Best Of Cushion Foundations 2021

The best Korean cushion foundations

Buying guide 2021

28 '
Intro
At a glance

My favorite Korean cushion foundations in 2021: a buying guide!

Now that you’ve all seen my “small ” collection of cushion foundations, I have no choice but to tell you a little more about them! Which are my favorites, why do I like them and what do they look like in action on my skin. So here’s my best-of of Korean cushion foundations, 2021 edition!

In my ultimate guide to Korean cushion foundations, I didn’t really tell you why I loved cushions so much.

I told you why I thought they weren’t for me at first (I thought they were too glowy for my combination skin, with a mediocre coverage and lasting power…) but didn’t carry on to explain why I fell in love with cushions!

I discovered cushion foundations about 6 years ago, but my first two experiences were quite unsuccessful. I first tried one from The Face Shop and then a Magic Cushion from Missha (which doesn’t exist anymore, they were old versions). And uh, let’s just say the concepts behind each one were not super well developed and you could feel it! It was thick and greasy and the formula just sat on my skin. Not a glorious experience!

But in 2017, I visited Seoul and once I was there, I thought it would be silly to miss out and maybe I should give it another try! (In fact, all these gorgeous compacts were tempting me way too much; Seoul is the Disneyland of beauty addicts, with marvels at every corner!)

So I decided to buy a Laneige cushion (it was the BB matte, which doesn’t exist anymore, I think), which I tried the very next day. Instant crush! I found the finish superb, and I did my base makeup in 2 minutes total thanks to the little puff.

Since I was there, I figured it was now or never to try more cushions and I guess you could say my collection fever started at this moment 😆

Soon after, I snapped up an IOPE Air Cushion (an older version), because I read it was the very first cushion and it was iconic, and I obviously couldn’t resist the sublime packaging of a limited edition Sulwhasoo cushion!

Since then my collection has grown “slightly”. So today, let me share with you some of my favorite cushions and the latest ones I’ve tried!

Korean cushion foundations: the ultimate guide Makeup Korean cushion foundations: the ultimate guide Cushion foundations… Still not very well known outside Asia, but I definitely believe they really deserve more attention! So today, let’s take a closer look at what exactly a cushion foundation is, why (in all objectivity) the best of them are the Korean ones, who can use them (not only Korean peoples!), how to choose them and the best way to use them! I will tell you everything and I will also show you my small (lol) collection in today’s post! Read more

My preferences with cushion foundations:

I mentioned my preferences regarding cushion foundations in my first article, but I thought it would be useful to remind you of them here. It will hopefully help you better understand my choices and my issues with some products too!

Reminder:
For an explanation on what a Korean cushion foundation is, how to use it etc, I refer you to my first article Korean cushion foundations: the ultimate guide 🙂

I have a combination skin that tends to look shiny during the day (especially in the summer) but is also quite dehydrated. I have visible pores but I can also have flaky skin on certain dry areas of my face.

The finish is my priority because I adapt it to my needs or my mood of the day.

Usually, I prefer a semi-matte finish, or even a really matte finish in summer, but in winter for example, I’m not against a more glowy finish that will give a fresh and plumped up aspect to my skin. On the other hand, I must admit that very satiny effects, like glass skin, are not my jam. On me, it makes me look like a disco ball (with huge pores), so I prefer to avoid it.

I like it if it has a moisturizing effect (most of the good cushions have one), or even a soothing effect (not the most common, but you can find some). In summer, however, I like a more mattifying effect, which helps me control my shiny T-Zone.

Ideally, I like my cushion to blur my pores or at least not make them more visible, it’s always better!

A cushion’s staying power is definitely a very important topic for me. There have been vast improvements in this area, especially lately. Because of the health crisis and daily mask wearing, most of the formulas that are released nowadays in Korea have to be transfer-free and more resistant to mask rubbing.

This is the reason why I’m not the biggest fan of high coverage formulas (like the Moonshot cushions, which are very popular but I don’t love them, personally) that are great when applied (immediate perfect skin) but get messy on my skin after a few hours (they get cakey super fast).

For example, on me, the Moonshot Micro Setting Cushion looks patchy after 2-3 hours, and I don’t feel like touching up my makeup all day, personally. I prefer my foundation to cover a little less, but stay pretty longer!

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Besides, I’m the type of person who doesn’t apply too much product. I find that the result is always more natural when I use a single thin layer of product.

In a lot of makeup reviews, I always hear about the oxidation of foundations (= the fact that they darken with time, or turn orange) but I confess that this never happens to me. My foundations don’t change color during the day. So I won’t take that into account in my reviews.

About the shade I’m wearing, to give you an indication, I am a shade NC15-20 with MAC, I have fair skin with a rather neutral undertone. With most cushion brands, I use shade 21 or 22 if it’s available. I also sometimes use shade 23 if shade 21 has a pink undertone (I don’t like it on me) and it usually goes on better.

I’ve mentioned the number of shades in the range for each of the cushions I’m showing you, but I’d rather warn you right away: it’s very light. Some of them have a wider range of shades, but unfortunately, the darker shades are not available in all markets. It really depends where you live.

