The 13 Best Setting Sprays of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

Our top pick is Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Setting Spray Hero

Byrdie / Leticia Almeida

Setting spray is one of those makeup products you may have gone most of your life without. But once you get your first taste of the water-resistant, glam-extending, complexion-enhancing magic, it's off to the races.

Byrdie Tested & Approved

Our number-one pick is Urban Decay All Nighter, a quick-drying, transfer-resistant, waterproof setting spray that helps your makeup last for up to 16 hours. That said, e.l.f.'s Stay All Night Micro-Fine Setting Mist offers similar results. And if you're looking for an all-in-one primer, setter, hydrator, and refresher, Rare Beauty Always An Optimist 4-in-1 Mist is your best bet. 

"I love using a setting spray over makeup to combat dryness and add longevity," says celebrity makeup artist Nydia Figueroa, explaining that some formulas prevent patchiness by creating a flexible barrier.

Whether you reach for it every time you do your makeup or just when you plan to dance, sweat, or spend time in the hot, humid sun, you're wise to keep a bottle in your arsenal. We put nearly 30 formulas to the test to figure out which ones not only help your makeup stay in place but also feel comfortable on your skin.

These are the best setting sprays tested by Byrdie.

Best Overall: Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

4.7
Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

Ulta

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Water Resistance
    4/5
  • Performance
    5/5
What We Like
  • Dries quickly

  • Light, comfortable feel

  • Extends makeup wear

  • Smudge and transfer-resistant

What We Don't Like
  • Contains PEGs

Urban Decay was among the first to launch a setting spray, and not surprisingly, the brand continues to reign supreme in this makeup category. After spritzing on the fan-favorite All Nighter Spray, our tester said that it absorbed quickly into her skin and that she loved the refreshingly lightweight feel.

Suitable for all skin types, the non-irritating formula plays well over other products, delivering an invisible finish and a natural-looking glow that makes your makeup pop. What's more, it keeps your glam looking fresh for up to 16 hours.

Thanks to Urban Decay's patented Temperature Control Technology, this award-winning product actually lowers the temperature of your creams, liquids, and powders to ensure long-lasting, transfer-resistant wear. To investigate the waterproof claims, our tester splashed water on her face. Sure enough, her makeup didn't budge.

Price at time of publish: $33

Finish: Natural | Amount: 1–4 ounces | Waterproof: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

Byrdie / Leticia Almeida

What Our Testers Say

"Not surprisingly, All Nighter blew past my expectations, and I had makeup that didn’t budge for the entire day."Khera Alexander, Contributor

Best Budget: e.l.f. Cosmetics Stay All Night Micro-Fine Setting Mist

4
e.l.f. Cosmetics Stay All Night Micro-Fine Setting Mist

Ulta

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    4/5
  • Performance
    4/5
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Lightweight feel

  • Extends makeup wear

What We Don't Like
  • Not waterproof

  • Contains PEGs and fragrance

Setting spray isn't necessarily a luxury beauty product, even if it makes you feel fancy. Case in point: this budget-friendly, highly effective formula from e.l.f. Our tester loved how light it felt on her skin. Although the micro-fine mist leaves a healthy-looking dewy finish in its wake, she appreciated that it didn't feel wet or look greasy.

This setting spray isn't billed as waterproof, but it promises to lock in your makeup for up to 16 hours. And while it contains synthetic fragrance, which can irritate some skin types, our tester said that the scent wasn't overwhelming.

Price at time of publish: $10

Finish: Dewy | Amount: 2.7 ounces | Waterproof: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

e.l.f. Cosmetics Stay All Night Micro-Fine Setting Mist

Byrdie / Leticia Almeida

What Our Testers Say

"It locks everything in and makes your makeup last."—Sylvia Hammond, Product Tester

Most Popular: NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray Matte

3.7
NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray, Matte

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    3/5
  • Water Resistance
    4/5
  • Performance
    4/5
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Dries immediately

  • Controls shine and oil

What We Don't Like
  • Slightly sticky

  • Not waterproof

NYX's Matte Finish Setting Spray was a hit both in The Lab and with our at-home product reviewer. While it felt slightly sticky at first, our tester said that it dried immediately and didn't smear her makeup underneath.

