Deciem – The Abnormal Beauty Company

by | Product Review

Deciem is a place where abnormal actually means amazing.

A quirky cosmetic company was brought to my attention in 2015, by my personal skincare guru and beauty BFF, Caroline Hirons. They mix an abundant amount of state-of-the-art skincare technology with a delightful dash of Willy Wonka imagination. The result is a deceptively different approach to beauty that produces unexpectedly meaningful products. They call their approach ‘abnormal’… I call it genius.

While I was in Toronto (for IMATS) in September 2015, I was invited to visit DECIEM – The Abnormal Beauty Company. I had no idea this invitation would prove to be as magical as winning a Golden Ticket to the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory.

I found myself standing in front of an ordinary looking brick building, painted black…except for a vivid green strip of astroturf and hazard yellow colored doors (see the image at the top of the page).
The building’s interior had a cool “industrial chic” SoHo vibe (lots of exposed brick and metal supports, reclaimed wood, etc.). I was given a quick tour of the state-of-the-art manufacturing area, research/development lab, and packing/shipping departments. We eventually made our way up a flight of astroturf covered stairs (I’m sensing a theme) to a spacious office, and sat at a large conference table. This is where all the wonderful “abnormalities” of Deciem Brands was explained to me, by its resident Willie Wonka – Founder & CEO, Brandon Truaxe.

Deciem currently manufactures 9 distinct brands, soon to be 10 – hence the name DECIEM, a variant of decima, the latin word for tenth.

Although all brands belong to the Deciem collective, each has its own unique DNA, featuring products that have been carefully curated to remain authentic to that brand’s particular mission statement.

NIODAn extremely sophisticated range of state-of-the-art skincare formulations that complement dermatological and surgical options in beauty. This is “skincare geek” nirvana at a prestige price.

HYLAMIDE – A more affordable skincare option, using NIOD technology at a slightly watered down level. These formulas target every depth of the skin from the surface to the subcutaneous level,

THE ORDINARY – The best parts of NIOD and HYLAMIDE are broken out into mix and match components at entry level prices. The Ordinary offers a totally customizable experience, at extremely affordable prices.

FOUNTAIN – A beauty supplement brand focused on offering water-soluble, highly-bioavailable forms of proven health and beauty nutrients in easy-to-take liquid formats.
HIF (HAIR IS FABRIC) – Think of HIF Cleansing Conditioners as dry cleaning for your hair, only with water.
GROW GORGEOUS – Targeted hair thickening and growth formulations designed for people who dream of gorgeous hair.
HAND CHEMISTRY – A brand focused on treatments to fight all aspects of hand and body aging.
INHIBITIF – A revolutionary brand focused on products that inhibit the growth of unwanted hair, minimizing the need for hair removal.
AB CREW – A high-performance range of health, fitness and grooming products targeting the modern man.
WHITE Rx  – Ultra-scientific innovations in skincare addressing hyper-pigmentation (supplements coming soon).

My personal NIOD stash.
I was immediately drawn to top-of-the-line, NIOD Skincare. Advertised as “skincare for the hyper-educated”, it caters to product junkies (like moi) who pride themselves on being extremely well versed in cutting edge ingredients and formulations.

I thought I was way above the learning curve when it came to cosmetic education, but even I got schooled. Mr. Truaxe turned my perception of over-the-counter skincare upside-down and introduced me to ingenious ingredient combinations and one particular scientific innovation that totally blew my mind.

We’ve been brainwashed to believe that the deeper skincare ingredients penetrate our skin, the better the results will be…
REALITY CHECK: Sometimes all that ingredient goodness ends up passing right by the place where it’s needed most, and sinks to a level where it’s sort of useless.
REVELATION: Imagine skincare that precisely deposits highly active, state-of-the-art ingredients, using molecular weight as its guide. Let me see if I can clarify how amazing this concept is. Deciem has found a way to manipulate the molecular weight of each ingredient so it penetrates your skin and then parks itself at the exact dermal layer where it will be most effective.
This is some next-level cosmetic technology.

