Beauty tips | How to use Nanoblur together with liquid foundation

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Today I am writing about what I think is one of the most loved and at the same time most hated products in the beauty world: the Nanoblur. The Nanoblur is a skin-perfecting product that – according to Indeed Labs, the creator of the product – will make you look 10 years younger in 40 seconds by erasing pores, lines and imperfections. The effect is just optical though, because what the Nanoblur does is diffuse the light and reflect it off the skin. So it’s science, not magic. But that’s good enough for me. And it really does work, because look:

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Click to enlarge | it REALLY blurs the skin!

No wonder that the internet is full of raving reviews about the Nanoblur. And yet for every good review you also find a (very) negative one. I didn’t know who to believe so I decided to see for myself. I called in the help of my American friend (thanks Tim!) to get the Nanoblur all the way from the US of A to Switzerland, and I put it to the test.

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One thing is for sure: the Nanoblur is a great skin-correcting product that really does make your skin look better, smoother and therefore younger. The picture of my hand proves that. The Nanoblur really blurs the skin. But! There is also a big but. If you want to use the Nanoblur together with liquid foundation, things tend to go wrong. And I think that’s why there are so many mixed reviews on the Nanoblur. If you use the Nanoblur alone, after your moisturizer, then you won’t have any problems and then it will really do the job. But if you want to use it together with liquid foundation, then 9 out of 10 things get ugly. Literally.

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The instructions on the box say that you have to apply the Nanoblur over liquid foundation by gently tapping the product on. Well, that is rubbish advice. When I used the Nanoblur for the first time I did it like that and the result was disastrous. My foundation got all blotchy and I looked like I had my make-up done by a toddler. My skin was beyond saving, it really looked that bad. So first applying foundation and then tapping the Nanoblur over it doesn’t work, it’s as simple as that. And it’s not just me, because all the reviews and videos that I found on google and youtube seem to agree.

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So what most people do is use the Nanoblur under instead of over liquid foundation. But even then it’s tricky to make it work. The texture of the Nanoblur is very thick and sticky and you can’t compare the product with a primer. As soon as you put foundation on top of the Nanoblur, it immediately sticks to it and it doesn’t budge anymore, which makes spreading it out or blending it impossible. This is what you end up getting:

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This was the result of a layer of Nanoblur immediately followed by a layer of the foundation that I currently use the most, the Smashbox HD Healthy Fix Foundation: it became a sticky blotchy mess that immediately stuck to my skin and could not be manipulated anymore. And don’t be fooled by the wet look of it, because this is how it looks dry. Now I read on a lot of blogs that it really makes a difference which foundation you use. And that got me thinking. I think that certain textures of foundation and certain ingredients in some foundations don’t work together with the Nanoblur formula, with a blotchy effect as a result. So I started experimenting. Hard. I tried the Nanoblur with 10 different foundations and this is what I found:

These 5 foundation do NOT work together with the Nanoblur:

– Smashbox HD Healthy Fix
– MAC Pro Longwear
– MAC Matchmaster
– Bourjois 1 2 3 Perfect
– Shiseido Perfect Refining

These 5 foundations DO work together with the Nanoblur:

– Bourjois BB Bronzing Cream 8-in-1
– Maybelline Fit Me
– Chanel Vitalumière
– By Terry Sheer Expert
– Revlon Nearly Naked

You will immediately notice that the foundations that do work with the Nanoblur are all sheer nude foundations and that the ones that don’t are heavier medium to full coverage foundations. Also, the five foundations that don’t work all have a mattifying effect on the skin (just like the Nanoblur itself) while the other five are all semi-matte or dewy. So my guess is that the foundation has to have a different texture and finish than the Nanoblur in order for it to work.

My conclusion? If you want to use the Nanoblur in combination with liquid foundation, then you will have to use a light-weight nude foundation that doesn’t have a matte finish. BB creams and tinted moisturizers should also work.

A few more tips if you are going to use the Nanoblur together with liquid foundation:

– Don’t mix the Nanoblur with your foundation and apply it like that. Been there, done that, didn’t work.

– Give the Nanoblur enough time to dry before you put on your foundation. I’d say wait for about 5 minutes. Just enough time to set the breakfast table or pick out your outfit for the day.

