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The Setting Sprays and Powders Artists Swear by for Their Sweatiest Onstage Performances

If you’ve ever stared at a pop star performing a lengthy concert and wondered how they keep their makeup pristine and intact for hours on end, you’re not alone. Whether it’s Taylor Swift doing her three-hour “Eras” tour set during a torrential downpour (she’s rumored to wear Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Setting Powder) or Chappell Roan singing in 74-degree weather whilst wearing full body makeup, performing artists rely on a thoroughly stress-tested arsenal of setting powders and sprays to protect their glam.

And if those setting products are capable of keeping performers’ makeup in place through the intense choreography, humid temperatures and bright lights of the stage, they’re also likely to be pretty useful off stage. So of course, we’re taking notes.  Ahead, the makeup artists behind looks for the likes of Beyoncé, SZA, Sabrina Carpenter and more share their favorite setting powders and sprays to use for onstage performances. 

Chappell Roan

Photos: Marleen Moise/Getty Images, Courtesy of brands

“I use the One Size On Til’ Dawn Setting Spray, which is like a continuous aerosol spray — like a hair sprayer. It’s very intense. Then I put some of the Half Magic Dew Lock Hydrating Set and Refresh Mist on top of that just to give back a little bit of sheen. —Donni Davy

Ariana Grande

Photos: Kevin Mazur/MG24/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue, Courtesy of R.E.M. Beauty

“[The R.E.M. Beauty Mist Thing Hydrating Setting Spray] locks in the makeup — it’s the perfect setting spray. It still has a calming, soothing effect. I’m really obsessed with the scent and how it feels on my skin. [My makeup] isn’t budging.” —Ariana Grande in a video posted to

Lana Del Rey

Photos: Xavi Torrent/Redferns, Courtesy of brands

“For stage, I like to use Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Setting Powder. I prefer a loose powder so I can build it up with a brush for a matte effect without over-caking the skin. This one is a perfect medium-weight powder. Occasionally, if the stage is in a hot, sunny location, I’ll finish with the Milk Makeup Pore Eclipse Setting Spray for extra mattifying.” —Pamela Cochrane


Photos: Astrida Valigorsky/WireImage, Courtesy of Thrive Causemetics

“I love the Thrive Causemetics Instant Makeup Fix Set and Refresh Spray for so many reasons. SZA has long days and high-energy performances, often in hot weather and under intense lights. I am always looking for makeup and setting sprays that are not only high-performance and long-lasting, but also lightweight so they are comfortable to wear. This one lasts all day and night and gives a really natural finish. Plus, it has key skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid. If I want a more intense eye look, I will also spray my brush with it first to make her eyeshadow pop more.” —Deanna Paley


Photos: Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood, Courtesy of One Size Beauty

For her “Renaissance” tour, makeup artist Rokael Beauty used the One Size On Til’ Dawn Setting Spray to finish Beyoncé’s makeup.

Hayley Williams

Photos: Gareth Cattermole/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management, Courtesy of brands

“For all-over setting powder I am absolutely obsessed with the Kosas Cloud Set Setting Powder. It is so beautiful. It goes on just so smoothly and so soft. I’ll use the Milk Makeup Hydrogrip Set & Refresh Spray as I’m building the face to set each step of the complexion process in a way that’s also hydrating to lock things in. After we’ve completed the look, I like to go in with the Milk Makeup Pore Eclipse Matte Setting Spray as my final way to lock everything in before Hayley takes the stage.” —Brian O’Connor

Sabrina Carpenter

Photos: Nina Westervelt/Billboard via Getty Images, Courtesy of Armani Beauty

“I only use [Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Glow Setting Powder] in the T-zone — that is it. When you start getting into powders and start sweating, it will come off. It’s like oil and water.” —Carolina Gonzalez in an interview with E News

Ice Spice

Photos: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Coachella, Courtesy of Beauty Pie

“My favorite setting sprays to use on Ice Spice are the Beauty Pie Wonderlifter Blurring Skin Primer & Setting Spray and Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray. I like to use Beauty Pie’s spray after skin care and before makeup to provide a good base for the liquids to grip onto. I’ve seen this make a difference in coverage and longevity. Then to seal the makeup, I use a good amount of Airbrush Flawless and dry it with a mini fan!” —Karina Milan

Carly Rae Jepsen

Photos: Mark Horton/Getty Images, Courtesy of Charlotte Tilbury

“The Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray is my go-to favorite! It has what’s called film-former polymers, a green tea extract that locks the makeup in place while staying breathable for an entire performance. I love a product that is lightweight but strong and performs for a performance as lively and energetic as my dear girl Carly Rae. It also smells divine!” —Josefine Wissenberg


Photos: Marleen Moise/Getty Images, Courtesy of Mehron Makeup

“I love the One Size On Til’ Dawn Setting Spray and the Mehron Barrier Spray. They never let me down! I use these, especially on performance jobs. One Size is waterproofing and has a matte finish that keeps the makeup locked up after long days. Mehron is SFX-grade and is the ultimate anti-sweat [product]. Doechii and I call it ‘the cement’ because your makeup will not move. I swear by these. I always use them in conjunction for the ultimate wear!” —Dee Carrion

Selena Gomez

Photos: Kevin Mazur/AMA2019/Getty Images for dcp, Courtesy of Rare Beauty

For performances, makeup artist Hung Vanngo uses the Rare Beauty Always an Optimist 4-1 Mist to finish Selena Gomez’s makeup.

Demi Lovato

Photos: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy, Courtesy of YSL Beauty

For Lovato’s 2020 performance at the Grammys, Mario Dedivanovic used the YSL Beauty All Hours Setting Powder.


Photos: Joseph Okpako/WireImage, Courtesy of Laura Mercier

“I use Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. It’s the most long-lasting and effective powder for a semi-matte finish that is velvety smooth and light on the skin. It also gives extra sheer coverage, blends effortlessly and doesn’t cause flashback. Plus, it comes in mini pots so it’s easy to travel with at all times.” —Lan Nguyen-Grealis

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