I won't give you the hard-sell on Face Mists. I think they are an acquired taste and it takes a bit of trial and error to find your favorite one. In fact, I own a few because I have yet to find the perfect all-around face mist that serves a multitude of purposes. When people ask me to explain the allure of face mists I compare it to tattoos and the old saying, "Years until your first, days until your next." Beware; once you start misting you probably won't stop.
I find face mists (editor's note: face mists autocorrects to fascists, which tickles me so) fall into three main categories: mists that prep skin for makeup application / help makeup last longer on the skin, mists that refresh and add moisture and luminosity back into the skin and mists the refine and tighten pores. Without further delay, here's what I learned from eight months of misting.
MAC Prep+Prime Fix+ ($22 for 1 fl oz.) - Before applying makeup, I wet a Beauty Blender with water so it doubles in size and then thoroughly squeeze it until it is slightly damp. I then spray three to four spritzes of Fix+ (it's never referred to as it's full name) onto the Beauty Blender and use it with tinted moisturizer or foundation. This formula melds perfectly with my foundation and aids in a flawless application. It helps prevent makeup from caking and also ensures one doesn't get the flat-finish that sometimes occurs with medium to full-coverage foundations. When I do this, my makeup remains in tact for nearly eight hours. Fix+ also contains green tea, chamomile and cucumber, which helps reduce the redness in my sensitive skin. If only it could help my sensitive soul....
Urban Decay De-Slick Setting Spray ($30 for 4 fl oz.) - If I am in a rush and don't have time to execute the entire "wet, squeeze, mist, apply" routine detailed above, I apply my makeup and then spritz this product in an "X" motion on my finished face. If you read about De-Slick Setting Spray, you may get sucked into the science behind it. Allegedly, this product controls the temperature of your skin so your makeup doesn't melt off. I'm not so sure about that but I will tell you this product certainly wards off oil production. I am usually completely oily by 11AM but when I use this product, it buys me at least two to three additional hours of time. I advise purchasing the travel size version first, to ensure it works for you ($14 for 1 fl oz.).
Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist ($48 for 1.35 fl oz.) - Tatcha is a very interesting Japanese brand that claims to have formulated their products based on the long-held geisha beauty regimens and traditions. I discovered this beautifully-packaged mist because I am a crazy Sephora lurker. I visit at least once a week and spend a good deal of time swatching and spraying new products. This mist was highlighted in the Skin Care area so I sprayed without abandon. A few minutes later I caught a look in the mirror and noticed a glow that I've never had before. During my next two visits, I tried the mist again to ensure it wasn't a one-time fluke and, again, glowiness galore. I finally caved and purchased. I pack it in my makeup back and mist my face lightly at 3PM each day. It revives my tired skin and adds some life back into my weary complexion. The formula also contains anti-aging ingredients that help "fight free radical attack." Mayday!! Mayday!! It is also formulated without parabens, sulfates and phthalates - basically it is free of the bad stuff. One tip - cover your eyes while spraying. This product contains rice bran oil which can make mascara smudge. This product is worth every penny.
Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater ($7 for 4 fl oz.) - I am a fan of Mario Badescu because the products are simple, effective and inexpensive. In the evening, after washing, toning and moisturizing, I will end my routine with a three spritzes of this product. The aromatic rose and relaxing aloe send stop sign signals to my brain, which help me to shut down for the day. It also helps lock in all of the good stuff I've put on my skin prior to misting. I do not, repeat, I do not recommend using this mist during the day to refresh your makeup, although any site carrying this product will direct you to do so. I feel the ingredients in the mist break down my makeup and without fail, I look even worse for wear than usual.
Omoravicza Queen of Hungary Mist ($90 for 3.4 fl oz.) - I will give you the quick story. A long time ago in a faraway place, there was a queen. Her Name was Eilsabeth. She was the fairest queen in the land and for her, the world's first recorded perfume was created. She was the inspiration for this mist. Omaravicza is a Hungarian brand inspired by the healing powers of Hungary's thermal baths. While I won't be visiting the baths anytime soon, I do have this mist to keep me sated. I got a small sample and didn't expect to be impressed. The formula is pretty awesome. It contains orange blossom, rose and sage waters to tone skin. It also has apple pectin to promote hydration and suppleness of the skin and you should notice a slight plumping effect. One evening I generously spritzed and went on my merry way. Sometime in the night, I got up for my 3AM snack and potty break and happened to look in the mirror - my skin was luminescent! I wanted to slap on some mascara and hit the town because it is is rare my skin looks good at any hour, let alone at this ungodly one. I struggled with the price, I really did, but in a moment of weakness, I picked up my iPhone and ordered it on Sephora.com (they only carry it online). I don't regret it but it is an indulgence!
My advice is to determine what needs your skin has and pick one that addresses this. Although you pay more per ounce, start with the smallest size offered before investing more money. Lastly, like any skin care product, give it six to eight weeks before making a final judgment. Rome wasn't built in a day, people!