We’ve all been there: You put extra time and care into flawlessly blending and buffing your foundation, meticulously lining your lash line with kohl eyeliner, and painting on your favorite lipstick. Then, maybe the heat or nerves has caused beads of sweat to drip down your forehead and above your upper lip. Before you know it, your makeup is smudged and runny, and there’s no opportunity for you to do some quick damage control.
Luckily, there’s an extremely easy way to avoid messing up your makeup. Enter makeup setting sprays. These ultra-fine mists lock your look in place without feeling like you have an extra layer of product on your face.
That being said, there’s a ton of makeup setting sprays out there, and each come with their own set of benefits to suit various skin types and makeup styles.
Best Overall: Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Setting Spray
The MVP of setting sprays, this Urban Decay product remains a cult-favorite because it’s safe for all skin types. Although, oily skin will love that it’s infused with kaolin clay for excess oil and shine control. The microfine mist is lightweight and holds makeup in place for up to 16 hours.
Best SPF: Milani Cosmetics Make It Last Sunscreen Spray SPF 30
Yes, no one wants their makeup to melt off their face, but protecting your skin against sun damage is more important than a flawless face of foundation. Luckily, Milani has combined makeup setting spray and SPF 30 into a single product. This micro mist locks makeup in place for up to 16 hours, hydrates, and shields skin from UVA/UVB rays.
This mist is a must-have for anyone (OK all of us) who are after that elusive lit-from-within glow. Made with humectants and botanicals oils, use the hydrating formula as a primer before applying makeup or refresh your skin throughout the day to keep your makeup from getting dry and cakey.
If you have oily skin, you’re familiar with melty, runny makeup. This best-selling NYX spray sets makeup while mattifying skin, combating shine, and minimizing the appearance of pores. No wonder it’s the number one setting spray in America, according to Neilson data.
Best for Long-Wear: L’Oréal Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Make-Up Extender
There are a ton of setting sprays at the drugstore, but not all are created equal. L’Oréal’s spray is a standout because the lightweight mist keeps makeup looking freshly applied for hours on end. Bonus: The formula is non-comedogenic and dermatologist-tested, so rest assured it won’t clog pores and lead to breakouts or cause irritation.
Best Primer: MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Primer & Setting Spray
This two-in-one product primes skin for smooth, even makeup application and keeps it fresh all day long. Packed with green tea, chamomile, and cucumber, the spray also soothes and calms redness, making it a great option for sensitive skin, too.
It might seem counterintuitive, but spritzing this setting spray on your face after you’ve finished applying your makeup will make your look waterproof for up to 24 hours. The water-resistant formula also gives skin a smooth finish and blurs imperfections.
Best for Touchups: Fenty Beauty What it Dew Makeup Refreshing Spray
OK, this might technically be a face mist, but it was created with the sole purpose of reviving and refreshing makeup throughout the day. Better yet, you can spritz it on your face before reaching for your makeup to create a hydrated, dewy base for your foundation and concealer.
Sephora became the first brand to join the 15 Percent Pledge. The initiative, created by Brother Vellies designer Aurora James, asks major retailers to pledge at least 15% of their shelf space to black-owned businesses. “So many of your businesses are built on Black spending power. So many of your stores are set up in Black communities. So many of your sponsored posts are seen on Black feeds. This is the least you can do for us. We represent 15% of the population and we need to represent 15% of your shelf space,” James wrote in the post that launched the pledge.
“We recognize how important it is to represent Black businesses and communities, and we must do better. So, we’re starting now,” Sephora wrote in an Instagram post, announcing their participation. This is hopefully only the beginning of real change to come within Sephora, and other major brands like it.
If you’re looking for what brands to support even before the 15% pledge kicks into full gear, here are 7 Black-owned beauty brands you can shop on Sephora to continue to support the Black community.
Fenty Beautyby Rihanna
Rihanna was inspired to create Fenty Beauty after years of experimenting with the best-of-the-best in beauty—and still seeing a void in the industry for products that performed across all skin types and tones. She launched a makeup line “so that people everywhere would be included,” focusing on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades.
