DIY Mixing Medium and Makeup Setting Spray

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lets face it. 
Its frustrating when you apply your favorite eyeshadow and before you know it, it either applies dull and sheer or has made a mad prison break and fallen all underneath your eye area.
 Congratulations, you now look like you've been punched in the face. 

It's even more annoying when you look in the mirror mid-day and the beautiful face you've slaved over that morning has decided to melt off faster that a tub of Paula Deen's butter.

What's even worse is that we try to combat these makeup technical difficulties by buying expensive mixing mediums and makeup setting sprays (ex: Urban Decay All-Nighter Spray, MAC Fix Plus) when making your own is so easy and so inexpensive. What many people don't know is that these expensive mixing mediums and setting sprays are basically pure sugar water. That's right, I know...I just cried too.

Mixing medium and setting spray can be easily made by just using glycerin and filtered water. Glycerin is a humectant that absorbs water content from the air and seals it in your skin. It is used in many different types of cosmetics and moisturizers and so it is safe to use on the skin.

 When made into a mixing medium, it helps your eyeshadows appear more vibrant and alive on the skin and prevents eyeshadow from falling all over your face. It can also be used to adhere glitter to the face. When made into a setting spray, it prevents your makeup from streaking and running. 

Below I've written directions and a list of what you will need to make your own mixing medium and setting spray. Enjoy!


What you will need: 
A small bowl
A brush applicator (I recommend a synthetic-hair eyeshadow brush)
Loose pigment, eyeshadow, glitter, lipstick (etc.) of your choosing

1.) Fill a small bowl with 3 parts water and 1 part glycerin (I usually use about two tablespoons of water and then make a rough judgement of what one-third of that amount would be of glycerin)
2.) Mix glycerin and water mixture together and then dip your brush into the mixture. Wipe excess mixture on the side of the bowl so that it does not drip when you take the brush out.
3.) Dip brush into the eyeshadow/pigment (etc.) you want to use and then apply to the desired part of the face/body.

Swatches from left to right: Dry swatch of eyeshadow (without mixing medium), Swatch with mixing medium (eyeshadow), Swatch with mixing medium (eyeshadow and glitter)


What you will need: 
A travel-size spray bottle (I got mine from Bed Bath & Beyond)
Filtered Water 
Glycerin (I found mine at CVS)

1.) Fill 1/10 of the spray bottle with glycerin and fill the remaining portion with your filtered water 
2.) Put cap back on spray bottle and turn upside down so that the glycerin slowly starts to disperse throughout the bottle (you will see it drip down to the top of the cap)
3.) Shake the bottle until the glycerin and water are properly mixed together
4.) You are now ready to set your makeup! Hold the bottle an arms length away from your face and spray. Your makeup will now be properly set and last longer throughout the day.

(Note: It is best to make a new batch every two weeks to ensure it stays fresh and does its job well)

You will see the glycerin slowly start to drip down towards the cap of the bottle and disperse itself


  1. Awesome post, Anne-Marie! You are hilarious -- love the Paula Deen link!
    I will definitely have to try this out.

    1. thanks so much Lauren! I use this all the time and it saves me a lot of $$$ !!! :)

      The Beauty Book

  2. I ran out of mixing medium just as I started to work on a film shoot. I have no budget to buy more so I've been having to just blend two foundations together to make one that works for each actor which is very tiresome without the mixing medium. You just made my day, girl. I'm going to go cry in a corner over how much I have spent on mixing mediums as well. Anne-Marie, you rock.

    1. Aww I am so glad this helped you, Alexandra!! :) Thank you so much, you rock too! :)

      The Beauty Book

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  4. Why does it need to be filtered water, does it affect the efficacy of the final product?

  5. Thanks so much for this info! Great advice:) I have dry to combination skin (summer time only) and read other people put vit E oil, rose water, and witch hazel. Would you recommend those? Maybe just rose water and vit E for my skin right?

  6. This will probably save my life! Thank you!
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