Sunday, 12 February 2012

"If I Could Blur Back Time": Review Of Indeed Laboratories Nanoblur Anti-Aging "Not A Cream" Advanced Optical Cream

It has been quite a week. I just passed the 100th follower mark (thanks, followers No 100 - 104!), and this is my 300th post. (Celebratory giveaway coming up next time...) And then there was my guest post on Now Smell This on the subject of perfume blogging, during which I set myself the challenge of being not once, twice, but "three times an American", by trying to stay up through all the time zones to respond to readers' comments. I gave up at about 7pm PST on the day my piece went up, but had fun trying! In the introduction to that post, I describe myself as having the apparent dermatological oxymoron of "problem mature skin", a reference to my ongoing rosacea, though it is a lot better at the moment. And to be honest, some might consider the mere fact of having "mature skin" a problem in itself, unless you are have the self-confidence to roll with the punches of the aging process - and the morning quilt face, crow's feet and lip lines they leave behind.

I am a bit on the fence with the whole business of skin care. Having abused my skin in my 20s and 30s through chronic sunworshipping, when I finally started an active moisturising regime in my 40s - and all but gave up sunbathing through circumstance as much as anything - part of me thought it was all rather like shutting the stable door after the collagen had bolted... I persist with my efforts even so, like smokers who give up in their 50s, hoping for health benefits from that point onwards.

Now when I say "regime" that is perhaps overstating things: mostly I just slap on whatever kind of day or night cream I happen to have to hand, and just occasionally I investigate products with more tantalising claims, such as the Avon Anew Ultimate (Day) Cream I featured a while back on Bonkers, which had the unfortunate side effect of stinging and smelling of burning flesh.

Then recently - partly mindful of the fact that I now have an unintentional Wikio Beauty Blog ranking to maintain ; - ) - I have been dabbling with Indeed Laboratories' Nanoblur, available from Boot's in the UK for £19.99. Indeed Laboratories Inc is based outside Toronto, and Nanoblur is on sale via specific retailers in Canada and a handful of other countries; it can also be ordered online. The name Nanoblur was an immediate draw to me, because of course the prefix "Nano-" is such a Zeitgeist-y word, along with "offset mortgage", "carbon trading", "bluetooth" (also as a verb!) and "vuvuzela". "Nano-" takes me right back to a company I interviewed in California in 2010, which made an array of products, including actual "arrays"(!), fashioned out of epitaxially grown silicon wafers (I believe). I strongly suspect nanotechnology was involved somewhere along the line...

I have just Wiki-ed the term and it means "the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale". So what is this cream then, and why is it on nodding terms with atomic and molecular matter, if it is indeed? "Indeed" being of course the operative brand name!

"Our promise: look 10 years or more younger in 40 seconds or less."

That is not the happiest of grammatical constructions, but we will overlook it, given the generous nature of the promise and its super speedy delivery.

"This product is based on advanced optics technology and is not makeup."

The packaging then refers you to the company's website for more information, where I firstly learnt the rationale for developing this product, namely to make people look better on TV.

"Since the advent of high-definition technology, skin imperfections have become far more apparent on camera and Nanoblur was created so that celebrities could 'blur' out imperfections that were previously not visible with traditional cameras."

And the most meaty additional information I could glean on the website is as follows:

"It is not a cream. It is a suspension of millions and millions of particles that reflect light perfectly in billions of directions to make the skin’s surface appear completely flawless. Within seconds, pores appear to disappear. Fine lines appear to vanish. The skin texture appears nearly perfect. With one application on any skin surface (even on your hands), you will be convinced that Nanoblur will make you look up to 10 years younger in a matter of seconds. It’s just that simple."

Not a cream? Yet it is described as an "advanced optical cream" on the packet. Moving on...

That is a very big claim, especially the 10 years younger bit. I will see if I have a photo of me when I was 10 years younger, so you can use it as a point of reference. Okay, here is my current passport photo, which is 9 years old...let's not set the bar too high. : - ) Actually, I am not sorry to have lost the hair and glasses, though I think the grooves either side of my mouth were less pronounced back then.

