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How To Make Homemade Setting Spray

by Gabbi

A good makeup setting spray will help your makeup last for longer, and look fresh all day long. It is a must-have in your makeup bag, but the problem is that using this miracle spray every time you put on makeup can get expensive!

If you are sure that you want to use makeup spray but don’t want the added cost, or maybe even the added chemicals that some might have, you can make it yourself at home!

How do you make homemade setting spray? Making homemade setting spray is fairly easy, and you only need a few simple ingredients and tools to make yourself enough to last a while. By making your own homemade setting spray, you know exactly what is going into it and are saving quite a bit of money too.

To help you make your own makeup setting spray at home, we have included everything you need to know and everything you need to make the right one for you!

Why Make Your Own Setting Spray?

There are a few reasons why you might choose to make your own setting spray.

It could be to save some money, as setting sprays can be quite pricey, and if you use it every day or so, you could use up a bottle fairly quickly. Making your own setting spray really does work out much cheaper in the long run, and you won’t feel bad using it so often!

Another reason you might choose to make your own setting spray is so that you know exactly what is in it. You will be in charge of the ingredients you add in, so there are no hidden chemicals or allergens that might not be good for your health or skin.

Some makeup setting sprays on the market do contain chemicals or allergens that are harmful to your skin. Some of these could contain adhesives to help the makeup sit in place, by creating a layer on top of your skin. For many people, this could cause clogged pores and breakouts.

There are also some setting sprays that contain denatured alcohols, which can dry skin and cause reduced cellular regeneration, which over time can have a very damaging effect on the skin.

Aerosol setting sprays are also a huge no-no, as you should not breathe in the aerosol chemicals on a daily basis, and they should generally be avoided.

By making your own setting spray at home, you are in control of the ingredients you use, and you can choose to put in what your skin will agree with, and what you know will be healthiest.

How To Make Homemade Setting Spray

To start off, it helps to have a basic setting spray recipe to use. This is a base recipe, and you could add more ingredients in, or change one or two things around, to better suit you and your skin.

Use this recipe to start making your own makeup setting spray at home, and then you can start experimenting from there!


  • A clean, empty spray bottle
  • A small funnel
  • A measuring spoon


  • Filtered Water

The first ingredient you would need for the makeup setting spray is filtered water. Avoid using water straight out of the tap as you can never be sure of the chemicals or debris that might be in the water.

Filtered water should be clean and pure enough to use. A bottle of distilled or purified water is perfect.

  • Vegetable Glycerin

Vegetable glycerin (we like this vegan and non-GMO pharmaceutical-grade brand) is the other main ingredient needed to make homemade makeup setting spray.

The glycerin helps the makeup stay on your face for longer, so you can enjoy your gorgeous look throughout the day without worrying about your makeup fading too soon.

Glycerin, when used in the right quantities and in the right way, can be moisturizing for your skin and give you a beautiful dewy look.

Just be aware that too much glycerin can cause your skin to look oily and can clog up pores. Always err on the side of caution when using it.

  • Rose Water (Optional)

Rosewater (Simplified Skin has the best rosewater we’ve found) is not an absolute must, but it does make the setting spray more hydrating and soothing to the skin. It even works by itself as a natural facial toner.

You can leave the rose water out if you feel like it stretches your budget too much, but it does form part of the basic recipe and does make quite a difference to how the setting spray turns out.

Rosewater has some great anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce redness and cleanse the skin. It is also wonderfully soothing and moisturizing, and it has a delightful, soft scent to it as well.


  1. Fill your clean, empty bottle 2/3 of the way filled with filtered water.
  2. Add in 3 teaspoons of rose water, or a little less depending on your personal preference.
  3. Add in 2 teaspoons of glycerin to the bottle.
  4. Shake to mix the ingredients together and spray to test.
  5. Add in more glycerin if you feel it necessary.

Keep in mind that the measurements are based on using a 4 oz. bottle, so adjust if the bottle you are using is a different size. Just make sure to test the spray to ensure that you are happy with the results.

Other Makeup Setting Spray Recipes

The above recipe is a basic recipe to work with, and there are many other ingredients that you can add in to make the setting spray more to your liking, and to suit your skin better.

Here are some other makeup setting spray recipes you could use at home:

Aloe Vera And Lavender

Aloe vera and lavender are two essentials for healthy skin and soothed senses! The aloe vera will help to keep the surface of your skin matte, allowing your makeup to stay in place for longer. It is also great to soothe skin and deliver very important nourishment!

Lavender oil helps to prevent acne and works to create a brighter, more youthful complexion. It is also one of the best and most relaxing aromas around, so that is never a bad thing.

When using aloe vera to make a setting spray, make sure to use an organic, pure gel, not one that contains added fillers and ingredients. True aloe vera gel will be clear, not bright green.

