Cushion compacts are as light as air and dreamy to use. This innovative makeup delivery system hails from South Korea, where it has become the go-to way of packaging all kinds of cream makeup products.
Iope, one of the first brands to introduce cushion compact foundations onto the market, claims to sell a cushion foundation every 6 seconds! Nowadays cushion foundations are easy to find, from both Asian and Western brands. This is no surprise, since cushion compacts give unparalleled natural coverage and are super convenient to carry.
If you think you might be into this new take on foundations and BB creams, then I can help you figure out how to make the best of them! I explain exactly what cushion compacts are and why they are so great. I’ll help you figure out which cushion compacts will be best for you based on your skin and preferences, and I’ll make sure you apply it correctly. I cap everything off with some cushion compact makeup tips and tricks, and a definitive list of the best cushion foundations and non-foundation makeup products you can easily purchase.
Cushion Compact Makeup Guide: Contents
12 Best Cushion Compact Makeup Products
So if you have made up your mind to give this magical product a try, make sure to pick the best cushion compacts for your skin type, as recommended below!
Best Cushion Foundations for Dry Skin with Dewy Finish
1. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Cushion Compact Foundation
This Western take on cushion foundations gives as dewy and glowy a coverage as any Korean cushion, but with a buildable coverage that would be more popular with most in the West. This formula doesn’t boast an SPF, unfortunately, but it does possess many skin care properties. If you want to try one of these 8 shades, you can find them at YSL Beauty.
2. Laneige BB Cushion Hydra Radiance
The name of this cushion BB compact makes it clear: this is a hydrating, skin-brightening formula that gives a luminous finish to the skin. It’s got some serious skin care ingredients in it to improve the look of all skin types, and a 50 SPF. It’s a perfect choice for dry and normal skin types, so pick up one of the 6 available shades at Amazon.
3. Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Foundation Compact
This cushion foundation does exactly what it needs to: it nourishes the skin with botanicals, and provides a buildable dewy coverage that is perfect for dry and normal skin. It is more foundation-y than other cushion compact on this list, that’s for sure. There are six shades to choose from, which tend to run light. You can purchase this cushion foundation from Nordstrom.
Best Cushion Foundations For Normal Skin Types with Natural Finish
1. Physicians Formula Mineral Wear All-in-One ABC Cushion Foundation
This mineral makeup cushion foundation has a gentle formula and lots of skin benefits. It provides a light coverage that is as natural as any Korean cushion offering. Its velvety finish would work for all skin types, and a 50 SPF is commendable. You can buy one of the 6 shades at Amazon.
2. Amore Pacific Age Correcting Foundation Cushion
This is the brand that started the cushion craze (and is also the parent brand of other contenders like Laneige and Sulwhasoo), and this is one of the best cushion compacts, especially if you like a slightly fuller coverage. It has a 25 SPF, and a coverage that hides wrinkles and blemishes alike. This nourishing formula is ideal for mature skin, but it can work for those with younger, normal skin as well. You can find this cushion, with 5 color options, at Nordstrom.
3. Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Cushion Compact
This is a perfect middle of the road cushion compact with lots of skin benefits. It brightens the skin and staves away premature aging. It has a natural skin, but it is quite moisturizing. If you have skin that leans towards oily, you can wear it without moisturizer, although it’ll generally work best for normal skin. As with many other Western cushion compacts, you can build up the coverage to about medium. You can purchase it at Amazon.
4. Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Perfect Skin Cushion
This take on cushion foundations from Dior perfectly captures the essence of what cushion compacts should be, with a ton of skin-loving botanicals, a high SPF, and a luminiscent coverage that isn’t too shiny. The coverage this cushion gives is somewhere between light and medium, and there are 4 colors to choose from. It is available for sale at Amazon.
Best Cushion Foundations for Oily Skin with Matte/ Semi-Matte Finish
1. Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Longwear Cushion Foundation
After years of cushion compacts being available outside Korea, color selection still leaves something to be desired. That’s why Lancome deserves its place on this list of the best cushion foundations – their 17 shades mean almost anyone can find a match.