Today, I favored cushions that were available for purchase. Since I’ve been collecting cushions for years, I have quite a few that were only sold in limited editions, and I figured it wasn’t worth creating frustration over nothing by detailing products that were impossible to find! 🙂

So here are my 18 (!!) favorite cushions out of all the ones I tested!

Note:
I wanted to make sure you could see how these different cushion foundations looked on my skin. So I did a swatch on my chin for each one (#RIP my chin lol). My chin is the only part of my face with makeup on and I took the photos in macro, so please be indulgent 😂
You can click on the images to enlarge the photo if you want 🙂

Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion EX:

The compact packaging:
So the sublime packaging you see in this picture is a limited edition that is from 2018, I’m sorry, don’t hate me! As I explained in my first post, there are limited editions regularly during specific events in Korea (for the lunar new year, for example), especially with luxury brands. The “normal” packaging of this cushion is beige and gold, quite simple and chic (but more classic).

Sold with refill:
Yes

Shade:
My shade: 23.
There are 10 shades in the shade range, 3 of which are for darker skin (but unfortunately, they are very hard to find, most online retailers only sell the light shades).

Sun protection:
SPF50+/PA+++

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
This is a very skincare-focused cushion! It has moisturizing properties thanks to low molecular weight hyaluronic acid and Schizophyllum mushroom.
It also contains anti-aging ingredients like adenosine and beta-glucan, repairing honey and antioxidant, brightening and balancing niacinamide.
And finally, the signature of the Sulwhasoo brand, it also includes in its formula plant, root and flower extracts specific to hanbang, the Asian medicine the brand claims to have softening, calming and anti-aging properties: white lily bulb extract, Indian lotus flower extract, Chinese peony root extract, rehmannia glutinosa root extract, Solomon’s seal root extract.

Fragrance:
Yes, an herbaceous-floral scent.

Puff:
Round shape, classic

Finish:
Natural satin

Coverage:
Medium

Blurs pores:
Yes

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
No

Lasting power:
Good staying power, it stays well throughout the day on me without making being patchy.

Feeling on the skin:
It’s moisturizing and comfortable to wear.

Mattifying effect:
It doesn’t really mattify, but doesn’t make me look shinier than usual either.

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
No

My thoughts:
For more details on this product, feel free to read the detailed Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion EX review I posted a few years ago 🙂
A little update though, because since this review, I had the opportunity to compare it with others and I must admit that it’s not necessarily my favorite. It’s a bit heavy on my skin. Nothing dramatic and this will probably appeal to drier skin types than mine, but if I have to pick and choose, I would rather wear a more lightweight cushion. However, if you’re interested in the skincare aspect of cushion foundations, this is clearly one of the most interesting in this category, there’s no doubt 🙂

Price:
Between $60 and $66 depending on the retailer.

Where to buy it:

Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion EX

Amorepacific Color Control Cushion Compact:

The compact packaging:
Elegant and chic, it’s a silver compact case with the brand’s logo on top.

Sold with refill:
Yes

Shade:
My shade: 202.
The shade range includes 5 shades, light to medium.

Sun protection:
SPF 50+

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
Bamboo sap to replace water for a moisturizing effect, green tea, camellia oil and arbutin for radiance and an anti-aging effect.

Fragrance:
Yes, quite a bit, but it’s a rather pleasant fresh floral scent.

Puff:
Round, classic, but it’s the Amorepacific one that provides a fresh effect upon application.

Finish:
Satin glowy

Coverage:
Light to medium

Blurs pores:
Yes

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
No

Lasting power:
Average. Needs to be touched up during the day.

Feeling on the skin:
Very lightweight and moisturizing. It is very comfortable to wear.

Mattifying:
Not really, it’s more of a cushion for dry-prone skin.

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
No

My thoughts:
This cushion is more of an “old school” cushion in my opinion, but it’s also one of the best in this category considering Amorepacific created the concept 😉
It’s ideal for those who prefer tinted moisturizers, or who are not big fans of foundations. The effect is very natural, very fresh. I find it great to use on good skin days when I have little to hide and just want to even out my complexion and give it a fresh, hydrated look. The skincare ingredients are definitely a plus!

Price:
About $60

Where to buy it:

Amorepacific Color Control Cushion Compact

Hera UV Mist Ultra Moisture Cushion:

The compact packaging:
Iridescent purple with the brand name, flashy! Plus, it’s magnetic. Hera is a luxury brand, pretty trendy, and you can definitely feel it!

Sold with refill:
Yes

Shade:
My shade: 21.
The shade range includes 5 shades, light to medium.

Sunscreen protection:
SPF34, PA ++

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing hyaluronic acid, anti-age, purifying and brightening niacinamide, anti-ageing adenosine and anti-oxidant vitamin E.

Fragrance:
Yes, a fresh scent that is slightly fruity, not unpleasant.

Puff:
Round, classic.

Finish:
Natural semi-matte (while I was expecting a glowy finish), it’s very pretty.

Coverage:
Medium

Blurs pores:
Yes

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
No

Lasting power:
Good, it stays fresh and luminous all day, without being patchy.

Feeling on the skin:
Very comfortable and lightweight.

