Tried & tested: 6 new K-beauty cushions vs. Singapore's humidity

The new ampule, anti-acne, and two-in-one cushions from brands like CNP Laboratory, Medicube, and Laneige might sound exciting, but how well do they actually hold up in Singapore's climate? We tried them to find out. 

The new K-Beauty cushions: Are they any good?
The new K-Beauty cushions: Are they any good?
05 Apr 2018

The new K-Beauty cushions: Are they any good?

All makeup addicts have go-to BB and CC cushions. Ours include Laneige’s trusty BB Cushion, which picks up just the right amount of product and leaves a sheer, dewy finish; and the oh-so-underrated Biotherm Aquasource Evermoist CC Cushion, which not only has some skincare benefits, but blends out with ease.

But even our favourites aren’t perfect, and truth be told, we’d happily ditch them were we to discover the Holy Grail of cushions – or well, at least something that would last over a couple of months and could hold up beyond a couple of hours beneath the sun. So when the latest batch of new K-beauty cushions started arriving on our shores, we temporarily retired our usual go-tos to see if these recent arrivals were any good.

To make it fair, we kept conditions as consistent as possible by wearing each cushion product for an entire day, which we spent in air-conditioned (read: complexion-drying) rooms, outdoors commuting, eating in neighbourhood coffee shops, and buying food. We also wore Smashbox’s Photo Finish Foundation Primer beneath each cushion for an added boost of longevity, because let’s face it, between Singapore’s humidity and our office’s dehydrating central air, no cushion product stands a chance on its own.

So were these cushions any good? Coverage-wise, all looked great upon first dab, but staying power was a different story. 

Keep reading to see an overview of 6 buzzy new K-beauty cushions.

 

Laneige Layering Cover Cushion & Concealing Base
Laneige Layering Cover Cushion & Concealing Base
05 Apr 2018

Laneige Layering Cover Cushion & Concealing Base

Trust Laneige, one of the original cushion pioneers, to come out with something truly revolutionary in the world of cushion technology: a two-in-one product that comes with two bases and a water drop-shaped puff for precise application.

The compact: Rose gold for 2018, groundbreaking, we know. But try not to judge this cushion by its compact – its contents are anything but basic. On the left, you’ll find a balm-like concealing base with a semi-matte finish (SPF 50+ PA+++), while on the right, you’ll find the illuminating skin foundation (SPF 34 PA++). The puff also comes with two sections: at its rounded base, the perforated air puff, for the foundation; and at its apex, the velvet puff, which uses shorter fibres to facilitate thicker coverage when used with the Concealing Base.

Coverage and finish: You’d think it would be easy to apply this product, but it actually took a bit of trial and error for us to blend the Concealing Base (which went on more matte than we expected) with the Layering Cushion. Overall, the finish falls somewhere between matte and dewy, and as per Laneige’s line of cushions, is pleasantly lightweight and sheer. The cushion’s Illuminating Jewel Powder gave our skin a pleasantly rosy glow, which faded more quickly than we would have liked, but will certainly last through a date or any other two-hour appointment you might need it for. 

Staying power: We needed to touch up our foundation after about half a day, but were pleasantly surprised at how well the concealing base held up. While this cushion didn’t rock our world in terms of staying power, we have no complaints, since its two-in-one packaging makes it a breeze to tote around for under-eye and skin touch-ups throughout the day.

$43, available now at all Laneige stores and counters in 7 shades

Aprilskin Magic Snow Cushion 2.0 (Black)
Aprilskin Magic Snow Cushion 2.0 (Black)
05 Apr 2018

Aprilskin Magic Snow Cushion 2.0 (Black)

All right, this product has been around for a while, but since Aprilskin is a relative newcomer to Singapore, and this cushion in particular is so beloved online, we thought it’d be worth examining. The Magic Snow Cushion 2.0 (SPF 50+/PA+++) comes in a Black edition for oily and combination skin, while the White edition provides extra moisture to dry skin. So we decided to give the Black one a shot, given how oily we feel walking 10 minutes to the bus stop every morning.

The compact: As far as compacts go, this one is pretty simple, its most interesting feature being that it uses a “mochi cushion” technology. Meaning that when you first open the compact, you’ll see a bare cushion, as the foundation is kept within the sponge, dumpling-style. This keeps the fluid intact and less prone to drying.

Coverage and finish: All right, we LOVED this. The formula feels velvety, is easy to blend, and left our skin looking poreless, bright, and refined. The 45% water-based serum, as well as soothing ingredients like aloe vera leaf extract, made it comfortable to wear for a whole day. This is a great option for people who need coverage and radiance, but at the same time, want to avoid the “made up” look of traditional foundations, and the “glowing” look – which can so easily devolve into the “oily” look – so common with dewy formulas.

Staying power: For the most part, this stays intact! Our noses and T-zone area were slightly shiny after about six hours, as usual, but our blemishes stayed safely camouflaged, and we didn't notice a lot of patchiness. 

$37, available in 3 shades at select Guardian stores islandwide, including Takashimaya, VivoCity, NEX and Jurong Point.

Aprilskin Perfect Magic Cover Fit Cushion
Aprilskin Perfect Magic Cover Fit Cushion
05 Apr 2018

Aprilskin Perfect Magic Cover Fit Cushion

Aprilskin’s newest product is none other than the successor to the Magic Snow Cushion 2.0: the Perfect Magic Cover Fit Cushion. This one’s special feature? A full coverage foundation formula containing 67% water-based moisturising serum and a metal plate cushion.

The compact: Who knew that a cushion could look so bad*ss? The metal plate isn’t just a gimmick, though; it actually helps push out the hydrating serum, while preventing the cushion from picking up too much of the product. Which ended up being a smart move, since a little of this formula goes a long way. The plate also helps seal in the moisture, giving the sponge extra longevity.