This is essentially a lighter reformulation of the Teint Idole foundation, and it is certainly one of the best cushions available, especially for those with oily/ combination skin. While the finish on this cushion is natural, it is still able to keep oils in check. It provides light to medium coverage, and is available at Lancome.
2. Clinique Super City Block BB Cushion Compact
As always, Clinique delivers a wonderful take on a makeup product that is simple, elegant, and effective. This cushion compact provides a matte coverage that never feels heavy or cakey – just smooth and light, yet matte. It is perfect for oily and combination skin, and it provides a 50 SPF that is rare to find in products for these skin types. The only drawback is a 4-shade color selection. If you would like to give it a try, you can find it at Ulta.
Best Non-Foundation Cushion Compacts
1. Lancome Cushion Blush Subtil
Cushion compacts are a great way of getting a sheer look, and in this case, this is the dewy-est, subtlest, and most natural blush possible. Tap a little bit on with the included sponge, perhaps after you’ve applied your cushion compact foundation, for a really lovely natural flush. This formula comes in three colors that are available at Amazon.
2. Philosophy Take a Deep Breath Cushion Color for Cheeks
While Philosophy’s cushion foundation didn’t merit a place as one of the best cushion compacts, its blush certainly did. There are 4 shades to choose from, that are all beautifully blendable and lightweight. They give a delicate wash of color across the cheeks, and are simply lovely. They are available for sale at Ulta.
3. First Aid Beauty 3-in-1 Superfruit Color Correcting Cushion
Think of this as a primer that both color corrects and brightens, as opposed to a color correcting concealer. This cushion compact boasts beautiful skin-nourishing and smoothing ingredients like niacinamide and superfruit extracts, so you’ll have no qualms applying it to your skin before your cushion foundation. It’ll give your skin added coverage and a natural glow. Pick one of these cushion compacts up for yourself at Sephora.
What Is a Cushion Compact?
A cushion compact is a compact makeup container that holds liquid makeup products. In this makeup delivery system, you basically have a makeup compact with two levels.
The bottom level is a sterile sponge or mesh fibers (the cushion) that is saturated with a liquid makeup formula (most frequently a BB or CC cream with light coverage). Because the makeup sits in the sponge, it is lighter and airier than it would be if it was compressed at the bottom of a bottle.
Over the cushion there is a plastic separator that prevents contaminants from getting into the makeup. On top of that sits an anti-microbial applicator sponge – so you really don’t have to worry about your sponge getting gunky and cross-contaminating your makeup. The whole compact is airtight, so you really don’t have to worry about bacteria getting it, even if you have the cushion foundation compact sitting in your purse or car.
In addition to cushion compact foundations, you can also find blushes, primers, and other cream-based makeup products in the cushion form.
Why Are Cushion Foundations So Amazing?
There are a few reasons why cushion foundations are the best for any makeup lover, and that you are going to fall in love with them once you try one.
Cushion Foundations Have Unparalleled Airiness
Because the makeup inside the cushion foundations sits inside the sponge, it remains liquidy, airy, and light. Once the sponge is pressed into the cushion, the amount of makeup deposited in minimal.
This means that you never end up with too much makeup on your sponge, and the texture of the makeup itself is totally dreamy. This is perfect for anyone who wants natural-looking makeup that will never look cakey.
Cushion Foundations Are Convenient for Carrying
Liquid foundations and BB creams are my favorites because it’s so easy to make them look good, especially if you get dry patches when you wear cream or powder-based foundations. However, they are a pain to carry and apply throughout the day.
Cushion compacts solve the problem. They are super convenient to pop open on the go, and quickly re-apply a bit of makeup.
The other beautiful thing about cushion compact foundations is that the cushion itself is refillable! You don’t have to buy a brand new compact each time you run out, which is good for your pocket and for the environment. You simply buy a cushion refill, pop it into your compact, and you’re good to go.
Skin Care and Makeup All in One
Since cushion compacts hail from South Korea, where makeup is nice but skin care is everything, it is no surprise that these formulas almost always have some serious benefits to the skin. Frequently cushion compacts are BB or CC cream…