I’m maybe a tad weird, but I love using cushion foundations, althouuuuuuuugh I don’t love all the things they’re purportedly great for. I’m not really into the glowy foundation thing, and I never use cushions on the go, so why are they great? Happy you ask! (I’ve got answers, and some recommendations for you.)

Similar to a lot of K-Beauty basics (BB Creams or CC Creams), the base is not only a foundation, but also includes both sunscreen and skincare properties. Enough to matter? In case of the sunscreen, not at all, but for skincare ingredients, I’m all for it. A lot of cushions are targeted towards a special skin type, you’re likely to find one that fits your needs. (Btw, if you’re interested in a movie length review of 2017’s best cushions, have a look here.)

What makes a cushion special

Cushion foundations comparison
Cushions are great bases for people who hate wearing traditional foundations.

Hah, you might scoff, a lot of foundations nowadays boast those features. What else? Well, it’s the cushion, of course, and the puff that comes with it. Not only come cushions in all kinds of cute cases and offer refills, but the thing I love best about cushions is the texture and feel of the base. I usually hate to feel that layer of foundation on my skin, and cushion bases usually come in a light formula that feels like nothing on your skin. Try a cushion if you hate foundation – hate the sticky feeling of regular foundation on your skin? Cushion foundations to the rescue!

At the same time, both formula and puff combined yield a wonderful result (at least with the ones I tried) of medium coverage and pore and fine line smoothing. I think the puff plays a role in that – that’s the reason why I always use it, and not a brush or beautyblender. If you’re worried about bacteria, most puffs have been treated to be bacteria repellent, but you should clean them like all of your tools nevertheless. Apply the base with a tapping motion, lightly tapping the formula into your skin for the best result!


Cushions that I’m loving recently

The drugstore one

L'Oreal Nude Magique Cushion review
L’Oreal Nude Magique Cushion

The first cushion that made it to European drugstores and that’s actually made in Korea – the L’Oreal Nude Magique Cushion. It’s still my most-beloved and most used cushion foundation (wrote about it here) – although it has none of the typical markers of a cushion foundation (no skincare properties to speak of and only SPF29 – although they market its hydrating properties). The blurb on the packaging speaks of a ‘dewy glow’. That alone should make me run. But it doesn’t. I can’t wear it in hot and humid summertime over here, but for all other seasons? Jackpot.

L'Oreal Nude Magique Cushion worth it
L’Oreal Nude Magique Cushion

It yields the most amazing porcelain doll-like finish (not overly glowy, but luminous) and has a nice bouncy puff to apply it with. You’ll get whisper-thin layer of base product that magically evens out your skintone, blurs pores and fine lines. You’ll need a concealer for blemishes, though. It comes in three shades, sigh. I’ve used it continuously for about five to six weeks until it’s used up.

L'Oreal Nude Magique Cushion worth it
L’Oreal Nude Magique Cushion

As there isn’t an option to buy refills, shilling out 14€ for 15g of base is a tad pricey, right? Nevertheless, I’ve bought it now four times, and will continue doing so.


The Korean one that’s a bit of a gimmick

Skinfood Pore Fit Cushion Bottle review
Skinfood Pore Fit Cushion Bottle

I went to the Skinfood store in the quite fancy Garugo-Sil area of Seoul. Basically, I was just looking for some masks, but of course, one of the girls absolutely had to demo the Pore Fit Cushion Bottle SPF50 for me, and I was lost. Because, you see, it was very hot, and the thing with this aerosol spray can of a cushion is that it cools down your skin upon application. It comes in measly two shades, comes in can and has a funny mechanism that sprays the base onto your cushion puff. This one isn’t for toting around (obvi), but oh em gee, that cooling sensation means business. It’s borderline painful to me, that’s how cool it gets. Which is so nice when it’s summer and hot and humid.

Skinfood Pore Fit Cushion Bottle worth it
Skinfood Pore Fit Cushion Bottle

In reviews you hear about all kinds of issues none of which I encountered (coverage too little or too high, puff too small…). Application is a bit trial and error (don’t overapply it, seriously!). If you dab it evenly and quickly in a sheer layer on your skin, the result is amazing. I get amazingly even skin with it that is just on the right side of not-too-glowy-but-not-too-matte. (It’s advertised as having a matte finish).

Skinfood Cushion Bottle review, swatch, ingredients
Skinfood Pore Fit Cushion how-to

Ingredient-wise, it comes with a mix of physical and chemical sunscreen agents, Hyaluronic acid and some plant extracts, but also alcohol and butane/propane, resulting in a lighter fluid smell when you pump out the base. It dissolves very quickly, but it’s not exactly pleasant. This is marketed towards ‘pore smoothing’, which it does admirably, ‘brightening’ and ‘anti-wrinkle’. A whopping 120ml for about 20$?!???! Not bad!

The Westernized one

MAC Lightful C cushion review
MAC Lightful C Cushion

MAC has jumped on the cushion bandwagon with the Lightful C Cushion I mentioned here in my monthly favourites already. It’s available in Asia and Australia, and combines their Lightful C skincare with SPF50 in a medium coverage base. The puff is crap, though – too stiff. Which is why I run into a few application problems – this will cake if you apply more than one layer. Not cute. The shades run also lighter than their regular MAC counterparts. Light (my shade) is awfully light, to the point that I think it might match me in winter. Maybe. Hopefully.

MAC Lightful C Cushion in Light
MAC Lightful C cushion

Otherwise, the formula and coverage are pleasant and if you’re a die-hard MAC fan, why not get it? I especially like the satin finish that’s not overly glowy. The ingredients are very interesting and mainly for brightening, and it just needs a wider range of shades. The refill is 12g for about 25$.

Comparison swatches

Cushion comparison for light skin
L-R: L’Oreal Nude Magique Cushion (1) (unblended/blended), MAC Lightful C Cushion in Light (unblended/blended), Skinfood Pore Fit Cushion Bottle (1) (unblended/blended)

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Beauty junkie with about 20 years of beauty experience under her belt. Editor, writer and twindly's PR heroine. Has an unbelievably large nail polish stash and a passion for skincare. Gets a kick out of pretty powders.

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