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We're committed to helping professional makeup artists and at-home users learn how to use makeup and tools to their advantage.

How to Set Makeup Like a Pro

The key to wearing any makeup is trying to get it to last as long as possible. Setting makeup properly allows maximum wear without too many touch-ups.

By Foundation Type:

Pressed Powder and Crushed Minerals

Since powder is generally the setting agent used for most makeup, pressed powder and crushed mineral foundations do not need to be set. However, these foundations hold the least amount of pigment. Once they wear away, the rate of which depends on the skin's oil production, the skin should be blotted and the foundation reapplied.

Dual Finish Wet/Dry

Dual activated foundations can be used wet or dry, and in either case, they don't require setting. When applied dry, these foundations behave like pressed powder or crushed mineral foundation. When applied wet, they afford more coverage (depending on the amount of water used), and the makeup sets as the water evaporates.


Liquid foundations have a water base, and as the water evaporates, the makeup sets. Liquid foundations give a sheer coverage because the water cannot hold too much pigment.


Pancake foundation is a powder cake in a round pan. Water is used to activate the makeup for application. Since water is used as the activator as it evaporates, the makeup sets (much like a liquid makeup). Pancake foundations can hold a bit more pigment than a liquid makeup, and the coverage can vary from medium to very light depending on the amount of water used. Think of them as watercolor paint.


Cream foundations are made of wax, silicone, or oil bases and must be set with a translucent loose powder and powder puff to last and stay in place. (These do not contain water, so they don't dry on their own!) To properly set a cream foundations, simply:

Tap the loose powder onto the powder puff.

Fold the puff in half like a taco and rub the edges together as if you are rubbing out a stain in fabric. This "loads" the puff with powder and keeps the loose powder from getting everywhere.

Tap the puff on the face to release the powder onto the cream.

Use the puff to press the powder into the cream makeup.

Use a powder brush to whisk away any excess powder sitting on top of the foundation.

*TIP* If you prefer a dewier finish, spray a bit of Cinema Secrets Moisture Spray over the powder to take away a bit of the matte and add a youthful glow.

Added protection for heat and humidity

In warm climates and under hot television lights, cream makeup tends to slide as the skin perspires. To prevent perspiration:

Spray Cinema Secrets Super Sealer on the bare skin of the face and neck before makeup application. It serves as an antiperspirant.

Use in place of water to make pancake makeup, body makeup, or dual finish makeup foundations waterproof when they set.

Use over powder-set makeup for longer wear.

*TIP* Did you know Super Sealer can be run through an airbrush? Its thin viscosity has a matte, tack-free finish--without perfumes.