Save or Splurge: The Illuminating bases

20160407_170710At this time of year, I am all about trying to achieve the perfect glowing skin. When we enter the Spring time, we tend to leave behind the heavily made up skin and lean towards a lighter more glowing look.Rather than constantly changing up our foundation, one way of helping to achieve a more glowing look is with an illuminating base. An illuminating base is basically a primer or base that has illuminating qualities to it that will help your skin achieve a little more radiance or dare I say a glow from within look.

Over the past few weeks and months I have been trailing a number of these bases and have decided to pit the most expensive and the most budget friendly bases against each other to help you decide if it is worth splurging on, or would you be better of saving a few bob and going for the budget friendly option.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 17.49.08I recently bought the Le Blanc de Chanel multi use illuminating base on a bit of a whim. I don’t normally buy high end products without researching them throughly, but after seeing this in use at a House of Fraser masterclass, I decided to treat myself. The Le Blanc de Chanel Multi Use illuminating base is intended to be applied after your moisturiser and primer but before you foundation. It is said to fill in pores and fine lines, add radiance to the skin and you can also add it to a foundation to not only give the foundation an added radiance but it is said to help lighten foundations that are a little on the dark side for you skin tone. You can see now why I decided to splurge on this, as it sounds like a miracle in a bottle, but did it live up to the claims?

Sadly for me the answer here is no. I have been using this for about two weeks now and I have had to stop, as I really don’t like what it does to my skin. While this is not technically a primer, I have tried using it both with and without a primer and in my opinion, you really don’t need a primer with this as it will act as a building block for your foundation, which is in essence what a primer does. However,the problems being as soon as it is applied  to my skin, (and yes I mean when applied to my skin as so many people find this wonderful). On my skin, I really feel that the Le Blanc de Chanel multi use illuminating base really dries out my skin very quickly. I am not talking about a few days later, but rather within minutes of applying this illuminating base, it leaves my skin feeling drier than Ghandi’s flipflop! It left my skin feeling very uncomfortable and tight, to the point that I had to take my makeup off after a few hours.

As this is marketed as an illuminating base, I really was hoping for a beautiful glow, as I have tried some of Chanel’s highlighters and really quite liked them. Yet, when I applied this to bare skin, as the instructions stated, I really didn’t see a glow at all. I searched for even a subtle glow, but nothing. Again, this is more than likely down to my skin, as many people have hailed this as a real glow giver!!! Instead when I applied my foundation over this, it left even my most favourite foundations looking a little dead on my skin and they did not wear well throughout the day either! I think this is down to the fact that the my skin was feeling so tight .

I did find this multi use product useful for lightening any foundations that were too dark for me. I have been mixing it with the Marc Jacobs Remarcable foundation that is too dark for me and it does a good job of making it a little more suitable for my skin. I don’t feel like it gave any radiance to the foundation, but I don’t mind that, as it did a good job of lightening it.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 17.48.36When wearing this offering from Chanel. I couldn’t help but compare it to a budget alternative from Flormar. The Flormar illuminating primer, has a similar function to the Le Blanc de Chanel, as it is said to also offer a radiant base for the skin before your foundation is applied. The Flormar illuminating primer is not a dupe, but rather a similar product.

The Flormar illuminating primer does a similar job that Chanel promises to do, but it actually does it a whole heap better. When applied to bare skin, you can actually see an instant radiance and once your foundation is applied, the glow continues to shine through. I really love the look that this primer gives my skin when I am wearing my Mac Pro Long Wear. Pro Long Wear can have a tendency to look a little flat but the Flormar primer really helps give the foundation a little luminosity.

On top of a beautiful glow, this is actually a really great primer and it keeps your makeup in place all day. I have had difficulty finding a primer to keep some of my foundations on, but the Flormar primer works really well with so many of them and genuinely prolongs the wear of my makeup.

The only down side to the Flormar illuminating primer is the smell. When first applied to your face, there is a really whiff off it. Nothing that lasts more than a few sends but enough to make you go ewww. As someone very sensitive to smells, I can get over it, so I wouldn’t let it put you off.

With the Chanel rocking in at the saucy sum of €42 and the Flormar at the wallet friendly price of €9.99, there really is a massive difference in price! I don’t mind paying top dollar for a product if it works, but for me the Chanel However, in saying that, if the Chanel actually worked for me I wouldn’t mind paying the price. For me the Flormar wins hands down here. It does everything it says it will and more and regardless of the price, it really is a great product, once you can get past the smell While the Chanel multi use illuminating base just fell flat and I do regret buying it. In saying that, it has worked for so many, so maybe getting a sample might be useful.

You can pick up Flormar products in a wide selection of pharmacies which you can find a list of here and also on Cara Pharmacy.






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  • Reply
    Makeup monster
    April 7, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    I had the Chanel primer but as much as I wanted it to look amazing on me it just didn’t do the job! Will definitely try the Flormar primer now though.

    • Sinead K
      Sinead K
      April 7, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      i thought i was the only one. people rave about this stuff

  • Reply
    Louise Keogh
    May 10, 2016 at 5:14 am

    I can’t wait to get my hands on the Flomar primer now! It’s so affordable x

  • Reply
    Katrina Doran
    May 10, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Oh gosh I LOVE the Chanel base! It reduces any redness or pinkness in the skin so it can ‘pale you out’ a bit which isn’t ideal if you’re already pale or if you’ve a yellow based skin – great for pink bases tho! It also works best with Chanel foundations.

    • Sinead K
      Sinead K
      May 10, 2016 at 10:28 pm

      that is what I love about makeup. What doesn’t work for me, is someone elses holy grail

  • Reply
    Summer Makeup essentials: Part 1 flawless looking skin
    July 7, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    […] to the two offerings from Flormar. First up is one that you will have heard me rave about before, the Flormar illuminating primer. This gives the skin a lovely subtle glow, while at the same time hydrating the skin and keeping […]

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