Make Your Own Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater (or DIY makeup setting spray)

If you have tried the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater (or as a whole lot of people are referring to it – the Mario Badescu finishing spray), you are probably as much in love with it as I am!

It doesn’t look all that special…

mario badescu
Mario Badescu

But, when you point it at your face and depress the sprayer, ooooooooooh emmmmmmmmmmmmm geeeeeeeeee! You get blasted with a refreshing spritz of yummy smelling stuff on your face. Now, I have tried handfuls and handfuls of facial sprays, whether they were to simply refresh my face or to set my makeup, and they have ranged drastically in aromas. Some smelled AH-mazing, while others had an off smell that I only barely tolerated for the sake of trying the product out.

What It Smells Like

This one? The Mario Badescu spray? It immediately has a beautiful fresh, refreshing aroma. It is definitely reminiscent of rosewater (I wonder why…), so if you don’t like how rosewater smells (hint, hint: roses), you probably are not going to like it. I, personally, love that smell, partially because rosewater has been part of my skincare routine for many years now.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you don’t have to limit your use of this – or other facial sprays – to your face. You can also use them as aromatic body sprays, as well. That is, if you can stand that sticky-ish feel that some of them leave on the face.

Why Make Our Own if It’s Not Even Expensive?

Now, it’s not that Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray is expensive at all. In fact, you can get it at Ulta for $7 for a 4 oz. bottle, and a 4 oz. bottle will last me quite a while. If you are someone who likes to keep makeup setting spray in your purse to spritz your face here and there (read that as “on the hour”) while you are running errands, or otherwise out all day long, you will probably use a lot more than I do. And, in that case, buying these bottles can add up.

If you use your finishing and refreshing sprays sparingly because they are expensive (I won’t call out any names here), you are going to love this do it yourself recipe! Because this recipe will give you the flexibility to add more of the ingredients that you like and less of the ones you don’t, in a sense, you can create a setting spray that works for you, your olfactory nerves, and your skin.

What are the Ingredients? (If you’re not interested in all of the details, skip down to the recipe)

So, you know me, the research queen, had to look up the actual ingredients of the Mario Badescu facial spray. There are some natural ingredients…and there are some not-so-natural ingredients. Which is yet another reason to make your own spray. Let’s take a quick look at the ingredient run-down.

First, we have water. Now, that’s an easy ingredient when you are making your own. And, because it is listed first, it means that water is one of the main ingredients. Next up is propylene glycol. If you mention propylene glycol to just about anyone, they will probably tell you that it is a toxin. Are you spraying a toxic ingredient on your face? Yeah, kind of.

The Propylene Glycol Debate

In case you didn’t know, propylene glycol comes in different formulations. I could go on forever about PG and, yes, there is a debate whether or not it is safe in cosmetics and food. Even in small doses, PG is still regarded as a toxin. If you want to learn more, certainly Google the ingredient or click here.  I will add that the FDA lists PG as generally safe in food, and it is found in a lot of foods and cosmetics. In fact, it is used as a humescent, causing retention of moisture content of the cosmetic product. Essentially, PG prevents the escape of moisture or water. If you use any “anti-wrinkle” or “plumping” type of products, there is a good chance they have PG in them.

Onto the next ingredient, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Vera). Enough said. Rosa Canina Extract – this is the extract of the seeds of the wild rose, also called the dog rose. That’s a real type rose. It is also referred to as rose hip extract. Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Leaf Extract – this is pretty self explanatory.

Fucus Vesiculosus Extract is a brown seaweed by the names bladderwrack, black tang, rockweed, bladder fucus, sea oak, black tany, cut weed, dyers fucus, red fucus, and rock wrack, and it is found on the coasts of the North Sea, the western Baltic Sea, and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It was the original source of Iodine, and it contains antioxidants, antibacterial and anti-hypertensive properties. If you are interested in hearing more this seaweed, you can check out what Livestrong has to say about it.

Gardenia Florida Fruit Extract is the extract of the fruit of the Cape Jasmine, Gardenia Florida L., Rubiaceae, and it used in cosmetics to impart fragrance and also functions as an antioxidant. Caprylyl Glycol is the next ingredient, which can be synthetic or plant derived. It is typically used in cosmetics as a skin conditioning agent. Hexylene Glycol is basically a solvent and viscosity agent that is used to create a thinner, more spreadable product. HG also imparts a bit of a mild, sweet fragrance.

