Urban Decay's All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray has gotten a makeover from its original formula—unfortunately, it's not an upgrade or worth a night out on the town!
This setting spray is supposed to make your makeup appear fresh as when you first put it on up to 16 hours later. If you're thinking that sounds too good to be true, you'd be right.
Urban Decay says the key to this spray's holding power is a "Temperature Control Technology" that lowers the temperature of your makeup to keep it from melting or sliding off your face. In reality, the formula contains several ordinary ingredients that simply cannot protect your makeup from your own body temperature or when the weather gets hot either. This is actually one of the more bizarre claims we've come across in a very long time.
This formula dries quickly and does form something of a film on the face, but that isn't due to any patented technology: rather, it's because of the high amount of alcohol. While the alcohol can make for a fast dry time, it also causes a host of potential problems for skin, not the least of which is dryness and irritation (see More Info for details).
Additionally, this contains fragrance in a seemingly higher amount than the previous formula, and it's joined by newly-added fragrance ingredients like hexyl cinnamal, linalool, citronellol, and limonene, all of which can cause further irritation.
Even though the idea of adding a fine mist to skin to prolong makeup wear sounds appealing, this essentially ends up being fragranced hairspray for your face and does little to keep makeup looking just-applied for extra hours. You'll find better options our list of Best Specialty Products.
Alcohol-Based Products: Research makes it clear that alcohol, as a main ingredient in any product, especially one you use frequently and repeatedly, is a problem.
When we express concern about the presence of alcohol in skincare or makeup products, we're referring to denatured ethanol, which most often is listed as SD alcohol, alcohol denat., denatured alcohol, or (less often) isopropyl alcohol.
When you see these types of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, without question the product will irritate and cause other problems for skin. There's no way around it—these volatile alcohols are simply bad for all skin types.
The reason they're included in products is because they provide a quick-drying finish, immediately degrease skin, and feel weightless, so it's easy to see their appeal, especially for those with oily skin. If only those short-term benefits didn't lead to negative long-term outcomes!
Using products that contain these alcohols will cause dryness, erosion of skin's protective barrier, and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Alcohol just weakens everything about skin.
The irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from the alcohol can actually lead to an increase in breakouts and enlarged pores. As we said, the alcohol does have an immediate de-greasing effect on skin, but it causes irritation, which eventually will counteract the de-greasing effect and make your oily skin look even shinier.
There are people who challenge us on the information we've presented about alcohol's effects. They often base their argument on a study in the British Journal of Dermatology (July 2007, pages 74–81) that concluded "alcohol-based hand rubs cause less irritation than hand washing…." But, the only thing this study showed was that alcohol was not as irritating as an even more irritating hand wash, which contained sodium lauryl sulfate. So, the study is actually just telling you that one irritant, sodium lauryl sulfate, is worse than another irritant, alcohol.
Not all alcohols are bad. For example, there are fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be beneficial for skin. Examples that you'll see on ingredient labels include cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and cetearyl alcohol, all of which are good ingredients for skin. It's important to differentiate between these skin-friendly alcohols and the problematic alcohols.
References for this information:
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, November 2008, pages 1–16
Dermato-Endocrinology, January 2011, pages 41–49
Experimental Dermatology, June 2008, pages 542–551
Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366
Alcohol Journal, April 2002, pages 179–190
Urban Decay At-A-Glance
Strengths: Workable options in almost every category; excellent cheek tint; bonanza for anyone who wants lots of shiny eyeshadows; good mattifier; bronzing powder; brow products; makeup brushes.
Weaknesses: Mostly average to poor mascaras; limited foundation shades and some disappointing lip glosses; the products designed to help makeup last longer don't help.
From its unconventional beginnings in 1996 with the debut tagline of "Does Pink Make You Puke?" Urban Decay has been at the forefront of the ongoing trend toward unconventional colors. Their approach to beauty is still rooted in steering clear of the norm, but for those creative, unconventional folks who want the opportunity to express themselves with well-formulated, edgy products, this is the line to look to.
Now representing itself by the decidedly tamer "Beauty with an Edge" slogan, the line still offers several shiny options (which excel by virtue of how well they cling to skin), but the items that really deserve your attention include some of their mascaras, bronzing powder, blush, and brow products. The brush collection is highly recommended and priced on the low end when compared to other department-store lines, and Urban Decay counters (as opposed to Sephora stores, where the line is typically sold) offer helpful literature about how to design a complete makeup look. The colors may be unconventional and more clownish than classy, but their placement advice is right-on.
Shortcomings of this edgy line include the lack of lipsticks and some glittery products that apply terribly. Those who appreciate products that make a statement (though it may not always be one that puts you in your most flattering light) should explore the best of what is offered here, as should those whose makeup concepts occasionally lean toward the adventurous side.
For more information about Urban Decay, call (800) 784-URBAN or visit www.urbandecay.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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