Oddly, the accompanying before and after photos on the website (completely untouched, and of the subjects' naked faces) look quite honest to me - but there again I don't see a whole lot of improvement either!

Further research on the Interwebs unearthed the fact that at only 700 nanometres (sounds big, but clearly isn't!) the "nanoparticles" in Nanoblur are smaller than the ones used in YSL's iconic product Touch Eclat, for example. This means they do a better job of diffusing the light in a flattering manner, like looking at skin through the soft focus medium of frosted glass. They are, however, too big to be absorbed by skin, which people may be glad to know.

Having tried Nanoblur a few times - and arguably you are only supposed to need to try it once for 40 seconds to see the years roll back.... - I will say that my vertical lip lines looked fainter, no question. Downside was that my top lip was slightly pushed out and appeared thinner, which it can ill afford to do. Though at the same my cupid's bow appeared more prominent, which I was quite pleased about. There is a pleasant sensation of tautness and no disagreeable smell, as with the Avon product.




The "not a cream" - or "advanced optical cream" as you prefer - had its work cut out with the long lines either side of my mouth, which have rather disconcertingly started to sprout tributaries lately at the ends - they also remind me a little of a snake's forked tongue... I would say that the effect there was of a slight plumping out and softening and then over time I thought I might even have detected a slight flattening of the grooves. However, I wouldn't say they vanished, or even appeared to vanish. Probably because they weren't "fine" lines to start with. The lip lines (which I would call "fine") do appear visibly reduced in photos and in the mirror. The effects also seemed to last till the following day, which may say more about the sloppiness of my so-called skincare regime than any inherent merit of the product. : - )

The members of Makeupalley rated this product 3.1 out of 5, which isn't a great score. Anything under 4.0 counts as a lukewarm response over there, I'd say. Some people found it didn't work well OVER foundation, the recommended method of application - or even UNDER it, for those who like me decided to flaunt the instructions - and I would agree with that. So that could be a stumbling block right there for anyone who usually wears full coverage foundation. People who had a good experience with the product talked of its "smoothing" and "mattifying" effect, which was the finding of my next-door-neighbour, who also bought herself a tube.

So I get the feeling that Nanoblur is a product that works best for obscuring fine lines (and possibly large pores or bits of unwanted pigmentation, though I wasn't trying it out for that). I would recommend it in a guarded way, as I think different people may get different results. As for the taking off ten years, I don't think so. Up to ten years - well, that's a more forgiving timespan.

And according to the website, Nanoblur comes with a customer satisfaction guarantee, so if you find you can't blur back time, you can get your money back at least...


potiron said...

(chuckle) I'd say Wordbird should do some copy editing for those guys; they seem in desperate need for it.

"...pores appear to dissappear." Very nice.

Also love the your comment on the "...look 10 years or more younger in 40 seconds or less" - desaster.

You do look really good, however. Not sure how much the cream - eh, pardon, the millions and millions of particles contributed to that. Though, to be fair, in line with their marketing claims, the fine lines around the mouth do appear to have dissappeared.

Vanessa said...

Hi potiron,

They do indeed need Wordbird's urgent help, especially to help them decide if this product is Indeed a cream or not? : - )

I will give it the lines above my top lip - there is a clear improvement there. The vertical grooves need more than a blob of silicone I suspect - more like a trowelful of Polyfilla, or a bit of judicious tugging by a cosmetic surgeon.

Anonymous said...

I love your face!
That's all I have to say about that :)

Oh, and I want to try these millions of nanoparticles on my face, too!

Vanessa said...

Hi Dee,

That's very nice of you to say so. I love yours - those date photos are just great. I can't see the collagen bolting from your lips any time soon... : - )

I don't think you have any need of even hundreds of nanoparticles yet a while, but after 50 they do seem highly attractive - or do I mean refractive?

Kate said...

Great writing, as always! As we are an off-set mortgage blue-toothed household perhaps I should try this, this side of 40 most things under gbp20 look to be worth a punt. You look great in those photos!

