I’m still new to K-beauty, but from my understanding, cushion foundations have been around for quite a while in Korea and other parts of Asia, but it’s only within the last year or two that they’ve taken off in the US. At the end of 2015, L’Oreal came out with their True Match Lumi Cushion, and around the same time, Physicians Formula came out with theirs. Previous to this one, I had only tried one other cushion, the Missha M Magic Cushion, and I was not a fan. Most cushion compact formulas are marketed as having light, buildable, dewy coverage with high SPF. The Missha one was quite heavy when applied with the sponge, and it turned my face into an oil slick after about two hours. I’m very happy to say the Physicians Formula version performed much better!
Let’s get to some pictures and my thoughts on the formula and packaging.
I think the packaging gets an A. I mean, it’s pretty adorable. I’ve used this compact around 15-20 times, and everything has held up perfectly, except the sponge, which I’ll get to later.
For the swatch above, I pressed my finger into the cushion once, swiped on my hand, then blended in with my fingers. In hindsight, I probably should have blended it in using the sponge, but I have a full face picture for that below. As you can see on my hand, the coverage is very light, and pretty much undetectable on the skin.
Here, we get to the first “con”. I purchased the shade “Light”, which is the lightest shade available, and it’s too dark for me (see the horribly blended edge on my neck). The other two shades are Light/Medium and Medium. I think it’s safe to estimate that about 75% of people are not going to get a great shade match with this product, which is a shame because I would definitely recommend trying it. It’s because I like it so much that even though the shade I have is a tad too dark, I use it anyway and make it work.
As for coverage, it’s definitely quite sheer. In the full-face pictures, I used the sponge to apply it. It blends into the skin very well, and doesn’t look cakey. You can easily build the coverage, although I tend not to because it will just make it more obvious that I’m wearing too-dark foundation. Some other notable qualities are that it has a dewy finish and no noticeable scent.
The main thing I don’t like about both cushion compacts I’ve used is the sponge applicator. It slips off my fingers, provides overly heavy coverage, and I’m convinced it’s full of bacteria, which brings me to my second “con”. I tried washing the sponge applicator before taking photos for this post, and it ripped open in two places. I thought I was being quite gentle. I used Dr. Bronner’s soap and gently squished out the water, but the sponge became almost gooey and started ripping apart, so I stopped immediately. I’m very curious how other people handle this problem. I’ve read that some people never wash them because they’re supposedly antibacterial, some people put them in sunlight to kill the bacteria naturally, and some people put them in ziploc baggies with soap and water and gently squish them around. Until I figure out the best way to clean them, I’m just going to stick with my method of dabbing the product on my face with my fingers and then blending it out with my Beautyblender.
This is after applying the rest of my makeup, and I’m pretty happy with it. If you have a lot of imperfections to cover and like a flawless finish, this foundation is probably not for you, but I’m satisfied with the amount of coverage it gives me. I also think it lasts remarkably well! I have a very oily t-zone, and while the Missha Magic Cushion completely melts off my face and makes me look like I got sprayed with cooking oil, the Physicians Formula cushion looks more or less the same on me after a full day of wear.
There you have it. I’m excited for more US brands to come out with cushion foundations!
Purchased for $16.95 at Rite Aid.