Why Is My Setting Spray Not Working (And How To Fix It!)

Why is my setting spray not working

Why doesn’t the setting spray work for me, is a common question in local beauty centers. I know, because I went and asked them personally! 2 weeks ago, I walked into a beauty shop a few villages from where I live.

I was curious and wanted to know a few things about certain products. When an employee was helping me and we talked a little longer, I asked her “What are common questions?” She indicated that many of the same types of questions are asked such as “Why is my setting spray still working” or at least something similar. Questions are mostly asked about why products don’t (or don’t) work and which products are best for the customer. Logical questions, of course.

However, the setting spray question made me think and after talking to her further, I thought it would be a good idea to write down these findings. So, below you will find the answers to your questions about why your setting spray doesn’t work!

So, Why is my setting spray not working on me?

Using a setting spray is not very difficult in itself. Maybe you already have experience with it, maybe not, but once you start using it you will find out that it is not difficult at all. However, not all setting sprays are right for you! Some setting sprays do not work, some setting sprays have problems (like a setting spray that turns white) and things like that. Why the setting spray does not work on you depends on several factors:

Specific skin type

As you can probably imagine, your skin type has a direct influence on the setting spray. Not every setting spray is made for the same skin. Do you have dry skin? Then it is smart to go for setting sprays that specifically state that they take on a moisturizing function and also leave a “dewy finish”. This ensures that your skin does not look dull and flaky. 

On the other hand, if you have oily skin or combination skin, it is better to go for a setting spray that claims to be good for people with oily skin. These setting sprays provide oil control. It can also be very helpful to choose a setting spray with a matte finish to prevent makeup from smearing on your face and creating a shiny effect.

Do you have dry skin? Then you might want to go for an extra hydrating setting spray.

So how do you make your setting spray work for you? By choosing a setting spray that suits your skin. Don’t just pick one up off the shelf, but actively look for something that suits you best.

Not only is your skin type important, but your makeup routine also plays an important role in whether or not the setting spray works.

The makeup routine

As I mentioned earlier, the makeup routine you use is also important for the setting spray to work for you.

Usually, a setting spray makeup routine looks something like this: moisturize, primer, foundation, powder, and/or setting spray.

For most people, this sounds familiar and many professionals also recommend this route. However, there is another way that some professionals say works just as well, if not better:

Moisturiser, primer, foundation, and then the setting spray. Leave it on for a while and then go back and apply a powder (for example a translucent powder) over your makeup.

Try it yourself and see which one works best!

Does your makeup routine look different? Then it could be that your setting spray is not working. Adjust your makeup routine so that the setting spray is the last (or in the case of the example, the second to last) step. This should work much better for you!

So, the question “why is my setting spray not working” is usually related to the 2 points above. The wrong setting sprays for your skin type and/or a wrong routine. Fortunately, both of these points are easy to change!

Therefore, below you will find information on which setting spray you should use with which skin type and what effects it will have! Read on and find the setting spray that suits you best!

Which setting spray is right for me?

So, as I mentioned above, it’s generally important to know what skin type you have. Knowing your skin type will help you estimate which setting spray you need. A setting spray is not the same for everyone. What works for someone with a dry skin may not work for someone with an oily skin and vice versa. Below you will find a number of tips that will explain which setting spray is right for you and why.

Best Setting Spray For Dry skin

Do you know that you have dry skin? Then it is very useful to look for a setting spray that is good for dry skin. You’ll need to look for a setting spray that says the following things: moisturizing, dewy, luminnous, and healthy skin. Obviously, you’re not looking for a setting spray that uses all the terms above. They often call it 1 of the above names. A setting spray that has one of the above terms will work well for people with dry skin.

So what exactly setting spray do you need if you have dry skin?

There are a lot of them, but some of my favorites are:

Urban Decay Chill Cooling & Hydrating Makeup Setting Spray

NYX Makeup Setting Spray – Dewy Finish

e.l.f. Studio Makeup Mist & Set

Best setting spray for oily skin

Do you often suffer from the fact that your makeup fades quickly, or even runs off your forehead and makes you look like someone who has a spotlight on them? Then it is very likely that you have oily skin! Nothing to be ashamed of of course, because there are benefits too. An oily skin has the characteristic that you often see less fine lines and often type of skin does not age as quickly!

Great, but which setting spray do you need for an oily skin? You are looking for a setting spray that ensures that your makeup does not slide off your face and does not fade.

My personal favorites are as follows:

NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray

Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

Rimmel Stay Matte Primer And Matte Setting Spray

Best setting spray for combination skin

Having combination skin is simply difficult. A part where you suffer from dry skin, and then again parts where you suffer from oily skin. People with this skin type simply deserve the best care! So, you need a setting spray that not only hydrates, but with oil astringent ingredients also ensures that your oily skin areas remain shine-free and stay put!

Below are my favorites when it comes to setting spray for people with combination skin:

KIKO Milano Face Make Up Fixer

Maybelline Superstay 24 Makeup-Locking Setting Spray

L’Oreal Infallible Makeup Extender Setting Spray

My setting spray won’t spray

Are you bothered by the fact that your setting spray isn’t working, or that it’s showing white spots? Then I wrote a more detailed article for that.

Nevertheless, I think it is useful to give a summary here. It can happen that you have bought a new setting spray (or have an old one) and you find out that it does not work (anymore) as it should.

This can have a number of causes and most of the time it is not your fault!

It can be due to:

Spray nozzle is broken:

In some cases, the spray nozzle is broken and not working properly. If this is right after purchase, I would advise you to go back to the store and let them know that it is not working. Usually you will get your money back or at least the product will be exchanged.

If it is already an older setting spray that you want to use again, it is easy to put the contents (some of it) in another bottle with a spray nozzle. Try it there and you can immediately see if it works now!

Not shaken properly:

In some cases it does not work or your setting spray shows white spots after spraying it on your face. Nothing to worry about. Generally, of course, you just didn’t shake well! So try shaking better and then try again.

If it doesn’t work, click here to read more solutions about a setting spray that shows white spot.


Not every setting spray is for everyone and therefore not every setting spray will work for you. The question “why is my setting spray not working for me?” is therefore somewhat simple to explain as “because it is not suitable for your skin type or your makeup routine”. If you have a setting spray that does not work because it is not for your skin type, I would still recommend that you buy a setting spray that does suit your skin type. That way you have the best possible chance of finding a setting spray that works for you!

Have fun spraying and applying your beautiful makeup!

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