This time last year, I shared some of my favorite Korean BB creams. Now it’s time to discuss South Korea’s most recent foundation innovation: the cushion compact. These cute, travel-sized compacts contain a sponge soaked with the foundation formula and a separate area for the uniquely designed sponge applicators. The creams provide light coverage as well as SPF, hydration and anti-aging ingredients. They’re so easy to use, there is no reason to return to clunky bottled foundations.
So, here are my picks for the best Korean cushion compacts:
I’ll start with the most obvious choice. The IOPE Air Cushion Compact is so popular in Asia that — allegedly — one is sold every 30 seconds. If you are going to buy one Korean makeup product, this should probably be it. It offers great sun protection (SPF 50), has cooling properties and lightweight coverage, so it’s perfect during the summer. It’s offered with natural, coverage or shimmery finishes. I chose the one with more coverage, but it is still one of the lightest creams I own. It’s sheer and blendable, and the sponge applicator helps the product go on super smoothly. This compact is legendary in Korea, and it’s worth checking out.
This is a product that I actually mentioned in my BB cream post last year, and it is still one of my absolute favorites. Of all these cushion compacts, the Banila Co. Bouncing Cushion provides the best and fullest coverage, so it can be used on a wider range of occasions for a wider variety of makeup looks. This is also the only compact that doesn’t use a sponge soaked with the formula for application — instead, you press the rim of the compact to dispense product as needed. I love the detail of this packaging, and the product works amazingly well. Cannot recommend this cushion enough.
The Etude House Magic Any Cushion is more of a primer or base product to use before adding BB cream or foundation. These cushions are intended to create a smooth surface, moisturize and eliminate redness before you move on to the next step in your makeup routine. Etude House offers the compacts in three shades: pink, mint and peach. Pink is meant to lessen the appearance of dark circles and brighten pale skin tones. Mint helps cancel out redness, blotchiness or uneven skin color. Peach is meant to brighten dull skin and create a glowy finish. This product doesn’t really provide any coverage, but it prepares the skin so you can get the most out of your other compacts. I really enjoy using the mint cushion to begin my makeup routine.
Ahhhhh. It’s so cute. Honestly, this formula does not really match my skin tone. But do I care? No, I do not. I allowed the salesgirl to swatch it for me, but I already knew that I would buy this product anyway. I love the entire Holika Holika/Gudetama collaboration. The cushion compacts come in three different designs, but the shades don’t vary much (very light with pink undertones). It provides a dewy finish, which is very popular in Korea but can be off-putting to anyone with oily skin. For me, the product is perfectly nice, and I will continue to use it just because. The coverage is fine. The product is fine. But the packaging is to die for(!!!), really. I love it so much.