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Primer v.s. Setting Spray

Nothing is worse than spending ages on a beautiful face of makeup, only to have it ruined by one gust of wind or rain. Makeup can also simply rub off over a long day’s work and by the time you come home, it looks like you never had any on in the first place.

This is why priming your skin and setting your makeup has become an important step in many makeup users’ routine.

Way back in the noughties, however, the only thing used for setting your makeup was some powder. Now, there is a whole plethora of what can be used to keep your makeup lasting all day. 

For those who are still living in the early noughties, never fret! Simply using powder to set your face is completely fine. However, it may not be as effective. 

Primer is usually a clear gel-like product that is applied to your face (which should already be moisturised) before the application of foundation. Primer acts like a base coat. 

On the other hand, a setting spray is the last thing that is applied and acts like a barrier against the elements that may destroy your makeup. It’s like a hairspray, keeping everything where you want it.

Primers are often used to make foundation and concealer to look smoother by reducing the look of pores and blemishes. 

Some of the best-known primers are the ones that have been knocking around for a bit and have been tried and tested by almost every beauty guru on the internet. Benefit’s Porefessional Primer and Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer are both primers that have stood the test of time and remained a top choice for many. 

When it comes to setting spray, thoughts go immediately to Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray which boasts the ability to makeup looking fresh for up to 16 hours. Cheaper more affordable brands such as NYX have also proven themselves to be a contender in the setting spray field. 

There are no set rules on when you should or shouldn’t use each product. You can even use them together if you want. 

When talking about primers, it is important to know what skin type you have as a primer that is not suited to your skin tone might not work as well as it could. Often primers will reference what skin type it is best suited to and this shouldn’t be ignored. 

Oily skin needs something that will take the shine away so mattifying and oil-free primers are the best. Drier skin types need that extra boost of hydration so opting for creamy or gel-based will reduce the appearance of scaly skin. Avoid mattifying if you have dry skin as this will dry your skin out more. 

Don’t forget that colour correcting is also an option for makeup primers. Depending on your skin tone, colour correcting primer can reduce redness or brighten darker complexions and undereye circles. 

It is important to note that many primers contain silicone which some people are sensitive too, so if that applies to you, it is better to stick to a setting spray.

Setting spray is less specific when it comes to skin types. According to Refinery29.com, one thing to look out for is setting sprays that contain hyaluronic acid which can make dry skin appear even drier. 

As per primer, reading what is written on the bottle is important when it comes to choosing the right spray for your skin type. You should also note if a setting spray gives you a dewy or mattifying finish, as this can change your makeup look. 

Picking the best makeup for you often comes down to trial and error. Make sure to shop around and compare reviews to get your perfect match.