– Don’t use a foundation brush or your fingers to apply your foundation, because the super glue effect of the Nanoblur will make spreading it out virtually impossible. Instead, use a sponge, a buffer or a stippling brush to pat or dab your foundation on.

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Click to enlarge | wearing the Nanoblur with the Bourjois BB Bronzing Cream

After more than a week of experimenting I managed to make the Nanoblur work. I can imagine that most people wouldn’t want to go through that much trial and error and would just chuck the damn thing in the bin after a couple of tries, and I think that that explains all the negative and even angry reviews about the Nanoblur. I do have to emphasize that these are my personal experiences with the Nanoblur, and what works for me might not work for you. But I hope that this post will help people save time and frustration. In the end it comes down to this: it REALLY matters which foundation you use the Nanoblur with, and your foundation choice will make or break your Nanoblur experience. I understand that not everyone will want to go through so much trouble to make a product work, but as soon as you’ve found the right foundation, the Nanoblur really is a great product that makes your skin look visibly better. You won’t lose ten years of course, but the Nanoblur will definitely make your skin look smoother and younger.

Have you tried the Nanoblur yet? What do you do when you can’t figure out how to make a product work for you? Keep on trying or throw it out?

180 thoughts on “Beauty tips | How to use Nanoblur together with liquid foundation

  1. Wow, well done to you for persevering in the name of beauty science! I would have been in the chuck-it-in-the-bin camp lol. It does look amazing on skin without makeup but seems a lot of hassle if you want to wear foundation with it. Great post :)


  2. Wow, i’ve never heard about that product.
    but i recently bought the “Optischer 5Sek Retuschierer perfect Blur” from Garnier. (pink tube)
    could be something similar. but it seems to work with foundation, what i found out so far.

  3. Wat een fijne uitgebreide review! Ben wel erg benieuwd nu naar t product! De eerste foto is echt niet normaal t resultaat!! :) X Fijn dat je er ook lijstje foundations bij hebt gezet die wél werken ermee.. Ik gebruik eigenlijk altijd minerale foundation.. zou dat (na goed laten drogen) ook werken? X

  4. Wat een apart effect! Ik kende het product helemaal niet, maar fijn dat je zo uitgebreid getest hebt. Wie weet dat mensen die het product gebruiken of willen gaan gebruiken er iets aan hebben :) Ik zou het nu nog niet gebruiken, maar wie weet ooit haha. Ik ben nu wel nieuwsgierig in ieder geval :)

    • I think it would. I apply mattifying powder on top of my foundation when I wear it with the Nanoblur and that never causes any problems. It actually helps the powder to really stay put.

  5. Wow that seems like quite a hassle. If you need to use it with a light foundation, then you might as well skip a step all together and just use a heavier coverage foundation.

      • I guess it is nice for combination to oily skin. Dry skin is painful, but it has one up side, small pores. Companies should really give easier instructions though. Most women don’t have the patience or the time to experiment for weeks!

  6. Such a long journey to find out how to make it work, but finally you managed! Thank you for such information and great post , I’v not tried this product and to be honest a bit cautious about it:) I have Dior foundation, i think if I found something here in NZ definitively before buying will try my foundation on in a shop:)

  7. Ik heb er een andere ervaring mee, bij mij werkte hij niet onder foundation. Ik gebruik het product vooral onder de ogen maar dep het nu met de vingertoppen over mijn Laura Mercier concealer en dat werkt prima…mits even wachten inderdaad!

  8. I’ve never heard of Nanoblur! (I’m so out of it!) But thank you for doing all the work for us:) I do use BB Creams a lot, so this might work for me. God knows I need all the skin blurring I need…heehee….

  9. hahahah, ik moest gelijk aan photoshop denken, hier kun je ook je foto blur-en.
    Leuk effect maar jammer dat je om echt ervan te kunnen genieten een juist foundation moet hebben en dus niet bij alle foundations werkt.

  10. I’ve never heard of this. The effect even just on your hand is indeed impressive. Thank you for trying the different foundations. That will surely help the ones that could not make the product work.

    • Here’s the ingredient list: Water / Aqua / Eau, Adipic acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, VP/VA Copolymer, Cyclohexasiloxane, Sodium Acrylate/Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Amodimethicone, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Isohexadecane, Polysilicone-11, Polysorbate 80, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol.