Mattifying:
Decent. It’s not the most mattifying, and I have to blot a little of shine throughout the day but nothing dramatic.

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
It transfers a bit, but you can reapply it easily.

My thoughts:
I love Hera cushions! It’s definitely one of my favorite cushions brands. For the past few years, it’s been one of the go-to lines for this product category in Korea, and I can totally see why. Sure, they’re a bit more expensive than others, but for me, they’re worth it! This one is my staple cushion, it works just as well in the summer as in the winter, it’s one of those I use the most. It’s moisturizing but not too glowy, it lasts well; it blurs my pores; it makes my skin look good… It has it all! And the compact is super pretty, which is always a plus!

Price:
Between $40 and $50

Where to buy it:

Hera UV Mist Ultra Moisture Cushion

Hera UV Mist Cushion Cover:

The compact packaging:
Iridescent purple with the brand name, flashy! Plus, it’s magnetic. Hera is a luxury brand, pretty trendy and you can definitely feel it! (yes, it’s exactly the same as the previous one 😉 )

Comes with a refill:
Yes

Shade:
My shade: C21.
The shade range includes 5 shades, light to medium.

Sun Protection:
SPF50+, PA+++

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing hyaluronic acid and glycerin, anti-age, purifying and radiance niacinamide, anti-aging adenosine and antioxidant vitamin E.

Fragrance:
A light, fresh fruity fragrance that is pleasant.

Puff:
Round, classic.

Finish:
Semi-matte

Coverage:
High

Blurs pores:
No

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
A bit

Lasting power:
Good

Feeling on the skin:
You can feel it a little more on the skin than other cushions, but overall, it’s still pretty lightweight and comfortable to wear for a cushion with a high coverage finish.

Mattifying:
It mattifies pretty well for the first few hours, and I have to blot a bit of shine during the day, but after that, it doesn’t budge until the evening.

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
No, it transfers.

My thoughts:
This is one of my favorite high coverage cushions. The coverage is great, but the finish is not too thick, and the staying power is great compared to other high coverage cushions I tried. It’s very comfortable to wear, it moisturizes, mattifies without drying. It makes my skin look good without a “mask” effect. In short, as per above, you can definitely recognize the quality of Hera cushions!

Price:
Between $42 to $50

Where to buy it:

Hera UV Mist Cushion Cover

Hera Black Cushion (2021 version):

The compact packaging:
Black lacquered with the brand logo in reflective gold. It’s very chic and elegant.

Comes with refill:
Yes

Shade:
My shade: 21N1
The shade range includes 8 shades, light to medium, with different undertones.

Sun protection:
SPF34, PA ++

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing glycerin and antioxidant vitamin E.

Fragrance:
A fairly present, and quite “cosmetic” scent. It smells like a luxury skincare cream (sorry I don’t have a better description, but that’s what it reminds me of). It’s not unpleasant.

Puff:
Round, it was designed for a very fine and even product application. The brand talks about “Zero-vity Fit” technology. This means that the product distribution is fast and coverage is delivered without any thickness.

Finish:
I was expecting a very matte finish, but it’s more of a semi-matte finish, quite natural and very pretty.

Coverage:
The previous version was pretty full coverage, this one has more of a medium coverage.

Blurs the pores:
Yes, pretty much.

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
Slightly, especially at the end of the day.

Lasting power:
Pretty good, it stays pretty all day. It doesn’t look patchy at the end of the day, despite the amount of shine on my T-Zone.

Feeling on the skin:
Super nice, very lightweight and comfortable. I found the old version a bit thick on me.

Mattifying:
I’ll admit, I expected better. You need to blot during the day; it doesn’t mattify very much.

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
This is the big selling point of the brand and I tested it once or twice in Dubai where it’s already 30 degrees during the day. It resists rather well compared to others, but in the places where the mask rubs, the product still comes off a little. But you can reapply over it with no problem and it stays flawless until the evening!

My thoughts:
This year, the Hera brand took a risk and reformulated their best seller, the Black Cushion, to match the current market demands: a product with a fine texture, a semi-matte finish and improved adherence on the skin to resist more to mask wearing. The previous version had more coverage, but was also thicker on the skin. You could feel it on the skin a lot more. Personally, it wasn’t my favorite from the brand; I preferred the two other Hera cushions I own.
For the new version, I’m a bit conflicted. I really like the thinness of the texture, and I prefer the medium coverage it has now. But I would have preferred it to be a little more mattifying. I was actually expecting a matter finish. Obviously, I can add some powder on top to mattify it more, but its luminous side always ends up showing up a bit.
Also, to be honest, it has just been released (in Korea, they launched it at the beginning of April), I haven’t tried it as thoroughly as I usually do, so my opinion is still a bit “in the making”. Besides, it’s not very easy to find yet; I think it will be more widely distributed in the coming months. I’ll probably get a chance to tell you more about it (probably on my personal Instagram account).

Price:
Around $60

Where to buy it:

Hera Black Cushion (2021 version

IOPE New Air Cushion Natural:

The compact packaging:
A stunning “platinum” feel compact, with the phrase “Change is in the air” engraved on the top. The closure is magnetic, and it has some weight when you hold it in your hand. It really gives a luxurious feel!