“This is the golden age of makeup. PAT McGRATH LABS is my Golden Revolution. The entire planet is just as cosmetics obsessed as I’ve always been. Makeup is a movement. Makeup is mesmerizing. Makeup is major. Mantra-esque, three words have repeated over and over in my mind ever since I was young. Obsession. Inspiration. Addiction. Those words became my guiding principles, my manifesto as I brought this brand to life . I wanted to capture, in a quartet of exquisite palettes, 50 legendary lipsticks, a divine dozen eyeliners and five fetish-worthy lip pencils, The Power of Transformation, The Power of Beauty; The Power of Makeup.” – Pat McGrath, CEO & Founder of PAT McGRATH LABS
After an early-twenties move to New York City forced Nancy to trade out her homemade essentials for the store-bought variety, she quickly realized that the natural hair care on the market simply did not live up to its performance claims. Armed with a tiny East Village studio apartment, her grandmother’s coveted beauty recipes and a rockstar natural chemist team, Nancy Twine founded Briogeo Hair Care.
“Adwoa beauty is a modern, non toxic, gender neutral beauty brand catering to multi-cultural hair textures. buying hair products is a choice, not a command. we empathize with your experience in using tons of products that failed to deliver the results. we’ve created a highly effective collection of products with ingredients that are concentrated, working with nature and science to bring you immediate results. we are committed to being transparent with our ingredients.”
“Our products are daily essentials for inner and outer radiance, because beauty and balance start from within. Golde was founded by Trinity Mouzon in 2016 with the vision of making self-care more inclusive, engaging, and fun. Our products are infused with single-origin turmeric, a potent super-herb recognized for its beautifying, healing, and mood-boosting properties.”
“Whether it’s with an eye mask, a lip mask, or a lip scrub, we’re all about keeping you naturally cute and effortlessly fresh. We think you’re dope just the way you are, but we’re here to give you that little bit of extra. Chill with us for 15-20 minutes, and we’ll put stars in your eyes and kisses on your lips.”
Considered the secret behind Hollywood’s most flawless faces, expert esthetician Shani Darden sets herself apart with her results-oriented approach to skin care. Her passion for simple, yet effective solutions has earned her clients’ trust and respect in a town where beauty, health, and wellness standards are high.
Following the success of Rihanna’s game-changing makeup brand, Fenty Beauty, everyone has been on the edge of their seats for a skin-care counterpart. Now, one year after filing a trademark for Fenty Skin, the line is dropping — and reviews are already pouring in from the influencers who were lucky enough to get their hands on the three products (cleanser, serum-toner, and moisturizer) first. So, what’s the consensus for a line Rihanna promised would work “on all skin tones, textures, and types?”Short answer: It’s complicated.
One of the first and most-shared reviews on Twitter came from licensed esthetician Tiara Willis, who runs the account @MakeupForWomenOfColor. The skin-care professional says that while she loved the ingredients, packaging, and texture of the products, she claims that her skin reacted to the fruity-floral fragrance included in all the formulations. “Fragrance can cause you to have a reaction now (which happened to me) or it can happen overtime with continued use. I have always been sensitive to fragrance on my face, so the Fenty Skin products broke me out in small red bumps and my face stung,” she tweeted. Willis emphasized that her experience is personal as she has dry, sensitive, and acne-prone skin, and despite long supporting Rihanna and Black-owned businesses, she felt a responsibility to share her honest experience with the products.
Other fans with sensitive skin expressed concern over the fragrance, as well as astringents like witch hazel in the serum-toner. “Waking up to the news that all three of the new Fenty products have fragrance AND the toner’s second ingredient is witch hazel is upsetting me,” wrote one Twitter user. YouTuber Keamone F., who tried the products in advance, also expressed some reservations, particularly with the toner: “I love me a hydrating toner, and this is not that,” she says, clarifying that if you’re a fan of witch hazel, then you might prefer it. “I still think we need to have our toner and our serum separate,” she added. The YouTuber did stress that the toner-serum could be a good option as a mattifying primer for makeup.
I also received the products ahead of the launch, and when I tested all of them (and applied them as directed over a few days), I noticed that my own skin started to react with inflamed, red bumps on my cheeks. Like Willis, I have sensitive, acne-prone skin as well as rosacea, and fragrance and astringents are typically an irritant for me. The one product I would keep in my arsenal is the cleanser, which truly lives up to its promise and removes every trace of makeup without stripping my skin dry. While it does have a scent, it’s much lighter than the rest of the formulations, and I’m more comfortable using it since it comes in contact with my skin for a shorter amount of time.
In a video on YouTube, Rihanna directly addressed the fragrance component. “We never use more than one percent of a synthetic fragrance, and if we do, we don’t hide it. You will always know about it,” said the founder. “We’re a clean brand; we’re a very honest brand.” According to the video, the fragrance is specific to each product, and is intended to create a sensorial effect.” She also shared on Twitter that she has super sensitive skin and kept that top of mind when creating her line. Rihanna certainly isn’t the first or the last to use fragrance in cosmetics, which is often added to products to mask unpleasant smells, to serve as aromatherapy, or to make a formula more appealing to the consumer — and many people can tolerate it with no problem.
