Beauty Debate: Should I Use Setting Powder or Setting Spray?

It seems like there’s a setting product for everything — whether it’s to quickly dry our nail polish, perfect our eyebrows or lock-in our makeup. And while the product options for setting our look are very straightforward when it comes to nails and brows, when we’re talking about the rest of our makeup, it’s just not as easy. How do we choose between different setting powders and setting sprays, and is there even a difference between the two? Tap in to find out.

The Case for Setting Powder

According to the web, setting powders are designed to absorb excess oil and moisture from your face. “Because skin is a porous surface and produces oil, you want to set your face makeup with powder to help it last longer without melting away.

Because of this, setting powder is applied during your makeup routine to set foundation, concealer and any liquid or creamy products you’ve applied. Setting powder often leaves the skin with an ‘airbrushed’ finish and can help to blend as well because it diffuses what’s under it. This is not to be confused with finishing powder, which is used after setting powder and adds even more of a blurred look to imperfections of the skin (lines under the eyes, pores, etc.) and control shine. Thus, setting powders are a great option if you have issues with creasing, cracking or excess oil throughout the day. 

The Case for Setting Spray

As far as setting sprays go, they’re designed to be applied after your whole makeup routine is complete. Setting spray is a fine mist which is applied after finishing the makeup routine. The setting spray can have different finishes such as matte or dewy, and it elongates the amount of time the makeup will last. It can also be used to amplify highlight or to apply a shadow damp — simply dust some product onto the brush and spritz the brush after.

Setting spray leaves behind a lightweight, skin-like finish but can not be absorbed into your pores like a powder can. Even mattifying sprays don’t mattify your face the way a setting powder can, in which making it a better option for those who have drier skin and need a boost of hydration.

urban decay all nighter ultra matte, dermablend loose setting powder

So, Which One Should You Use?

While powders tend to work better for oily skin and setting sprays for dry skin, if you really want to set your makeup and extend the life of your makeup, I recommend using both a loose powder and a setting spray. 
Pack on a setting powder like the Dermablend Loose Setting Powder to smooth your skin and finish it with a setting spray of your choice, like the Urban Decay All Nighter Ultra Matte.


Your eyes are arguably one of your strongest assets. They are the so-called windows to your soul after all, which is all the more reason to brush up on your eyeshadow skills. But applying eyeshadow like a pro can be tricky. What are all those different sections of a palette for? What type of brush should you use? Let’s go back to the basics. Ahead, find our ten golden rules for applying eyeshadow and you’ll be golden, too.

STEP #1: Always Use Primer 

An eyeshadow primer creates a clean canvas for you to work with, and it acts as a barrier between your eyeshadow and the natural oils in your skin. That way, your makeup stays put so you can keep touch-ups to a minimum. Try a formula like Urban Decay Eyeshadow Potion Primer.

STEP #2: Enhance Your Natural Eye Color 

You want to choose an eyeshadow shade that accentuates your natural eye color. Finding colors that best complement your eyes takes some experimenting, but here’s a good place to start:

Blue Eyes: Shadows with bronze or peachy tones help blue eyes pop. Slate gray is another great option.

Green Eyes:A plum-colored shadow looks very flattering if you have green or hazel eyes. Rusty shades are also gorgeous.

Brown Eyes:If you’re a brown-eyed girl like me, we’re lucky because most shades look great on us. But gold or purple hues are especially flattering

STEP #3: Know Your Eye Shape 

Do you have deep-set eyes? Close-set? Hooded? Determining the shape of your eye helps you decide which shading technique is right for your specific features and plays up your natural beauty.

STEP #4: Decode Your Palette

You might be tempted to open an eyeshadow palette and just have at it, but it’s important to know which sections correspond to each part of your eye. Trust us, there’s a method to all this palette madness! There’s a variety of palettes out there, but here’s a general breakdown of your basic eyeshadow quad palette (the NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette in Warm Neutrals is a great one to start with). 

Lightest color: This is your base color. Apply this shade from your upper lash line all the way up to right beneath your brow. You can also use this color in the inner corner of your eye to add a bit of brightness.

Second lightest: This is your lid color, as it’s slightly darker than the base. Brush this over your lid from your upper lash line to your crease.

Second darkest: This is applied to the crease for a contouring effect. This should go over the area where your brow bone meets your lid to create definition.

Darkest color: Finally, the liner. Using an angled brush, apply it to your upper lash line (and lower lash line if you want a bold boost), making sure to brush where the root of your lashes meets your lid so there’s no visible gap.

STEP #5: Blend, Blend, Blend

We can’t stress this one enough! Blending your edges can be the difference between your eyeshadow looking flawless and looking like … well, a hot mess. Don’t smear. Use a light touch and gently sweep your brush along your lid, blending harsh lines. To blend like a pro, you need the right brushes, which brings us to step #6.

STEP #6: Invest in the Right Brushes

There are so many eyeshadow brushes out there in every shape and size, it can get confusing. Here are the three most important ones you should own:

Basic eyeshadow brush:The bristles are flat and stiff, and you use this for all-over color.

