As someone who wears little makeup (grudging exceptions are made for video shoots) and when I do I fear that it ages me, I am intrigued by the concept of what Perricone MD has dubbed “no foundation, foundation.” And, since just about everything Deciem NIOD does is interesting, I pounced with great excitement on Deciem NIOD Photography Fluid Opacity 12% ($30 in the shop).
Of course, this being Deciem NIOD (and I say this with love and affection), the product comes with some eccentric marketing baggage. For instance, a key “techonology” is “nano-prismatic blurring technology”. I take this to refer to light refracting ingredients, but I’ll come back to what is in Photography Fluid Opacity 12% after describing what it does.
To sum up: it is a magical, invisible concealer that somehow imparts a dewy non-shiny sheen.
The off-white liquid has a texture that is more akin to serum than makeup. It is much more liquid than a liquid and I initially applied it with some hesitation in a thin and even-as-I-could manage layer. I then started at myself in the mirror. My skin looked a little whiter (as though I was wearing a mineral sunscreen), but all my flaws, ruddy cheeks, uneven skin tone were there in all their glory. Within less than a minute though, it all began to change. The white-ish caste was gone, but so too had any redness, freckles and light sunspots. Under the florescent light of a public bathroom, my wrinkles had lessened.
To be clear, this is not a foundation and it does not camouflage, let alone cover. I found that a dab of concealer on the apple of my cheeks and on the leopard spot at the outer top right cheek was necessary. But I was very happy to go foundation free and enjoy the look of my skin, but a dewier, better version of it. After a couple of weeks, I began to prefer it to foundation.
As you might expect, nano-prismatic blurring technology harnesses a goodly amount of film formers and silicone. One of them, hexamethyldisiloxane, is actually pretty interesting as it is used for liquid bandages. Titanium dioxide is a dominant ingredient here (it is most commonly used as a mineral — but nonetheless, controversial — sunscreen) and is almost certainly responsible for that initial chalky look. A look that, to repeat, completely disappears in under a minute.
Make no mistake, this is no way a product for those who go in search of all-natural formulas, but there is more than a nod to botanical extracts. I was particularly pleased to see dragon fruit, exotically beautiful and highly antioxidant. There is the root of a fern that can help to prevent sun damage, Iceland moss (a lichen with anti-cancer activity) and another antioxidant moss from Chile.
For those that don’t like wearing makeup and/or increasingly find that it ages them then I can heartily recommend Deciem NIOD’s clever little disappearing act. And for the selfie-obsessed, note that those plant extracts are supposed to reduce redness under a flash.