Sold with refill:
Yes

Shade:
My shade: 21N
The shade range includes 6 shades, light to medium, with different undertones.

Sun protection:
SPF50 / PA+++

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing glycerin and hyaluronic acid, a complex of soothing and moisturizing biotic ingredients, anti-aging adenosine, niacinamide for the brightening and anti-aging effect, and anti-oxidant vitamin E.

Fragrance:
A very light, fresh scent.

Puff:
Round, classic.

Finish:
Satin glowy

Coverage:
Light

Blurs pores:
Yes, a little

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
No

Lasting power:
Pretty good, especially for this type of finish.

Feeling on the skin:
Fresh, moisturizing, it feels great on the skin.

Mattifying:
I was expecting to feel a bit greasy, but that’s not the case. The skin is luminous for sure, but it’s not any oilier than usual.

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
The brand talks about an improved adherence to stand up to the impact of a mask, and it’s true that especially for a glowy finish, this cushion holds up pretty well despite the mask rubbing. It’s also very easy to reapply so you can touch up areas damaged by the mask easily!

My thoughts:
So, to be honest, I kind of messed up when I ordered it, I think for my skin type the second “Cover” version with a matte finish would have probably been more appropriate 😂
But in the end, it’s still really pretty, and it gives a very fresh complexion. I think I’ll mostly enjoy it next winter because during the humid summer in Dubai, you don’t need a cushion to look naturally glowy! But for those days when I don’t have a lot of blemishes to hide, where I need a little glow boost and want a moisturizing effect to boot, it’s nice.
It was just released in Korea, so it’s still a bit hard to find online.

Price:
Around $45

Where to buy it:

IOPE New Air Cushion Natural

Espoir Pro Tailor Be Glow Cushion:

The compact packaging:
Quite thin compared to other cushions, it’s a rose gold compact with the brand name written on the top.

Sold with refill:
Yes

Shade:
My shade: #4 Beige (according to their description, I should have gotten Petal, but it looked quite pink).
The shade range includes 5 shades, light to medium.

Sun Protection:
SPF42 PA++

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing glycerin, anti-aging and brightening niacinamide, anti-aging adenosine, olive and grape seed oils for comfort and their antioxidant effect.

Fragrance:
A light, pleasantly fresh scent.

Puff:
Round with a convenient pointy tip for details.

Finish:
Natural satin, but not too shiny. I really like it!

Coverage:
Medium

Blurs pores:
Yes

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
No

Lasting power:
Very good, especially for a satin finish. It doesn’t smudge during the day and “ages” pretty well.

Feeling on the skin:
Very comfortable because it’s moisturizing, and it’s pretty lightweight.

Mattifying:
Decent, although I have to blot my T-zone during the day.

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
Not really, but it’s easy to touch up.

My thoughts:
This was one of my favorite cushions this winter! It’s one of the best-selling cushions in Korea, and I totally understand why. It gives a fresh, even, and glowy complexion. It’s also very comfortable to wear. For the summer in Dubai, it’s not mattifying enough for me, but I’ll gladly pick it up as soon as the temperatures start to drop.

Price:
About $35

Where to buy:

Espoir Pro Tailor Be Glow Cushion

Espoir Pro Tailor Be Powder Cushion:

The packaging of the compact:
It’s the same as the Glow version but in white lacquered with the brand name in silver.

Sold with refill:
Yes

Shade:
My shade: #4 Beige (according to their description, I should have gotten Petal, but it looked pretty pink).
The range consists of 4 rather light shades (mine is the darkest, that’s saying something…).

Sun protection:
SPF42 PA++

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
No

Fragrance:
A rather “cosmetic” scent, a bit powdery.

Puff:
Round with a pointy tip for details.

Finish:
Powdery velvety matte, I really like it! It’s still luminous, but in a very natural way. It’s really pretty!

Coverage:
Medium

Blurs the pores:
Yes

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
So unfortunately, this is its big flaw. You have to exfoliate and moisturize very well before using it, otherwise, it really emphasizes your dry skin areas! With my tretinoine, that makes me peel on occasion, it’s a bit of a problem 😅

Lasting power:
Good, and it “ages” very well throughout the day.

Feeling on the skin:
Very lightweight and comfortable; also, I don’t find it especially drying.

Mattifying:
It mattifies pretty well, but without drying out the skin, which is a plus!

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
It resists mask rubbing well, although it moves a bit in some areas. But compared to other cushions, this is one of the most resistant I’ve tried.

My thoughts:
It’s a shame that it emphasizes dry skin! Otherwise, this would be my favorite summer cushion, I believe. The finish is really pretty, velvety matte while still being nicely luminous, good staying power, comfortable to wear… I’m still using it quite often right now, but after I’ve prepped/moisturized my skin well 😉
Also, it just came out in Korea (a few weeks ago), so it’s not very easy to find online yet.

Price:
Around $35

Where to buy it:

Espoir Pro Tailor Be Powder Cushion

Laneige Neo Cushion Matte:

The packaging of the compact:
A very pretty pastel green rounded square, it’s a nice change from the usual round compacts! It’s modern and pretty, I really like it (like most packaging from Laneige, I’m a fan!).

