The Makeup-Setting Hack That Only Requires Something You Already Own

Folks who love to sport a full face of makeup know that sometimes the finishing touches matter the most. You can rock a gorgeous look in the morning, but if you don't properly set the makeup on your face, you'll end up with smeared and faded smudges by the late afternoon.

You usually avoid this mess by setting your makeup with a spray or powder. Setting sprays and powders work quite well, but they aren't without their drawbacks. Sprays can leave your face too wet or greasy, and you might make the dreaded error of getting some of it in your eyes. Powders allow for more targeted application but can be messy to handle and too drying for some skin types.

If you aren't a fan of dealing with setting products -– or if your budget doesn't allow for them –- you'll be happy to hear that you don't actually need any special product to set your makeup for an ordinary occasion. As TikTok user Madeline Blake demonstrates in her super-easy makeup-setting hack, you can secure your full-coverage makeup with an everyday household item: toilet paper.

How to set your makeup without a spray or powder

The toilet paper makeup-setting hack is so simple, it almost feels counterintuitive. The method is primarily for setting foundation and concealer, so it's best to try this out before you go in with your blush, bronzer, or eye makeup. As Blake shows in the clip, you only need a piece of toilet paper for this strategy.

After applying full-coverage concealer, take a piece of toilet paper and gently dab at your skin. Press the paper into every section of your face, making sure you blot away all of the excess product. Be careful to only pat, not wipe or rub, as this will take off more foundation than you want and disrupt the smooth finish. Just by patting it along your skin, the thin, absorbent material of toilet paper should be able to remove the right amount of foundation to give you a flawless finish. Then, you can continue your makeup routine and add any blush or bronzer you wish.

This hack helps set your foundation by making your foundation layer lighter and less susceptible to movement. When you have on too much foundation, it can slide around your face and sink into fine lines. On the other hand, if you get your foundation as thin as possible, it will grip your skin better and there won't be any extra product spreading out and traveling to other areas of your face.

When to use this makeup-setting hack

Generally, the toilet paper makeup-setting hack works best for a low-stakes long day. Thinning out your foundation provides some extra staying power, but it won't give you the same security as a quality setting spray or powder. If you're going to an outdoor event or spending extra time in the office, the toilet paper hack is perfect –- you aren't using up any of your nice setting products on a casual day and you're ensuring that your makeup is more comfortable and less likely to smudge. It's also a great option for traveling when you'd prefer not to pack too many makeup products.

That said, if you want your makeup truly cemented for a special occasion, like a wedding, you need to pull out the setting spray or powder. A good setting spray contains ingredients that form a translucent layer over your makeup, keeping everything in place. Similarly, a setting powder will create a protective layer over your makeup, as well as absorb oil and sweat. So while blotting your foundation will create the ideal base for long-lasting makeup, don't skimp on the sealant properties of a setting product if you really need that makeup to stay put.