Behind the Beauty

Should I Apply Setting Spray Before Or After Setting Powder?

Mar 8, 2024

3 min read

Every beauty baddie knows the importance of a flawless, long-lasting look. But when it comes to setting that look, the question of setting spray vs. setting powder often pops up, especially regarding the order of application.

Should you spray first or powder first? The answer, like many things in beauty, isn't as simple as choosing a lip gloss shade. Never mind…that’s hard too. Regardless, we’ve got you.

Let’s start by learning more about each of these makeup setting essentials, then dive into the ultimate, provocative beauty debate – do you apply setting spray before or after setting powder?

Understanding the Best Sets

What’s a setting spray? What’s a setting powder? Read on, bestie.

Setting Spray: A lightweight mist applied after makeup application to lock everything in place and prevent smudging, fading, or meltdowns. We at Morphe are known for our setting sprays, thanks to the Continuous Setting Mist. We’ve also launched a range of other formulas to nourish, add glow, mattify, or protect on beach days.

Setting Powder: A finely milled powder used to mattify the skin, absorb excess oil, and prevent foundation from creasing. The Morphe Bake & Set Soft Focus Setting Powder is basically 24 hours of shine-free setting perfection to ensure your look stays locked.

The Traditional Set: Powder First

Most often you might see makeup artists recommending applying setting spray after setting powder for the below reasons.

Drying Time: Setting powder needs time to set and absorb oil before a setting spray is applied. Applying spray too soon can activate the powder, making it look cakey or patchy.

Layering: Think of creating the perfection complexion like building a house. Your foundation is the foundation, setting powder creates a smoother surface, and setting spray acts like the sealant, locking everything in.

Control: Applying setting powder first allows for targeted application, focusing only on areas that need oil control. Setting spray then provides a more even, all-over finish.

The Wet Set: Spray First

This technique has become a trend the past year or so with your fave beauty influencers – essentially applying a light mist of setting spray after foundation and concealer but before your best setting powder. This order can:

Hydrate: This can be beneficial for dry skin types, in case you ever find setting powder more drying If you have oilier skin, this might not be the technique for you.

Sheer Down Coverage: If you want to play with the coverage of your foundation, a light mist can sheer it out slightly.

Improve Blendability: The dampness can make cream and liquid products blend more seamlessly.

"…dive into the ultimate, provocative beauty debate – do you apply setting spray before or after setting powder?"

The Ultimate Answer: Setting Spray or Setting Powder?

As you can see, there are just no rules when it comes to beauty. It’s up to you. Here are some tips to finding your fave way. 

Test on your hand or arm first to see how the products interact.

Apply each product in different orders and observe the results.

Consider your skin type and desired finish. Oily skin might benefit from powder first, while dry skin might prefer spray first.

Show us all your best setting powder and setting spray techniques and tag us! @morpheofficial on TikTok and @morphebrushes on IG.