Sold with refill:
Yes

Shade:
My shade: 21N.
Depending on the market, the range includes between 7 and 10 shades (from light to darker shades). Unfortunately, the 3 darker shades are harder to find in most online retailers.

Sun protection:
SPF 42 PA+++
It also protects against blue light.

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
No

Fragrance:
A light, fresh fruity scent that is pleasant.

Puff:
I love it! It’s round and its foam has little holes that help distribute the product very evenly and quickly. High-tech stuff!

Finish:
Velvety semi-matte, I really like it! It has luminosity, but very soft, it’s typically the finish I love!

Coverage:
Medium

Blurs pores:
Yes

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
No

Lasting power:
Very good, stays pretty until the evening.

Feeling on the skin:
Very light and comfortable to wear. I loved wearing it all last summer, but I also used it in colder temperatures and it was also very nice. It’s really perfect year round!

Mattifying:
It mattifies well and for a long time, without drying the skin out. There’s a bit of shine at the end of the day, but nothing crazy.

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
It was designed before the pandemic, but I guess Laneige knew something we didn’t (I’m joking!), because it’s quite resistant to mask rubbing and can be described as transfer-free.

My thoughts:
This is a big favorite! It pretty much checks off all my boxes. This is the cushion I use when I want to make sure I have a pretty complexion. It’s my go-to for sure! Sure, I would have loved an extra skincare ingredient or two, but frankly, that’s nitpicking. I love it even without the skincare ingredients! 🥰🥰🥰

Price:
Between $22 and $35

Where to buy it:

Laneige Neo Cushion Matte

Laneige Neo Cushion Glow:

The packaging of the compact:
A very pretty pastel pink rounded square, it’s the same design as the Matte version.

Sold with refill:
Yes

Shade:
My shade: 21N.
Depending on the market, the range includes between 7 and 10 shades (from light to darker shades). Unfortunately, the 3 darker shades are harder to find in most online retailers.

Sun protection:
SPF 42 PA+++
It also protects against blue light.

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing glycerin, anti-aging and brightening niacinamide, anti-aging adenosine, anti-oxidant vitamin E.

Fragrance:
A light fresh fruity fragrance, pleasant.

Puff:
A fairly firm round puff.

Finish:
Satin, it gives a nice soft and natural glow.

Coverage:
Medium

Blurs pores:
Yes

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
No

Lasting power:
Very good, stays pretty until the evening.

Feeling on the skin:
Very lightweight and comfortable to wear. It leaves the skin comfortable and moisturized until the evening.

Mattifying:
It doesn’t make me look shiny more than usual, even though it doesn’t especially mattify.

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
No, but I’ve seen worse.

My thoughts:
It looks great as well. With my skin type, I have a slight preference for the Matte version but this Glow version is great too! And it has skincare ingredients in it 🙂

Price:
Between $27 to $37

Where to buy it:

Laneige Neo Cushion Glow

Laneige Layering Cover Cushion:

The packaging of the compact:
A little different from the others as it’s oval, like a pretty pebble. It’s also rose gold. It’s a very pretty compact! It has a pretty innovative concept, it’s a 2-in-1 product/ foundation + concealer.

Comes with refill:
No

Shade:
My shade: 21 Beige (it’s a bit pink, because on the lighter shades, the brand wanted to emphasize the “brightening rosy” effect with this product. But on my skin, it’s fine, it doesn’t look too pink).
The range of shades includes 8 shades, including 3 darker colors. But these are not sold everywhere.

Sun protection:
SPF34 PA++

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing glycerin and hyaluronic acid, anti-aging and brightening niacinamide, anti-oxidant vitamin E and vitamin C derivative.

Fragrance:
A light, fresh, pleasant fragrance.

Puff:
So, since this is a 2-in-1 product (foundation and concealer), the puff is also dual: the round base (for the foundation) is made of classic foam, but the pointy tip (for the concealer) is made with a material that allows you to deposit more product to intensify the coverage.

Finish:
The concealer is semi-matte, but the foundation is more of a satin finish.

Coverage:
Pretty high.

Blurs pores:
Yes

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
A bit

Lasting power:
Decent, but at the end of the day, it tends to get a little patchy on the wings of the nose or under the chin.

Feeling on the skin:
You can feel it a bit, depending on how much you’ve used. It’s pretty comfortable and moisturizing though.

Mattifying:
Not really, it’s a satin finish. So for my combination skin, I have to blot the shine during the day.

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
Not really, it’s not designed for that.

My thoughts:
This cushion tempted me because of its 2-in-1/ foundation + concealer concept (and its rose gold oval compact, let’s be honest!). It’s pretty innovative, so inevitably, I was intrigued! But I was a bit surprised because the foundation is rather glowy and the concealer semi-matte. I was expecting a semi-matte finish for both products. It also has a fair amount of coverage. So I’ll admit, it’s not the cushion I use the most in my collection! I usually use the concealer on my face underneath the cushion to camouflage minor flaws, but not really under my eyes, because I’m not convinced by the finish contrast on me. So for those days when I want a satin finish but want more coverage, this cushion is what I turn to 🙂

Price:
Around $29 (without refill, though).

