Hold that look!


Looking good today? You know you are. And you won’t be telling how long it took to get that perfect blend of the not-there foundation, the natural blush, the subtly shaded eye-lids and the perfectly sculpted mouth.

A great make-up job can make your day, but it’s work and you’d like it to last forever. Or at least until bedtime. The truth is many things conspire against your work of art: skin type, temperature, humidity and sweat. And did you know we touch our faces more than three times per hour? That could be unhygienic and not good for keeping make-up smudge-free, either.

So in the end you keep glancing in mirrors and slipping into restrooms all day to make sure nothing has slipped, smudged or caked.

If this is your problem, the solution might be a spritz in the face with a setting spray. It’s been the secret of actors, dancers and other perspiring performers for too long.

Getting your fix

Technically, there are two kinds of these sprays. The setting spray is specifically designed to keep make-up in place. The finishing spray aims to keep make-up hydrated and fresh-looking.

Why you might need it: It’s an option if you don’t like sealing powders. The right spray will help if you struggle with keeping the shine off an oily or combo skin. A different one will fight the fade on dry skin.

When to use it: Your choice, but it becomes a must-have when you really want to look your best for hours – on your wedding day, at a big do that runs into the evening or for a sweaty all-night clubbing session.

How to: First thing to do, is wait. Once your definitely done with the make-up, hold the bottle an arm’s length, close your eyes and spritz. It should fall on your face naturally, like a fine mist. Don’t overdo it: a sopping wet face is not the goal here. Also read the instructions. It might say shake well and if you don’t, you could end up with weird streaks across your face.

What to look for: Take a good look at what each brand promises. There are some that will lock in make-up for up to 12 hours. You might come across one that lowers the temperature of the make-up –­ great to keep an oily skin looking smooth. Some double as a primer or are enriched with all sorts of natural skin boosters. Check if it has a fragrance – you might like that, or not.

Good to know: Do we need to say it? You can’t use hair spray on your face to this job. It contains alcohol and sometimes other ingredients that could dry out your skin and even make it go red and itchy.

A good spritz could even keep make-up sorted while you sleep – in case you want to save time on sprucing up or have a ridiculously early appointment in the morning. Don’t make a habit of this, though. Your skin needs time to be breathing and there’s no better time than while you’re spending your eight hours in dreamland.


So with setting sprays demistified, here are three fab options to suit every budget:

  1. Essence Keep It Perfect Make-up Fixing Spray, R64,95, available at Clicks and Dis-chem. It has a refreshing effect, doesn’t weigh down the skin and is fragrance-free.
  2. Clarins Fix’ Make-Up, R335, available from leading pharmacies and departmental stores nationwide. This make-up must-have contains the plant extract, Aloe vera and Allantoin that soothe and hydrate while keeping your make-up in place.
  3. Urban Decay Chill Setting Spray, R450, available at the Urban Decay Store in Sandton City Mall. The sprayer delivers a micro-fine mist that goes on so light, you’ll hardly feel it – and once you’ve applied it, you won’t even know it’s there.

8 Responses

  1. I need this, but my problem is my eyeliner for some reason. I don’t think I can spray anything so close to my eyes??

  2. I had no idea there was a difference between setting and fixing sprays! That is going to help me out so much in my future purchases!

  3. I had no idea Essence keep it perfect fixing spray was so affordable! Running out to get it.

  4. Witch hazel oil and rosewater is also great as a natural DIY setting spray ;) x

  5. I love using La Girl pro setting spray, it has even withstood teary eyes at weddings, and at R80 definitely a steal.

  6. These are great but I need something that will make my eyeliner stay on. Even waterproof ones don’t last long because I have sinusitis.

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