I mentioned in my post on my skin prep routine that I adore Mac’s Strobe Cream. I used to be obsessed with having completely matte skin with not a hint of sheen but the strobing trend rubbed off on me and now I’m adoring those luminous bases that seem to be everywhere right now.
I branched into radiant primers when everybody was talking about Boots Botanics Radiance Balm and how it was a dupe for Mac’s Strobe Cream. I had never tried Strobe Cream but when the Radiance Balm was on offer, I picked it up and it was love at first swipe. There was much ado online with some bloggers claiming both products were identical while others swore the two were nothing alike. Either way, I was all about the glow and so eventually ended up picking up Strobe Cream to try for myself. The similarities between the two were few but they both held a special place in my makeup bag.
Yet there was an insatiable hunger burning deep inside me. I needed more luminous bases. MORE.
Which is how I found myself in possession of L’Oreal’s Lumi Magique Pure Light Primer – a much more worthy contender for the title of Mac dupe in my opinion so today’s post will compare and contrast the two.
Obviously packaging has little to do with whether or not a product is a dupe but I wanted to compare both in case you were tossing up between the two and this was the deciding factor for you.
Strobe Cream comes in a squeezy hard plastic tube with a twist off lid. If you purchase the travel size version (the one I have which is pictured), it comes in a softer plastic tube that is more triangular in shape – somewhat similar to a fat toothpaste tube. It is an iridescent white colour that resembles the product inside.
Lumi Magique Pure Light Primer comes in a hard plastic tube with a pump dispenser on top. It dispenses just the right amount of product for a whole face application. The packaging is a pearlescent white colour -similar to Mac – but has far more writing on it, making it look a lot less chic
In my opinion, Mac’s packaging wins. The pump dispenser of L’Oreal’s is a positive and negative. It dispenses the perfect amount of product to cover your whole face which is great but if you only want to dab a little on your cheekbones, you will obviously get a lot of waste. Strobe Cream’s squeezy tubes allow you to pump out as little or as much as you like. They also mean that you can get every last morsel out, so again there will be less waste product.
What The Brands Say
Mac claims Strobe Cream is the ultimate quick fix for skin. It features potent botanicals to de-snooze, de-stress, moisten, freshen and boost dull, flat or tired looking skin with vitamins and green tea. It also brightens and clarifies with iridescent particles and antioxidants.
L’Oreal say Pure Light Primer contains Liquid Light technology which infuses the skin with rays of light, illuminating as if from within. It has a lightweight hydrating formula to even out skin tone and hydrate for eight hours of refreshed skin.
There is no denying that Mac’s offering features a lot more ingredients to benefit the skin such as antioxidants and green tea while the Pure Light Primer is really only designed to illuminate. Taking a quick look at the ingredients list of L’Oreal’s primer – the only really beneficial ingredient is glycerin which is a humectant, meaning it attracts moisture to the skin. If you have a good skin care routine, you probably don’t look for primers and foundations to treat your skin but if you have difficult skin or skin that needs attention, Mac’s Strobe Cream is going to win this round.
Mac’s Strobe Cream is – as the name suggests – more of a thicker cream. It melts quickly into the skin, however, leaving it feeling quite nourished and moisturised as well as immediately ready for foundation application.
L’Oreal’s Pure Light Primer is a lot more viscous and feels a little oilier. This also sinks into the skin quickly and despite the consistency, it doesn’t leave skin feeling oily or greasy. Again, skin is ready for foundation straight away.
There is no winner here for me. I like both formulas. Although oilier skins may recoil from the feeling of L’Oreal’s offering.
Strobe Cream is more of a holographic iridescent. It isn’t silver and rainbow coloured but when the light hits it, it changes from white to pink and gold.
Pure Light Primer is an iridescent pearl shade. When the light hits it, it resembles an icy white colour.
Both offer a very high shine finish but I feel that L’Oreal’s product is slightly stronger – possibly because of how white it goes when the light hits it. Either way, in terms of sheen, I actually prefer the Pure Light.
This is where it gets interesting! It even surprised me. People are always looking for drugstore dupes for Mac products but on this occasion, it is actually cheaper to buy Mac!
L’Oreal’s Lumi Magique retails for €14.99 for 20ml of product. While Strobe Cream costs €33.50 for 50ml or €10 for the travel size 30ml. So L’Oreal’s offering costs 75c per ml while Mac’s goes for 67c per ml if you purchase the big bottle or 33c per ml if you opt for the travel size! In case you haven’t worked it out already the travel size of the Strobe Cream is the best value for money – even if you’re simply tossing up between buying the full size or smaller version.
Overall, I feel both products are similar enough to be labelled dupes. They both offer almost identical results. However, if I were to choose a favourite, it would actually be the L’Oreal Lumi Magique Pure Light Primer. I just feel it is that slight bit more illuminating and is more visible underneath my foundation. Really, both products are so close that it’s a toss up.
Have you tried either of these?
Are you a fan of illuminating bases?
Disclaimer: No press samples were featured. No affiliate links were used.