Among them are the influencers who have posted glowing reviews with zero signs of irritation. YouTuber Nicol Concilio claims to have used the Fenty Skin products for 17 days and found that they worked to even out her complexion. She praised the cleanser for removing all of her makeup, too. Senior Beauty Editor at Glamour, Lindsay Schallon — who shared that she typically finds “fragranced skin-care products too overpowering and irritating” — spoke to her positive experience with the products, calling the toner-serum the star of the lineup. One Twitter user compiled all the reviews in one place for people to make the decision for themselves.
Most early testers, and even those who haven’t gotten their hands on the products, do agree on one detail: the packaging. Not only do people love the functionality of the twist-open bottles and the neutral packaging hues, but they’re also buzzing about the brand’s mission to be environmentally conscious. The streamlined packaging uses post-consumer recycled (PCR) bottles that can be continuously recycled, the moisturizer is refillable, and there is no shrink wrap or unnecessary boxes. These efforts are pertinent to the discussion around the beauty industry’s role in environmental waste, with the personal care industry reportedly creating 120 billion units of packaging every year.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that skin care is personal to everyone. It’s up to every individual to determine what fits their needs and preferences and to test out formulas for themselves. If you’re looking to get your hands on the anticipated Fenty Skin line, the Total Cleans’r Remove-It-All Cleanser, Fat Water Pore-Refining Toner Serum, and Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen became available at fentyskin.com on July 31.
Whether you wear false eyelashes at all/sometimes/always, a good mascara should not flake or smudge in any case. I’ve tested SO many mascaras, at all price points, and I’m ready to share my favourites with you!
The conic shape fiber brush provides lashes with dramatic volume and sculpted length. Opthalmologically tested. Not tested on animals.
Essence What The Fake! Volumizing & Lengthening Mascara $4.99
Enriched with nylon fibers for lashes looking incredibly thicker and longer, giving your lashes that false lash look. The nylon fibers in the formula absorb some of the liquid, making this a thicker formula, great for layering and building up volume.
Essence Bye Bye Panda Eyes! Mascara $4.99
For clean volume and defined lashes – The Bye Bye Panda Eyes! Mascara by Essence is made to last all day without smudging or clumping with their tubular formula. Plus, it’s easy to remove with just warm water.
Essence I Love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara $4.99
The deep-black, creamy texture covers each individual lash with color and the extra-large plastic brush provides sensational volume. Opthalmologically tested.
Essence The False Lashes Mascara Dramatic Volume Unlimited $4.99
The deep black texture and unique shape of the Essence The False Lashes Mascara Dramatic Volume Unlimited fiber brush ensures dramatic volume and a gorgeous false lash effect. Not tested on animals.
The special braided design of the cap has never been seen before. Enriched with lengthening fibers, this styling mascara provides an 18hr longlasting volume effect and ensures fully extended lashes. The fiber releasing brush has the perfect shape to reach even the smallest lashes!
Covergirl LashBlast Volume Mascara $6.99
Get a blast of lush, volumized lashes! LashBlast’s patented volume-boosting formula and patent-pending brush are designed to max-out each and every lash, leaving you with the ultimate big lash look. Instant volume and fullness. Smudge and wear-proof. Hypoallergenic and suitable for contact lens wearers. “Cruelty Free”.
Rimmel Scandaleyes Volume On Demand Mascara $7.99
Lash-conditioning formula delivers a smooth, clump-free finish every time. Unique brush contains wavy fibre technology, catching, loading and separating every single lash. Sweep through hard-to-reach lashes with the tapered brush shape. Layer it up for bigger, bolder volume anytime with zero clumps. Available in two shades: bold black or natural-looking brown.
Covergirl Exhibitionist Mascara $8.39
With COVERGIRL’s Exhibitionist volumizing mascara, lashes are full and defined after only one coat. Our volumizing mascara formula glides smoothly onto lashes. Get soft lashes with no flaking or smudging. “Cruelty Free”
L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Volume Building Mascara $8.99
L’Oreal’s Voluminous Carbon Black Volume Building Mascara has a unique formula of panthenol and ceramide-R that builds and thickens voluptuous lashes while conditioning them, so they remain supple and healthy. An exceptionally plush brush is designed to glide on just the right amount of mascara without clumping or flaking. Non-irritating, fragrance-free formula is safe for sensitive eyes and contact wearers.