As the name suggests, this best-seller provides a mattifying effect while controlling shine and oil production. One thing to note is that it's not waterproof. Our tester said that splashing water on her face resulted in minor smudging, though she didn't need to redo her makeup.

Price at time of publish: $10

Finish: Matte | Amount: 2 ounces | Waterproof: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

NYX Professional Makeup Matte Finish Long Lasting Setting Spray

Byrdie / Leticia Almeida

Best for Sensitive Skin: Tower 28 SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray

4.2
Tower 28 SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray

Sephora

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    3.5/5
  • Water Resistance
    5/5
  • Performance
    4/5
What We Like
  • Light, comfortable feel

  • Gentle formula

  • Doesn't smudge makeup

What We Don't Like
  • Smells like chlorine

  • Contains BHT

Reactive skin? Go with Tower 28's cult-loved SOS Spray. Describing the formula as "not aggressive at all," our tester was a big fan of the lightweight, virtually unnoticeable feel.

Though this product doesn't claim to be waterproof, it safeguarded her makeup during the splash test and didn't smudge when she blotted with a towel. Just a heads-up: it smells like chlorine, but if you don't mind that, your sensitive complexion will thank you.

Price at time of publish: $12

Finish: Natural | Amount: 1–4 ounces | Waterproof: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Tower 28 Beauty SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray

Byrdie / Leticia Almeida

What Our Testers Say

"It is very lightweight and unnoticeable. It didn't feel heavy and was not aggressive at all! If you can take the smell, then you should be OK with this product."—Leslie Kelly, Product Tester

Best for Dry Skin: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dewy Set Setting Spray

4.3
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dewy Set Setting Spray

Sephora

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    4/5
  • Performance
    4.5/5
What We Like
  • Multipurpose formula

  • Cool and refreshing

  • Nice scent

What We Don't Like
  • Comes out quickly

  • Contains PEGs

Makeup application can be tricky with dry skin, but this multipurpose mist from Anastasia Beverly Hills offers a simple solution. Dewy Set can be used as a first step to prep your skin, then spritzed on again to set your makeup and refresh it throughout the day.

We should note that the nozzle works almost too well in that it's easy to overdo it with too much product. Although our tester's face was somewhat wet after spraying it on, it dried quickly and didn't disrupt her makeup. She said that it feels cooling on the skin, has a nice coconutty-vanilla scent, and leaves a radiant, glowy finish in its wake.

Price at time of publish: $15

Finish: Dewy/radiant | Amount: 0.4–3.4 ounces | Waterproof: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dewy Set Setting Spray

Byrdie / Leticia Almeida

What Our Testers Say

"It was a glowy finish, which looked really pretty but may be a bit much if you're oily or going out in the summer."—Shannon Bauer, Product Tester

Best Matte Finish: One/Size by Patrick Starr On ‘Till Dawn Mattifying Waterproof Setting Spray

4.7
One/Size Patrick Starr On ‘Till Dawn Mattifying Waterproof Setting Spray

Kohl's

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    4.5/5
  • Water Resistance
    4.5/5
  • Performance
    5/5
  • Wear
    5/5
What We Like
  • Blurs imperfections

  • Extends makeup wear

  • Waterproof

What We Don't Like
  • Somewhat perfumey

  • Feels slightly tight

If you prefer a matte finish, we recommend One/Size On 'Til Dawn. The lightweight formula set our tester's makeup instantly, and though it felt slightly tight on her skin, it wasn't uncomfortable.

Once dry, her complexion was smooth and crease-free with a soft-focus blurred effect that kept her makeup intact all day, even through splashes of water. And while this setting spray is mattifying, our tester said it doesn't feel dry or look flat. It smells kind of perfumey, which some people don't mind, but the added fragrance could be irritating.