Apologies for the new id, openid and the word verification aren't playing nicely for me, whereas the name/url option is fine.

Vanessa said...

Hi Kate,

You are always welcome under any name!

So are you also hooked up to the iCloud, but any chance?

If you have any fine lines, it does the business. I might try it on enlarged pores and blotches next as a separate trial - I know I have some of those somewhere!

Carol said...

heheee, tributaries - ahh the aging process - attempting to embrace it, but sometimes I just throw up my hands and run away from the mirror.

I use a generic version of some sort of Avon-ish cream, but what I DO really like is Rimmel's Fix and Protect (which just smooths everything over for the day) I rarely wear foundation so on special days I'll put this on, then apply face powder and I look pretty darned snazzy, esp since it covers up pores really well.

Vanessa said...

Hi BF,

Yes, I know the dilemma - the word "embrace" sounds just a bit too cuddly, somehow... : - )

Must check out that Rimmel Fix and Protect - I would love to look "pretty darned snazzy", and just LOVE the phrase!

Carol said...


The Rimmel product I believe is rated pretty well on MUA; but be warned, it is tinted orangey which is kinda weird, but blends magically!

Vanessa said...

Hi BF,

Hey, thanks for the heads up about the orangey colour. I can look a bit orangey myself in certain lights, but I still might have been unsure, so appreciate the tip off. I will have faith!

Natalie said...

Vertical lines or no, you have the best smile! Very mischievous. So whatever you do, don't apply anything that's going to alter the smile. :)

Vanessa said...

Why thank you, Natalie! When it comes to my lips I have been so preoccupied latterly with the bolting collagen side of things, that I had never stopped to consider whether I had an expressive smile or not, never mind that it might be "mischievous"! I will try and keep it up...there may even be exercises for that. ; - )

Olfactoria's Travels said...

If I could blur back time...

I don't think you need an blurring, you are very pretty, lovely and that (Nat is right) mischievous smile of yours is irrepressible anyway.

Tara said...

Thanks for reviewing this Vanessa. My mum saw it in Boots and we had a discussion about whether it would be worth a try. My mum will give anything a go while I'm more skeptical about big claims. I was rather put off reading "10 years or more younger" one minute then "up to 10 years" the next, let alone the cream not-a-cream business.

Anyway sounds like it does reduce the appearance of fine lines/pores which I guess is all most people on telly have to worry about!

Agree with dee and Natalie that you have an equally attractive and expressive face and smile in all pics. So much better than all those women so botoxed their foreheads look domed, their mouths like duck beaks and totally expressionless!

Vanessa said...

Hi Olfactoria,

I am sorry you had to shed your avatar to comment here, but at least Blogger sorted you out with a "B"... : - )

Thanks for the lovely compliments. I may need more than just mattifying to cover the resultant redness!

Vanessa said...

Hi tara,

That is indeed another striking anomaly about the marketing of this product: on the packet it says that "subjects in a dermatologist-supervised study of 30 men and women looked an average of 10 years younger within 40 seconds or less of using Nanoblur."

30 isn't many, and I believe in the power of small samples as a rule - maybe it was 30 men AND 30 women, but it isn't clear. And having a mix of men AND women could be significant, as their skin might behave differently - as we know it does with perfume. How many women in my or your mother's age group were amongst the 30, if it was 30, I wonder...?

And yes, "on average" is a huge claim on the face of it. Did some of them look 1 year older and others 20?? The mind boggles.

Yet elsewhere in the advertising they revert to "up to" 10 years younger, which covers a multitude of timescales, sins, and unimproved wrinkles!

I would say to your mum that it is worth a punt for twenty quid, because people all have different skin issues and types. I am sure she would have realistic expectations as I did, and may be pleasantly surprised - or partly!

And thanks for your kind words about my photos - I have resisted the pressure to go under the knife or the syringe so far. Never say never, but the very idea makes me feel a bit queasy and the recent scare over those breast implants makes you wonder what else can go wrong.