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Beauty Wars: I Tested 7 Cushion Foundations To Find The Best One

From the best sellers and cult favourites to some you probably didn't know existed. And yes, I think we have a winner!

This is a road we’ve gone down before, but because the next best product is sitting out there in the world, teasing us with its glossy, come hither packaging, we have decided to go down the same road once again. Thus, the third round of our “Beauty Wars” series begins! When it comes to true coverage that is strong enough to withstand even the lousiest and most taxing of days, nothing beats the traditional liquid foundation. However, liquid foundations are also a hassle. They’re not the most travel-friendly of options and just too much effort on off-duty (read: lazy) days. That’s why the South Koreans thought to gift to the world the cushion foundation. That circular, glistening thing packed with a squishy centre. Or, as I like to call it, the molten lava cakes of the beauty world.

Countless cushion foundations have been released and discovered since our last showdown. We rounded things down to lucky number seven, but deliberately included an old favourite, a cult classic and at least one that you didn’t know existed, just to keep things interesting. And who better to test them on at Team KULALA than yours truly, the one with a face oily enough to oil up a pan! Yay, self-deprecating humour!

Laneige BB Pore Control Cushion

If we’re talking about cushions, Laneige is the OG. It has to be mentioned. Like its predecessors, Laneige’s BB Pore Control Cushion covers the basic requirements of a foundation cushion with coverage that is on the sheer and lightweight side. You will have to pair it with a concealer if you’ve got a spot or veins to conceal. While it leaves a barely-there finish, it does slip and slide a little by mid-day. It also doesn’t do much in the pore control department, but you can always solve that with a primer, which brings us to…

Dior Beauty Capture Totale Dreamskin Perfect Skin Cushion

Cushion foundations that give a dewy finish are a dime in a dozen, but the glow that Dior Beauty’s Dreamskin Perfect Skin Cushion leaves behind? I’m inclined to say “luminous”. It also blurs pores so effectively that I’ve used it as a primer on occasion and it doesn’t cake in the slightest. On the downside, the formula is rather sheer. The sponge is also oddly rubbery, but that’s just me nitpicking. If you need stronger coverage, skip this. I think this is perfect for an off-duty day when you want to look au natural, glowing and all woke up like this like without going completely barefaced.

YSL Beaute Le Cushion Encre De Peau Fusion Ink Cushion

This one takes the cake for the most stunning packaging, hands down. Like Dior’s Dreamskin Perfect Skin Cushion, this one has a blurring effect on pores and spots. It is also easy to work with and goes evenly over the skin. Considering its sheer coverage and light texture though, it’s strange that Encre De Peau doesn’t set into the skin as well as one might hope. Most of the Encre De Peau’s shades seem to have a pinkish undertone, which can be limiting for Asian skin tones.

MAC Cosmetics Lightful C

The first thing I noticed was the amount of product already oozing out of the cushion. I had to go about it very gently, else the sponge would have been soaked. On the skin, Lightful C feels a little thicker and heavier than most, which means it doesn’t spread as easily and takes a while to set. Nothing that a quick hand and a light patting motion can’t solve, though. The Lightful C’s coverage is perhaps the strongest on our list and manages to leave a subtle bronzer-like glow even though it feels matte. My skin looked almost airbrushed after applying one to two layers. But again, because of its thick formula, it isn’t the best for humid weather or oily skin.

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Veil Cushion

Is it just me or does this smell like a fizzy drink inspired by candy from the early 2000s? As someone who was a teenybopper in the 2000s, I actually don’t mind it. That said, the cushion’s coverage is sheer, perhaps even more so than Dior’s Dreamskin Perfect Skin Cushion, but without the same blurring and highlighting properties. You will also have to press down hard to get the product out after just a few months of use because it seems to run out very quickly. It’s not a bad cushion, but you’re probably better off using the Your Skin But Better CC Cream instead. 

Hera UV Mist Cushion Long Stay Matte

With the reviews I’ve read, including a glowing recommendation from Yoyo, I couldn’t leave Seoul without this in tow. Hera’s cushion foundation goes on beautifully. Although this is technically the sheer coverage cushion, a single layer is all it takes to conceal my pesky visible veins. Yet, the product isn’t thick or heavy at all. What witchery! It also gives you dewy, glowing skin, but this can be a two-edged sword for oily skin. While I like the glow, I typically need a mid-day pat down if the weather is particularly humid.

Lancome Blanc Expert Cushion Light Coverage

Lancome’s best-selling cushion is like that quiet, calm friend in your life who sits there, takes your sh-t and still gives you a big bear hug at the end of the day. There are no flashy theatrics with this, just a good cushion that works. It goes on easily, evenly and comfortably, and while it doesn’t give full coverage – you can always layer on more product, or just use the high coverage alternative or the Ultra Teint Idole Ultra – it is enough to conceal minor imperfections like spots, veins and uneven skin tones. It may not be dewy enough for some, but for my oily skin, I thought it was just right. It’s a tough call between Hera and Lancome, but I’m going with the latter because it has better shine control and is just a tad more lightweight.

What To Read Next: Beauty Wars: Can These Beauty Cushions Take The Heat?, Dear Beginners: This Is The Au Natural Face Palette You’re Looking For and Behold, These Are The Best Bronzers We’ve Ever Met | Main Image: YOYOKULALA.com

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