Where to buy it:

Laneige Layering Cover Cushion

Clio Kill Cover Glow Cushion:

The packaging of the compact:
Ah, Clio knows how to make pretty compacts, no doubt about it! They’re also the kings of fun limited editions, so keep an eye out if you are a collector 😉
This one is the original edition that I bought when it was released in 2019, the last time I was in Korea (it had just launched, they were doing huge ads everywhere!). It’s a rose gold mirror effect cushion with the brand name that has a multi-colored chrome effect. It’s gorgeous! (they made a limited edition a few months later, ultra shiny mirror effect which was gorgeous, but I resisted and I regret a bit lol)

Sold with refill:
Yes

Shade:
My shade: #3 Linen
There are 4 shades in the shade range, which are pretty light (the darkest is a medium beige).

Sun protection:
SPF50+ PA++++

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing glycerin, collagen and hyaluronic acid, anti-aging and brightening niacinamide, anti-aging adenosine, and anti-oxidant green tea water.

Fragrance:
A fairly fresh “cosmetic” scent that is not too overpowering.

Puff:
Round, classic.

Finish:
Semi-matte luminous, it leaves the skin fresh and moisturized. It’s a fairly natural “glow,” not too much.

Coverage:
Medium to heavy

Blurs pores:
Yes

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
No

Lasting power:
Pretty good. It may have a tendency to get a bit patchy at the end of the day on the wings of the nose and under the mouth, but nothing dramatic.

Feeling on the skin:
Pretty nice. You can feel it a little bit but for me, it still gives quite a bit of comfort, so it’s pretty nice.

Mattifying:
Not bad, especially for a satin finish. It does make me look a bit shiny during the day, but I expected worse!

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
No, it wasn’t designed for that.

My thoughts:
I really like this cushion. It’s the first one from Clio that I’ve purchased! Clio is probably the most famous brand in Korea for cushions in drugstores. Every time the brand releases a new one, it’s a success! To be honest, they are not always my favorite because they can tend to be a bit thick. In fact, keep in mind that the concept of all Clio Kill Cover cushions is coverage. So on me, it doesn’t always work and sometimes it doesn’t “age” well during the day.
But with this Glow version, that’s not the case, it’s probably my favorite of all the Clio’s I own! The satin finish is very flattering, it’s super comfortable and lasts well. It’s a great option if you have dehydrated skin like me and want a “good skin days” effect 🙂

Price:
Between $20 – $25

Where to buy it:

Clio Kill Cover Glow Cushion

Clio Kill Cover Cica Serum Cushion:

The packaging of the compact:
You can’t see it very well in my picture, but it’s an all gold compact with mirror effect. It is very pretty and quite “bling”.

Sold with refill:
Yes

Shade:
My shade: #3-BY Linen
The shade range includes 4 shades, which are rather light (the darkest is a medium beige).

Sun protection:
SPF50+ PA+++

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
Yes, it’s a big plus! It contains moisturizing glycerin and hyaluronic acid, anti-aging and radiance niacinamide, anti-aging adenosine, and soothing Centella Asiatica extract.

Fragrance:
A very pleasant fresh scent, not overpowering.

Puff:
A super convenient heptagonal puff to apply the product precisely.

Finish:
A light satin finish, not too shiny.

Coverage:
Medium to heavy

Blurs pores:
Yes

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
No

Lasting power:
Not too bad, but it’s not the best in this category.

Feeling on the skin:
It feels super fresh when applied, very moisturizing. It’s great for dry and sensitized skin! You can feel it on the skin, but I think dry or dehydrated skin will appreciate it.

Mattifying:
Not bad, especially for a satin finish. My skin can get a bit shiny during the day, but nothing dramatic!

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
Not really, but it can be touched up easily.

My thoughts:
I bought this cushion this winter when my skin was a bit irritated with tretinoin and found it very nice for days when my skin was feeling tight and needed some relief. The skincare aspect is a plus, but there is still good coverage, so a nice makeup result. The staying power isn’t foolproof, but it’s easy to touch up during the day.

Price:
Between $22-$27

Where to buy it:

Clio Kill Cover Cica Serum Cushion

Clio Kill Cover All New Cushion:

The packaging of the compact:
Gorgeous and very chic! A deep reflective midnight blue, and the name of the range in silver on top. The brand name also appears when you look into the blue reflection. It’s really pretty and chic!

Sold with refill:
Yes

Shade:
My shade: #3.5-BO Vanilla
The shade range includes 7 shades, which are quite light (the darkest is a medium beige).

Sun protection:
SPF50+, PA +++

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
Anti-aging and brightening niacinamide, and anti-aging adenosine.

Fragrance:
A soft, rather “creamy” and somewhat powdery scent.

Puff:
Round with a pointy tip, convenient for a more precise application.

Finish:
Velvety matte, a little powdery. This is the ultimate summer/ combination to oily skin cushion!

Coverage:
Medium to high

Blurs pores:
Yes, but I was expecting an even more blurring effect.

