One of our favorite Korean beauty trends that has made it stateside over the past decade or so is, undoubtedly, the cushion compact. Not only are they incredibly portable by nature, but they also contain some of the most lightweight formulas we’ve ever had the pleasure of putting on our faces. However, it’s 2021 and the cushion isn’t just limited to foundations and BB creams. Practically everything in our makeup bags, including blushes and liquid lipsticks, is getting a cushy makeover.
For the uninitiated, “a [cushion foundation] is a liquid foundation is packaged in a portable, compact form,” Los Angeles-based makeup artist Mai Quynh says. “The liquid foundation is stored in a spongey cushion that is distributed when you press down on the sponge with an applicator.” Therefore, it’s a super convenient way to apply foundation, especially for someone on the go, she notes.
Cosmetic chemist Ginger King agrees and adds that “[cushion foundations] are more of skin-care formulas with color.” Bottled foundation formulas sometimes have more polymers for longer wear or higher pigment loads for fuller coverage, she explains. Cushion foundation formulas, on the other hand, typically have lighter coverage with a luminous, satin finish.
For all of the busy and/or clumsy folks out there, Los Angeles-based makeup artist Daphne Chantell del Rosario points out that there are zero chances of accidental spills, which is why cushion products are great for on-location touch-ups and are incredibly accessible for her clients to use outside of shoots, she says. Since they’re designed to be extremely buildable, all of the sponges involved deposit just the right amount of product via the applicator itself or a plush pad. From there, if needed, you can use your clean fingers or a small brush to blend everything in seamlessly.
We rounded up the best in cushion makeup innovation, so you’re ready to glow on the go. Check out these 17 makeup artist- and editor-approved products, and thank us later.
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