Beauty,  Make Up,  Reviews

Chanel’s Base vs Catrice’s Serum Primer

Welcome to a new segment on Perilously Pale! Save vs Splurge is going to be a regular piece on my blog, and it stems from my awful habit of spending exorbitant amounts of money on makeup.

Sometimes (okay more often than I’d like to admit) I spend HUGE amounts of money on beauty splurges, and sometimes (okay more often than I’d like to admit), I’m quite disappointed in what the hyped up, luxury item actually delivers.

With a lot of my expensive buys, I’ve come across cheap alternatives that do pretty much the same thing. In comes a drugstore alternative to save the day, get it… SAVE?  Anyway, I used to truly believe that luxury brands did it better, and that a Clicks product could never compare, but the more I give cheaper brands a chance, the more frustrated I am at how many products I could have skipped splurging on.

And so starts our first segment, which focuses on illuminating bases. I am pitting Chanel’s Illuminating Base against Catrice’s Serum Primer. May the best product win!

Save: Catrice Light Correcting Serum Primer

This is a product I have spoken about at length before. You can check out my full review here, or find it in one of my routines here.

But how does it perform as an illuminating base? Being a primer, its purpose is to be used underneath foundation. If I use this as a primer, and wear foundation for an extended amount of time, it tends to separate in areas around my nose. That being said, I think it’s difficult to create a product that both contains glitter particles and sits well under makeup.

As for the glitter, it’s a cool-toned silvery pink type, which may leave darker skin tones looking ashy, but looks really nice on my fairer skin. It does slightly lighten foundation, so you may need to factor that in when you use a lot of it, or mix it into your foundation.

The feeling of the primer on your face is so nice. It’s a refreshing, serum-y feeling that isn’t too oily, sticky or slippery. It doesn’t feel thick or make products layered on top look cakey.

Splurge: Chanel Multi-use Illuminating Base

Agh gosh… This base. I bought this product years ago for an arm and leg, and I can only imagine that it now costs an arm, a leg, a kidney and a first born child.

Honestly, I don’t really know what this product is for. From the name, I just kind of assumed it was a primer type thing that would be used under makeup, but I’m not 100% sure. If it indeed is what I am using it to be, it performs better than the Catrice primer as a base. I don’t experience as much separation or movement of the foundation I layer on top.

This product has the most finely milled shimmer out there. It really is beautiful and glowy. But it’s white. Straight up white. Not cool-toned or fair, it’s actually white. Naturally this limits the amount of skin tones that can use it. I find it makes me look a bit ghostly in photos when I wear it, and can lighten my foundation quite significantly.

Maybe it my sheer desperation for this product to work, but I swear my skin feels and look better when I have used this base when wearing makeup the night before. My pores look smaller, my skin is smoother, and its general appearance is brighter.


If you have so much money that you have nothing else on earth you haven’t bought but an illuminating primer, then Chanel has got just the thing for you! But if you’re like the majority of women, who are just looking to add some shimmer back into their face makeup, then the Catrice primer could be perfect.

I understand that some makeup items made my luxury brands are just perfection, but I think the Chanel base is sort of… unnecessary. It’s not a primer, it’s not a highlighter, and it’s not skincare. But the Catrice primer at least markets itself as a primer, and has ingredients like aloe vera leaf juice that actually will soothe your skin.

The winner between these two would have to be the Catrice serum.  Sorry Chanel, but at least your packaging is prettier!



  • Siobhan Yeatman

    Really great post lovely! I agree that the Catrice one is very very serumy. I don’t find it makes my makeup last longer, but it doesn’t make my foundation separate at all! And I have an oily T zone!
    I like the added glow it gives, and it feels hydrating.. I just love using it – it feels luxe.

  • Liseli

    Totally enjoying the the war! I was wondering there who was going to win. I’m always looking for new products to try, I’ll check out Catrice, I’ve seen they’re available at Dischem.

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