Hello friends, and welcome to Day 5 of Cushion Foundation Week 3! Almost there! Anyone still with me?
This week, the cushions are a mixed bag, featuring a Japanese brand, a couple of Western brands, and featuring some Korean brands too. The categories will be kept as per previous posts, so you can refer back to them all and it’ll look fairly familiar. The difference will be in the products featured. Also, I will do a round up at the end of the week, just to give closure to this week. To see all the cushion foundations I’ve featured, you can go here.
Some time last year, Korean brand Mamonde released 2 new cushion foundations. I decided to cover them at the same time, because they are from the same brand, although on hindsight, I think it would have been better to separate them.
They are the Mamonde Brightening Cover Watery Cushion and the Mamonde Brightening Cover Powder Cushion. Some of you may remember that I featured the Mamonde Cover Powder Cushion in the K-Beauty edition of the Cushion Foundation Week. It was one of the more affordable options I’d tried, with very high coverage. This one is no exception.
Cushion Foundation: Mamonde Brightening Cover Watery Cushion and Brightening Cover Powder Cushion
The two new additions to Mamonde’s cushion foundation are both “Brightening” which in cosmetics speak means that they make skin look more radiant and brighter. But they come in 2 versions, ostensibly for 2 different types of skin type.
The Mamonde Brightening Cover Watery Cushion (blue cover) is tailored for those with drier skin, offering a more hydrated, dewy finish. I find the coverage in this version very high, and the shade half a shade lighter than I expected. In person, it is less obvious but in photos, it looks significantly lighter and a little unnatural. I can fix it with a bronzing powder to warm up the complexion, but it does still look rather unnatural. I also find it to be a little more tacky than I prefer, and it felt heavy. Do note that I have dry skin and would be the prime candidate for this cushion.
The Mamonde Brightening Cover Powder Cushion (white cover) is tailored for those with oily skin, offering a more semi-matte finish. I also find the coverage in this one very high, but a little less than the Watery Cushion. The shade too is more natural, as it is bright, but not as bright as the Watery Cushion is, in the same shade. It is also less heavy on my skin, and I did not find it to be particularly drying, although that seems to be a common lament. I personally prefer this version, but it still had a very opaque look on skin that seemed less natural than I expected. It did settle into fine lines, and as the day wears on, weighed on my skin. I had to be very careful to be lighthanded with patting the product on my skin, as it is otherwise too high in coverage.
I wear Shade #21 in most Korean cushion foundations. But I find that Shade #21N (Neutral) in this case is just too “white”. I’m not sure how people who have a deeper skintone than I do are pulling this off in this same shade, unless they are merely swatching for their blog or the camera, and not wearing it out of the house. Honestly, it will not be flattering.
Sunscreen protection : SPF50+ PA+++
Not much talked about, but this has SPF50 PA+++ rating which is good enough. While with most cushion foundations, you can tote them around to top up your sunscreen through the day, I’d not recommend you do that with this one, as the coverage is just far too high and you’d end up with very cakey looking skin.
The Packaging & Refills
I believe that this one comes with just the case and refill without an additional refill. I could be wrong, but that seems to be the information I have, and that surprises me because most Korean brands will include an additional refill. However, the price is significantly lowered, which makes up for it, I suppose. It is otherwise very well constructed.
The case is like a donut with a cover, so you clip the refill into place and it fits nicely without any rattling. The covers clips and stays shut, and it just feels well constructed and not cheap at all. It actually reminds me a lot of Laneige packaging!
The cushions in the Mamonde Brightening Cover Watery Cushion and the Brightening Cover Powder Cushion are a little different. While they are both fairly traditional, being the flat porous sponge that we have seen from the start, I find that the cushion is a little soft, so you will find yourself depressing your sponge puff further into the product than you expect. Due to the texture of the product, this also means you pick up a lot more product than you really need. When new, touching the sponge to the surface of the cushion is quite enough. As you go along, you will have to adjust your pressure accordingly.
However, if you look at the sponge cushion, you might notice that the Brightening Cover Powder Cushion (peach border) has a rather more saturated, denser appearance, as opposed to the lighter appearance of the Brightening Cover Watery Cushion. I found the latter to be a little more “wet” so I ended up picking up more product on the sponge than I expected. The formula for the Powder Cushion is a little drier.
The Sponge Puff
The Mamonde sponge puff now takes on a beige colour, that reminds me of the puff used in Sulwhasoo cushions. Previously, it looked similar to that from Laneige. Do note that as they are all from the same mother company, this isn’t very surprising. True to feel, the sponge is very good, with the right density for patting product onto your skin and helping it adhere better.
TO USE: Slip your fingers through the loop (it only accommodates 3 fingers for me so I find it a little small), dab the sponge on the surface of the cushion and then dab it on your skin, in a press and roll motion. Press on skin, and roll it off. It helps the foundation adhere better to your skin.
