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Makeup application jargon can sometimes sound so technical that you end up confused whether it’s an actual makeup term or something that’s been made up to just sound intriguing. This Makeup Basics series focuses on defining these terms in the simplest of ways!

Setting does exactly what it says on the tin: sets. It completes your makeup and keeps everything in place yet a lot of people skip these semi-crucial steps! I’ll be defining the concept of setting and giving you some handy tips and recommendations for setting your makeup.


IMG_3917JPGSetting Powder can be translucent (usually white and will theoretically look invisible on your skin) or tinted to your skin tone, which can either be just a setting powder or a powder foundation for extra coverage. It’s used to set the cream and/or liquid products like foundation, concealer, cream contour and liquid highlight. It’s not 100% necessary to set everything down depending on your skin type and the formula of the products you’ve used, but it can help with keeping it in place and applying/blending other products on top. Often powder products like bronzer won’t blend nicely on top of cream products that haven’t been set. Likewise, cream and liquid products generally won’t work on top of powder products, so make sure you’re completely finished with the cream before you powder.

Powders can be pressed or loose and are generally easiest to apply with a powder brush. However, a velour puff can press powders in rather than skimming across the surface if you need some intense setting or want to sink the powder into the skin. For setting concealer under the eyes or for creating a more chiselled look with powder, Baking would probably be a good option – I have a blog post about Baking!



Setting sprays are different. They’re made for keeping your makeup in place for as long as possible and it’s usually the last step in a makeup routine. There are different finishes depending on your preferences – matte, dewy, illuminating or just a standard finish. You simply spray it all over your face and fan with your hand or a piece of card to dry it down quickly.

You can also use setting spray, fixing spray or toning mist to dampen brushes or beauty blenders for makeup application. Fixing and Toning spray is different to setting spray but often get confused – fixing spray melts makeup onto the skin rather than setting it into place and toning mist is a toner for skincare application.

And that’s it for Setting! See other Makeup Basics posts here if you’re interested in learning more, and comment below if you have any questions.

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