Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Should You Buy A Cushion Foundation/BB Cream?

With Lancome's introduction of their Miracle Cushion Foundation, it seems that finally the whole world is talking about cushion foundations!

Of course, cushion foundations have been around for quite awhile now with Korean beauty houses starting off the trend. It then spread to other Asian countries thanks to the popularity of the KDrama 'You Who Came From The Stars' (I love Cheon Song Yi!). In the drama, Cheon Song Yi uses the IOPE Air Cushion Sunblock XP SPF 50+/PA+++ and all of a sudden, every girl wanted one. 

I can only imagine that with Lancome's release, there will be more brands that come out with similar products at different price points. At one point in time, you will be asking yourself whether you want a cushion yourself! But to people who have never heard, let alone use, a cushion before, they can be slightly daunting! 

So here's my breakdown of cushions and whether they're for you.

The short answer is that it's a compact that houses your liquid BB cream/foundation and applicator in the one case. There's a sponge that is soaked in your base product and it comes with a dense puff applicator that ensures the application is light and natural looking.
They're also marketed as more than a base product. Most cushions boast anti-aging, hydrating and sun protection abilities.

2. COVERAGE: high or low? 
The large majority of cushions on the market right now are BB Cushions and their coverage is surprisingly good. They can look as light as your second-skin or built up to a close-to-medium coverage without looking cakey.

Foundation cushions have comparatively higher coverage and are very good at covering redness and acne scars.

3. HYGIENE: looks like it'll be a great place for germs
I'd be the first person to agree with you if you were to say that cushions seem like a wonderful place for germs to congregate. Unlike liquid foundations/BB creams, you can't apply the product directly onto your skin without dipping the applicator back and forth between the cushion and your face. 

That's why it's so important that you clean your applicator regularly. This in itself isn't an easy task - it's one of the biggest cons of using cushions. I use a mixture of DHC's Deep Cleansing Oil and regular soap to get mine clean. You can't be rough washing them either because they do tear easily. That's why I've bought back up sponges in case one breaks or I can't find the time to wash it.

4. THE APPLICATOR: is king. Literally. 
Having said that, the applicator is the cushion's real star. The puff makes your make up look very, very natural and second-skin like. I always thought that my Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush was pretty amazing at giving me that barely there foundation look. But the included puff sponge is EVEN better. I use it for my concealer and my under-eye area looks a whole lot less cakey. 

There seems to be different schools in how to actually use the applicator. The liquid is meant to be pat into the skin with the puff but some people appear to like swiping it over the face. I personally prefer to pat and dab.

One cushion lasts me around 7 weeks and this was from using it every single day. I rarely reapplied it during the day because it did feel unhygienic. 7 weeks was really pushing it as well. People always say that you can flip the cushion over and there will be plenty of liquid on the bottom. I flipped me about 10 times before I absolutely gave up.

Some cushions came in a box with a refill which you can just pop into the compact (it's super easy!). The refill includes a brand new puff as well.

It's hard to say definitively that they're great for a certain skin type. Some cushions that I've tried have been great for my winter skin and others that haven't worked, perform really well during the summer.

It's probably more useful for me to say that cushions are for people who want an even and barely there make up application. Cushions are very good at giving your face that dewy, healthy glow. They're also super convenient and quick to apply - so it's a great choice for any one who is time poor.

Got any questions on cushion foundations/bb creams?
Ask away!


  1. Yes yes yes!! I've been eyeing korean cushion foundations for quite some time now. So far, i've got my eyes se ton innisfree (mainly due to pricing reasons). Shiseido's foundaition brush is my HG brush, so far I've hated most of the sponge applicators that comes with my compact. I'm really really keen and excited to give cushion sponges a go!

  2. Excellent post! For the longest time as someone who firstly lives in a super hot humid country and has slightly oily skin I though that wearing a cushion seemed impossible! However after a year and a half after seeing so many reviews and company's releasing their versions I caved and bought two (laneige/iope) and it's been all good! I could imagine how well this type of product would wear and feel sooo good in cooler weather! In singapore it's fine for those in an air conditioned environment most of the time but for me I set my cushion foundations with a powder like almost all my other bases and it works out well for me. I too love the puff and how it applies, I never thought that a puff would feel so high quality and create such a great canvas! Glad to know that you're loving cushions!

  3. Yes! I'm really liking the Laneige one in summer because it feels so cooling on the skin! At first, I wrote off cushions as well, thinking 'how good can it be?' but I think they're seriously worth looking into! Granted that there can be a wider colour selection - I'm on the light side and I deviate between a 13, 14 and 21 but none of them suit me perfectly.

    And I'm glad to know you feel the same about the puff! I absolutely love it and keep recommending it to everyone now!

  4. Thank you so much for this post. I was really excited to hear about the Lancome cushion (which is not avail in the U.S., yet), but my excitement died down to hear it is quite pinkish. Many swear by the IOPE one, so I will order from Korea sooner or later.
    I think the luminous finish is the keyword here, but do you set it with loose powder at all? :)

  5. No worries at all. I'm so happy that you found this useful! If you're looking for something more yellow or beige, the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion is the way to go!

    The IOPE one is good too but it has to be the sheerest one I've tried despite purchasing C21 (it's meant to be higher coverage than their N-number series). That one definitely gives you that luminous finish and I quite like it for winter when skin can look a bit full!

    I don't set mine with loose powder but I think it would definitely help to help it last longer!