    • I never really wear powder foundation, but I do put a mattifying powder on top of my liquid foundation, and that works fine with the Nanoblur. It actually stays put better with the Nanoblur underneath.

  11. I appreciate your persistence in trying all kinds of different combinations! I’ve actually never heard of this product before, but that first photo of it on your hand is really something!

  12. OMGGG i’ve never heard of that but that is sooo so cool! it’s like your hand sort of looks like it’s totally been like airbrushed.. but omgosh w/ the foundation is looks sort of crazy on your hand w/ the foundation hahaha.. i was so excited all of a sudden when i saw the 1st hand photo.. but then w/ the foundation.. omg scary hahaha! :p but your face looks absolutely flawless and stunning!

  13. I haven’t tried it but if it works well without the foundation that is fine for me because i do not apply foundation. I tend to give the product a fair time but if it still doesn’t do what it supposed to then it goes in the bin.

    Naaj xx

  14. Wow het effect op die eerste foto is wel echt dramatisch! Ik wist niet dat zoiets bestond. Gelukkige heb je toch een paar foundations gevonden die er wel bij werken :)

  15. Perfect research and review! If it really works, is the best product I’ve ever seen!
    When I try it one product and it doesn’t work, I keep on trying and after a few weeks trying it, I’ll give to my mum! :-)

  16. I love all your reviews, but this one is like made for me :) First, I wore Nanoblur once and didn’t find much difference, so I didn’t wear anymore. Second, I have Chanel Vitalumiere
    and some BB creams, so I am now eager to try Nanoblur and them later! So, thanks a
    lot for your review, I will try everything soon! Plus, you look very beautiful and I love your makeup! denisesplanet com

  17. Eerst en vooral, wat een supergoed artikel! Je beschrijft het echt heel uitgebreid allemaal. Maar jeetje, wat een gedoe zeg. Ik weet niet of ik al die moeite zou doen haha!

  18. Dit kende ik nog niet! En terwijl ik aan het lezen was, was ik best sceptisch.. maar er is inderdaad veel verschil! Wat fijn ook dat je echt de tijd hebt genomen om te kijken wat wel/niet werkt. Waardevol advies voor mensen die dit product (willen) gebruiken.

  19. Wow, the effect on your hand looks great! However I hadn´t heard about this product and probably won´t try it. If I have a product which at first doesn´t seem to work I still keep on using it or at least keep it in order to try it again later ;)

  20. Fantastic post! I had no idea a product like this even existed! Nanoblur seems so awesome! I need to get my hands on it now!!! I use foundation sparingly, and that too a creamy one (not a liquid) so I wonder how it would look with nanoblur.

  21. Wow! I love it without makeup. What an effect! I’d never buy it for sake of having to figure out the foundation issue, but this was great. :)

    xo Ashley

  22. Wow it seriously does blur! So cool. That is frustrating that it only works with certain foundations but it looks amazing once you find the right one!

  23. Thanks for taking to so much time and effort to help us get the most out of this product. You are amazing! The effects are awesome, but I would still need to wear foundation, so this might be a pass for me

  24. Leuk experiment. Met zoooveel foundations dat je het getest hebt. Wel goed dat het zowel met dure als goedkopere werkt. Ik ben wel benieuwd naar de Nanoblur zelf. Ik kende het nog niet.

  25. You have a lovely blog, just stumbled across it now
    Would you like to follow each other via instagram, twitter and bloglovin’?
    If so let me know and I’ll follow you right back
    Speak soon,
    Have a lovely day
    Much Love,
    Kate xo

  26. Great tutorial!

    Ik ken het product zelf ook niet maar ben net als andere wel super benieuwd ik ga gelijk kijken :)

    Ik heb ook een nieuwe post en ben benieuwd naar je mening!


  27. Ik kende het nog niet, maar het klinkt erg fijn!! Vind het altijd leuk om je reviews te lezen en nieuwe producten te leren kennen! ^^ Je ziet er trouwens prachtig uit!


