Before deciding to banish products tested on animals from my makeup bag, I had a preconception that going cruelty-free would be quite limiting. However the majority of brands -big and small- are actually entirely cruelty-free. Whilst I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much of my favourite makeup and skincare is cruelty-free, it does highlight that those who aren’t really have no excuse. MAC Cosmetics were one of the first makeup brands I got into and I’ve got a lot of MAC in my collection. And whilst I’ve moved away from them over the years, one product remains a firm favourite: Prep & Prime Fix+.
As my current bottle has got ever closer to being finished, I went on the hunt for a suitable replacement from a cruelty-free brand. I’m a big believer in making small changes and just swapping out one product for a cruelty-free alternative is a move in the right direction.
MAC Cosmetics Prep & Prime Fix+
If you’ve not used Fix+ you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. It’s just a setting spray right? Well not exactly. Fix+ is a bit of an all rounder, with multiple uses. Whilst it can be used to help set makeup, it definitely doesn’t come close to something like Urban Decay All Nighter in terms of it’s staying power.
I use Fix+ for applying my foundation when using a beauty blender. Once the foundation is applied, I spray my Beauty Blender with Fix+ and blend away. I find it makes a big difference to the blending process and helps foundation wear well throughout the day.
I also like to use Fix+ for getting a bolder colour payoff from shimmer eyeshadows. And it’s great for refreshing your makeup when you’ve got dry skin. I know there are countless products for setting makeup and refreshing sprays, but Fix+ is really lightweight and effective. Unlike setting sprays, it doesn’t feel sticky or heavy on the skin. And it never causes the product it’s applied over to come off.
It’s a cult product in my eyes as it does it’s job really well. It’s not much to look at and certainly not the most exciting product. But it’s one I rely on daily, whether I’m wearing a bit of tinted moisturiser and brows or a full face of makeup.
Looking For A Cruelty-Free Fix+ Alternative
Fix+ is made by MAC, who at this point in time sell to China. This means they will carry out animal testing as per the laws of that country, which in turn means they’ve lost their cruelty-free status. MAC profess to be vehemently against animal testing, but their actions speak otherwise. So sadly I won’t be buying any more MAC … And that means Fix+ is off the menu for me.
I did some digging and discovered that the key ingredient is the butylene glycol, closely followed by the glycerin which is found in a lot of setting sprays. The ingredients for Fix+ are as follows:
Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caffeine, Panthenol, Arginine, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol
MAC Cosmetics Fix+ costs £19 for 100ml. Writing that down made me do an internal scream of “HOW MUCH?”. It’s just been something I’ve repurchased when it ran out. Brand loyalty can blinker you at times.
The Dupe: MUA Pro Base Fixing Mist
Makeup Academy (MUA) are a cruelty-free brand, exclusively available from Superdrug. They only sell to China online which means they avoid the testing laws. Whilst they are cruelty-free, not all of their products are vegan. MUA are a drugstore brand with really affordable products, so I was excited to find my Fix+ replacement on their shelves.
MUA Pro Base Fixing Mist is a lightweight spray, which also features butylene glycol and glycerin, along with a natural extract in it’s active ingredients.
Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Polyurethane-34, Betaine, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Benzyl Alcohol, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Parfum, Limonene, Othiazolinone
I slightly prefer the scent of Fix+, but both smell fine. In terms of how they feel to use, I would say I honestly can’t detect a difference.
Let’s Talk Nozzles
One difference between the two products is the bottle and specifically the nozzle. Whilst it doesn’t account for a 14 quid price jump, the MAC bottle is definitely better. It sprays the liquid over a wider area, giving you a more gentle application which is particularly useful for applying over makeup. In addition Fix+ has an on / off mechanism which is great for traveling. The MUA Pro Base Fixing Mist has a standard bottle which if applied closely to the skin, has more pressure behind it than you might want.
An easy way to get around this would be to just spray from further away. However if you’re a Fix+ fan why not keep your old bottle? Saving some animals and the ocean at the same time.
I’ve decanted the MUA Pro Base Fixing Mist into my old Fix+ bottle and am convinced I would never notice the difference, had I not done it myself. This was a cult product for me that I worried about replacing, so I’m chuffed to have found a money saving, cruelty-free dupe which works just as well.