As the texture of the cushions are quite high coverage, I do find that used in conjunction with the puff, I only need 1-2 pats of product to cover my whole face. Not a lot of dabbing on the cushion required.
Texture, Coverage & Finish
If you are looking for a cushion with coverage, and other brands are out of budget, then it is Mamonde to the rescue! The coverage of these cushions are crazy!
As I said above, the texture of both cushions are slightly different, but both boast very high coverage with a brightening effect. What I find this does is also make the base look a little lighter than is flattering. In person, it is less noticeable. But in pictures, you can clearly see the white cast. I also found the formula heavy. For some reason, I think the earlier version of the Mamonde Cover Powder Cushion was better.
In these before-after pictures, I’m wearing the Mamonde Brightening Cover Watery Cushion in Shade #21N.
The coverage is high, and it all but covers any blemishes or imperfections on my skin. But it also makes it look a little more flat. You may see some dewiness coming through. This is the Watery Cushion, and it is supposed to look more “glowy”. In person, it looks “wet”. I’d powder it down, because it really does look like I’m just sweating through my base.
In the following picture, I’m using the Mamonde Brightening Cover Watery Cushion in the same Shade #21N.
The shade looks more natural in this one, I think you’d agree. It also has a more matte finish, without that dewy shine.
I do find that after a while, both versions had a tendency to settle into lines. This might be because it is so thick, that you will notice it. The trick of course, is to use very little, and spread it out so you only get a thin layer on your skin. That way, the settling will be less obvious. If you layer the product you will find that it quickly looks unnatural. It also seems to cover up any natural glow you have in your skin, and doesn’t have that transparency and natural appearance that I find in brands like Hera, Sulwhasoo or Shiseido. Those brands offer coverage too, but it looks far more natural and therefore more flattering. After quite a number of hours, I found that it felt heavy on my skin. I know there’s foundation on it, and I just want to wash it off. That sort of feeling.
Shade selection is fairly poor at this point in time, since they are primarily based in Korea for now, with only a new foray out into the global market now. There are 3 shades available #17, 21 and 23 for very light, light and light medium skintones. They did expand it a little by offering 21N, 23N and 23N, 21C for yellow and pink skin tones respectively. But to me, there isn’t very much difference, as the range of colour is still limited. Anything deeper, I’m afraid you’d have to go to elsewhere for your cushions.
I found that there was a strong scent of alcohol in this that I dislike. Perhaps it isn’t, but it was that strong chemical scent that you associate with alcohol. Not floral at all, which surprised me as the previous one smelled floral.
Do I like this?
Not really. I find it too heavy in terms of texture, and too unnatural looking on the skin. The coverage is very good, which is something in its favour. But otherwise, I find the shade a little off, too brightening to be unnatural. It just doesn’t feel as refined as many other cushions I’ve tried (and I’ve tried quite a few!) and that is rather unfortunate, for this is affordable.
IN A NUTSHELL
The Mamonde Brightening Cover Watery Cushion and Brightening Cover Powder Cushion has SPF50+ PA+++ and is good if you want a higher coverage cushion foundation in an affordable, well made compact. The shade selection is very small, tending to the lighter end of the skintone spectrum, but the coverage is nothing short of amazing to the extent of being a little too high. I do find it settles into fine lines if you pile it on, but if you wear a very thin layer, it’s not a bad product. However, the trick would be to find the right shade, for I find the shades in these Brightening Cover ranges a little too bright and light. The Watery Cushion I find too glowy for my liking. If I were to choose, I’d pick the Brightening Cover Powder Cushion because the shade is less stark against the skin, and its semi-matte finish looks better too.
PROS: Evens out skintone very well, Mid to high coverage depending on how much you use, Easy to use, Not drying nor oily, High sunscreen protection, Portable packaging
CONS: Chemical scent, Can look heavy and cakey on skin if you layer too much, Shades are half a shade too bright on skin, Texture feels heavy on skin, Watery Cushion is too “dewy” on skin
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who wants a higher coverage cushion foundation, Anyone who wants a well packaged cushion with good coverage at an affordable price
PRICE: RM90 | US$36 for a box containing 1 case & 1 refill. Prices will vary depending on where you buy from as it is available on many different websites as well
WHERE TO BUY: Mamonde counters, various websites or Korean sites if you know where to look, Ulta (shade names are different)
If you’re interested, here is the ingredient list for the Brightening Cover Watery Cushion:-
I don’t have the ingredient list for the Brightening Cover Powder Cushion.
Have you tried these Mamonde cushions or the previous Mamonde cushion?
I can’t deny that I like the price tag. It’s so affordable for something that you can just try to see if you like it. While these aren’t for me, I’d like to know if you tried and liked them. Maybe I’m using them wrong LOL! 😀
More cushion foundations can be found in this category.