Ready, SET, Glow! | Face | Part II of III: Fixing Sprays

Fixing Sprays


Fixing sprays (also known as fixers) come in spray bottles that impart refreshing mists. A spritz can prep your skin pre-makeup, as well as put a finishing touch on a made-up face. Not only do such sprays set makeup, they can also refresh a face by replenishing it with topical moisture.

They come in many varieties ranging from simple mineral water (Evian Mineral Water Spray) to complex concoctions filled with vitamins and minerals and sometimes, light reflecting particles (Shu Uemura Depsea Water, MAC Fix+, MAC Charged Water).

Why and how?

The composition of most commercial fix sprays endows them with certain properties. According to Shu Uemura, their widely-acclaimed Depsea Water, containing more than sixty minerals (extracted 320m below sea level, no less!), enhances ‘the skin’s ability to retain moisture within the skin’, allowing the skin to be ‘hydrated with enhanced clarity and improved quality’.

Similarly, MAC’s limited edition Charged Water has hydrating properties and contains mineral ions that absorb quickly into the skin, boosting its moisture. According to MAC, ‘the humectant-rich formula attracts moisture from the air and attracts foundation to the face, creating a snug fit between skin and makeup, enhancing application and creating a natural-looking makeup on the skin’.

MAC’s perennial favourite, Fix+, is an ‘aqua-spritz’ of goodness too, containing – among other things – green tea, chamomile, and cucumber for a nourishing uplift. It also contains glycerin which attracts moisture from the air, boosting the skin’s hydration levels.

Such facial mists tone the face, keep the skin moisturised and provide a hydrated canvas for makeup application, while delivering nutrients to the skin. Aside from spraying them on directly, you can spritz them onto a sponge or brush meant for foundation application. A stippling/skunk/duo-fibre brush is great for this purpose! This allows for smoother application and aids in foundation-setting.

Fix sprays not only provide refreshing relief for faces throughout the day, they also set your makeup immaculately, keeping it ‘as is’, when you mist it on post-makeup. This is due largely to the fact the mist binds with the makeup; keeping it in place, while creating a shield against the elements.

So, do they work?

A good spritz not only refreshes, it also imparts moisture to the face, drawing and keeping moisture there. I like the feel of a pre-makeup mist as it softens and refreshes the skin, making it feel and look dewy.

However, on their own, fix sprays do not have the lasting power of foundation primers and do not prep the skin quite as well for foundation. While they blend out foundation nicely and allow it to set, they do not grab foundation as well and if one chooses to forgo foundation and go straight to pressed or loose powder, the latter will inevitably cake up. Moreover, they have less slip and do not provide as much of a smooth canvas for makeup to glide on as foundation primers do. What they do do well though, is provide a good surface for a true primer (let the skin absorb the water before applying the primer).

That said, fix sprays do a stellar job of setting a face post-makeup. I often mist as a final step to makeup application because the moisture not only sets makeup, it also enhances its appearance; imbuing it with dimension (imparting radiance, removing flatness) and vitality (brightening the makeup).

If are not inclined to spend on commercially-produced sprays, you can make a simple one on your own. Just add a drop or two of essential oil to boiled or distilled water, put that in a spray bottle and you have a homemade facial mist!

Another method to try is infusing some hot water with flower petals (allow it to cool before placing in a spray bottle). Granted, homemade concoctions do not have many of the ingredients that store-bought ones do but your face will nonetheless get an effortless lift.

A tip: Do not place the spray bottle too close to your face before spraying. You want a mist, not droplets that can ruin your makeup.

Next up, my personal favourite, Part III: Other Types of Base-Setting Makeup!


  • Yumeko/Bittenbefore says:

    ooh i just bought the fix it spray ! i hope it works for me

  • nea says:

    Thanks for the write up of fixing sprays, cuz i have been very clueless about it. i have read people using sprays and rave about it helping to set their makeup and keep their skin matte.

    i also have jumped in the bandwagon of using facial mist, i bought the poor-lady version though, The Skinfood White Grape Makeup fixer. i used it as per instruction on the bottle, but it melted and spoiled my make up and i felt rather cheated cuz others have said it worked well.

    anyhow, lately i been using it prior to make up to tone my skin and because it smells good and have a cooling effect.

    after reading ur article, i think i may have sprayed it too close to my face. duh. LOL

    anyway thanks again for your article. it is an informative and good read :)

  • makeupmag says:

    Hey Yumeko!

    Let me know how you like it. Don’t spray too closely or too much of it – the glycerin content can make the face a little sticky. This is more marked if you have oily skin. :)

  • makeupmag says:

    Hi Nea,

    Thank you for dropping by and for your comment!

    I’m going to post about another fixing spray I discovered through a friend; look out for it! ;)

    That’s a good way to use the Skinfood product. In fact, some sprays are good for that purpose! :)

  • Jenna says:

    Thank you for writing this column. I have been looking for something like this for months and just kinda stumbled across it on google. I have a lot of trouble with makeup transfer from my face to my white collars (dress shirts, jackets, everything). I think it is from my powder. Will using a fixing spray help with that? Thanks again

  • makeupmag says:

    Hello Jenna!

    You could use a fixing spray to set the powder. You could also change your application method – use a sponge/velour puff to apply powder (loose or pressed) and press the powder onto the skin’s surface versus swiping it on. :)

  • Jenna says:

    Thanks, I will give them both a try.

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