18ml (£22.22 per 100ml)
- Model In A Bottle fixing spray £16.99 for 60ml (£28.33 per 100ml)
- Urban Decay All Nighter fixing spray: £19 for 118ml (£16.10 per 100ml)
- MAC Fix+ finishing spray £13.50 for 100ml
Light spray that doesn’t feel sticky or ‘tight’ as it dries. Applied at 830am and kept makeup perfectly in place until lunchtime, but by 5pm it had stopped working its little magic. The company states up to 8h wear, which is about right. Does what it says on the tin.
Brownie points: No unpleasant chemically smell. No stinging eyes. Cheapest of all the finishing sprays when comparing cost per 100ml.
This featured in a previous head-to-head with Urban Decay All Nighter (see previous post) so I’ll summarise. Very long lasting (max achieved was 14h), with a slight heavy feeling when first applied and dried.
Brownie points: Handbag sized. Fragranced, not too strong and doesn’t linger. No stinging eyes.
This is a much loved by MUA’s and their clients alike. It’s a heavy duty fixing spray that gives your makeup a waterproof and budge-proof finish.
I’m undecided on this setting spray. I’ve tried it on 3 different days and had mixed impressions.
Day 1: Waterproof and budge-proof… yes. It lasted from 12 midday until 9pm. My problem was that when spraying over my closed eyes to set my eye makeup, it still made my eyes sting and water for up to half an hour afterwards. At least I know it can withstand heavy tears. I may have sprayed too much or sprayed too close to my skin, but the formula felt too sticky for my liking and felt heavy on my skin. The makeup did stay put all day and was tear-proof.
Day 2: Same makeup routine as day 1, but I followed directions and a) kept eyes closed for 30 seconds to allow spray to dry/ settle, b) sprayed from distance of 6-8 inches from face.
a) I resolved eye stinging issue of day 1
b) I didn’t feel that I had sprayed enough so I spritzed again to be sure of even coverage.
Today was disappointing. Makeup set nicely at 10am but slipping by 5pm. Just 7 hours. Model in a Bottle didn’t last as long as on the previous day and certainly not as long as some of the other sprays.
Day 3: After a weeks break, I tried it again. I applied my usual makeup, and spritzed. I think I would need the sensitive version as this really had my skin stinging. I had to wash it off and wash all the makeup off too.
Conclusion: I’ll keep it in my kit and probably use on people who have found Urban Decay not to be strong enough for their liking.
Brownie points: Also available in Sensitive skin formula
Good coverage from 2-3 quick spritzes. and leaves no sticky residue or heavy feeling on the skin. Lasts over 12H but expect a little makeup slippage in summer or on hot days. I haven’t tried the original Skindinavia setting sprays, but the Urban Decay formula is a variant of the Skindinavia one as the product is made by Skindinavia and licensed for rebranding by Urban Decay.
Brownie points: No stinging eyes. Comes in mini version for handbag, and XL version for makeup kit. Also has variants for dewy finish and slick-free finish.
This is my least favourite as a fixing spray but it is marketed as a finishing spray with the name implying it’s a setting/ fixing spray. It does give my skin a nice ‘refreshed’ look and revives the skin so it doesn’t look too powdery… but it doesn’t set makeup any more than regular powder does. When I bought this, I knew what I was in for, as it was recommended by a makeup tutor as a skin reviver, as she also noted that she hadn’t seen much ‘fixing’ from it, but that it did leave a wonderful finish when using powder compact foundation.
Brownie points: Great skin refresher.
Are you any closer to deciding which is best for you? After these tests, I am. My favourites are definitely Urban Decay or Collection 2000 (y u no bigger bottle?) but for big bottle on a budget, go for MUA.
If you have any specific questions, please feel free to leave them below and myself and other readers will give our tuppence.