Cushion foundations have been the trendy makeup product taking the Korean beauty industry by storm for the last few years (where it was invented), and has more recently begun gaining worldwide attention. They have really gained traction in the West from 2016, as more Western cosmetic brands have been launching their own cushion compacts. So here is the lowdown on everything cushion.

What is a cushion compact?

A cushion compact is essentially a cushion soaked in liquid foundation or BB/CC cream that is housed in a portable compact case with a mirror. It comes with a special puff applicator that you press into the sponge and then pat and dab the product onto your skin. 

What is unique about the cushion compacts?

Firstly, the puff applicator is made with rubycell technology that is antibacterial – very beneficial as you are constantly dipping in and out of the product to apply on your skin. Its special material means less product gets absorbed into it and wasted, and picks up just enough foundation to ensure a thin, even application that won’t cake up and is easily buildable to achieve a more flawless look. Using a non-rubycell puff will not give you the same finish with a cushion compact.

The cushion itself is made from specially-designed urethane foam that is able to safely contain and preserve the liquid foundation. (You can tip the case upside down, sideways, throw it around and the liquid will never spill out). Looking closely, you can see it is made up of thousands of fine pores and it is this that helps the cushion retain moisture longer, prevents quick evaporation and combined with the rubycell puff, doesn’t pick up too much foundation that would be absorbed, but a good even amount for application.

Cushion compacts are also great because they combine the benefits of both skincare and makeup. Not only does it conceal, create an even skin tone, and provide coverage, it also functions to moisturise and provide high protection against harmful UV rays. Various cushions also have additional skincare benefits that can range from whitening, brightening, anti-aging, promote clearer and smoother skin and balance the skin temperature. It’s like getting two products in one as some of these ingredients would usually only be found in skincare products.

Benefits of cushion compacts

- Cuts down on the number of steps in your makeup routine. Quick, convenient and so easy to apply. Do away with your brushes and beauty blenders, its literally pat pat and go. So useful when you're in a rush in the mornings as it really cuts down on the overall time spent applying makeup. 

- Generally have a thinner consistency than regular liquid foundations/BB creams so it feels lighter on your skin, more breathable and natural looking. By patting with the puff, it applies so evenly to give you a flawless, airbrushed look or even the no makeup-makeup look.  It also helps you achieve that beautiful dewy, glowing-from-within look that Koreans in particular, prefer over a matte finish.

- Portable and compact for travelling and taking on the go. You can reapply makeup AND sunscreen with a single cushion compact, especially convenient for hot humid climates. Also helps solve the dilemma most women have with not wanting to top up sunscreen over makeup.

Downside of cushion compacts

- Can only contain so much liquid within a cushion compact so it will not last as long as a regular foundation/BB cream. On average, it will last 2-3 months with regular use. If you feel it getting dry, a good tip is to flip the cushion over so you can get more product that has settled at the bottom. Most Korean cushions also sell refills separately so once you have a case you can pop the refills in which works out cheaper as you don't have to buy a new case.

- This is more specific to Korean cushion foundations - but they don't normally come in a wide variety of shades like the Western market. If you're darker or more tanned than the average Korean, then it's likely you'll struggle to find the right match. Korean brands are getting better at catering to different skin tones and more shades are being released especially in 2016.

- In general, don't expect cushions to have full or heavy coverage. The aim is to create natural, even coverage and since the consistency is thinner, the majority of them offer medium coverage at most (similar to BB creams). Of course there are some high coverage cushions on the market so it's just a matter of doing your research. 

- Most cushions also provide a dewy/glow finish so if you want a very matte finish or have very oily skin, this might not be for you. Some cushions can also be overly tacky, and transfer easily so be aware that you might need a good setting powder for them. 

My view on cushions

I love cushion compacts! I rarely use foundation or even other BB creams since I discovered them. I like that these comprise a formula consisting of foundation, sunscreen and skincare. I prefer wearing these on a day to day basis because it’s a nice light and natural coverage, doesn’t feel heavy and I feel my skin is able to breathe and stay hydrated. My skin doesn’t have much blemishes and my main problem is just correcting my uneven skin tone and redness. Cushion compacts are able to solve this problem without making me feel caked up and I like the dewy/ semi-matte finish it gives me.

Not to mention they're so convenient to apply, and even fun!

If you'd like to read more on cushion foundations, head over to my blog where I have individual reviews on different cushion brands and lots more coming up. I'm a serious cushion addict! 

My blog: https://wantasticbeauty.wordpress.com/

Instagram: wyeow1