Our Sweatiest Writer Tested 7 Makeup Setting Sprays Over 1 Stupidly Hot Week

Best Makeup Setting Sprays

Hi, I’m Josie, head of editorial here at Pedestrian.TV and also, a sweaty mess. Like, between the months of September to April I am HOT. I don’t like it. I recently went to Seoul, South Korea and it was -20 degrees and I had a t-shirt and puffer jacket on with Nike tights and I bloody well THRIVED, I tells ya.

me, in the northern hemisphere

I know, it’s un-Australian. I’m originally from Newcastle where if you don’t froth on summer, surfers, and lying around roasting on the beach all day then you’re some kind of alien. Well look, I love Mick Fanning as much as the next red-blooded female but I’d much rather make out with him in an air-conditioned space, if you don’t mind.

me, in a safe 18-degree celsius space

Summer is an uncomfortable time for me, especially because I am a fan of wearing makeup. Looking like a human and not like an extra on Walking Dead is a high priority for me, so I paint my face accordingly. But more often than not, the entire lot of it – serum, moisturiser, primer, foundation, eyeshadow – just slides straight off my face 0.5 seconds after leaving the house because of the stupid humidity in this godforsaken city I live in.

me, two minutes after leaving the house in summer

Thankfully, most cosmetics brands have developed a secret weapon – makeup setting sprays. They vary in price (and effectiveness) but they all have the same basic principle: spray this magical potion all over your face, and your makeup should stay put, instead of sliding off onto your boobs as soon as you take one single step.

Knowing that I’m not the only sweaty girl out there, I decided to grab a whole bunch of these sprays and try them so you don’t have to. They were put through the wringer for one disgusting Sydney week (like seriously it’s April just FUCK OFF ALREADY HUMIDITY I HATE YOU), and here are my findings.

me, doing this article for you


Best Makeup Setting Sprays
Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix Make-Up Setting Spray (125ml), $43

I tried this guy on the first day of my trial. On the more exxy side of the spectrum, I was expecting big things and it was fine. To be fair, the day I chose to use it was about 36 degrees and quite humid – so my makeup lasted well all day until I had to get the bus and walk about 7 mins up a hill to meet a friend. When I looked in the mirror later, you could tell the spray had valiantly tried to hold onto the makeup but I still had vaguely unwell, clammy appearance. I tried it again on a less disgusting day and it did a better job. My takeaway: just do not leave the house on 36 degree days.


Mecca Max Maximum Security Makeup Setting Spray, $18

On the second day of my trial, I used this more reasonably-priced option – it did a pretty good job of keeping everything where it should be. It’s a nice product, smells good and dries cool, but I was literally blown away by was the sheer volume of spray that comes shooting out of this thing. They need to fix their nozzle because it is just aggressive.

me, using this spray


Best Makeup Setting Sprays
Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray, $49

Urban Decay are the big daddy of sprays. They have several types in their repertoire for different skin needs – this mattifying one is for oil control and let me tell ya, it’s a good one. Since UD know their way around a setting spray, I tested this one out on a particularly hot and humid fucker of a day which saw me going from home to work and then over to a friend’s place. By the time I got there, sweating like a pig, I still looked fresh and semi-presentable. Even my brows were still intact.


Best Makeup Setting Sprays
MAC Prep + Prime Fix+, $36

PSA to all my friends and relatives: if you’re planning on getting married in summer, just go ahead and leave me off your invite list. Seriously, I like you but I do not like standing around sweltering while you profess your undying love for one another. It’s the one time of year I feel sorry for guys, who have to wear oppressively hot suits and silently seethe at me in my breezy Spell dress. I just wouldn’t be able to wear a suit at all if I was a man. Anyway, I digress: basically I chose this refreshing MAC spray because I’d heard good things and I was going to a summer outdoor wedding and needed to be able to rely on something quality. I checked on it throughout the night and my face looked goddamn flawless until I cut a rug to Michael Jackson‘s “The Way You Make Me Feel” on the dancefloor. So a pretty good run, imo.


Best makeup Setting Sprays
Models Own Makeup Setting Spray, $14.95

This affordable little gem is a good spray for the price point (and at 200mL it’s quite a hefty serve of setting spray). While it smelled a little like cough mixture, it gave really good hydrating coverage and I felt like it did a swell job of keeping all my makeup where it should be for the good part of the day. If you want a good value mist sitch, this is the one to pick.


Best Makeup Setting Sprays
Marc Jacobs Beauty Re(cover) Perfecting Coconut Setting Mist, $61

Oooh, lush – on the luxe/more spenno end of things is the Marc Jacobs option. I gave this a whirl on a hot, humid day when I was going out for breakfast and inevitably had to sit outside with a sweaty bum regretting that I didn’t just make Vegemite toast at home. The mist is really fine and delicate, and it smells deeeelicious. Like spraying a tropical cocktail right on your face. This spray has “dewy” vibes and isn’t as mattifying as, say, the Urban Decay option. So it really depends on what kind of look you’re after – I would use this for a day option rather than a night-time, heavier makeup vibe.


Best Makeup Setting Sprays
Kat Von D Lock-It Makeup Setting Mist, $36

I left this one until last because I stupidly agreed to go to a music festival on a 32-degree day. Like, who am I and why did I think that was a good idea. Anyway, I thought Kat Von D with her vaguely ~rock~ aesthetic would suit the festival vibes, and her entire makeup range is pretty good. And here’s my verdict: I quite accidentally saved the best spray for last. I got home from being out in the sun all day – and also for one weird moment, briefly being rained on – and my makeup was still pretty much perfect. After my trial, this is the spray I’m gonna turn to for all my sweaty, summery needs.

me, smug and sweat-free forever