  28. Wist dat wetenschap voor de slimme kopies waren, maar wetenschap en beauty is dan ook weer oppassen. Een product dat je hersenen laat werken om dan die rimpellijntjes te laten verdwijnen. =)

  29. Hey thank you for visiting me and your comment, if you’re curios about the microneedling I’m going to do a single post about it, so just subscribe to not miss it ;)

    By the way this is a very interesting review about this nanoblur, I never heard about it before but now you made me curious :)


  30. Dear, your reviews are so thorough and useful that I feel like reading every single word of them, which is not always the case if you know what I mean. I have one question for you: do you find that BB creams can be used as moisturisers immediately after cleansing? If so, a primer/perfecting serum applied on cleansed skin would work as a barrier preventing the skin to get moisture, wouldn’t it? In general I would like to hear your insight on the pros and cons of primers/perfecting serums like nano blur with regard to skin health :-)
    Your huge fan

    • Aw, Coco, thank you so much, your comment really made my day hun! I personally never use a BB cream on its own, I will always put on moisturizer first, even if the BB cream claims to hydrate and nourish my skin. So to be honest, I never really thought about primers preventing the absorption of ingredients that are in our BB creams and foundations. But you might be right, it makes sense. Primers really coat the skin and don’t get absorbed, so it would make sense that they act as a barrier. That said, I don’t think primers are necessarily bad for your skin. Just make sure to pick a decent high-quality primer that won’t irritate your skin and won’t clog your pores. And I’d advise you to focus on nourishing your skin with skin care products first before putting on make-up, and to see the skin care benefits in make-up as a nice extra.

  31. ohh thanks for the tips!! This is an intresting product!
    It would be nice to get my hands on this product. It seems to have a real life airbrush affect on your hand!!

  32. Wow… ik had er nog nooit van gehoord. Maar als ik dat hier zo lees denk ik: “hebben”. Ik dacht ook even dat je hand gephotoshopt was. Hoeveel kostte het trouwens? En enkel te verkrijgen in de USA?

    • Het product zelf kostte 19.99 dollar, maar met de verzendkosten bij kwam ik wel bijna aan het dubbele. Het is inderdaad verkrijgbaar in Amerika, en ik denk ook in sommige winkels in de UK, maar geen enkele winkel verzendt internationaal. Ik heb hulp gekregen :-)

  33. This was hilarious: “…would just chuck the damn thing in the bin after a couple of tries”! I’ve never tried this before. Thank you for all of your experimenting!

  34. I have heard quite a bit about nanoblur products, but haven’t got to try them yet.
    Good to know which foundations work with it and which don’t. Thanks for sharing. :)

  35. Thanks for this post.. I love nano directly after moisturizing, but I NEED cover up and it’s a nightmare OVER my liquid, so I’m gonna try it your way!

  36. It really does work! I tried it mixed with my moisturiser as my skin is dry. Then I lightly applied maybelline mousse foundation mixed with a little lancome liquid foundation. I dotted on nanonblur around my eye area and on enlarged pores then applied cream blusher by Terry on top of that. Finished with a little powder blush. Bingo I looked airbrushed but natural if that makes sense?! Like my best me when I’ve been sleeping 9 hours straight and eating vegetables all week. I do leave a little time and I mean a few seconds, to let each layer ‘set’ but I’m really pleased with the results.
    There is a brightening cream in the same range which I’m tempted by, has anyone tried that? And in combination with nanoblur?

  37. Thanks for the article, thought I was doing something wrong when my makeup went blotchy! Love the heavier coverage foundation, I use MAC studio fix, so didn’t want to go to a more sheer foundation. I found if I used moisturiser, then nanoblur, let it dry thoroughly then used my primer over the top I could still use my regular foundation, if I applied it with a stippling brush.

  38. Your review is brilliant and really helpful. I used a sample of nanoblur for a few days and loved it tho all I put on top of it was a little Mac matt powder blusher applied with a brush. It stuck smoothly and gave a natural effect on my now smooth looking skin. The effect lasted allday too even over the greasier patches. Have you used it long enough though to see whether it causes blocked pores or spots over time? Your skin looks perfect and maybe you don’t get them but I’m prone to them even at the age of 66. Thanks for your research!

    • Hi Theodora! I used up a whole tube of the Nanoblur and never got any breakouts. And you should know that my skin is normally very acne-prone. Just make sure to cleanse thoroughly every night and you should be fine.

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