I’m lazy. It’s one of my vices. Pairing specific bases with specific foundations, layering product over product over product just to create a base for more layering isn’t super ideal, especially as I’m, um. Not usually awake on the first alarm? Foundations are getting better about it recently, though, I think – there’s a lot of ones now that don’t need bases, or that have adequate sunblock properties, or don’t need powder, etc. Or a combination of nice, time-saving effects! I’ve also never been very sold on powder foundations – maybe it’s me, maybe it’s my skin, but I’m not all for that powdery finish. I like base makeup that still looks like skin – not completely covered up and primed to perfection, but rather a my-skin-but-better type thing? Dewy-ish, I think is the word.
Enter, cushion foundations! They’re super compact and convenient – like liquid foundation with a puff, in a tiny container. Honestly, I bought my first one because I liked the idea of not having to get my hands dirty lol. And with most, primers aren’t necessary!
My first one was the M Magic Cushion Moisture from Missha when it was first introduced to Japan. In my heart, Missha takes the crown as dependable. They’re never super groundbreaking, but they’re safe. I’ve also tried their Original Tension Pact Cushion and was similarly pleased: their cushions are well-made, and live up to their promised results. The product lasts for a decent few hours, and when it starts breaking down, it breaks down neatly and inconspicuously. The cushions also have a sort of cooling effect? Which makes it really nice to use in summer! And they’re (at least in Tokyo) super, super affordable at around $10 a cushion.
I’m weak to cute packaging and strange things, so I’ve also tried ettusais’s BB Mineral Cushion Compact. The design’s so cute! Plus it’s a little different from your average cushion: instead of a small dish you press into the main case, the dish is already in the case, and they provide a little circular sponge and a small sealed bag of product, and you have to pour the product into the dish and insert the little sponge, creating the cushion by yourself! It was a fun addition to the usual process, though, inevitably, a little messy^^;; I spent all of last spring using this, and while the packaging was fun, the product itself was pretty meh. It had a semi-matte finish and low coverage – the type I usually go for – but the product went patchy in the presence of sweat, and bunched and crinkled around my nose and at the corners of my eyes. It’s more expensive than the Missha cushions, but the cost performance isn’t nearly as great.
Speaking of weaknesses and cute packaging: Shu Uemura’s Petal Skin Cushion Foundation. My wallet cried a little, but the packaging was so cute! All white with cute little pink petals. And the puff is so nice *o* I got this last summer, I think? It was definitely semi-matte, and lasted for a long time. I’d put it on around 7AM, then get back from work at around 4PM, and from a distance, everything still looked perfect. It didn’t exactly breakdown in the neatest of ways, but you could only really see the damage if you got up close – say, fifteen centimeters? So it wasn’t too terrible. I love how lightweight this feels. A little goes a long way, too, and it reapplies on just as well the second time around.
For my birthday, my mom got me a Gel Foundation from Paul & Joe which, okay, isn’t really a cushion foundation, but its in a compact and comes with a puff, so shhhh. I used this over the end of summer, autumn, and winter, switching between this and the last cushion I’ll mention from Shiseido. Usually, I’m pretty fickle about foundations, and though I’ll have brands that I might find safe or dependable (Missha!) I’ve never been one to stay with one product and keep buying refills. I’ll use up what I have, and then move on. There’s too many products out there, and they’re all so tempting, so you can’t really blame me for wanting to try them all, right? But, somehow, I ended up buying a refill for this. FIRST OFF, the case is gorgeous, and no that’s not why I bought the refill, but the case is a gorgeous metallic rose gold pink shade with flowers embossed on the surface and a curved texture and its! So nice!! And the product itself!!! A little goes a long way. It’s pretty high coverage with a semi-matte finish. It’ll last me through a full day of uni and work – 8AM to 9PM – and it breaks down subtly and inconspicuously. It also works really well with my skin type: I’m combination skin, and sometimes the Shu Uemura mentioned before or the Shiseido mentioned below will cling to the drier areas of my face, while shifting at my T-zone, but this doesn’t do any of that! My only only complaint is that it’s kind of hard to get the product out of the compact when there’s only a tiny bit left. That’s it. It’s on the pricier side, but completely worth it, I think, and beats out everything else I’ll mention in this post by a landslide.
My mom bought the Shiseido Synchro Skin Glow Cushion Compact after seeing glowing reviews for it in magazines but bought the wrong shade which – lucky me! – fit me perfectly, so recently I’ve been splurging with this little guy^^ I can see where the glowing reviews are coming from: when my skin condition is good, the product is lightweight and makes everything look flawless. But at other times, it accentuates drier patches of my skin that normally don’t even look that dry, and then it becomes a three way fight with me, my skin, and the time 🙁 This also isn’t the best team player, in that you have to be really careful with the kinds of products you layer over it, particularly powders – I found that finishing powders tend to look cakey when paired with this, even if I’ve used the exact same powder with a different foundation for great results. So I usually go for the bare minimum amount of powder, and then hope nothing touches my face for the rest of the day. Don’t get me wrong – this is definitely highly rated for a reason. After application, it makes your skin look great! But it’s all these little things that pop up a few hours later, or if you’re not careful, that has me thinking I’ll look elsewhere once I’ve used up the product in my current cushion.