We’re on Day 6 and the final day of Cushion Foundation Week 3! I know I did say Cushion Foundation WEEK = 7 Days. I guess it still is a week because there’s a round-up coming up tomorrow LOL! If you missed the whole shebang, find them all here!
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.
I thought it fitting to round off Cushion Foundation Week 3 with the brand that made me love a cushion compact foundation – Sulwhasoo. It was also the one bringing up the rear in Cushion Foundation Week 2 and I felt it was just fitting that this rounds off this marathon week of blog posts!
Why feature a product I love again? Was it just for the sake of featuring it? Well, no. Sulwhasoo has upgraded their cushion foundation formula, and have replaced their cushions with this new Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion EX. It was just launched early this year, 2018.
Naturally, my biggest concern wasn’t about what was new in it, but whether it would be as good as its predecessor! Sometimes, all this upgrading and revamping of products really screw with my mind! 😛
Cushion Foundation: Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion EX SPF50+ PA+++
The first thing to notice would be the upgraded packaging for one. It is hard to ignore the elegance of the new packaging, with its pale gold accents, and the imprint of flowers on the cover of the case. The case has a pearlescent golden glow to it, that makes it look at once expensive, indulgent and luxurious. Imagine pulling this case out for a quick makeup check or touch up. It certainly draws the eye.
The second thing is that the sponge now comes etched with the brand name on it. I thought it was interesting. Were people putting sponges from other brands into Sulwhasoo packaging? Either way, it is also an innovative touch, and one that may eventually trickle down into other sub-brands. Sulwhasoo is after all one of the pearls in Amore Pacific’s crown.
Importantly, has the formula changed? Is it still the lightweight base with good coverage that I so enjoyed using before?
Yes it is! Hurrah!
I told you before about the Perfecting Cushion Brightening, but I later acquired the Perfecting Cushion, that has slightly better coverage than the Brightening version, and is also less glowy. This one is that version – a semi-matte finish on skin, that is at once lightweight, yet with good coverage that allows your natural skin to shine through. I’ve taken to bringing a cushion foundation when I travel and I always seem to automatically reach for the Sulwhasoo one because I just know that it will offer me very little fuss, while delivering the results I want. I’m off on another little trip soon, and there are no prizes for guessing which cushion foundation is going with me! This truly is at another level.
Sunscreen protection : SPF50+ PA+++
This has the same high SPF rating as before, and you can use it for touch ups if you like. But I do find that my base doesn’t fade off through the day, so I don’t really need touch ups. Also, the coverage is pretty decent, and touching up might pile on more product that looks natural.
The Packaging & Refills
The Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion EX comes in a box with the case, a refill, and an extra sealed refill. Of all the cushions I’ve featured this week, this is the only one that offers the extra refill, which adds value. Unlike most cushions that come with a white plastic sheet protecting the cushion, this Sulwhasoo one comes with a piece of thick, embossed gold foil. It looks super lux!
Refill packs are quite normal for a mid-high end Korean brand cushion. The compact feels thinner than its previous version but still has a good heft.
The case is like a donut with a cover, so you clip the refill into place and it fits nicely without any rattling. I find that the cover clips and stays shut and it is otherwise just a well-constructed compact. A point to note is that with this new version of the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion EX, its refills do not fit older cases, and vice versa. So, if you have the previous version of the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion and just want to upgrade the clip-in refill, you can’t. You’ll have to buy a brand new set. But in this instance, I think you won’t mind it – the case is beautiful.
The cushion for the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion EX is a flat porous sponge that is now etched with the brand name on its surface. The cushion is dense and firm, and seems to hold the product well. I do find that I have to press the sponge into the cushion a little to pick up product, but due to the texture of the product, you don’t need that much each time, so it isn’t a problem for me. The cushion isn’t oversaturated with product, just nicely saturated.
The Sponge Puff
The sponge puff applicator is of the same high quality construction as before. It picks up product easily and deposits it easily on skin, making it easy to pat and spread product. It is also pliable so it gets into crevasses easily. For best effect, use the sponge puff. It really does give a better, more even application.
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.
I find that the density of the puff surface is such that it doesn’t absorb the product too quickly, and the texture of the product is such that I can cover about 1/3 to 1/2 of my face with just 1 dab of cushion foundation. I then go over the areas where I want better coverage. This actually makes application faster and more even than with multiple dabs of product.
Texture, Coverage & Finish
Ah, this reminds me again why I love the texture and finish of the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cusion EX. It is lightweight on skin, with very good coverage, yet it looks natural. It is transparent enough to allow your skin to shine through, yet it is opaque enough to cover minor blemishes.
