The 8 Best Setting Sprays to Keep Your Makeup from Melting Off

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.

Buy at Sephora $33

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.

Buy on their website $23

Best for Dewy Skin: Tatcha Luminous Dewy Mist

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.

Buy at Sephora $48

Best Matte: NYX

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.

Buy at ULTA $9

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.

Buy at Target $14

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.

Buy at Nordstrom $29

Best Waterproof: Hourglass Veil Setting Spray

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.

Buy at Sephora $48

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.

Buy at Sephora $30

INSTYLE article

Dominique Cosmetics – YouTube Sweetheart Turned CEO

YouTube sweetheart turned CEO! Welcome to Artist Spotlight #18 series on my blog.

A note from the co-founder, Christen Dominique:

I have always loved helping people look and feel beautiful. 

The first time I experienced the transformative power of makeup was after applying my mom’s yellow corrector to cover up my dark circles, my biggest insecurity, at age 14. When I saw them disappear, it felt like I was seeing the real me for the first time, and I could finally be comfortable in my own skin.

With my insecurity behind me, I wasn’t afraid of speaking up, putting myself out there, and making new friends. Soon, the instant confidence boost didn’t just change how I saw myself. Other people noticed too.

As I experimented and played around with makeup, girls at school started asking me for help with theirs. I became known as the locker room makeup artist and would often have a long line of classmates waiting to get made over. Seeing how happy and beautiful they felt—that feeling that I still can’t even put into words—after I did their makeup was the best feeling ever. And so my love of artistry was born.

The artistry continued after high school, doing freelance makeup for weddings, photo shoots, quinceañeras, and many other local events. I learned from YouTube and made a few of my own videos here and there too. But as the years passed, real life kicked in. I was in school full time, working at an insurance company, a young mom to my amazing son, married, had a house to take care of, basically a lot going on. As many working moms have experienced, I felt like I was pulled in a million different directions, never able to give one area the time, attention, or love that they deserved. So I told my clients that I had made a heartbreaking decision: I had to let makeup go.

They were sad for me, knowing how much I loved artistry, and suggested that I create some new YouTube videos. That way I could stay connected to them, teach them makeup techniques, and still have makeup be a part of my life.

So I did. And I started to love creating content, this whole new outlet for expressing my creativity. After about a year of consistently filming tutorials, people started to pay attention. Then, I got an opportunity to move to LA and create YouTube videos full time. Thanks to the support of my husband, I took a risk and moved my family from Texas to Los Angeles. That’s when my life really changed.

Once I got to LA, where I had access to studios, lighting, and owned being myself on camera, my videos really took off. I felt lucky to be able to impact others lives, helping them tap into their inner beauty, while sharing techniques that made them feel beautiful on the outside too.

After years of filming beauty content, I felt empowered to take my journey one step further. I wanted to create a brand that put the transformative power of makeup in your hands. I thought back to my freelance days, remembering the need for products that could be multi-purposed. I factored in the most helpful pan sizes, the shades and formulas that were missing from the current market, and even the packaging was designed to bring an experience to life, and make you feel something. I wanted you to have access to the most prestige, innovative products without breaking the bank. With lots of time, research, and even more love, Dominique Cosmetics was born.

If you’d have told me in high school that I’d one day be the CEO and Creative Director of my own makeup brand, Dominique Cosmetics, I’d probably have thought you were crazy. This is truly mine and my family’s dream come true—our co-founder and president is actually my husband. (Love you, Cesar!) We hope that these products can do for you what that yellow concealer did for me years ago: Allow the real you to step into the spotlight, empowering you to feel beautiful inside and out.

XOXO
Christen Dominique

The brand is carried by mostly eyeshadow palettes:

And lately, branching out into face, eyes, and lip products:

It’s safe to say that this is one of the few “influencer makeup brands” that has consistently great products, stays on top of trends, out of drama, and is highly respected.

Dominique Cosmetics website
Dominique Cosmetics Instagram
Dominique Cosmetics at Sephora

Christen Dominique on Instagram
Christen Dominique on YouTube
Christen Dominique on Twitter

The 13 Best E.L.F. Makeup and Skin-Care Products

As said by Allure editors:

“Because E.L.F.’s makeup and skin-care offerings are incredibly affordable and effective, wanting to fill up your cart with everything the beauty brand has to offer is a little too tempting. (We’ve all be there.) Add in the fact that you can pick up the products at your local Target, Old Navy, and drugstores, and you’ll start wondering if E.L.F. wants you to directly deposit your paycheck into its account.

