I Tried Spray-On Foundations for a Week and It Was... Interesting

I'm always looking for the next easy thing in foundation.
Publish date:
January 18, 2016
sephora, Dior, Luminess Air, foundation

I have been dying to spray on my foundation ever since I first saw this type of product in Sephora. My usual foundation modality is liquids of different coverage levels, so I was curious to see if I'd be able to have the same range of options in a (hopefully) easy to use spray can. When you mix convenience and performance, you should be getting a desirable product, right?

The price range is on the higher side for this kind of product, from $28 on the lower end to $68 on the higher end; cheapie dupes do exist in drugstores in form of leg sprays, but I don't want to put those on my face anytime soon.

To decide how they stack up against my usual foundations, I tried them out in the wild so I could really see how they held up to my life. I tested while using sweaty mass transit, trying to shoot a video, and during a massive sew-a-thon, snapping a selfie right in the middle of the heavy lifting.

Sephora Collection Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation

This can contains some shimmer; I think it’s in there to balance the matte effect of this formula. It covers up to medium when you spray onto the skin and blend, and it can be built up to full when applied via brush.

After trying this and the fancier Dior (more on that below), I would say they are very similar with some exceptions, like the shimmer and much more shade selection with the Sephora Collection.

This is the least expensive and most widely available product, so it’s a great one to play with if you are interested in trying spray-on foundations.

Luminess AirSupremacy Mist Foundation

This is the first spray-on foundation I had ever tried. Its coverage is light but buildable, and spraying direct from can to skin provides a dewy finish.

For me it’s a little greasy using that method, and you almost always need to set with powder, so I prefer to mist directly onto an Artis Oval 8 brush, which really works it into the skin with minimal product loss. Spraying directly onto the brush and working into skin provides more complete coverage, and leaves a much more matte finish.

I wasn’t crazy about my skin wearing this, but I really love their line of spray-on blushes, which provide a really gentle flush that is hard to do with powders and gels.

Dior Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation

As usual, when you try the cream of the crop, it’s got it’s major positives. The finish on this is easier, it sprays much more opaquely — allowing you to use less product — and it was the only one that looked halfway decent when sprayed directly onto my face. But just like the others, it looks best when sprayed onto a brush and blended directly into skin.

It's twice as expensive, but looks almost twice as good as the others.

Using canned spray foundation was interesting. I didn’t really enjoy the shade-matching process. These foundations tend to really shout their undertones out loud, so it’s much more complicated to choose in the store with the weird lighting. Using lots of moisturizer to start and a light hand for daytime is kind of crucial, as overdoing it is always a bad idea, not to mention easier to do with a spray.

The amount of foundation per dollar is more than liquids, creams, and powders, but this is used even more sparingly, so if you’re a value-seeker, this could be your delivery system if you learn how to do it efficiently.

The other added bonus is near-perfect sanitary conditions when compared to some other products. Less physical product getting on your equipment is less and less chance to slap bacteria-laden leftovers all over your face.

  • Have you tried spray foundation? What's your favorite brand?
  • What's your preferred foundation format?

Photos: Maria Penaloza (Selfies: Danizig)