Maybelline Falsies Lash Lift Mascara $10.49
Get an instant lash lift effect from a mascara. Falsies Lash Lift from Maybelline NY delivers dramatic volume and long, lifted lashes. The double curved lifting brush and fiber-infused formula grabs lashes at the root to lift, thicken, and lengthen. No clumps, smears, or flakes, just volume that lasts all day.
Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara $10.49
Build on bold volume to create irresistibly soft, separated, and fluffy lashes coat after coat. Maybelline’s Total Temptation Mascara features a creamy and whipped formula enriched with coconut extract.
Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara $10.99
This mascara unfolds layer upon layer of lashes for a new full-fan effect.
NYX On The Rise Volume Liftscara $11
Delivering quick-charge lift and volume in just a few strokes. Featuring an innovative applicator that¿s part rounded, part hourglass to lift you lashes up to new heights! The “curling” effect results in a far-reaching fringe so that eyes look bigger and lashes look thicker.
L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara $14.77
This is the mascara for voluptuous volume and length, now with even more black pigment. Soft wavy bristle brush holds maximum formula for a dramatic volumizing charge.
MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara $20
The breakthrough lightweight waterproof formula creates beautiful defined lashes with a petite brush. This long-wearing mascara lasts up to 16 hours, yet the washable formula removes easily with warm water thanks to an innovative thermal-sensitive technology. The unique slim-type brush reaches and grips even the tiniest hairs with an advanced lifting formula in a saturated blackest black colour. This extreme defining composition enhances length, resulting in gorgeously distinguished, out-to-there lashes.
Glossier Lash Slick Mascara $20
Curls and sculpts as it lengthens, creating a natural “baby extension” effect without clumping. Teeny-tiny fibers coat lashes from root to tip, while flexible film-forming polymers lift and lock each fiber into place.
Fenty Beauty Full Frontal Volume, Lift & Curl Mascara $24
A do-it-all mascara that is designed to expose every lash, featuring an exclusive flat-to-fat brush that instantly volumizes, lifts, lengthens, and curls.
MILK Makeup KUSH High Volume Mascara $24
A high-volume mascara formulated with heart-shaped fibers, conditioning hemp-derived cannabis seed oil, and pure pigments for an intense black finish.
NARS Climax Mascara $24
With its buildable formula and stellar brush, NARS’s Climax Mascara surrounds every lash with a lightweight coating that stays supple and soft to the touch – avoiding that unwanted “crispy” feel.
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara $25
An intensely black voluptuous volume mascara for the sexiest, defined, multidimensional lashes possible.
Benefit Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara $25
A mascara inspired by hair rollers, this super-curling and lifting mascara gives a sexy, wide-eyed look. Its patent-pending Hook ‘n’ Roll™ brush features tiny custom-designed hooks to catch, lift, and curl even short and straight lashes.
Benefit They’re Real Mascara $25
A lengthening mascara that curls, volumizes, lifts, and separates lashes for an “out-of-here” look.
Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara $25
A long-lasting, voluminous mascara with a black-boosting polymer in its pigment for 12 times more volume and up to 24 hours of wear.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara $27
An ultra-volumizing mascara that delivers instant dimension for epic lashes.
Marc Jacobs Beauty At Lash’d Lengthening And Curling Mascara $27
A long-wear, lengthening, and curling mascara for a highly defined, full-extension lash look.
Hourglass Caution™ Extreme Lash Mascara $29
An all-in-one mascara that delivers a look of endless length, intense volume, and sky-high lift for extreme, dramatic lashes.
Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara $29
You can expect the longest lashes going with this new Hourglass formula. The brush easily gets through every lash, creating a defined, fanned-out appearance that stays put; it’s also a tubing mascara which means it comes off easily with water – no scrubbing needed.
Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star Volumizing Mascara $30
A gravity-defying mascara that delivers instant volume, multidimensional length, and weightless lift in a single stroke.
What are your favourite mascaras? Let me know in the comments below!
Parisian makeup artist Violette’s top secret for how to apply foundation? Execute it without a trace. “I want people to say, ‘Oh my god, your skin looks amazing!’ not, ‘Your foundation is so great,'” she explains. And while finding the perfect formula is half the battle, once you have it, making like Houdini and ensuring it vanishes into your complexion is just as crucial. Here, three in-demand makeup artists share their fine-tuned tips for how to apply foundation and achieve that ever-elusive, second-skin finish.
