It’s a little-known trick that makeup artists have been using for years: in a pinch, set your makeup with a light mist of hairspray. A Calgary-based beauty advisor recommended doing just that in our July/August issue (“Your Say”, page 12): “After you have finished applying makeup, mist hairspray lightly over your face to keep it looking fresh for hours.”
We quickly received a reader response by email, concerned about the possible dangers of hairspray and flammability: “…this may be very dangerous for someone to try…especially if they are smokers. Hairspray is very flammable and should not be used on the skin.” So we called upon cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson, VP of R&I at Englewood Lab in New York, for her take on the matter. “Propellants make hairspray flammable. Once all of the propellant has dissipated, then it is fine,” she says, adding, “It’s never a good idea to spray hairspray and then light up a cigarette until the ‘mist’ has cleared. It’s not what’s on your face that’s flammable, it’s [what’s in] the air.”
We say: Use common sense when attempting this at home. Hold the hairspray can far away from your face when spraying, or spray it into the air and walk into it, so you get the lightest veil possible. Also, shun the cigarettes and stay away from any open flames when trying this manoeuvre. And if your skin is sensitive, avoid this trick altogether, as the ingredients may irritate the skin. Another option: try one of the makeup-setting sprays available, such as Urban Decay All-Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray or Lise Watier Magnifix.
- Kristen Vinakmens