Coverage and finish: If you’ve got red cheeks or blemishes to conceal, the Perfect Magic Cover Fit Cushion is a must-try. Its coverage was akin to a usual foundation, and we had to pat our faces quite a bit to tone down the “made up” look that resulted. If you need or prefer thicker coverage, then this cushion is worth trying out – we’ll definitely turn to it during our next hormonal breakout. But if you prefer a sheer or more natural finish, we’d recommend sticking with the Magic Snow Cushion 2.0.

Staying power: The product description boasts 24-hour double moisture and coverage, and while our faces certainly felt hydrated, our T-zone area needed a lot of TLC toward the end of the day -- maybe because we applied the product, which is thick to begin with, a little too liberally in the morning. 

$47, available in 3 shades at select Guardian stores islandwide, including Takashimaya, VivoCity, NEX and Jurong Point.

 

Cremorlab Eau Thermale Cushion Dazzling Therapy
Cremorlab Eau Thermale Cushion Dazzling Therapy
05 Apr 2018

Cremorlab Eau Thermale Cushion Dazzling Therapy

We recently tried and loved Cremorlab’s Eau Thermale Serum Cushion, so we decided to see how its Dazzling cushion would compare. Thanks to the Twilight movies, we were a little worried that “dazzling” meant “sparkly”, but thankfully, our fears about looking like a teen vampire were for naught.

The compact: Aside from some cute doodles on the front, this is a compact completely free of bells and whistles. The product comes with a 5-layered cushion puff to aid product absorbency, but it felt indiscernible from the majority of cushions we’ve tried over the years.

Coverage and finish: This cushion’s finish is decidedly thicker and more matte than that of the serum cushion, but is still dewy enough to help our faces emanate the “just out of the shower” freshness. If the Eau Termale Serum Cushion is too glossy for you, we’d recommend giving this one a shot. It’s not a full-on matte, and while it’s not super long-lasting, it’ll be friendlier to oily skin than its dewy counterpart.

Staying power: On a sunny day spent outdoors, this...does not endure. But it will do fine if you’re in a classroom or an office.

$58, refill included, available in 2 shades at Tangs Vivocity and Guardian Beauty at Jurong Point Shopping Centre 

CNP Laboratory Propolis Ampule in Cushion
CNP Laboratory Propolis Ampule in Cushion
05 Apr 2018

CNP Laboratory Propolis Ampule in Cushion

We’re much more familiar with CNP Laboratory as a skincare brand rather than as a makeup brand, which is why we were more than a little excited when they launched a new cushion chock-full of skincare benefits. Namely, an ampule of propolis for brightening, revitalising, and wrinkle removal.

The compact: The hexagonal beehive pattern looks pretty rock ’n’ roll, but other than that, this is a conventional cushion.

And yeah, we know – what the heck is an ampule? Often confused with a serum, this type of skincare product, ever-so-popular in Korea, contains more potent concentrations of active ingredients. This one contains 0.2% propolis, otherwise known as bee glue, which is often lauded for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Coverage and finish: This cushion’s finish is, in a word, lustrous. In terms of coverage, it’s definitely on the thicker side (but less thick than the Aprilskin Perfect Magic Cover Fit Cushion), so you’ll need to pat it down quite a bit while doing retouches. Thankfully, we didn’t need much of that, since this formula was adequately long-lasting. We’re not too sure yet of the propolis’ effectiveness, but we can safely say it made our five hours of sleep last night look like eight thanks to its brightening finish.

Staying power: It can get a little patchy around the nose bridge area if you’re prone to oiliness, but what was on the rest of our face stayed mostly intact. But when reapplying, use a light hand, as this cushion is extremely moisturising – we were a little overenthusiastic the first time we touched up using this (after 10 hours of wear), and ended up with streaks all over our T-zone.

$54, refill included, available in 2 shades at Guardian stores islandwide

Medicube Red Capsule Cushion
Medicube Red Capsule Cushion
05 Apr 2018

Medicube Red Capsule Cushion

Medicube, a major player in the world of Korean anti-acne and hypoallergenic treatments, has released a dermo-cosmetic cushion foundation that heals and conceals troubled skin. Naturally, we decided to give this a shot in the midst of a pesky hormonal breakout.

The compact: The compact might look clinical on the outside, but the cushion itself looks pretty darn cool, as it is comprised of three parts: the foundation formula, a pink base of calamine for healing and protecting the skin, and an ivory base of centella asiatica to calm and soothe the skin. The cushion smells vaguely of tea tree oil, which lingers after you apply the product, but isn’t distracting.

Coverage and finish: If you’re anything like us, you’ll get a cheap thrill stamping your face with the cushion’s unique design. The colours looked a little stark on our cheeks at first, but we blended them easily thanks to the cushion’s sheer, almost watery, formula. The barely-there coverage and glossy finish is perfect for rocking a more natural look. 

Staying power: We noticed a couple of patchy spots between our eyebrows after a few hours, but no streaks, perhaps due to the product's thin texture. 

$43, available at Guardian Beauty Store at Jurong Point

The winner: Aprilskin Magic Snow Cushion 2.0 (Black)
The winner: Aprilskin Magic Snow Cushion 2.0 (Black)
05 Apr 2018

The winner: Aprilskin Magic Snow Cushion 2.0 (Black)

This cushion might not look like much on the outside, or have any bombastic features to speak of, but in terms of blendability, coverage, finish, and longevity, this is one well-rounded product. If it came with more shades and a free refill, we'd seriously consider ditching our usual go-to cushions for this one. 

Report a problem