Blending brush:The bristles are soft and fluffier for seamless blending.

Angled eyeshadow brush:This is a precision brush that is perfect for lining your eyes.

STEP #7: Take Care of Your Tools

Cleaning your eyeshadow brushes is probably at the bottom of your to-do list, but it’s really important. We’re talking about your eyes here, so cleanliness is key. Run your brush under lukewarm water and then pour a nickel-sized amount of baby shampoo into your hand. Swirl the brush in the shampoo, rinse well and pat dry with a clean cloth.

STEP #8: Choose Your Formula Wisely

Pressed eyeshadows are your basic, most common formula. They’re a great, mess-free option. Cream shadows are perfect if you want a dewy sheen, but they can crease easily — especially if you have oily lids. Loose shadows usually come in a small pot, and while you’ll feel like a professional makeup artist using them, they are definitely the messiest of the three.

STEP # 9: Let a Bold Eye Shine 

A smoky eyeshadow looks gorgeous on its own, but once you add a dramatic lip into the mix, the two can overwhelm each other. Don’t be afraid to go bold, but just make sure your overall look has balance.

STEP 10: Keep it All in Place With a Setting Spray 

Get the most mileage out of your makeup by using a setting spray as your final step. Hold the bottle at arm’s length from your face and spritz away. We love the Urban Decay All Nighter Ultra Matte Setting Spray.

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Beauty Essential: My Favorite Foundations

It is hard for me as a woman of color to find the perfect foundation. Luckily,  there are tools  out there to help me find the product for me. Over the years, I've went through countless brands in search of the hue that would match my melanin skin tone. I have six brands that I'm in love with. If you want to know which brands have my heart and want more information about them before buying your next foundation then keep on reading.


I have been using Nars Sheer Glow Foundation for couple of months now and honestly my makeup always ends up looking hydrated, more luminous, softer, and smoother. It has a sheer, buildable coverage foundation with a radiant natural finish.  The Sheer Glow Foundation glides on effortlessly, blurring imperfections and evening out skin tone for the ultimate sophisticated finish that allows your skin’s natural beauty to shine through. I recommend this product especially to those who have dry skin.

What it does:
Sheer Glow Foundation enhances, without masking, your overall natural complexion. Powered by the NARS Complexion Brightening Formula, this lightweight, buildable formula delivers a range of effects while evening the complexion and improving skin’s texture and brightness. Powerful antioxidants protect against damaging free radicals, while glycerin, known as one of the most effective and well known humectants, attracts and holds moisture. A vitamin C derivative helps to brighten skin and diminish the look of discoloration. Tumeric extract, a plant of the ginger family, improves skin radiance and evens the skintone.

From Nars, I also used the Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation. It has medium buildable coverage, up to 16 hours of lightweight, natural, fade-resistant wear, featuring full-powered radiance to smooth the look of skin. 

This transfer-resistant, sweat-resistant formula stays color-true all day, and continues to look fresh and vibrant, as if it was just applied. This formula features superior blendability for an imperceptible effect that looks natural, like skin. It doesn’t look or feel cakey, heavy, drying, or masking. A unique combination of translucent base with micronized amino acid-coated pigments and mineral tone-balancing powders mimic skin’s tone, fusing with it for the closest match. NARS’ Skin Optimizing Complex—a blend of raspberry, apple, and watermelon extracts—helps support skin’s elastic fibers to smooth and improve skin’s appearance over time for optimal radiance.

And another one! You might be over Nars right now but these are the foundations that I have tried from them which happens to my favorites. NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is an oil-free liquid foundation that neutralizes discoloration and delivers full, natural-looking coverage with one drop, for weightless, 16-hour wear. 

What it does:
All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation delivers full, natural-looking coverage with unexpectedly weightless, 16-hour wear—all with just one drop. Tone Correcting Technology works instantly and long-term to neutralize redness, dullness and discoloration for more even, uniform skin. Unique blend of optical and skincare ingredients smooths skin while enhancing its natural beauty.

Weightless Long-Wear Technology creates a uniquely fluid formula that delivers complete coverage with unexpected weightless wear. This breakthrough technology contains a proprietary blend of pigments, treated by a unique polymer to make them water-, sweat-, and sebum-resistant. Unlike typical treated pigments, they weightlessly deliver long-wear complete coverage without masking the skin. The result is a naturally perfected look. The advanced flexible polymer moves with your skin to provide a comfortable, breathable feel and a natural look that lasts for 16 hours. It provides moisture barrier protection for a non-drying feel.

"Makeup shouldn’t cover your skin, it should enhance your natural beauty, not mask it." - François Nars, Founder and Creative Director of NARS 


What it is:
A soft matte, long-wear foundation with buildable, medium-to-full coverage, in a boundary-breaking range of shades.

