Now that Fall is officially upon us and Winter is lurking right around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to talk about two extremely popular primer/setting sprays meant to hydrate and replenish moisture to dry skin.
As the weather becomes colder and our skin becomes drier, keeping our skin hydrated throughout these months can be a challenge and some of us need all the help we can get – myself included.
Over the past few weeks I've been changing up my routine to include more moisturizing products, and since I was in the market for a new setting spray I decided to pick up the Too Faced Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray.
I used it for a week before coming across the Hard Candy Sheer Envy Hydrating Primer Mist. Intrigued over the similarities, I purchased to see what, if any, difference there was between the two. After all, I'm ALL about less expensive alternatives to high-end products, especially if they perform just as well.
What Are Primer/Setting Sprays?
Primer/Setting sprays are multi-function sprays that you can use to prep and prime your skin for makeup application, set your makeup once you've finished, or refresh your skin anytime throughout the day. They function much like an average primer but tend to be a little lighter and they add an extra sumthin' sumthin' to keep your makeup bullet proof.
You can even use a primer/setting sprays to wet your shadow brushes for eyeshadow application to not only intensify color payoff, but to keep your shadow vibrant and in place through the day or night. Foils and metallics for instance work much better with a wet brush, so sprays are extremely useful when working with these shades.
Too Faced Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray ($32 for 4 oz) is a weightless 3-in-1 mist that is infused with coconut water, probiotic-based ingredients, and skin revivers to prime, set, and refresh makeup while helping to keep your skin hydrated.
The Too Faced spray is formulated without silicone, alcohol and is oil free. It contains aloe leaf juice, hydrogenated starch, Lactobacillus/Salix Alba Bark ferment filtrate, sea water, coconut water, yogurt powder, coconut fruit juice, and hydrogenated castor oil.
Hard Candy Sheer Envy Hydrating Primer Mist ($9.35 for 2.2 oz) is a lightweight primer mist that hydrates the skin and revitalizes radiance. Packed with benefits for priming,
hydrating, and refreshing your face. Coconut water electrolytes boost lasting hydration for up to 12 hours. Leaves skin soft, smooth, and supple.
The Hard Candy mist is also silicone free, alcohol free, and oil free. Hard Candy's Hydrating mist also contains aloe leaf juice, coconut water, and coconut juice, but contains coconut alkanes, and citric acid.
I'm not going to get all crazy with all the other ingredients, but I will say that it seems like the Hard Candy spray contains way more preservatives than the Too Faced. The shelf-life for the Too Faced spray is set to 6 months, but there is no shelf-life listed on Hard Candy's that I can find anywhere on their packaging.
The Too Faced spray comes in a really nice heavyweight plastic spray bottle. I love the pink and white gradient and overall it's a pretty yet simplistic design. There's nothing I don't like about it except that it's not exactly travel friendly.
It's kind of an awkward size and it's not something you can just throw in a makeup bag, so I feel like the “refresh your makeup” throughout the day concept is a little lost in this respect. I don't see myself ever lugging it around in my purse and if I were to travel with it, it would have to be packed in a suitcase since it's not TSA compliant. Unfortunately Too Faced does not offer a smaller size at this time.
The Hard Candy spray is much more travel friendly. It fits easily in my makeup bag and it's under 3 oz so it can be taken onto the cabin of a plane. If I felt I needed to have it on me in my purse, it wouldn't be so bulky that it would be an annoyance.
Hard Candy's packaging is a little flashier with the mirrored cap, but it's cute and very standard Hard Candy.
Primer/Setting Spray Application
With all primer/setting sprays you want to make sure you shake the bottle to make sure there's no settling of the formula before application. I always do a test spray or two before spraying my face, especially when I'm using it to set my makeup.
Sometimes the nozzles can get stuck or get sticky residue buildup that can plug up the nozzle. By doing a test spray beforehand you can loosen up the nozzle or run the nozzle under warm water before a geyser of product hits your face and ruins your makeup.
You also want to make sure when you're setting your makeup with a spray that you're spraying from 6-10 inches from your face. If you're too close it'll be too wet, and may cause issues like running of eyeliner or mascara or for powder to become patchy and separate (the complete opposite of your setting goals).
Too Faced Hangover Application and Use
The Too Faced Hangover nozzle has a tendency to stick after a multitude of uses and can sometimes spray unevenly or forcefully from the center – at least, my nozzle does. When I get it to spray out evenly after test sprays it creates a very fine mist that hits the skin lightly and evenly.
The Too Faced Hangover spray has a refreshing coconut scent. It's not sweet or overbearing and it dissipates rather quickly. I enjoy the scent quite a bit and in my opinion it smells more like coconut that their tube version.