To make an aloe vera and lavender setting spray, mix 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel with 3 drops of lavender essential oil into a bottle with 1 ½ cups of distilled water. Shake to combine and use!

Rose Water And Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is such a great ingredient for your skin. It helps to reduce excess oil and works to hold makeup in place while doing so.

Rosewater, an ingredient used in the basic setting spray recipe, keeps skin vibrant and fresh and adds a bit of a dewy look to the surface of the skin too.

This is a good formula to use if your skin breaks out often, or for oily, acne-prone, and mature skin.

To make this setting spray, mix in 1 tablespoon of witch hazel, 1 tablespoon of rose water, and 1 ½ cups of distilled water in a clean spray bottle. Shake to mix together before use. It is best to store this makeup setting spray in the fridge and use it within 3 weeks.

DIY Makeup Setting Spray Mistakes To Avoid

There are some common mistakes that people make when making their own makeup setting sprays at home, so read through these mistakes to ensure that you don’t end up making the same ones!

Using Tap Water

One of the most common mistakes is that people use tap water to make the setting spray instead of using distilled, purified water.

Tap water contains lots of added chemicals, debris, and bacteria that can be harmful to your skin. Leaving the tap water in a bottle for an extended period of time could also see to these bacteria growing, which really will not be great for your skin at all.

Using Plastic Bottles With Essential Oils

Some people believe that you should not keep essential oils stored in plastic containers. This is because the plastic can be potentially damaged by the essential oils, and you should instead use a glass container.

Photosensitivity Essential Oils

Photosensitivity can be made worse when using certain types of essential oils. Some essential oils such as lime, lemon, and grapefruit, can cause photosensitivity. This would cause your skin to burn, become itchy or red, and even blister in the sun.

It is best to avoid using these essential oils in a makeup setting spray. Not all citrus oils cause photosensitivity, and others such as blood orange and tangerine are fine to use if you wish.

Can You Make Setting Spray Without Glycerin?

Glycerin is one of the main components of a basic setting spray, but there are some recipes that do not call for glycerin. If you find that glycerin irritates your skin too much or that it clogs your pores, then you could try another recipe.

One such option is mixing 3 parts of witch hazel, 2 parts of aloe vera gel, and 1 part rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle with distilled water. However, alcohol will dry out your skin, so be sure to moisturize and only use this spray occasionally.

Giving The Setting Spray More Glow

You can add in an extra ingredient to give your setting spray more of a glow, which means that you can finish your skin off with a dewy, shiny glow, which would be perfect for a night out or for a natural look.

To do this, you can add in a few illuminating drops into the setting spray. Start with a few drops at first, and test the spray. You don’t want to add in too much and your skin is way too shiny!

You can always add in a few more drops after this until you have reached your desired level of shine!

Why You Should Use A DIY Setting Spray

A DIY setting spray allows you to be in control of the ingredients you put onto your skin, and it helps you save money over time too! Here are some more reasons why you should use a homemade setting spray:

Sets Your Looks For Longer

A homemade setting spray will work just as well to lock in your look for longer. You can even use it multiple times when applying your makeup, to ensure that each layer is kept in place. This way, you make the most of the makeup products and don’t have to worry about reapplying!

Works As Primer

Did you know that you could use your makeup setting spray as a primer as well? You can simply spray your face with the setting spray a few minutes before applying your makeup.

This not only creates a nourished and hydrated surface to apply your makeup to, but it goes further in helping the makeup stick around for longer. Once you have applied your makeup over the primer, give it another few sprays to properly lock it in.

Freshen Your Look

You might feel as though your makeup needs a bit of a pick-me-up during the day, and instead of having to add more makeup to your skin, you could simply spray a bit of setting spray onto your skin.

This is especially helpful if you have some illuminating drops in the setting spray, but the other ingredients will also help to give your skin a fresh, revitalized look too.

Final Thoughts

It really is quite simple to make your own setting spray at home, and it works out to be wonderfully cost-effective too.

You can choose the ingredients you put into the setting spray, and the ingredients that you don’t, so you can ensure that your skin is only given the best, and is kept protected from harmful and irritating ingredients.

Play around with a few different ingredients to see which works best for your skin, and which keeps your makeup looking fresh for longer!

Related Questions

Can I make my setting spray more fragrant?

You can add a few drops of essential oil to your setting spray to make it more fragrant. One of the better options is to add in lavender essential oil. This not only has a great scent, but it will soothe and nourish skin as well.

What does makeup setting spray do?

Makeup setting spray increases the lifespan of your makeup and prevents it from smudging, creasing, or fading too soon after it has been applied.

How should I apply makeup setting spray?

Once you have finished applying your makeup, your foundation, lipstick, and mascara, shake the makeup setting spray bottle, hold it around eight inches away from your face, and spray in a T and X motion to cover all of your skin.

You can even use setting powder before setting spray for an extra layer of matte protection.

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