Price at time of publish: $27

Finish: Matte | Amount: 1–3.4 ounces | Waterproof: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

One/Size by Patrick Starrr On 'Til Dawn Mattifying Waterproof Setting Spray

Byrdie / Leticia Almeida

What Our Testers Say

"After the spray set, my makeup looked smooth and blurred! My makeup is matte without looking dry and flat."—Farhin Shariff, Product Tester

Best Dewy Finish: Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist

4.5
Silky Spray Mist Moisturizer

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Water Resistance
    4.5/5
  • Performance
    4/5
What We Like
  • Light and refreshing

  • Glowy, radiant finish

  • Nice scent

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Going for a dewy dumpling look? Tatcha is your best bet. The brand's Luminous Dewy Skin Mist has a light, refreshing feel, and a nice subtle scent. Thanks to a hydrating blend of red algae, hyaluronic acid, and squalane, a few spritzes are all you need to plump up your skin and create a healthy glow.

After spraying it on her face, our tester said that it didn't smear her makeup but rather locked it into place. She was left with a natural-looking radiance that allowed her to skip the highlighter. While Tatcha doesn't describe this product as waterproof, it definitely passed our splash test. We just wish the bottle were a little bigger, considering the steep price point.

Price at time of publish: $48

Finish: Dewy/luminous | Amount: 0.4–1.4 ounces | Waterproof: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist

Byrdie / Leticia Almeida

What Our Testers Say

"This setting spray felt super lightweight and refreshing. It has a nice subtle smell that reminds me of skincare/spa products, which is on-brand for Tatcha."—Gibreel Martinez, Product Tester

Best Radiant Finish: Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Set + Refresh Spray

MILK Makeup Hydro Grip Setting + Refreshing Spray

Milk Makeup

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Water Resistance
    3.5/5
  • Performance
    4.5/5
What We Like
  • Cool and hydrating

  • Dries quickly

  • Doesn't feel wet or sticky

What We Don't Like
  • Not waterproof

We also like Milk's Hydro Grip Spray. Our tester said that it felt cool on her face and dried quickly into a radiant finish. While the lightweight formula is very hydrating, it didn't feel overly wet or sticky.

Once dry, this skin-friendly setting spray promises to keep your makeup in place for up to 12 hours. A splash of water did result in some slight smudging, but almost nothing transferred when our tester patted her face with a towel.

Price at time of publish: $65

Finish: Radiant | Amount: 1.7–3.4 ounces | Waterproof: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Setting + Refreshing Spray

Byrdie / Leticia Almeida

Best Waterproof: Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional: Super Setter Pore-Minimizing Setting Spray

4.7
Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional: Super Setter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

Sephora

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Water Resistance
    5/5
  • Performance
    4/5
What We Like
  • Light and cooling

  • Doesn't run or smear

  • Extends makeup wear

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't blur very well

  • Contains PEGs and fragrance

If you need a waterproof formula, The POREfessional has your name on it. This micro-fine mist has a virtually weightless, slightly cooling feel. After she sprayed it on, our tester's makeup was set with no smudges or smears to speak of.

While this product didn't really deliver on its pore-blurring claims, it definitely seems to lock in the products underneath. Calling it a "little rain jacket for [her] makeup," our tester said that everything stayed intact after giving her face a good splash. With that said, you can count on The POREfessional to make good on its promise of 16-hour wear.

Price at time of publish: $32

Finish: Natural | Amount: 1–4 ounces | Waterproof: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional: Super Setter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

Byrdie / Leticia Almeida

What Our Testers Say

"It was like a little rain jacket for my makeup—I gave it a good splash, and it stayed intact, didn't run, smear, or move at all."—Shannon Bauer, Product Tester

Best Classic: MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Primer and Setting Spray

3.7
MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Primer and Setting Spray

Ulta

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    3/5
  • Water Resistance
    4/5
  • Performance
    4/5
What We Like
  • Multipurpose formula

  • Doesn't smear makeup

  • Leaves skin smooth

What We Don't Like
  • Finicky nozzle

  • Slightly sticky

  • Contains PEGs

MAC's Prep + Prime Spray has been a beauty-bag staple for several years—and for good reason. The nozzle was a little finicky at first, but once she was able to coat her face, our tester said that her makeup was set and smudge-free.

This multipurpose mist can also be used to prep and hydrate your skin and refresh your face throughout the day. Though our tester noted a slightly sticky feel, it smoothed her skin and left her with a natural-looking dewy finish. And while it's not billed as waterproof, this product seems to offer some moisture resistance and promises to help your makeup last for 12 hours.