We rounded up some tried-and-true product picks from Allure editors to make shopping E.L.F.’s vast beauty selection a little easier, more efficient, and kinder to your wallet. You’re welcome. Many of our recommendations even have a Best of Beauty Awards and Readers’ Choice Awards to their names, like best eye shadow brush and best lipstick, so you know they’re going to be amazing additions to your beauty routine. Keep scrolling to see which highlighter, eye shadow palette, and skin-care products we swear by.”

E.L.F. Luminous Poreless Putty Primer

Unlike the original version, which has a slightly mattifying effect, E.L.F.’s Luminous Poreless Putty Primer leaves the skin with a subtle dewy finish whether you choose to wear it alone or under makeup. So if you want to minimize the appearance of your pores and get a radiant glow, look no further than this primer.

Buy $10

E.L.F. Gentle Peeling Exfoliant

If you’ve never experienced the wonders of a peeling gel, allow this Best of Beauty winner to be your introduction. Straight out of the pump, it looks like a clear gel. However, when you start rubbing it onto skin, it turns into little balls. Why? The Gentle Peeling Exfoliant picks up the dead skin cells and other grime on your face and rolls it up like eraser dust. It’s incredibly satisfying and leaves skin smooth and radiant.

Buy $10

E.L.F. Cream Contour Palette

The Best of Beauty-winning Cream Contour Palette contains four different matte creams — a trio of bronzes (taupe, fawn, and caramel) and one yellow-beige hue for brightening. Each are rich and intensely pigmented but once blended out, they seamlessly melt into skin for a natural-looking sculpted finish.

Buy $8

E.L.F. SuperBrighten Peel Pads

E.L.F.’s SuperBrighten Peel Pads may not cost you much — and yet, they actually rival some of their more expensive competitors on the market. Formulated with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), citrus (from lemon peel oil and lemon fruit extract), and witch hazel, these exfoliating treatment pads work by gently buffing away excess dead skin, which, in turn, gives the appearance of a more radiant complexion.

Buy $10

E.L.F. Lip Exfoliator

Swipe the brand’s sugar-spiked Lip Exfoliator over your chapped lips to smooth away flakiness in seconds. Your lips will be happier and even a bit plumper once you’re done.

Buy $4

E.L.F. Solid Sponge Cleanser

Washing your makeup tools doesn’t have to be a chore. Keep the Solid Sponge Cleanser near your sink, so you remember to dip dirty brushes and sponges directly into it when they need a washing. (There’s something soothing about swirling them around the charcoal-infused disc.)

Along with pristine brushes, your skin will love that you’re cleaning your brushes with the detoxifying ingredient, as it’s been said to help prevent future breakouts. And let’s be real, we’ll take all the help we can get.

Buy $4

E.L.F. Prismatic Highlighting Duo

Not even E.L.F. is immune to the holographic makeup hype. These color-shifting powders may look petal pink and lilac in the pan, but when brushed onto cheekbones, they transform into a hot pink and sky blue.

Buy $4

E.L.F. Jelly Pop Water Gel Moisturizer

Made with watermelon fruit extract (yum), glycerin, and castor oil, E.L.F.’s Jelly Pop Water Gel Moisturizer soothes redness and re-hydrates parched skin in one fell swoop. It’s also super-fast-absorbing, making it an especially great option for the summer months when we’re sweating more and tend to favor lighter products.

Buy $8

E.L.F. Bite Size Eye Shadow Palette

Available in eight different shade options, E.L.F.’s Bite Size Eye Shadow Palettes (as in the same ones that went viral on TikTok earlier this year) make creating a put-together eye look easy as pie. The quad shown here is “cream & sugar” and contains a combination of neutral-toned, shimmery and matte shadows that work on almost every skin tone. Plus, the formula of these shadows is über-opaque, yet also so easy to blend.

Buy $3

E.L.F. Moisturizing Lipstick in Velvet Rope

Allure editors aren’t the only ones obsessed with E.L.F.’s Moisturizing Lipstick in Velvet Rope — our readers are, too. Velvet Rope, which is a cherry red with a golden sheen, won a Readers’ Choice Award this year for its creamy, hydrating formula that lasts all day long.

Buy $4

E.L.F. Baked Highlighter

Read our guide to the best glow-givers of the year yet? If so, then you already know E.L.F.’s best-selling Baked Highlighter made the cut.

Despite technically being a powder, its ultra-buttery, featherlight formula melts into the skin like it’s nothing and never looks cakey worn on top of foundation and concealer. It also contains skin-loving ingredients like vitamin E, jojoba, and apricot seed oils, which is a nice added bonus.

