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Difference Between Setting and Finishing

Difference Between Setting And Finishing

In this post, we are going to solve a big problem for everyone: Setting products versus finishing products.

I know this is a big topic. Most people struggle with the difference between setting powders and finishing powders, as well as setting sprays and finishing sprays. Even makeup brands themselves are not making it easy for users in knowing the differences.  People always ask which products to use and when to use them.

I’m going to really dive in, so stick around and get ready because you’re going to learn a lot today.


Setting Powders And Finishing Powders

The first thing that we’re going to discuss about is the concept of setting and specifically setting powders. The most popular setting powder that everyone knows is the Ben Nye Setting Powder. This is probably one of the most cult classic commonly used products in Nigeria when it comes to setting.

The purpose of a setting powder or a setting spray is to lock your foundation in place, to remove any of those excess oils, remove any of that emollient see that comes from liquid or cream foundation and really make sure your makeup stays where it is. That is basically what we’re trying to do when it comes to setting, we’re trying to set it in place set it and forget it.

When it comes to applying setting powders, you want to apply it and make sure it goes everywhere you want to set all your makeup.

Now let’s talk about finishing powders. This is probably something you’ve heard right? Let’s discuss this finishing powder. Everyone always asks me why finishing, when do I use it?  Can I use it instead  of a setting powder? Now for some answers. No you cannot use a finishing powder in the place of a setting powder. A finishing is the final step after you’ve set your makeup. A lot of people ask why put a powder on top of a powder.

You need to think of a finishing powder in the same sense like you would consider painting your walls. Think of the finish on that paint, do I want an eggshell? or do I want a glossy? or do I want a matte? The finish on your wall is the effect on the wall.  That’s in essence what a finishing powder does, it creates a final effect on your makeup. So usually finishing powders are created from silicone crystal compounds.  They’re finely milled and they can go in and smooth the surface of the skin. So they make wrinkles look less apparent, they smooth out pores, and they smooth out the texture of your skin. However, they’re not really great at absorbing oils are not really great at locking foundations into place. As a result, they work better over foundation that has already been set and locked just to create an effect – a finish.

So when it comes to finishing powders probably the most popular one is the Black Opal True Color Soft Velvet Finishing Powder .This is a great powder because it is super finely milled and it’s just going to smooth the surface that’s the finishing effect of it creates a super smooth surface on the skin.

To apply a finishing powder, it is best to use a loose fluffy brush that allows the product to just gently cover over and not really add too much texture. You don’t want to pack finishing powders on your face, you just want it to just sort of smooth over really gently.

A finishing powder is a product you’re going to use special occasions, especially when you’re going to be under cameras or lights and you really want that skin to look extra polished. You’ll need to set your makeup everyday but you only need to use your finishing powder for those special occasions.

I know a lot of people do love to use them every day, but finishing powders are a sort of special occasion product.

When it comes to a finishing powder you wouldn’t set your makeup with it. You also always to keep in mind that your finishing powders should do just that. It should create a finishing effect


Setting And Finishing Sprays

Just like powders, there is a  sort of division among sprays as well. You have your traditional Setting Sprays which will not change your makeup they are sprayed on. These absorb into your skin and they do what they’re supposed to do which is set your makeup.

Ben Nye Final Seal Makeup Sealer is a great one. It is just going to “Seal” your makeup in place, making sure it goes nowhere. There is also the Milani Make It Last Setting Spray – it is going to set your makeup and make it last. Basically, most setting sprays tells you what they are meant to do in within their names.

Setting sprays like setting powders basically set your makeup in place. They are  intended for nothing more than to keep your makeup from moving for hours on end but they won’t change the end result.

Now let’s talk about finishing sprays. Finishing sprays are pretty new . Finishing sprays are confused often times with setting sprays because people think like setting sprays, it’s going to set my makeup in place. However, that’s not always the case.

Most times, finishing sprays are specifically for skincare purposes and to create an effect. Like we said earlier, an effect on the skin so a finish.

I think that the best one right now that people are falling in love with is the Tacho Dewy Skin Mist. This is a great spray to hydrate the skin and create that luminous effect because that’s what a finishing product does –  it creates an effect on the skin.

The Tacho Dewy Skin Mist creates a luminosity around the sides like almost where you would put highlighter. It just creates that nice natural skin finish and it just helps the skin look a little more glowy. It’s a finishing product. It is what you do at the very end .

There are also spray products out there that are hybrids i.e both setting and finishing. Hybrids like the Milani Make It Dewy Setting Spray. I love this one because it hydrates the skin into a dewy finish and also helps to set and hold your makeup in place for up to 10 hours. It is simply wonderful.

There is also the Marc Jacobs coconut setting spray which is an incredible hybrid. If you like the setting power of let your lockets and your sealers and you also like that dewy luminous finish that the Tatcha gives you you’re going to love this product because it is both in one. It gives you a luminous glow while setting your makeup at the same time.

I think we are going to see that a lot more in brands bringing out products that are  going to set your makeup and also mattify you at the same time or products that is going set makeup and going to reduce pores at the same time because, now we like a little bit of everything.


In summary, setting products are used to set and lock your makeup in place. There are there for when you really want to make your makeup last for 10 hours. While Finishing products there to create an effect to make us just look a little bit more beautiful.


Hopefully , I have been able to provide your more knowledgeable insights to the difference between Setting and  Finishing as well as the appropriate products to use.

If you have any questions please ask in the comment section below. I love to hear from you guys. I love to answer any other questions you may have. Don’t forget setting and finishing should not be a mystery share this with your friends share with everyone who’s scared of this topic and we will see you guys soon.


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