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
Yes, a little. You need to moisturize well before using it.

Lasting power:
Very good.

Feeling on the skin:
It’s super light and fresh upon application. You can barely feel it on the skin., and

Mattifying:
It mattifies well and lastingly, without drying out too much.

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
Yes, pretty good. The transfer on the mask is pretty minimal and it’s easily touched up.

My thoughts:
This cushion is the replacement for one of the brand’s bestsellers for years, the Clio Kill Cover Founwear Cushion XP (which you can still find online but is being phased out at the moment). I tried this one two years ago and I didn’t like it: too thick on my skin. It sat on my skin and it didn’t age well during the day, in my experience (it looks patchy on my face). When the brand Clio announced that its new version “All New” would have a thinner texture, I was immediately interested! I look for this kind of light texture, I don’t like to feel like I’m wearing a mask with my makeup products!
The Clio Kill Cover All New Cushion is much more suited to my preferences! The texture is indeed very fine, and lightweight. This is definitely a cushion that I will love to use when we’re at the peak of summer in Dubai, with the heat and humidity. It will be perfect! It has a few minor flaws (it emphasizes dry skin a bit) but nothing dramatic. It’s really a good cushion for those who like matte finishes!
It just launched in Korea so you can’t find it everywhere online just yet.

Price:
Around $25

Where to buy it:

Clio Kill Cover All New Cushion

Jung Saem Mool Essential Skin Nuder Cushion:

The packaging of the compact:
The one in my photo was a limited edition from 2019. Usually, it looks like the one you can see below. It’s a pretty simple, black and light vanilla beige packaging with the brand name on top in black and pink. But the brand does limited editions very regularly so keep an eye out for them! 🙂

Sold with refill:
Yes

Shade:
My shade: #Light
The range includes 6 shades, from very light to medium.

Sun protection:
SPF50 PA+++

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing glycerin, anti-aging and brightening niacinamide, and anti-aging adenosine.

Fragrance:
A fresh, fruity, pleasant scent

Puff:
Round, classic

Finish:
Slightly satiny, but quite natural

Coverage:
Medium to heavy

Blurs pores:
Yes

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
No

Lasting power:
Good

Feeling on the skin:
It’s pretty light, especially considering its coverage. It’s also pretty hydrating and comfortable.

Mattifying:
A little. It doesn’t make me look shiny more than usual.

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
No, not really.

My thoughts:
Jung Saem Mool is a very well-known makeup artist in Korea, who does a lot of celebrity makeup and is also known for her master classes, which are very popular and where she gives lots of tips and techniques to better understand Korean-style makeup. She created her brand a few years ago.
This cushion has been a bestseller for several years in Korea. It is THE “perfect skin” cushion. The result looks like makeup, you have to be aware of it, it’s not the most natural of my cushions. But if you want a perfect complexion, it’s great!
Note: it’s worth applying it in a thin layer. It looks much better that way, applied in layers, it can look thick.

Price:
Between $33-$38

Where to buy it:

Jung Saem Mool Essential Skin Nuder Cushion

Jung Saem Mool Essential Skin Nuder Loungwear Cushion

The packaging of the compact:
It’s a pretty simple packaging, black and light vanilla beige with the brand name on top, in black and pink.

Sold with refill:
Yes

Shade:
My shade: #Light
The range includes 4 shades, from very light to medium.

Sun protection:
SPF50 PA+++

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing glycerin, anti-aging and brightening niacinamide, anti-aging adenosine, nourishing safflower oil and ceramides, soothing panthenol.

Fragrance:
A fresh, fruity, pleasant scent.

Puff:
Round, classic.

Finish:
Semi-matte, velvety, very pretty.

Coverage:
Pretty heavy, but it still looks pretty natural.

Blurs the pores:
Yes

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
A bit

Lasting power:
Very good

Feeling on the skin:
Super lightweight, you can barely feel it, and the skin remains very comfortable. A joy!

Mattifying:
Good, the skin stays matte and velvety for a long time.

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
Pretty good! It wasn’t designed with this in mind, but it holds up pretty well 🙂

My thoughts:
This is my favorite long-wearing “flawless skin” cushion! it’s not the most natural looking cushion I have, the result looks like you’re wearing makeup, but I really like this “flawless complexion” effect and its velvety semi-matte finish that is very flattering for my combination skin. It’s simple, every time I wear it, I get compliments! This cushion is a gem and I can understand why it has its fans! For me, it’s a must-have.
Note: it’s better to apply it in a thin layer. It looks much better that way. If you’re building it in several layers, it can look thick.

Price:
Between $32-$38

Where to buy it:

Jung Saem Mool Essential Skin Nuder Longwear Cushion

Missha The Cushion Skin Matte:

The packaging of the compact:
Super simple, a pretty matte purple compact with the brand and product name written in rose gold on top.

Sold with refill:
I bought it by itself, but now you can find it sold with a refill (it’s better IMO).

Shade:
My shade: 22
The range includes 3 light shades.

Sun protection:
SPF50 PA++++

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
Anti-aging and brightening niacinamide, anti-aging adenosine, purifying and soothing propolis and calming wheat germ extract.

