The glorious sorcery of POST-makeup line fillers and complexion perfecters.

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.

Clarins Instant Smooth

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.


Responses to this drivel: 16 Comments
Responses to this drivel ( 16 )
  • Jess

    yay! I love to smile but the lines not so much loving there…haha MAC it is!

  • Mel

    The new Garnier Perfect Blur would fall under this category yes? Because I have been using it under my foundation and haven’t really noticed a difference. Will try on top tomorrow!!

    SO excited about the skin care range Zoe – can’t wait to hear more about it!

  • Megsy

    I’m very interested in trying one of these, can any girlies with skin more like mine, ie large pores let me know which would be the best one to try first??

  • Charlierose

    Thank you! I think I might get the Clarins one after work tomorrow… But here is my delimma: I’m 25 in a few months and I’m getting cross feet (WHYYYY?! I’m too young waaaah) which intensifies my eye issues (insomnia so giant dark bags)…I know I need to use an eye cream- what does everyone recommend? I’m a somewhat poor student with expensive shipping habits so prefer not to spend too much, unless the product is amazing 🙂
    Thanks in advance lovelies

    Ps. Legit can not wait for your line Zoë

  • sekai

    Zoe an not buying another product until your range comes out. I, like probably hundreds of women , just need to figure out what to do with the other stuff I have in the cupboard so the Moth (man of the house) doesn’t notice an influx of new products. Xx

  • KP

    Nanoblur can finally party with my face again.
    After one awful application late 2013 I was about to gift this bad boy to my pal along with a bun donut spongy thingy.
    Thank you Lady Foster Blake for the how to re nano et al.

  • Kiera

    Hey Zoë!

    I’ve tried a few times now since December to contact you about Work Experience (via your Sunday Style email, but I have a feeling you might not use it!), and have just resent the email to the address listed on your website. Could you pretty please with many cherries on top have a quick look at it for me, and reply whatever the response? I’d really appreciated your consideration, you’re such a role model 🙂

    Happy Australia Day!

    Kiera xx

  • Lena

    Dear Zoe,
    I’m not quiet up to the anti-aging products yet – more the opposite. I’m 19 and recently starting to break out waaaay more than I have in the last 3 years, I haven’t changed my skincare routine at all (cleanse, tone, treat and moisturiser + mask once a week). Any tips?!

    • Captain Captnip

      Hi lena, I experienced the same thing when I was the same age. Cut out dairy! (milk mainly) use all oil-free products and if it persists go and see Clear Skincare Clinics. They are magicians. Good luck.

    • Sinead

      Cutting out dairy ain’t the answer! It does so much more harm to your body in the long run, as you actually need a heck of a lot of calcium daily that you can’t really get in sufficient quantities from other dietary sources of calcium. If you MUST say poo poo to dairy, please take a calcium supplement (at your age, you need 1800mg if my memory serves me correctly? Using oil-free products is a good idea though 🙂

      And baaaacckkkkkk to the breakouts, there are lots of things that could cause a breakout. Have a good look at your diet – a lot of fatty foods can contribute to acne. Also, progesterone-only contraceptive methods (the minipill, Depo Provera, Implanon, etc) can all exacerbate it.

      If you’re still struggling, try things you can buy over the counter from the pharmacy with benzyl peroxide in it. If you’re unlucky like me and are allergic to it, if you have cystic acne, or if you don’t respond to other treatments, then you qualify for Roaccutane, which your dermatologist can prescribe for you 🙂

  • Asher

    Hi Zoe,

    I wasn’t sure of the best place to ask you this, so figured I’d just do it in this post!

    Have you tried the Egyptian Magic cream? If so, what are your thoughts? I have really dry, sensitive skin, and am sick of trying so many products!

    Let’s just fast forward to your skin care range being released, pls!

  • Porefect

    Hi everyone, finally I found a post which explains the difference between application of primers which goes under the foundation and blurr products which goes on top of foundation. Thanks a lot

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