Down to the Last Little Bits….

Polysorbate 20 is derived from Lauric Acid and it is a surfactant, emulsifier, and fragrance ingredient. Parfum (Fragrance) – this ingredient needs no description. Phenoxyethanol is used to preserve the ingredients in the mixture. Sodium Chloride (sound familiar?) is salt, basically. It is most frequently used in cosmetics to thicken the water. Citronellol and Geraniol both impart natural fragrance from essential oils that are derived from plants.  CI 17200 (Red 33) and CI 42090 (Blue 1) are both coloring agents.

PHEW! That was a long break-down!

And that list of ingredients is actually quite short for a cosmetic product! Can you imagine breaking down a cosmetic product with a longer list of ingredients? Anyway, we need to get to what you came here for! The recipe to make your own facial spray!

Now, of course, there are a lot of ingredients in that list that are going to be difficult to find. Not only that, by the time you buy all of those ingredients, you might as well have spent the $7 for a bottle of Mario Badescu, right? We’re not going to do that. We are going to emulate this formula with ingredients that we can more easily get our fingers on. And we are going to keep it simple, because I don’t see any reason for adding an ingredient to thin the mixture, then add one to thicken it, you feel me?


As I said, I am going to provide you with the basic formula and then you can play with it and adjust it as you like. If you don’t have these ingredients to start out with, remember that while it will be an investment to get them, once you do, you will have PLENTY to make your own facial spray for a year…or maybe more!

Tip: Use one of your setting spray spray bottles to put the mixture into, because the sprayer top is made to spray the mist like a setting spray. (I have tried other spray bottles before and some spray too much, some spray more directly, rather than a fine spray all over.)


  • 1/2 cup Rosewater
  • 2 tsp. Glycerin

Optional ingredients:

  • filtered/distilled/purified water (just enough to dilute mixture to your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp alcohol
  • 4 tsps. witch hazel
  • 2 tsp. aloe vera gel (can be substituted for the glycerin)
  • 2 tsp almond, argan, grapeseed , jojoba, primrose, or sunflower oil
  • a couple drops of your choice of essential oil(s)


Here is where you can start playing around. Remember not to make too much at one time, because you do not have any preservatives to add into your mixture, nor do you have any antibacterials. You should be able to find (vegetable) glycerin at your local drug store.

Also keep in mind that glycerin is a natural humectant. That means that it helps your skin remain hydrated by attracting moisture from the air. If you have oilier skin, you might want to use less glycerin, while people with drier skin may want to use more.

If you make the mixture and it seems a bit too strong for your taste, that is where the filtered water comes in. Just add a 1/2 tsp at a time, considering you are only making small amounts at once.

I also recommend that you mix the ingredients that you want to use in a bowl and then funnel it into the spray bottle. Then again, if it seems easier to pour from your bottles into the spray bottle, that is your prerogative.

Types of Essential Oils You Can Use

  • rose geranium
  • lavender
  • frankincense
  • myrrh
  • tea tree
  • patchouli
  • chamomile
  • ylang ylang
  • carrot seed

If you are not very familiar with essential oils, do some research to find which ones are best for your particular skin. Again, you only need to add 1 or 2 drops of essential oil into a 1/2 cup mixture.

Just Like Your Current Setting Spray (Mario Badescu?)

You can use your spray on your makeup brushes to add oomph to the pigmentation of your eyeshadows, just like your makeup setting spray. You can also feel free to hydrate your face/refresh your makeup as much as you want, because you can always make some more!

***Store your setting/hydrating spray in the refrigerator to keep it cool and help it to last longer*** 

Have you made your own setting or hydrating sprays? How did you make yours? Were they as good as the ones from the store? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!⏬⏬

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2 thoughts on “Make Your Own Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater (or DIY makeup setting spray)

  1. Thanks for the recipe for setting spray I’m going to have to try it it sounds great and save me a few bucks I’m in for that. Seriously I’m going to try it XO


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