We love spray applications, with face mists and spray on sunscreen or moisturisers leading the trend as of late. Many of us have trusty makeup sprays we’ve been using for years, but do you really know what they do?

Any misconceptions are probably not your fault, considering beauty brands themselves might have products with rather misleading names (you’ll see why).

What is a setting spray?
Setting sprays, simply put, blend or emulsify the layers of primer and makeup on your skin. It makes your look more seamless and holds everything together so your makeup doesn’t melt or slide (kind of like hairspray but for your face). The formulas of setting sprays are often water-based, and contain extracts like botanical oils. They also work really well with mineral or powder foundations.

Tip: Don’t use it before your makeup unless you’re experienced with it as it might cause your foundation to cake or streak.

Example: Mac Fix+, $29

What is a fixing spray?
Fixing sprays are the ones that help your makeup last longer. They are primarily alcohol-based and may contain oils but alcohol is usually one of the top four ingredients. If you use a fixing spray without setting your makeup first, the hold will only really work for the top layer of makeup. These sprays also tend to have a stronger perfume fragrance to cover the alcohol scent.

Tip: Use a fixing spray after a setting spray for the most long-lasting coverage possible.

Example: Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, $48

Want your makeup to truly last all day? Don’t forget to use a primer at the start! Check out 3 best primers for various skin concerns and budgets.