Fragrance:
A very light, fresh scent you can barely smell.

Puff:
Round with a pointy tip for a more precise application.

Finish:
Velvety semi-matte, very pretty and natural.

Coverage:
Medium

Blurs pores:
Yes

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
No

Lasting power:
Correct even though it tends to look a tiny bit patchy at the end of the day.

Feeling on the skin:
Super lightweight, the texture is very fine and impalpable.

Mattifying:
It mattifies pretty well.

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
Yes, it was designed for this and it performs pretty well. The transfer to the mask is minimal.

My thoughts:
For a small price cushion, its quite good! The finish is pretty, the texture fine, and it’s lightweight. Okay, the staying power isn’t the best of all the cushions I’ve tried but it’s still fine.
It’s a great option if you have combination skin and don’t want to spend too much on a cushion 👍

Price:
Between $10-$12

Where to buy it:

Missha The Cushion Skin Matte

Rom&nd Clear Cover Cushion Hanbok Project (limited edition 2020):

The packaging of the compact:
This collection from the brand Rom&nd is inspired by traditional Korean craftsmanship. The whole collection (released last winter) is sublime (Odile Monod wrote about it in one of her articles if you want to see it in detail)!
This cushion is inspired by mother of pearl, which Koreans know how to work very well, especially for najeonchilgi, a typical Korean marquetry technique (it’s stunning, I had the opportunity to see some sublime objects in Seoul that use this technique).
The 3 shades of the collection all have different pearl colors, it’s incredibly beautiful (I wanted to buy the other shades just to collect them but I decided it wasn’t reasonable 😅).

Sold with refill:
No

Shade:
My shade: #02 Natural 21
The range includes 3 light shades.

Sun protection:
SPF50 PA+++

Skincare ingredients in the formula:
Moisturizing glycerin, anti-aging and brightening niacinamide and anti-aging adenosine.

Fragrance:
A light and a pleasant “creamy” fragrance.

Puff:
Round with a pointy tip, convenient for precise application.

Finish:
The brand talks about a slightly satin finish, but for me, it’s more of a semi-matte one. It’s natural, very pretty.

Coverage:
Medium to high

Blurs pores:
Yes

Emphasizes dry skin patches:
No

Lasting power:
Fine but may tend to look a tiny bit patchy at the end of the day.

Feeling on the skin:
Comfortable, you can feel that the skin is moisturized. It’s very lightweight, it feels nice!

Mattifying:
OK, it doesn’t make me look more shiny than usual.

Transfer-free/ mask-resistant:
It performs pretty well. Transfer to the mask is minimal.

My thoughts:
I was pleasantly surprised by this cushion. The finish is very nice, velvety yet luminous. It makes the skin look nice, fresh and soft. Its lasting power is not the best in the world but it holds up. And the packaging is to die for! When you know that Rom&nd is a rather affordable brand, it’s quite impressive.
Attention, this is a limited edition! It’s still available but probably not for much longer.

Price:
Between $15-$25

Where to buy it:

Rom&nd Clear Cover Cushion Hanbok Project (limited edition 2020)

In conclusion:

Since I know I’m going to get this question, if I had to do a top 5, it would probably be these (in no particular order):

Laneige Neo Cushion Matte

Hera Mist Cushion Ultra Moisture Cushion

Espoir Pro Tailor Be Glow Cushion

Clio Kill Cover Glow Cushion

Jung Saem Mool Essential Skin Nuder Longwear Cushion

If you want to see how they look on me with a full makeup look, they are in the photo gallery you can see above 🙂

And I’m also pretty sold on the new ones I’ve acquired recently. These cushions have potential (but I’m still in the process of testing them, they’re not favorites just yet 😉 ):

Hera Black Cushion (2021)

Espoir Pro Tailor Be Powder

Clio Kill Cover All New Cushion

What about you, have you tried any Korean cushion foundations yet? Which ones are your favorites? 😉

Comments (8)

  1. I also have combination skin. I just bought my first two cushions and I’m hooked! I got THE FACE SHOP YEHWADAM Hwansaenggo BB Cushion in 23. I absolutely love it. I don’t feel it on my face, it gives a very natural look. Stays amazingly. My second one is SU:M37 Water-full, also in 23. It’s actually a bit darker then the first one. The coverage is higher. If I touch my face it feels a bit sticky only on my t-zone. It lasted very well through the day. I like them both. Probably Face Shop one a bit better. Now thinking about Hera and trying to decide which one to choose… I like light to medium coverage and I would like natural/semi-matte finish. Which one would you recommend? Is Hera cushions darker then the other brands – should I go one shade lighter (21 instead of 23)?

    • Hi Irene!
      Thanks for your feedback, it’s super interesting! 😀
      Regarding your question, considering your preferences, I would probably go with the Hera UV Mist Ultra Moisture Cushion. And from my experience, Hera cushions are not darker than the other brands, so if your shade is 23, I would also choose 23 with Hera 🙂 👍
      I hope it helps 🙂

  2. Bless this post! Love how detailed it is and contains most cushions that are generally considered holy grail so it makes it easier to compare and contrast! It is heaven sent hahaha thank you!!

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