Does setting spray set mascara? (Yes! Tips And Tricks Inside)

Does setting spray set mascara

There are as many makeup routines as there are people in the world. Many people I talk to have a different routine than the people I talked to the day before (yes, I talk to a lot of people about makeup and no, they don’t find this annoying 😉 ). 

By speaking to a lot of people you also find out what questions and debates are going on. one of those debates is about setting spray and when to use it in your routine. Before or after your mascara for example and does setting spray set your mascara?

I personally thought it would be fun to write a bit about that because there is something to be said for both camps.

Does setting spray set mascara?

Normally you use a setting spray in the following way:

Setting spray should be used as a finishing touch to your makeup routine. After you have finished applying your foundation, mascara, and for example lipstick, it is time to take the setting spray, shake it and spray in an “X” and “T” motion. The only thing you should pay attention to is not to spray it directly into the eyes!

However, some people let us know that they find that their mascara smudges when they use their setting spray.

Normally your setting spray should set your mascara so when that doesn’t happen there are a couple of things that you can do before you apply your mascara so that you keep the chances of it smudging to a minimum.

What should you do to prevent your mascara from smudging?

Remove excess oil from around your eyes

Before you apply your mascara, make sure you wash your face with a mild facial cleanser (this is useful before you apply your makeup anyway). It is usually the case that your mascara smudges because it comes into contact with the excess oils present around the eyes. So to reduce the chances of this happening, it is helpful to cleanse your eyes before using your mascara.

Don’t use moisturizer!

This is where I often see people go wrong. Moisturizer in general is of course great to use, but if your mascara smudges out because it comes into contact with oil near your eyes, using moisturizer is not very helpful. Moisturizer can actually make this effect worse.

What you can do, if you do want to use moisturizer, is to apply the moisturizer the night before. This way you can still moisturize, but you should not have to deal with smudging mascara.

Use oil-absorbing paper

Many local beauty stores sell this type of paper. It’s a type of paper (often powdered rice paper) made specifically to dab oil off the face. Try gently dabbing this around the eyes before you apply your mascara and see if it makes a difference. 

Use a little bit of primer

A primer is made to create a barrier and keep oil out. A small amount applied to the under-eye and eyelid area can prevent your mascara from smudging out.

I think the above tips are pretty simple to try! In addition, I would also like to give you the tip to let your mascara dry slightly before spraying your setting spray over it.

Letting your mascara dry before using your setting spray should go a long way in preventing your mascara from smudging and that way your setting spray should set your mascara.

Are there other hacks I can use for my mascara in combination with setting spray?

There is indeed another way in which I am sure it will 100% ensure that your setting spray does not ruin your mascara.

You use your makeup as you normally would and so does your mascara. So you make up your face nicely as you always would and then it’s time for the setting spray. Before you start spraying, however, put a hand in front of your eyes! It’s a simple trick but no less effective. You put your hand in front of your eyes and then sprayed the setting spray on your face. You let it dry and voila! your makeup setting spray will not affect your mascara.

Dry lashes, no smudges in your mascara

The answer to the question, Does setting spray set mascara, is yes. Your setting spray does set your mascara.

But as the heading of this section suggests, you just don’t get smudges in your mascara when they are dry. Therefore, as mentioned earlier, it is very important that when you apply your makeup, especially your mascara, that you let it dry!

If you reach for the makeup setting spray immediately after applying your mascara, it is possible that your mascara will smudge.

To minimize this, let your mascara dry a bit first and use the tips above to prevent your mascara from smudging!

But yes, your setting spray should set your mascara and if you apply it the right way, it will do so perfectly.


As mentioned before, your setting spray should make sure your mascara stays on. However, in some cases, it might not be the case and I hope the above tips and tricks will help you make sure your makeup setting spray does what it’s supposed to do! 

If you are having trouble finding the right setting spray, please read the article on whether setting spray works when you sweat. This article explains which setting sprays work well in different conditions and also which elements of the makeup stayed on well with which setting spray!

Read more

If you are interested in more articles about setting sprays (information and recipes), click on the links below and read on!

How long does setting spray take to dry?
Does setting spray keep your makeup from rubbing off?
DIY makeup setting spray recipe for people with dry skin

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