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Look, we're not going to try and pretend that smudged makeup is the biggest setback we've encountered in 2020.
But, nevertheless, it's a very real dilemma faced by many of us every day, with face masks now mandatory in almost all public spaces.
There are few things more irritating than perfectly applying your bronzer, concealer and lippy only for it to smudge off under your Covid face mask - or worse, smear across your face.
That's why we decided to road test the most popular setting sprays on the market to see which ones really stood up to the test.
Test driving the same makeup look with a set of white face masks (so you can see all the grimy makeup residue) we've ranked setting sprays from Charlotte Tilbury, Morphe, Urban Decay, Pixi and Anastasia Beverly Hills on all the most important criteria.
Okay, if we were ranking setting sprays on glittery aesthetic and scent alone then this one would win, hands down.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dewy Set (100ml) has a luscious coconut and vanilla smell as it lands on your face, which will make you want to keep spraying the whole bottle on there (don't!). You're meant to spray your setting spray in a "T" and "X" formation at a distance from your face.
Its formula promises to set your makeup with a 'dewy finish,' which is where it differs from some other leading brands, that offer more of a matte result. You can use this spray before makeup to prime the skin and afterwards to set it.
It also claims to blend products together on your face as well as keeping them in place - and that it does. Apart from the smallest amount of lipstick residue my makeup stayed put with very little smudging.
Pros: The cute glittery bottle, the smell, the staying power, can be used before makeup to prime skin, too.
Cons: Slightly wet finish on face, takes longer than other sprays to fully dry (between 3-5 minutes), price.
Charlotte Tilbury's Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray has somewhat of a cult following, much like pretty much everything from the makeup guru's own brand. In fact, it sold out in just 24 hours at the start of July when it first came on the market.
This setting spray promises to make your makeup look "just applied" throughout the day - so, basically, you should expect zero smudging, for up to 16 hours.
This spray also has a smell - fresh and zesty - no doubt thanks to the addition of aloe vera and Japanese green tea, and it certainly feels more luxurious than some of the others to apply, due to the fact it comes out in such a fine mist, covering your face easily without drenching it.
When applied after your makeup it's meant to 'blur' it, so that it looks more blended and flawless on your face (hence the name). The setting spray can also be applied before makeup to prep and prime your skin.
There was a little bit of makeup smudging with this mask, but overall it kept the majority of the makeup in place.
Pros: The scent, the application, dries quickly, can be used before makeup to prime skin, too.
Cons: Staying power rivalled by other brands.
When you think of setting sprays, this is perhaps the first one that comes to mind - and with good reason. The Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray also promises to last 16 hours "without melting, fading or settling into fine lines."
It comes in a 118ml bottle (slightly larger than competitor brands) and contains aloe extract and vitamin E, which is meant to be soothing on the skin.
The spray is meant to be scented like chamomile - although, truth be told, we aren't too keen the smell (some of our friends even say it smells like McDonald's!).
So, how does it work? According to Urban Decay "this baby lowers the temperature of your makeup to keep foundation, eyeshadow, blush and concealer in place - even in hot and humid, or cold and windy weather conditions." To apply, spray it 2-4 times from a distance in a "X" and "T" motion.
This certainly offers a more matte finish, so it depends on your preferences. We found this the most effective at keeping makeup on all day with very little smudging (other than a bit of lip gloss on our mask).
Pros: Bigger bottle, the application, dries quickly, unrivalled staying power.
Cons: The smell.
The Morphe setting spray (79.4g) promises an end to "melting, caking or fading".
What differs about this spray is it has an air powered mist, so you don't need to worry about big splatters of liquid landing on your face, and messing your makeup up more, rather than actually fixing it down.
With a pleasant floral scent, this is one of the most pleasant sprays to apply, and it only takes a couple of sprays (from a distance) to completely cover your face.
It also promises to control oil and shine and a matte finish, containing powder which "sets liquid or powder makeup to a smooth, matte finish."
This spray did show the most smudge and the least holding power - though, for the price, may still be a good option with regular application.
Pros: The price, the application, the smell, dries quickly.
Cons: The staying power.
The Pixi makeup fixing mist (80mls) is meant to be "fuss-free" and can be applied in minutes.
It can either be used before applying make-up to prime the skin and prolong wear, or spritzed on the face afterwards, at a distance, to set make-up, and "prevent foundation settling into fine lines and pores".
Infused with rose water and green tea to hydrate the skin, this spray promises your makeup won't budge when it's on. It's quite a wet application, but dries surprisingly quickly on the face, and smells nice, too.
This spray left a bit of lipstick residue on our mask, but we didn't see much smudge on the face, making it a strong contender for its price point.
Pros: The price, dries quickly, the smell.
Cons: Staying power rivalled by other brands, smaller than other brands.
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