What it does:
Finally—the ultimate photo filter in foundation form. Born in 40 boundary-breaking shades, Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation gives skin an instantly smooth, pore-diffused, shine-free finish that easily builds to medium to full coverage. The oil-free formula is made with climate-adaptive technology that’s resistant to sweat and humidity, and won’t clog pores so that wherever you are, it’s going to work on your skin. Best of all, this longwearing, light-as-air texture is undetectable on skin—so you always look like you.

I am obsessing over Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation that provides us with a soft matte finish that’s just right—not too matte and not too shiny. The result? A comfortable long-wear formula that lets skin look like skin.

"Foundation is one of those areas in the beauty industry that has a big void for women at extreme ends of the shade spectrum. There’s this middle ground that's covered really, really well. But then if you're very pale or if you're very dark, there aren’t a lot of options. And so, I wanted to make sure that women of all skin tones were covered so they could be included in what I created."— Rihanna, Brand Founder 


10 HR Wear Perfection Foundation has a buildable coverage that instantly conceals blemishes with an invisible, flawless finish.

What it does:
Conceal blemishes, pigmentation marks, scars, and dark spots with this foundation that provides a natural, beautiful finish. This formula blends with your skin tone to create an invisible veil, like a second skin that adapts to all the movements of the face for optimum comfort all-day long. Hyaluronic acid smooths the skin, while antioxidant vitamin E protects against external stressors. Soft focus pigments blur out blemishes and soften the appearance of wrinkles for a youthful-looking, even complexion.

Urban Decay

Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Foundation is an oil-free, lightweight liquid foundation that feels like wearing nothing at all, while leaving a demi-matte finish. 

What it does:
Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Liquid Makeup leaves skin looking natural, illuminated, and bright with a luminous demi-matte finish: like the beautiful skin you were born with. Light-diffusing spheres provide a visible reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, blurring imperfections for beautifully perfected, ultra-definition skin that looks completely real.

It provides truly buildable coverage with a weightless feel and a luminous finish. And it’s loaded with nourishing ingredients, including: Matrixyl 3000 (a powerful anti-wrinkle peptide), protective and brightening Litchiderm™, antioxidant green tea, and sodium hyaluronate for optimal skin hydration and nutrient absorption. The sleek, hygienic pump provides more control, with less waste of product.

Bare Minerals

BareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 is a mineral foundation with buildable coverage and a natural-looking, radiant finish.

What it does:
With the smooth, radiant look of a liquid foundation and the breathability of a powder, it’s no wonder this is the #1 Loose Powder Foundation in America. An original from the start, this formula is made with only five skin-loving mineral ingredients. Original Foundation’s minerals transform from powder to a silky cream when swirled, then buff and melt onto the face for a luminous, second-skin finish.

Original Foundation provides customized coverage designed to be buildable from sheer to full. All-day wear means less time spent on touch-ups, and non-chemical SPF 15 protection keeps sun damage at bay, helping skin stay healthier and younger-looking. This foundation is formulated for all skin types and is safe even for sensitive skin.

BareMinerals Matte Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 is an oil-controlling mineral foundation with skin-loving ingredients, buildable sheer-to-full coverage, non-chemical Broad Spectrum SPF 15 protection and a natural matte finish. 

What it does:
This foundation’s good-for-skin, weightless minerals buff and blend seamlessly upon application. Redness, imperfections, fine lines, and wrinkles appear instantly blurred. Silica helps absorb excess skin oil, and the appearance of pores virtually disappear after buffing onto skin. Skin looks visibly better immediately, and actually improves over time, too.

It’s the ideal foundation for normal-to-oily skin types or the perfect alternative to Original Foundation’s luminous finish on those days when you want to go matte.

Bare Minerals BAREPRO Performance Wear Powder Foundation is a 12-hour wear, pressed mineral powder foundation formulated with 90 percent vitamins and minerals for naturally matte, full, flawless coverage. 

What it does:
BAREPRO® Performance Wear Powder Foundation provides 12-hour long-wear with stay-true pigments. Redefining high-performance foundation, the formula is dermatologist tested to be non-acnegenic and non-comedogenic, and it’s 100 percent breathable. The silky, non-drying powder delivers full, flawless coverage and is clinically shown to improve skin clarity, reduce the look of pore size, and control shine. It’s available in multiple shades—from the fairest porcelain to the deepest cocoa for all skintones.


Bare It All 12-Hour 4-In-1 Skin-Perfecting Foundation is this high-performance, 12-hour, demi-matte foundation that helps to cover imperfections and instantly perfect the skin while helping to correct problem areas over time so you can confidently bare it all. Designed for face and body and formulated with PÜR’s proprietary Energy Complex and Ceretin Complex, this formula renews the look of your skin and goes the distance.

PÜR foundation is great, the only thing which is a major thing is that they don’t have a wide variety of shades. It is very limited. I use the shade deeper which I believe is the deepest shade that they have and use it as a concealer sometimes.

I use these foundations during the day since it’s lightweight and incredibly moisturizing. My skin is always left looking glowy, flawless and fresh, which is exactly how you should feel (and look) after using a good foundation.

What’s your favorite foundation(s)?

XO Lee

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