Difference Between Mac Fix+ and Setting Spray

by Sarah

One of the most popular products amongst makeup lovers is MAC Fix+, but it’s also a product that has many scratching their heads once they purchase it. In fact, most people buy it because of the hype surrounding it yet don’t quite know what it actually does and hence how to use it.

So today, we’ll put all the question marks to rest and cover what MAC Fix+ is and why it’s so different from makeup setting sprays…

MAC Fix+


The most common misconception about MAC Fix+ is that it’s a setting spray. People buy it expecting it to lock their makeup into place so that it lasts long hours and doesn’t budge. Of course when they realise it does neither, they wonder why others are so in love with it.

MAC Fix+ is a “binding spray”. It’s designed to settle and bind to the skin any powder products that may have been used in the makeup process. You know the look when you apply your foundation then set it with powder – followed by your powder contour, bronzer, blush, highlight etc; and you end up with a fairly matte, sometimes chalky finish which can take hours to settle into the skin as the oils mix together. Well, MAC Fix+ is used to do the settling for you…instantly.

A few sprays of MAC Fix+ all over the face not only helps bind all the products together, but it also helps keep the dewy/glowing look. I personally love my MAC Fix+ spray as I prefer the skin to have some luminosity and prevent the matte/powdery look. If you’re after the same type of finish or enjoy a refreshing spray after you apply your makeup, then you’ll love MAC Fix+ spray.

TIP: MAC Fix+ is also great to spray over eye brushes before dipping into the eyeshadows to intensify their color or turn them into creamier consistency. I have a “how to” post on this nifty trick HERE


As the name suggests, a makeup setting spray does just that: it locks in your makeup, makes it long lasting and pretty much budge proof. Being a liquid spray, it does settle the powder products into the skin just like MAC Fix+ with the added bonus of locking them into place.

Setting sprays are great for special occasions or during summer months and vacations when you want your makeup to stay put until you choose to take it off. My all time favorite setting spray is Urban Decay’s All Nighter. Urban Decay has many different setting sprays depending on your needs, including oil controlling and hydrating but I find All Nighter is more heavy duty. There are many other brands which make great setting sprays – you can browse through them HERE

TIP: A great little trick you can use setting spray for is to turn your under eye concealer into a long lasting version. Mix your regular concealer with a few drops of setting spray and you have yourself a crease-free, budge proof concealer ;)

So here we are ladies, the difference between MAC Fix+ and makeup setting sprays which I hope answered some of your questions. MAC Fix+ for a 3.4oz bottle is $22- and you can purchase it HERE; and/or Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray is $30- for a 4oz bottle which you can get HERE


Do you use MAC Fix+ and/or a Setting Spray? Which is your favorite? xx


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faith August 24, 2017 - 5:32 pm

hello ma’am! I love this post! im looking for a review bec I cant decide if I still need to buy the UD all nighter. I already have the fix + prep and prime. I also love my make up forever setting spray. it really is like a hairspray for the face. your make up stays in place and zero oil for my entire shift in the office. thank you for clearing up the difference between the two. I’d still stash the UD All Nighter. I dunno, I think it would be great if I have those two products. Your blog is very much concise. Thank you! Kisses from the Philippines. xoxo

Sarah August 25, 2017 - 12:23 pm

Hi Faith! Welcome to the blog all the way from the Philippines :) I haven’t tried the Makeup Forever setting spray but I’ve been using the UD range on myself and my clients for years and I’m really happy with it. I particularly like the All Nighter as it has the most staying power. They come in travel size bottles if you prefer to test it out before committing to the full size. Let me know what you think if you try it.
I’ll look into the MUFE setting spray so thank you for your tip too :)

Arushi Sethi June 27, 2017 - 10:55 pm

Heh would you recommend mac fix plus for oily and acne prone skin??