I’ve been testing a selection of NIOD products, on myself, for a few months (see my personal stash above). The results were…well, unexpected. I was skeptical about the effectiveness of such watery serums and products that left no discernible residue on my skin’s surface. But these products truly work from the bottom up. They’ve made a visible difference in the health and appearance of my skin…in an incredibly short amount of time.

But enough about my skin, let’s discuss professional use.
To be honest, I’m not the type that incorporates high end skincare in my pro makeup kit. It’s a waste of money. I’m not concerned with long term benefits from skincare on people who are walking away from my chair in under 30 minutes.
BUT…the following three NIOD products have seriously challenged my opinion. They create an immediate, visible difference to the quality of skin. That’s HUGE for makeup artists, especially those of us that work in HD media formats. Skin integrity determines how good (or bad) our finished work looks. These three products might have found a permanent home in my kit.

The first is MULTI-MOLECULAR HYALURONIC COMPLEX (MMHC). This hydration serum combines 12 different forms of hyaluronic compounds (yes, 12) in a peptide-charged delivery system. We’ve all heard that hyaluronic acid absorbs 1,000 times its weight in water. Well, just ONE of the 12 hyaluronic complexes in this overachieving formula multiplies that effectiveness by 400%. Within minutes of application you see a very visible hydration boost and plumping of the skin’s surface.
BTW – Did I mention that Brandon Truaxe is the guy that founded Indeed Labs and “Hydraluron” – my previous favorite hydration booster?

The next product is HYDRATION VACCINE (HV). A silky, breathable silicone cream full of potent amino acids and minerals that super charge and support the skin’s own natural barrier function, the barrier that prevents loss of hydration (water). Reinforcing and rebuilding this hydration barrier is far more effective than standard “moisturizers” that use oils and lubricants to disguise/hide dehydration.

I discovered, by accident, that Hydration Vaccine is a brilliant pre-makeup primer. It smooths out, firms up, and lightly mattifies skin unlike any other primer I’ve used. I’ve tested it on ALL skin-types and it provided a perfect canvas for multiple foundation types (liquid, cream, etc.).
This happy accident got me thinking about the other immediate response possibilities, so I took my testing one step further. I cleansed skin, then applied the Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex, waited until it absorbed, then misted lightly with rosewater (so the MMHC had some water to absorb). Then I applied the Hydration Vaccine. The MMHC sucked up the rosewater hydrating spray immediately, flooding the skin with moisture, then HV locked it down. I’m not exaggerating, I was blown away by the surface texture created by layering these two products. Makeup glided on to the skin’s surface effortlessly and looked amazing.

Finally, let’s discuss the product that originally caught my attention, PHOTOGRAPHY FLUID, OPACITY 12%. This stuff has everyone talking…and buying (they’ve sold over 2 million bottles).
Photography Fluid is unlike other “blur” products on the market (Nanoblur, Miracle Blur, Hydrablur, etc). The serum-textured formula contains an impressive mix of advanced light refracting prisms and topical photo-finishing technologies not found in any other brand. The game-changer, for me, is the added “Camera Hue Color Correction” to prevent excessive red or yellow tones in an HD environment.
I do quite a bit of male grooming, and guys tend to have more discoloration (redness) issues than women because the majority don’t take proper care of their skin (harsh cleansers, no moisturizer, razor burn, environmental exposure, etc.). This is a huge problem in HD because the cameras accentuate and amplify red-tones. I’ve been using Photography Fluid as a corrective prep because it minimizes the need for a lot of foundation or concealer to camouflage excessive redness. It’s imperceivable to the naked eye, and makes whatever I apply over it, look more natural. The fact that it gives skin a beautiful, natural glow is simply icing on the cake.
Low-Molecular HA and Photography Foundation (Transparent) from the Hylamide Collection will provide results similar to NIOD, at a lower price. The key word here is “similar”. You won’t get exactly the same results…which is why it’s less expensive. But it’s still pretty amazing skincare for the price.


I encourage you to visit the Deciem website and blog to learn more about all of their imaginative, highly effective products.
This post is informational only and not a substitute for professional advice. Product(s) featured were purchased or gifted. This review is not sponsored and contains no affiliate or coded links.
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