Korean Cushion Foundations

Having spent the last two decades working in the beauty business I have had the privilege of working with some of the best brands in the industry and seen numerous beauty trends come and go.
One particular category of products that has always held a great fascination for me is complexion make-up, be it foundations (all manner of formulations and finishes), BB creams, CC creams and even DD creams.

For the last couple of years we have seen many European brands launch skincare and make-up inspired by products that have been around in Asia for many years. This was exactly where the BB trend came from. I believe there are two key reasons for this, first these Asian products are innovative in formulation and packaging and second, the increase in the Asian consumer spend has alerted European brands to the opportunity of serving this market.

Recently I have started to see a lot of buzz in the media about the Korean-style Cushion Foundations. This spring several European brands will be launching a Cushion Foundation including Lancôme and Kiko. So I thought I would investigate one of the original products from Korea before venturing into the European versions.

I purchased from Amazon, Etude House Precious Mineral Any Cushion foundation, for around £24 including shipping from Korea. This product claims to perfect the skin with all-day radiance, multi function of brightening, wrinkle reducing, sebum control and flawless coverage.

Etude House Precious Mineral Any Cushion foundation
Etude House Precious Mineral Any Cushion foundation

It is water-based and ingredients include zinc and titanium dioxide – these give the product an SPF 50 – you will always find a high SPF in traditional Asian products. It also contains silicones to improve the texture of the product and the application to the skin. These will also help to temporarily improve the skin texture. Other skin-friendly ingredients include niacinamide and sodium hyaluronate.

Interestingly in the ingredient list you will also find mother of pearl – after researching this ingredient it is sometimes used to improve the skin however I would suggest here it is used more for a cosmetic finish.

As with all ‘ cushion’ style products the packaging is key and quite ‘chunky’. The liquid foundation is impregnated into a sponge so the compact generally will have two lids to prevent the product from drying out.

I selected shade N02 – Light Beige – this was perfect for me this time of year . You will generally find that these products are only available in lighter shades inline with the skin tones in Asia. This product has a slightly more pink tone than the bases I would usually use.

The compact contains a sponge to apply the foundation and it is unlike any sponge I have used, almost a neoprene texture. So what about the finish? I don’t have any major skin concerns and I found this foundation applied smoothly and evenly giving an initial coverage similar to a tinted moisturiser or BB cream. You can reapply in areas where you need more coverage. I found this product wore well throughout the day with no touch-ups needed. My skin felt comfortable, looked very natural and fresh – the finish I always look for.

I know that some of the European brands that are launching will be offering a wider range of shades so I will also take a look at those. I will be shopping for a warmer shade for summer as the compact makes it perfect for travel and the high SPF is a must.

When I purchased this product I also saw cushion blushers – next on my list to try – and cushion eyeshadow so I am sure they too will soon find their way into a European brand.

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