Price at time of publish: $24

Finish: Natural/dewy | Amount: 3.4 ounces | Waterproof: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Primer and Setting Spray

Byrdie / Leticia Almeida

Best Multi-Use: Rare Beauty Always An Optimist 4-in-1 Prime & Set Mist

5
Rare Beauty Always An Optimist 4-in-1 Prime & Set Mist

Sephora

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Water Resistance
    5/5
  • Performance
    5/5
What We Like
  • Four-in-one formula

  • Refreshing and hydrating

  • Waterproof and transfer-resistant

What We Don't Like
  • Nothing

Rare Beauty's take on setting spray is this multipurpose mist that not only sets your makeup but also hydrates, primes, and refreshes your skin. After trying it first-hand, we can confirm that it lives up to its claims as a four-in-one formula.

Our tester said that it melted her foundation into her face and left her with a "natural, glowy" complexion and smaller-looking pores. This all-star spray is also waterproof and transfer-resistant. Thanks to a blend of niacinamide (vitamin B3) and white water lily, it even helps soothe stressed skin.

Price at time of publish: $32

Finish: Radiant | Amount: 2.9 ounces | Waterproof: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Rare Beauty Always An Optimist 4-in-1 Prime & Set Mist

Byrdie / Leticia Almeida

What Our Testers Say

 "It felt very refreshing on my skin and smelled pleasant as well."—Gibreel Martinez, Product Tester

Best Value: Beauty Bakerie Spray Your Grace Baking Spray

4.8
Beauty Bakerie Spray Your Grace Setting Spray

Ulta

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Water Resistance
    4.5/5
  • Performance
    5/5
What We Like
  • Reasonably priced

  • Dries quickly

  • Light and non-sticky

What We Don't Like
  • Contains PEGs and fragrance

This reasonably priced setting spray from Beauty Bakerie comes in a generously sized can. The aerosol format delivers a continuous mist, making it easy to coat your face evenly .

Our tester said that it dries quickly and doesn't have a heavy or sticky feel. Her makeup didn't smudge, smear, or transfer, even when she splashed her face with water. While the formula contains synthetic fragrance, she found the light scent pleasant and non-irritating.

Price at time of publish: $18

Finish: Natural | Amount: 3.4 ounces | Waterproof: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Beauty Bakerie Spray Your Grace Baking Spray

Byrdie / Leticia Almeida

Best Drugstore: Pixi Beauty Makeup Fixing Mist

4.5
Pixi

Target 

Our Ratings
  • Comfort
    5/5
  • Performance
    4/5
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Dries quickly

  • Hydrating and refreshing

What We Don't Like
  • Not waterproof

  • Contains PEGs

Our favorite drugstore option is Pixi Fixing Mist—and not just because the name rolls off the tongue. This affordable formula isn't waterproof, but it hydrates and soothes the skin, sets your makeup, and leaves your face feeling refreshed.

Our tester appreciated that it dried quickly, leaving her with smooth makeup and soft-looking skin. And while we realize that lots of folks prefer fragrance-free products, she really loved the scent.

Price at time of publish: $22

Finish: Natural/dewy | Amount: 2.7 ounces | Waterproof: No | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

What Our Testers Say

"I would use this product alone just to refresh my face or to prep my skin before applying makeup."—Sylvia Hammond, Product Tester

Final Verdict

Our number-one pick is Urban Decay All Nighter, a quick-drying, transfer-resistant, waterproof setting spray that helps your makeup last for up to 16 hours. That said, e.l.f.'s Stay All Night Micro-Fine Setting Mist offers similar results, and it'll only run you a few bucks. And if you're looking for an all-in-one primer, setter, hydrator, and refresher, Rare Beauty Always An Optimist 4-in-1 Mist is your best bet. 

How We Tested

Byrdie editors took their time compiling expert recommendations, combing through user reviews, and researching today's best setting sprays. We selected 28 formulas from various brands and retailers to try first-hand in The Lab, our Manhattan product-testing facility.

