As we age, many of us womanly folk have the same desire: to fill in fine lines, blur out imperfections, and just make our complexion look fresh, even in texture, youthful and healthy.
Some of us rely on skin care and makeup and facials to do this, others prefer needles and lasers and others still choose to mash up asparagus and wear it as face paint, which is odd, but I would never judge.
What you may not know, is that there exist some tricky little products (and applications thereof) out there, and after giving them a wallop, and seeing your lines magically kind of blur away, you may even like to add them to your arsenal. Some can even – and I say this with no word of a bullshit – effectively mimic the smoothness of Botox. Just for a few hours, but still.
These soft-focus effect products work to fill in and effectively “remove” lines, blur the skin’s texture, and smooth the face – all jobs job generally reserved for pre-foundation products like primer, or foundations with light-diffusing ingredients. (They’ll sometimes also generally mattify and make pores look smaller, although that’s not their key job. Use a dedicated product, like Benefit’s Porefessional, for that.)
Optical diffusers and skin smoothers aren’t new, but recent variations tend to be lighter and less ‘siliconey’ feeling than they were five years ago, which is a good thing, especially for those who don’t like the feel of too much gear on their face, and who like to do little touch ups on their lines during the day. (I generally need a line-plump up by late afternoon, once the air con and coffee has stolen all my moisture.)
The original, and definitely one of the best is Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch. It comes in a wee pot, and will last you about six months at least, because you should only be using amounts suited to pixies or elves. Dab – DON’T RUB – this velvety little ‘balm’ directly onto your lines underneath your foundation, wait a few minutes, then apply (ideally paint using a foundation brush) your foundation on. Alternatively, you can dab some lightly onto those same areas after you’ve applied your (liquid) foundation.
One that I wrote on last year and which has sold it’s little orange box off, is Nanoblur. It’s not quite the miracle they tout it to be, other products give similar results with far less confision, and Nanoblur could definitely improve their instructions because as any quick search will expose, most reviews of it end in the poor lass trialling it quitting due to the product balling on their skin, or their foundation looking like a three-year old applied it. But I’ve had some luck with it. The key is to remember you apply it AFTER foundation, you NEVER rub it in, and it is NOT PRIMER. There are loads of wonderful primers out there, but this isn’t one of them. Also, don’t get tricky and add it to your foundation – horrible idea. I did that. Yuk.
It works magnificently when I wear no make at all, or just tinted moisturiser, (apply your moisturiser before Nanoblur) but generally speaking, I use it with liquid foundation, and like this: I apply a moisturising physical sunscreen (such as Aspect Hydra Shield) and let it fully sink in. Then I apply my CC cream or liquid foundation, with my fingers or Beauty Blender, patting it on gently, letting it fully sink in. Finally, I very gently and lightly (so as to avoid slipping and balling) pat Nanoblur onto the areas I want to soften. I do not rub it in. Ever.
There is also MAC’s Prep + Prime Line Filler, which will please those who felt their original Prep + Prime product wasn’t perhaps gutsy enough. Just like the fellas above, it works to camouflage and soften lines, but having some primer qualities as well as a filling ones, (yelly note: this is NOT A PRIMER, it’s for spot line softening only, the small tube gives a hint as to how much you should be using) it offers more when it comes to keeping makeup in place, for longer, and in a more flawless fashion, on/around/under the Prep + Prime Line Filler.
I have dry, not oily or pore-visible skin, so I can’t tell you how it works on those issues, but what I can tell you is that I’m a Leo and prefer lattes over cappuccinos. Also I can tell you, of slightly more relevance, that this tiny tube’s contents does great things for filling out my smile lines (it’s been a fun life) and forehead crinkles (but also a deeply thoughtful one.)
The bottom line:
- These are not primers. They are basically velvety little spac fillers.
- Dab onto your face, do not rub.
- Generally they are to be applied AFTER your foundation, (exception: Clarins Instant Smooth works underneath makeup beautifully) and just onto the precise areas you want to soften/blur/look like your 10-yr old self.
- They’re great for touch-ups during the day, or a freshen up after work/before your hot date at Hog’s Breath Cafe.
- Do not spread onto Cruskits and eat as a snack.
The REAL bottom line:
Thank you all so, so much for your enthusiasm and excitement regarding my forthcoming skin care line. You blew my socks off, and that’s saying something because I was wearing thigh-high lace-up boots.