DIY: Versatile Makeup Setting Mist

  Today I want to show you how to make a super-simple spray that can make your makeup look less powdery and more natural. This spray is no unitasker, It can be used as a toner, refreshing mist or to foil powder makeup (wet application).

Since a long time I have been using water to set my makeup. This makes the powder nicely sink into the foundation and gives me a smooth, dewy finish. It makes foundation look much more natural, with mineral foundation you can hardly tell that there is a product on the skin. After a while I switched from plain water to hydrolates like rose and orange water and thermal water.

Then I found out that you can buy ready-made products especially meant to set and fix makeup. What is the difference, you ask? Setting sprays help the various layers of makeup blend together into one layer, and get rid of the powdery look. Fixing sprays make your makeup last longer -- you can tell them apart by the fact that alcohol is one of the top ingredients (regardless whether the label says fixing or setting). Anyway, I went through the ingredients. Most setting sprays are based on oils or glycerin.  The problem is of course other ingredients like perfume, alcohol and silicones as well as problematic preservatives.

  So here is a simple makeup setting spray that you can make yourself. It's a super easy recipe and the ingredients can be easily found. Of course I have added variations and tweaks for those of you whole love to tinker with ingredients. However I suggest that you try the basic version first, because if you add everything you can get your hands on and the mist doesn't work for you, you won't know which ingredient is the culprit.

  This makeup fixing mist is also very versatile: you can use it to foil makeup (mix it with powder eyeshadows, blushes, or mineral makeup for a deeper colour). It also works as a simple toner or a refreshing spray during the day for the face and hair.

DIY Makeup Setting Spray


Water: distilled water is best, or boiled water. You can also use a hydrolate like rose water or your favourite toner (alcohol-free).
Vegetable glycerin or Aloe Vera gel: this makes the product thicker and fixes the makeup. Either one should be 100% pure with nothing added to it. I recommend Aloe Vera over glycerin since it doesn't expire and it doesn't block pores.
 Atomizer / Spritzer bottle: Do disinfect it with alcohol if you are using an old one. Try to find one that releases a fine mist and not a jet spray.
How to: Mix 1 part aloe-vera / glycerine to 4 parts water. If you find this is too thin, you can add more more aloe-vera / glycerine. If it is too thick, add more water. Mix really well, and transfer into your clean bottle.

   If you have used glycerine, the shelf life of your spray should be around two weeks (three weeks in the fridge). To extend the life of the product you can add a preservative, like alum (I break off pieces of my crystal deo for this). DIY cosmetic stores usually store non-toxic preservatives, I use these.

Other ingredients you could add:

Vitamin E oil from a capsule: is a natural preservative. Soothes the skin, moisturises, minimises lines. Avoid it if you have really oily skin or are prone to breakouts.
Essential oils: do look up in which dilution you should use them, and avoid photosensitive ones.
Oils a couple of drops are great for dry skin, or in the winter as an extra layer to protect the skin against cold air (especially if you are prone to broken capillaries). I especially recommend jojoba oil since it is very stable and light.
Alum is a natural preservative. It tightens pores and is antibacterial. If you have been using crystal deos, you probably have pieces lying around.

The ingredients below will shorten the shelf life of the makeup fixing spray, so either make a fresh batch after 2 weeks or add a preservative:
Fresh cucumber juice (squeeze out a chunk of cucumber). This will shorten the shelf life).
Green tea instead of some / all of the water.
Aloe vera distillate instead of some of the water is great for an extra dose of moisture.
Other extracts / vitamins available in stores with cosmetic ingredients.

You can get the ingredients in these places.

How to use your makeup setting spray

   Spray your face with it after you have finished doing your makeup. If you want you can press a paper tissue onto your face. Alternatively spray a bit of the setting spray onto a cotton pad and press (press! Not rub!) it into your face. No, your makeup will not come off. It's like magic!
  Alternatively you can also try misting your face before applying makeup: often makeup goes on better on moist skin.

Store bought makeup setters and fixers I recommend:

   If you need something natural for every day, I'd recommend something with a skin-friendly ingredient list. The one from Alverde is nice and inexpensive. The one from Caudalie has a very nice ingredient list. You can also use thermal water or a hydrolate.

   For special occasions like weddings where you really need your makeup to stay on for a long time no matter what, you might want to invest some money in a good fixer spray, like Kryolan Fixer Spray or Ben Nye, both theater-quality. Other options are Art Deco Fixing Powder, Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray (All Nighter or Dew Me), NYX Makeup Setting Spray and the ones from Skindinavia. Fixing spray should be used at the end, after a setting spray. As it contains alcohol, it should not be used every day.

Do you use a spray to fix your makeup? Or maybe you have even tried the "diving method"? Let me know.

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