Sarah June 28, 2017 - 3:57 am

Hi Arushi, it should be fine as long as you set the oily areas with powder first. As for acne, it doesn’t contain any ingredients that would aggravate acne but of course everyone’s skin is different. They sell travel size of this spray at MAC so maybe try that before committing to the full size bottle. Hope that helps :)

Arushi Sethi June 28, 2017 - 6:56 am

Thanks for such a prompt reply & your help !! Will try this fir sure !! I use powder foundation so it takes forever to settle down so was keen to try this:))

Sarah June 28, 2017 - 11:02 am

My pleasure Arushi :) If you’re already using powder foundation, the Fix+ would be perfect. It binds and settles all the powder products down so you end up with a glowing finish. Let me know what you think of it :)

Saira February 13, 2017 - 5:57 am

Hello dear…I know its an old post but I just want to know about ud all nighter..isn’t it a fixing spray that has to be applied at the end…just to lock everything in its place…
n mac fix it is a setting spray that blends everything after u r done with ur makeup..plz help me to sort out the setting and fixing spray..
Thank u

Rebecca August 8, 2017 - 7:44 pm

Right?? There are tons of people who have said the same thing tbh this article kinda confused me more cuz people use fix + then ud all nighter

Sarah August 8, 2017 - 9:17 pm

In reply to both Saira and Rebecca, Fixing Spray binds all powder products – it does NOT set the makeup in place. Setting Spray – as the name suggests, sets and locks everything into place.
If you want your makeup to be budge proof and last longer, use a Setting Spray. Some people don’t care to use setting sprays but they still want to take away the powdery look from the skin. That’s when Fixing Sprays are used so the skin has a luminous look.
As for those who use both, there are many things people do out there which may work for them yet quite unnecessary when it comes to the end result. There’s no need to use both Fixing and Setting Spray in the same application.

Alisha thomson December 3, 2016 - 6:43 pm

Hi, I know this is over a year old, but can u tell me do i use setting spray and fix plus together, I.e- fInish makeup and use urban decay all nighter then fix plus or do u use one or the other not both? Thanx for explaining how fix plus works xxx

Sarah December 4, 2016 - 7:42 am

Hi Alisha, if you’re using a setting spray at the end of your makeup such as UD All Nighter, there’s no need to use Fix+ with it. On days where you don’t want to lock your makeup in with a setting spray, you can just use Fix+ as it’s great for settling down any powder products and refreshing the overall look of your makeup. Hope that helps :)

Naomi June 23, 2015 - 5:29 pm

You’re a genius. I never fully understood what the difference was except that I knew Fix+ definitely did not set my makeup.

I actually have both Fix+ and the Skindinavia setting spray (they’re the ones who make Urban Decay’s setting spray). My skin is both combination (so lots of oil on the tzone that needs to be locked in by a setting spray) and dehydrated (my makeup always looks chalky and dry unless I pull some moisture in to settle the makeup).

I often use both, but I have to admit neither feels like it does a complete job for me – the Fix+ doesn’t settle the makeup unless I continue to blend, and the Skindinavia setting spray doesn’t lock it in (it does help a bit to keep the makeup from sliding off if not as good as promised, and man the smell is *so refreshing*). I still would repurchase both, at least until I find something better (like a foundation that does match my shade and does stay for hours and does look like skin…), but which of us can say differently?:)

Sarah June 24, 2015 - 6:23 am

Hi Naomi, thanks for sharing your experience with the sprays. Combination skin can be a hard act to balance. If you feel the t-zone is hard to manage with setting the makeup either via powder or setting spray, you may get better results with an oil-control primer. This way you can still moisturise the dry areas and by reducing oil production in the t-zone, it won’t matter what formula foundation you use on top, you’ll get an all over even coverage.

In extreme cases of oily skin, you can even try milk of magnesia – though I don’t recommend this for everyday use. I’m also not sure if Skindinavia makes oil control version of their setting spray but Urban Decay has De-Slick Setting Spray which is designed for oily areas. That’s another option you can consider. Let me know if you have any questions ;) xx

Rebecca Steins June 23, 2015 - 4:29 pm

Great information as always Sarah! I must admit I wasn’t sure how to use fix plus either but once I worked it out now I can’t live without it. Love your blog!!!!


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