January 20, 2012

Setting Spray Showdown: MAC Fix+ versus La Roche-Posay Eau Thermale

I’ve long extolled the virtues of MAC Fix+ as a make-up setting spray. Sure, there are naysayers out there; people who hate the smell, don’t think it’s worth the money or don’t quite know what to do with it or how to use it. I, however, am not one of them.

Yes, I concede that paying €16.50 for a glorified bottle of water is verging a bit on the ridiculous side but, honestly, I can’t leave the house without spritzing my make-up with it. Once, I forgot and spent all day totally paranoid that my face looked powdered and cakey and not at all dewy and natural (ish) as I prefer it to. I can also justify it by saying that one bottle, with almost daily use, will last you a hell of a long time. I’m currently using up the dregs of a bottle that I bought in…I want to say…December 2010 so, yeah, it lasts!

That being said, I have been straying from my beloved lately and having a tryst with La Roche-Posay’s Eau Thermale. Naughty, I know, but sometimes a girl needs a bit of variety in her life! I’m not entirely sure about the fancy science that, I'm sure, exists behind both sprays but, I do know that each is formulated in its own way to rehydrate and refresh tight and tired skin. 

So, how do these two water-based sprays stack up against each other?

Composition-wise, the Eau Thermale wins purely because it is so, well, pure. Comprised of 100% natural spring water, Eau Thermale is aimed at soothing upset, irritated and dehydrated skin while also being touted to increase the hold of make-up as something of an added extra. Fix+ on the other hand is absolutely chock full of ingredients including green tea, cucumber and chamomile, all to soothe the skin, and is infused with vitamins and minerals to, I presume, nourish the skin? While Fix+ doesn't appear to contain any harmful or irritating ingredients, less is more with me and I love how simple and natural Eau Thermale is.

In terms of packaging, I think Fix+ just about pips Eau Thermale to the post. MAC have cleverly packaged Fix+ in a light plastic bottle with a spray top that, handily, locks into place. La Roche-Posay's container feels somewhat dated in comparison as it is a pressurised metal canister, not unlike those used to house spray paint and, funnily enough, has a spray nozzle to match. Where Fix+ douses your entire face evenly in one brusque spray, Eau Thermale delivers more of a light mist that takes a couple of squirts to coat your face. And, be warned, holding the latter too close to your face won't help and will just result in a stingingly quick burst of air and a soaking wet patch of skin!

As with all products, the proof is in the pudding and, by pudding, I mean results. Both sprays keep my make-up looking reasonably fresh for 12+ hours which is an absolute necessity when you're commuter dealing with stifling trains and hoping to still look presentable upon arriving into work. Similarly, I can attribute how relaxed and calm my skin feels all day long to finishing my morning routine with a quick spritz of either of these. I don't experience any uncomfortable tightening across my T-Zone, the most likely area, and the rehydrating elements of both sprays definitely help to keep dry and flaky patches at bay.

Obviously, La Roche-Posay's Eau Thermale comes out on top in terms of the price. At €9.50 for 150g, it is a lot more economically-friendly than the €16.50 you pay for 100ml of MAC's finest. However, that being said, each has its own merits as I've outlined above and, at the end of the day, it is really down to whether you want the purest-of-the-pure for a setting spray or a spray infused with all kinds of good stuff.

Similarly, it also comes down to your budget. If you have the cash and like MAC, go for it. If not, there's a cheaper, great quality option in the La Roche-Posay. That being said, MAC do now have a 30ml Fix+ for €9 available if you want to try it out and you can always justify your purchase by reasoning that Fix+ can contribute to your stash of empties to Back to MAC for a lipstick!

I have both, use both and love both so, at the end of the day, I'm happy to recommend both of them as great setting sprays that tip both ends of the price scale and cater for all.


  1. I must try the Eau Thermale one! I have been looking for a cheap setting spray for ages! :)

  2. I never knew Eau Thermale was a setting spray! I've got 3 bottles knocking about that I got free at the chemists. Thanks so much, I now know what to do with them!!


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