Create a Glowing Canvas
Clean and moisturized skin is a no-brainer, but to really supercharge your glow, begin with a hydrating mask and follow it up with a lymphatic facial massage. When makeup artist Nina Park works with clients such as Zoë Kravitz and Bella Hadid, she begins with a sheet mask specifically targeted to their skin type, with ingredients such as rose to combat oiliness, aloe to treat dryness, and green tea to soothe inflammation. After masking, gently massage your moisturizer into the skin to boost circulation and reduce puffiness. “It creates a natural flush that makes the face look more awake,” says makeup artist Kira Nasrat, who helps give Jessica Alba that perpetually luminous complexion.
Prime as Needed
To prime or not to prime? It’s an eternal question for amateurs and pros alike. While Violette typically skips the extra base step in the interest of using as little product as possible, when applied correctly, it can prolong foundation for all-day wear. “I use an anti-shine primer for hotspots like the forehead, hairline, sides of nose, and around the mouth, and then a sheer, illuminating one for the tops of the cheekbones,” explains Park, adding that she applies each with her fingertips.
Only apply foundation where it’s really necessary, insists Violette, who counts Estée Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue Moisturizing Foundation with SPF 45 among her favorites. “Start in the center of the face, on the apples of the cheeks, and slowly blend out,” she instructs, adding that another key part of the face is the area around the mouth, which is prone to yellow undertones and shadows. To ensure the foundation looks as natural as possible, Violette often skips the bridge of the nose—letting freckles show through for those who have them—and the corners of the nostrils, so the pigment doesn’t cling to dry patches.
Don’t Paint, Buff
No matter what tool you’re using—a foundation brush, a BeautyBlender, or your fingers—buff (or bounce, if you’re using a sponge) the foundation into your skin as opposed to “painting” it on to build coverage smoothly and avoid streakiness, says Park.
Strobe Wherever the Sun Hits
For dimension, blend highlighter into the high planes of the face that catch light naturally, such as the cheekbones, temples, and Cupid’s bow. “I’m not a fan of powder highlighters because it looks a bit fake to me,” says Violette. “Creamy balm textures will give you a dewiness as if you’re not wearing any products.”
Blot, Then Set
First, sop up excess oil with blotting papers. Then, look to a featherweight translucent powder to seal in foundation and prevent unwanted sheen. “Use a brush to apply it very lightly and only to the areas that get the most shiny,” says Nasrat, adding that the leftover luster is what will really drive home that second-skin guise. Silky smooth and even-toned, with just the right amount of lit-from-within dewiness, that’show you execute believably perfect skin.
The definition and meaning of makeup priming have changed overtime, in some cases to be more confusing. However, as a professional makeup artist, you have to know what it means to prime the face for makeup application, whether a separate primer is needed, what skin concerns you are trying to address, etc.
While some makeup artists swear by skincare as priming alone to be just fine, others argue that a makeup artist should have a variety of primers in their kit to address specific skin concerns such as redness, dehydration, large pores, uneven skin tone, dull skin, oily or dry skin, sensitive skin, and more.
In my opinion, moisturizer is non-negotiable, and has to be freshly applied before makeup application. Then, I carefully assess the client’s face by asking questions and gently pressing with my pinky finger to see the skin response. From there, I decide whether to apply a specific primer that would be beneficial to the client, and not just another layer.
That said, often times either one of these three techniques are used post moisturizing:
On top of moisturizer, one primer is applied concentrating in a specific area, with purposes to smooth the skin, correct redness, provide a healthy glow, mattify, or further hydrate. The best example of this is using a moisturizer suitable for the client’s skin needs, with, for example, an oily T-zone being covered with a mattifying primer, but the rest of the skin left alone.
On top of moisturizer, two or more primers are used to correct more than one concern on a client’s face. Same skin concerns as above, using specific primers in specific areas.
Lastly, as I mentioned in the beginning, some makeup artists feel as though the moisturizing step is enough to prepare the client’s skin for makeup, and if it’s still fresh and active – carry on with makeup application.
Here I’ve listed some great options for common skin concerns:
Of course there is a myriad of textures, colors, functions, etc. Please consider your personal needs and online reviews if you’re unsure whether it’ll be right for you. And if it’s not – on to the next one! Sponges should be replaced around every 3 months, due to product buildup and bacteria. As well, please wash your sponges after every single use.
What are your favourite makeup sponges? Do you use them or brushes alone? Let me know in the comments below!