What are cushion compacts?
Although they have been around in Korea since 2008, cushion compacts have only recently been introduced to the U. S., so before I discuss this particular product, I'll explain the concept. A cushion compact is a container with two sections: one holds a foundation-soaked sponge, and the other holds a very finely textured spongy puff. Basically, you pat on the foundation as though you were applying pressed powder.
In general, the coverage is very light, and the finish is more glowy than matte. Of course, you can apply more where you need coverage.
|This helpful graphic courtesy of L'Oreal|
You mean, aside from the fact that Korean makeup and skincare is trendy and therefore you should buy every sheet mask, snail cream and cushion compact that comes onto the market? A cushion compact allows you to apply liquid foundation with a sponge, and carry it and your liquid foundation around with you, neatly shut up in a sturdy plastic compact.
Lancôme was the first company to release a cushion makeup in the west. Now L'Oreal (Lancôme's parent company) has come out with a cushion foundation in their Lumi line
|L'Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion foundation, $16.99|
and Physician's Formula has one, too.
|Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free All-in-One ABC Cushion Foundation SPF 50, $16.95/0.46 oz.||Photo courtesy of Ulta|
I was trying the AmorePacific product, because I'm fancy (and they're the ones who gave me a sample.)
|AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, $60|
I received a large cardboard folder with three sealed tubs inside: the tiny sponge, and the two shades of foundation designed to be worn by women with pink undertones: 104 Tan Blush, and 106 Almond Blush.
Mind you, I don't think of my skin as particularly pink. But it must be as rosy as a baby's behind, because my two sample shades looked very yellow on me. Here I am trying shade 104, trying not to squint in the Walgreen's parking lot.
|Poppy Buxom, Amore Pacific Color Control Cushion Compact, and lipstick|
As you can see, I'm fairly shiny. I'm wearing the cushion foundation over my usual Estee Lauder DayWear moisturizer, which is oil-free and extremely hydrating. The foundation does nothing to mattify that.
Unfortunately, it also does nothing to hold the moisture in, so now, three hours later, I feel a bit dry. Of course, this is January in Chicago, and I have dry skin. Your mileage, as ever, may vary.
The redness around my nostrils is still very much in evidence. This stuff did nothing for my undereye circles and very little for my hyper-pigmentation. You're supposed to be able to dab on extra product to achieve better coverage, but I could dab until the cows came home and I wouldn't be able to cover the stuff I have that needs covering.
Once again, this product is trying to solve a problem I don't have. I don't tend to reapply foundation once I leave the house, so I don't need to carry it around with me. Hence the portability of a cushion foundation isn't really a selling point for me.
Also, the coverage on this stuff is almost nil; I'd still have to use concealer to cover broken capillaries, hyper-pigmention, and undereye circles.
Also, to be completely honest, the puff kind of squicks me out. Admittedly, acne isn't my issue, but I can't imagine dabbing and dabbing and dabbing the same puff over areas with breakouts. Yikes.
Oh, and the SPF has got to be pretty much useless in the tiny amounts you're patting on.
On top of everything else, this stuff sells for $60.
In short, this stuff is a giant nope.
If you have normal to slightly dry skin, are looking for light coverage, and like the portability of a cushion foundation, I think you would probably do better with the L'Oreal product. It comes in a much wider range of shades.
If color matching is an issue, try heading to the department store and buying the Lancôme version, which would allow you to try before buying. Lancôme offers 11 shades, including some designed for women of color.
And if you're on a DIY kick, you can make your own cushion foundation using a compact you can buy for $10 and the foundation of your choice.