How long does setting spray take to dry?

How long does setting spray take to dry

We all know it I think. Hurry. Going somewhere as fast as possible because you are already doing your makeup longer than you should.

A few weeks ago I had exactly that! I was going to a party and was supposed to be there at a certain time. Needless to say, but I didn’t make it to the party on time. At the time I should have been there, I was still in the bathroom putting the finishing touches on my master creation so I could show myself out again.

After applying my primer, foundation, eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick it was time to use the setting spray but it took a while for this to dry. I was already in a hurry and the fact that my setting spray took a while to get dry was not something that calmed me down!

So I thought, more women are sometimes late (or at least this is what their boyfriends tell them), and knowing how long the last step takes is helpful.

So, without wasting too many words on it…

How long does setting spray take to dry

At this point, I would love to let you know that it is strictly 2 minutes or something along those lines, but unfortunately, I can’t do that. The fact is, how long a setting spray takes to dry is not an exact fixed time. Your setting spray will take a certain amount of time depending on the makeup you are using, what room you are in (humidity) and how rushed you are.

What should you not do?

The worst thing you can do at this point, and yes I have heard from several friends that this sometimes happens, is to try to dry your setting spray with heat or a blow-dryer. This is not helpful at all and you should stay far away from this as well. Using heat to dry your setting spray can cause skin irritation. Even though you may be in a hurry, this is never worth the gamble. Wait patiently for your setting spray to dry.

So what should you do and how long does it take for the setting spray to dry?

The best thing to do is to let the setting spray dry in the open air. Don’t do anything else to it, just let it dry the way you sprayed it on your face. Normally this takes about 1 to 3 minutes at most, but there is no exact science to this. For some people and some setting sprays, it will dry within a minute and for some people (and setting sprays) it can take a while.

Also, be sure that you don’t blend the spray anywhere on your face, or you could end up ruining your makeup.

What do local beauty stores say about setting spray drying time?

To get a better answer for you, I went to a beauty store and asked the question about how long it takes for your setting spray to dry. 

They couldn’t give me an exact time either, but they could tell me for sure that going out too quickly and applying your setting spray in a hurry (or putting clothes on too quickly, for example) can damage the setting spray and cause your makeup to fall apart.

The best thing to do, as described above, is to let your setting spray dry slowly (this should take between 1 and 3 minutes). If you let your setting spray dry gently in the air it will give the setting spray the opportunity to fully sink in and merge and set your makeup. This will ensure that your makeup won’t smear later on.

Now, that is what we want, isn’t it? We want makeup that stays put for as long as we want. But, paradoxically, we don’t want to take the time to apply it properly. So, I say it again, just like the girl I asked at the local beauty center: Let your setting spray air dry for a couple of minutes and then go out. By then you just know that everything sits perfectly in place.

Do I have any options when I really don’t have the time to let my setting spray air dry?

There is indeed something else that could help you if you really don’t have the time to let your setting spray air dry or just don’t want to wait for it. The best solution for you then is probably to use a setting powder. But then it is useful to know when you would use a setting powder.

What you need to know about setting powder:

A setting powder is applied during your makeup routine to set a foundation, concealer, and any liquid or creamy product that you’ve applied to your face. Setting powder often leaves your face with a look as if it’s airbrushed and helps your makeup to blend all that’s under it.

A setting powder is a wonderful option if you have issues with creasing, cracking, or excess oil throughout the day. In my opinion, it is also really great if you want to “set” your makeup without waiting for the setting spray to dry.

What do I prefer?

My personal preference is a setting spray. Not because I am never in a hurry and am not tempted to leave too soon, but because for my feeling my setting spray gets the ideal result on my face. And, between you and me, I may only be at a party 5 minutes later, but at least I look and feel fabulous and confident!

This, to me, and I think to a lot of women, is of tremendous value.

But, one is not better than the other. There are also examples of women who prefer to use a setting powder. For example, because they suffer from creasing, cracking, or excess oil. Setting powder is then simply the ideal option.


As mentioned, a setting spray is not better than a setting powder. It does help a little more with keeping the makeup in place. It elongates the amount of time the makeup will last and that’s something that is worth the extra wait to a lot of women.

If you want to go for a setting spray, I would like to give you the tip to use a setting spray that suits your skin type. That way you will get the best result!

Reading and learning more

If you want to know a lot more about setting sprays and maybe even try some DIY setting spray recipes, I encourage you to take a look at the articles below. I put together 3 articles that you I think you might find interesting :)! Simply click on one of the links below and start reading!

Does setting spray work when you sweat?
DIY setting spray recipe without Aloe Vera
DIY setting spray recipe for dry skin


Hi, my name is Joy-Lee and I'm the owner of As you might've noticed, I'm a true beauty lover, and made it my passion, my work and my hobby. I love sharing my thoughts and feelings on a variety of beauty aspects and want to thank you for reading!

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