After assessing the ingredients lists, brand claims, and intended uses, we spritzed them over our own makeup-laden faces. We left the products on for several hours, conducted a splash test, and patted our faces with towels to check for smearing, smudging, and transferring. Each setting spray was then given a score from one to five for feel, performance, water resistance, and wear. Those with the highest scores are featured in this roundup.

Other Options We Tested

Milani Make It Last Setting Spray 

This spray is affordable and does a good job setting makeup and extending its wear. However, it felt sticky and left a "fuzzy, grayish" film on our tester's face, which she had to blend in with a makeup sponge. In the end, we thought the formula was just OK.

Milani Make It Last Setting Spray

Byrdie / Leticia Almeida

L'Oréal Infallible Pro Spray & Set Makeup Setting Spray 

Though it wasn't fast-drying, this reasonably priced option from L'Oréal passed our splash test and definitely helped our tester's makeup stay intact. Unfortunately, she experienced a burning sensation and found the smell unpleasant.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray 

Charlotte Tilbury's setting spray offers an incredibly dewy, glowy effect. While many people like this look, it wasn't ideal for our tester's oily complexion. It's also scented. We like the smell but realize that added fragrance can be hit or miss.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray

Byrdie / Leticia Almeida

Meet the Expert

Nydia Figueroa is a celebrity makeup artist and beauty director at Miss New Jersey Earth and Fashion Gxd Magazine. She has been featured on various outlets, including Nylon, Allure, and The Dr. Oz Show.

What to Look for in a Setting Spray

Alcohol

While formulas with alcohol can help prolong your makeup, the ingredient can be irritating for dry or sensitive skin types, especially if you plan to use it every day. “Remember that alcohol is not a skincare ingredient,” says makeup artist Mia Yang. “Please keep in mind that setting spray is not for everyday use, and a little goes a long way—a light mist is more than enough.” Alternatively, alcohol-free formulas are water-based and tend to be more hydrating, though they may have a slightly shorter wear time.

The Finish

Determine the finish you want to achieve, as well as your skin type. If you tend to get oily, a mattifying setting spray could help to counteract any shininess. But if a luminous finish is what you prefer, opt for a dewy formula.

SPF

While an SPF in your setting spray isn’t mandatory, it’s certainly useful to give your skin some extra backup against the sun’s UV rays—or a layer of protection on those days where you do a full face and realize you’ve forgotten an essential step.

FAQ
  • What is setting spray?

    Setting spray is a liquid mist that helps extend the wear of your makeup and prevent fading and smudging. While water and alcohol are typically the main ingredients in a setting spray, many formulations leave alcohol out of the mix for a more hydrating finish.

  • How do I apply setting spray?

    After you’ve finished applying your makeup, give the bottle a generous shake, then hold it about six to eight inches from your face. Spray on a light veil, and allow it to dry.

What Is Byrdie Verified?

Did you notice the Byrdie Verified seal of approval at the top of this story? This seal means that our team has researched and tested every product on this list using a unique methodology that’s designed to focus on what our readers really want to know—and to deliver insights that you can’t find anywhere else. Occasionally, beauty brands and PR agencies will send us samples for coverage consideration, but our thoughts and opinions are fully our own. If you visit links within our content, we may receive commissions from your purchases, but we never receive any compensation or consideration for the content of our recommendations. In short, the Byrdie Verified seal stands for product recommendations you can trust.

Why Trust Byrdie

Theresa Holland is a freelance contributor at Byrdie. As a commerce beauty writer, she is seasoned in researching formulas, cross-checking ingredients, interviewing experts, and testing products. Of the above brands, she has personally tried setting sprays from Urban Decay, Benefit, Charlotte Tilbury, e.l.f., NYX, Tatcha, and Tower 28. You can find more of her bylines on People, Travel + Leisure, and The Spruce.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40521-020-00275-7

  2. 10.3390/molecules14010540

  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/286270242_A_Review_of_the_range_of_effects_of_niacinamide_in_human_skin

  4. https://doi.org/10.3390/cosmetics8010012

  5. Lachenmeier, Dirk W. “Safety evaluation of topical applications of ethanol on the skin and inside the oral cavity.” Journal of occupational medicine and toxicology (London, England) vol. 3 26. 13 Nov. 2008, doi:10.1186/1745-6673-3-26

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