Arms length” is a phrase that could have been created purely for the application of face mists. Too close and you’ll find you look like you’ve been in a one-sided water fight, too far away and you might as well be spritzing the contents of your bank account into thin air.
Or at least that used to be the case. These days you can get far more that just rose-scented toners in spray form – and advances in nozzle technology mean they are much better targeted in their distribution.
If you want sun protection but hate sun creams, a whole host of SPF-packed sprays designed for you are arriving in stores this summer.
First up is La Roche-Posay Anthelios Anti-Shine Invisible Fresh Mist (£14; 0345 070 8090, boots.co.uk) which has the benefit of being able to be worn over or under make-up, making regular top ups more simple and ensures your carefully applied cosmetics don’t start to slide down your face.
The molecule airlicium (previously used by NASA in “space science”…yes, I know that’s vague), is included as it is anti-sweat, anti-shine and super lightweight. Providing super-high protection of SPF50, best of all this doesn’t need to be patted or rubbed in as it sinks in quickly and easily.
Similarly, Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced Protecting and Hydrating Face Mist (£10; 0345 070 8090, boots.co.uk) is a non-greasy formula that needs no rubbing in.
Super-hydrating, it is alcohol-free so great for sensitive skins and comes with anti-pollution benefits, too.
Fighting the ageing effects of urban life, REN Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist (£24; 020 7734 1234, libertylondon.com) uses a non-sticky gum, derived from sugar and yeast, to form a barrier against micro particles of pollution and prevent free radical formation, while antioxidant quercetin boosts the skin’s ability to repair itself.
You can spritz it on over your make-up to leave skin looking refreshed and help banish the greying effect of spending five days a week in the city.
Adding the word “miracle” to the name might be overselling it slightly, but the ultra-fine Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Miracle Hydrating Mist (£21; nationwide) is a great way to rehydrate and refresh while you’re on the move. It’s small enough for handbags or hand luggage and the inclusion of aloe and apple leaf extract allow it to soothe and reduce redness and blotchiness.
The arrival of new kids on the block doesn’t mean we should start bypassing clarifying sprays which have been around for eons if they are still worth talking about. Packed with refreshing botanicals, the Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer (£14.75; 01983 813913, uk.lizearle.com) has been a long-standing favourite and is an ideal choice if you’re looking for a toner that isn’t drying.
Geranium, lavender and sweet orange make it wonderfully uplifting, while calendula, camomile and cucumber soothe and refresh.
I’d prefer ESPA Balancing Herbal Spafresh Spritzer (£19; 01252 352230, espaskincare.com) to have a finer mist so it could be applied directly – it seems like such a waste of product to be putting it on to cotton pads before sweeping across the skin.
It’s a great way to remove those last traces of cleanser though, while witch hazel and elderflower help maintain the natural pH balance of oily complexions.
Elsewhere, prepping and setting make-up are also tasks being outsourced to sprirtzes. Take Elf Aqua Beauty Primer Mist (£10.50; 0345 6710 709, superdrug.com) from a brand that is newly arrived on these shores. This really is one to apply from as far away as possible, or you’ll end up dripping. Then pat it into clean skin and you’ll be good to get started.
Alternatively, you can choose to set your make-up once applied with a product like Algenist Splash Hydrating Setting Mist (£28; 020 8740 2085, spacenk.com/uk), which creates an invisible “second skin” to ensure everything stays put, while microalgaes reduce the appearance of fine lines and brighten. Anything that can help me hold it together on a hot day in the city gets my vote.