After spraying my skin with the Hangover spray to prime, I press any excess into my skin. It feels extremely lightweight and moisturizing without feeling heavy. It reminds me of other refreshing facial mists except that the Hangover spray leaves the skin with a very slight tacky feel. It's not sticky, it's just a light tackiness that really helps foundation stick to the skin.
Foundation application on top of this primer is a breeze and it doesn't effect the application process in any negative way. I even tried a foundation that tends to dry and set quickly as you're applying it, and this primer made that foundation a bit easier to work with.
I also tried a foundation with this primer that tends to make my skin look dry and accentuates dry patches. This primer really made a difference here. That foundation looked a lot smoother, especially in my under eye area and the corners of my nostrils (which are visibly the driest areas on my face).
Unfortunately it's a very temporary fix with that foundation. The longer I wore it, the drier my skin started to look through the day, but it did take about 3 hours to see any signs of dryness. My coverage was still going strong and even though my foundation was starting to show signs of looking dry, my skin still felt comfortable and hydrated.
As far as setting goes, I prefer this spray when I haven't used powder. When I spray this over setting powder it counteracts the powder. If I'm going for a matte finish, this setting spray says “Nope” and gives me a dewier finish. It also feels like my powder doesn't wear as long when I use this as a setting spray. Granted, a matte finish isn't my go-to and not something I do often. I do prefer a more luminous dewy finish, so this is something that really isn't a huge deal for me personally.
I find that the Hangover spray does extend the wear of my makeup. Typically my blush starts to fade and shadows become less pigmented through the day, but with the Hangover spray used as a primer and a setting spray I was surprised how long my blush and shadows remained. It was about 10 hours before I saw any fading or feeling like I needed to reapply anything. My highlighter was still blinding and my liner was still on point.
I REALLY love this spray to wet my brushes for shadow application. It keeps foil shades and metallic shades intense and on lock, and mattes stay vibrant and in place when using as both a primer and setting method.
Hard Candy Sheer Envy Application and Use
The Hard Candy Sheer Envy Hydrating Mist produces a light even mist and I haven't experienced any issues with the nozzle sticking.
The scent of Hard Candy's spray is more floral in nature. It does not smell like coconut at all. It's light and fresh smelling, it's not my favorite scent in the world, but it's not bad. The scent does linger a little on the skin.
The Hard Candy spray creates more of a tacky finish than the Too Faced does. It feels like it sits on the skin a little more heavily, though it does feel very moisturizing.
I used the same foundations with the Hard Candy as I did with the Too Faced and noticed some obvious differences. The foundation that sets and dries quickly still set and dried quickly with the Hard Candy spray, and the foundation that has a tendency to accentuate dry patches still clung to my drier areas as it set.
However, setting with the Hard Candy spray does not disturb powder whatsoever and maintained a matte finish while indeed adding moisture to my skin.
The Hard Candy greatly prolonged the wear of my makeup altogether but I would say it falls a little below the 12 hour claim. At around 9 hours my blush had begun to fade BUT it was still there and that was really impressive. My foundation had begun to slide and separate a bit through my T-zone, and my eyeliner looked a bit faded in intensity.
I'm not a big fan of using this spray to wet brushes for shadow application. For some reason it prevented my shadows from blending and color payoff wasn't as intense as I was expecting. However, it kept everything in place and vibrant after setting, so there's a slight trade off here.
These two sprays are very similar and they both slay when it comes to extending the wear of your makeup. They both feel extremely lightweight, comfortable and provide the skin with an extra boost of moisture. They both extend the overall wear and intensity of pigment and coverage and neither one has irritated my skin or broken me out.
I prefer the Too Faced as a primer rather than a setting spray and I prefer the Hard Candy as a setting spray rather than a primer.
They both perform so closely in their capacity to hydrate the skin that I can't say I prefer one or the other for this purpose. For this reason I think that the Hard Candy spray is a fantastic dupe for the Too Faced, though I greatly prefer the scent of the Too Faced spray if I had to choose based on that alone.
For travel purposes or on the go touch-ups, Hard Candy would be my choice between the two, hands down. It's size it more accommodating and the fact that I prefer it as a setting spray makes it a better choice when it comes to refreshing my makeup.
I do wish Too Faced offered a smaller size of the Hangover spray since I really love how easily my foundation applies over it and how it keeps my foundation from accentuating dry patches.
In my opinion the Too Faced Hangover spray is completely worth picking up, but the Hard Candy is a must if you're looking for a more affordable option to keep your skin hydrated while keeping your makeup flawless.
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Brigid Anderson has been a makeup addict for over 15 years and has worked as a freelance makeup artist and stylist for fashion labels and music videos. When she isn't writing about and using beauty products, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their dog Ivan, hoarding vintage clothing and vinyl records, and binge watching 'Game of Thrones'...repeatedly.