Buy $4

E.L.F. Beautifully Precise Eyeshadow Brush No. 201

Blending eye shadow ain’t easy. The Beautifully Precise Eyeshadow Brush No. 201, which recently won a Best of Beauty Award, will do all the work for you with as little effort as possible. You can pack color onto your lids with the short, dense bristles before sweeping the fluffy ends over the edges to soften them in seconds.

Buy $6

E.L.F. Mad For Matte Holy Smokes Palette

With all the latest palettes packed with terracotta and peach shades, the E.L.F. Mad For Matte Holy Smokes Palette has a much-welcomed mix of both warm- and cool-toned hues. On the right side, you have a peachy cream, blue-toned gray, and more neutral shades for laying down a clean base. Or, of course, you can wear just one by itself for a more minimalist look.

On the left side, you have a gorgeous teal, sapphire blue, and soft black for making your smoky eye fantasies a reality. (Hence the name Holy Smokes.) You can make sure they are all blended well with the shades situated in the middle of the palette.

Buy $10

ALLURE article

Tips For New Makeup Artists

  • Hand placement – never place your hand on top of a client’s head while working on their face, put it on your hip, hold another brush in it, or place it on the client’s chin. This is especially important with brides or models who have their hair already done. Plus, we tend to focus a lot on the step we’re doing that we might not notice just how hard our grip is on the client’s head.
  • Your pinky finger is your best friend – it serves as a resting point for your hand while blending eyeshadow or applying eyeliner, lipliner and lipstick. It’s a balancing tool to be used instead of resting the side of your hand on the face, or hold their head.
  • Apply false lashes easily – have the client look down and to the right for their right eye, and down to the left for their left eye. This method stretches the inside corner of the client’s eyelid allowing for perfect placement of false lashes and eyeliner.
  • Use dense eyeshadow applicators for glitters/pigments – you know those cheap ones that come with palettes? They’re so dense and impactful, they’ll be able to apply the glitter/pigment with less fallout and product loss than a traditional brush.
  • Choose the right eyeshadow transition shade – this shade is placed slightly above the socket of the eye under the browbone to transition into an eyeshadow look. The best bet is to use the bronzer shade you’re using on the client. This allows for cohesiveness and sculpting.
  • Avoid and correct eyeshadow fallout – it’s recommended to do eyeshadow first and wipe off the fallout without disrupting the base makeup. Apply skincare and primer, followed by eyeshadow. Clean up the fallout by wiping it off with a cotton round with some skincare on it – that way you’re not wiping off the initial skincare.
  • Apply skincare & primers strategically – skincare should help balance out dry/oily areas while helping to prolong the wear of makeup. Many people have oily T-zones (forehead, nose, and chin) while having dryness on the cheeks. Use hydrating, mattifying, and smoothing primers in areas where they’re needed. One primer may be all that the client needs, but may be not.

Tatcha Silk Canvas VS. E.L.F. Putty Primers

Beauty lovers about lost their minds when a luxury brand Tatcha released their infamous Silk Canvas primer, with claims to smooth the complexion and appear practically poreless.

At $68USD for 20g of product, this primer gained popularity very quickly. As we know, drugstore brands like to jump on the “popular” train and create a cheaper alternative.

When ELF Cosmetics introduced their Poreless Putty primer, hundreds of reviews and YouTube comparison videos emerged. Needless to say it was a success, as the company added Matte and Luminous versions of this primer to the lineup.

At $8USD for 21g of product, this primer provides the same results as its luxury counterpart, and you only need the smallest amount to give the results you’re looking for.

Purchase the Tatcha Silk Canvas primer.
Purchase the ELF Poreless Putty primer.

Have you tried either of these products? Let me know in the comments below!

To Prime or Not To Prime? (Eyes)

Whether “to prime or not to prime” – is an ongoing debate in the beauty atmosphere. Some professional makeup artists prefer to use concealer instead of an eyeshadow primer and say it works just as well. The next question is – whether or not to set it with a powder or a bone-coloured eyeshadow.

The truth is – there’s no universal answer to that. Eyeshadow priming techniques and products vary from person to person, nothing will work for everyone.

When I work on my clients, I always ask what their skin type is and whether they find their current eyeshadow priming technique to work for them or not. From their answers, I decide how to proceed.

For people like myself who do use a designated eyeshadow primer, and don’t set it for a better colour payoff, I recommend these from different price points:

If you do apply eyeshadow primer on yourself or your clients, make sure you’re not tagging on the eyelid to apply it – simply look down (or make the client do so) and use your brush or fingers to distribute the product.

Do you use eyeshadow primer? Let me know what techniques and products you use in the comments below!