Beauty Q&A: Can You Use Hairspray as Setting Spray?

September 15, 2020
By: | by L'Oréal

We’ve heard about a lot of beauty hacks over the years. There are some that are good — I mean, tape is basically an essential for winged eyeliner — there are some that are bad, and then there are others that are seriously questionable. Case in point? Using your hairspray as setting spray to lock your makeup in place. Many swear by its effectiveness, but is it safe for your skin? We tapped celebrity makeup artist Billie Gene to find out.

According to Gene, using hairspray as setting spray started in the drag queen and pageant community as a way to make makeup budge-proof at a time when setting sprays were scarce. These days, though, you’re better off going with a setting spray designed specifically for your face. “Hairspray has a ton of chemicals and toxins that are not safe to use on skin,” says Gene. He says that applying hairspray on your face can cause rashes, irritation or clogged pores. 

Instead, Gene recommends reaching for a setting spray and a makeup primer to ensure long-lasting makeup. “Many women are still skipping makeup primer,” says Gene, “but this is an essential step for ensuring makeup adheres to the skin.”

Luckily, there is no shortage of setting sprays and makeup primers out there. Whether you’re someone who loves a glowing finish or someone who needs an option that will help control your oily skin, you’re sure to find one that’s suitable for your needs and preferences. Gene’s personal favorite is the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, which locks makeup in place for up to 16 hours, so it looks freshly applied all day long. If you need a primer recommendation, try Maybelline New York Master Prime Primer, which is a weightless formula that blurs the look of imperfections and offers a luminous finish. 
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn, Design: Hannah Packer

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