It evens out redness in skin, and does it all with just one dab of the sponge. No need to go back and forth, layering product. It just looks good the minute it goes on the skin.
I do notice however, that it does feel a little more tacky going on, compared to Shiseido cushions. The Shiseido cushions have an almost powdery finish once it’s settled. The Sulwhasoo one remains slightly tacky to the touch, although visually, it still looks natural. You can set it a little with powder if you like, and Sulwhasoo now makes a Powder For Cushion as well, that serves this purpose. But really, you can set it with any product you own.
I have no problems with longevity. I do have drier skin, and there is nothing about this cushion that emphasises pores, nor does it settle into any fine lines. It doesn’t catch on any dry bits of skin, and considering that I was testing this one while sick, reinforces how good it is. It literally makes my dull post-illness skin look almost alive and glowing again!
In these before-after pictures, I’m wearing the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion EX in Shade #21 .
I find the shade to be natural, and it blends well with my skin tone. It covers up redness and dullness of skin well, and gives it a little glow. It also is opaque enough that it conceals some of my pigmentation. I can get away without wearing concealer, unless I want a very flawless appearance.
Here is how it looks once I have the rest of my makeup on.
I have on brows, blush and a bright lip. A bright lip makes life easy because I don’t have to fuss around too much with eye makeup and the like LOL! But I think this gives you an idea of how a base looks, as the building block for the rest of your makeup. When you get it right, everything else just falls into place. That’s why it’s called a “base” 😀
For a more flawless finish, use this trick that I teach you here using a light hand and thin layers, to create a beautiful, flawless base that looks and feels natural and looks great all day!
Shade selection has been improved! So internationally, Sulwhasoo now boasts 10 shades, while locally, there are 8 shades available – No. 11 Porcelain (Pink), 15 Ivory (Pink), 17 Ivory (Beige), 21 Natural (Pink), 23 Natural (Beige), 25 Sand (Pink), 27 (Sand (Beige), 33 Honey (Beige). Internationally, there are another 2 shades No. 31 Honey (Pink) and 37 Amber (beige). The Beige and Pink references refer to pink tones and beige tones, so pink tones will add a brighter accent, while beige tones will make it look more natural.
As before, if you have a deeper skin tone, Sulwhasoo is where you should be to test your cushion foundation. It helps that it is a good formula and performs very well, so you are in good hands!
Yes, there is a slight scent that isn’t ginseng like the rest of the range LOL! It is slightly floral but not unpleasant and not too strong so it dissipates. If you’re sensitive to fragrance in skin products then be wary.
Do I like this?
Yes I do. Very much so. I like that it offers a good coverage, while maintaining a very natural appearance on my skin. I like that it is just like a foundation, but without the heaviness associated with wearing foundation. It is very lightweight on skin, and the compact makes it so portable and easy to use while on the go. This is a perfect travel workhorse, and you don’t have to mess about with bottles of liquid foundation.
But I also know what you’re wondering. Is this any better than the Shiseido Cushion or the Shiseido Brightening cushion that I shared earlier this week? To be honest, it is very close. For me, they perform slightly different functions. The Shiseido ones are very much like foundation. So, if I wanted something a little more flawless, with good longevity, I’d go for the Shiseido ones. But if I wanted something that is a little more transparent, a little more natural to look at, then I’d go with the Sulwhasoo. It really comes down to a look you prefer, or a look you are going for. This Sulwhasoo isn’t as high in coverage as the Shiseido, but to me, it makes my skin look more like skin. I also like that the Sulwhasoo comes with an extra refill pack because that adds value. With the Shiseido, it does look like you have a base on, and it also saves you on powdering, as it dries to a velvety-powder finish without feeling tacky.
But really, I can’t choose between the Shiseido or this Sulwhasoo cushion. As I said, they both serve different purposes for me, and ultimately, it will come down to the finish you prefer 🙂
IN A NUTSHELL
The Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion EX SPF50+ PA+++ is as impressive as its predecessor, and I like it very much. It is very lightweight on skin, with colour that adheres well, and is a good match for my skin tone. I find that it is opaque, yet transparent enough to look natural. It isn’t cakey nor does it settle into lines and pores. I do find that it is a little tacky, but a little powder helps settle that. I have no problem with longevity nor fading, and it remains looking good on my skin even after long hours. Not as impressive as the Shiseido, but still impressive. It does make your skin look much better than it already is, all while being very natural, which is a big bonus.
PROS: Lightweight texture feels light on skin, Evens out skintone very naturally, Medium coverage depending on how much you use, Easy to use, Has a semi-matte finish on skin with a glow that is not too shiny, Not drying nor oily, High sunscreen protection, Portable packaging, Comes with a refill which makes it value for money
CONS: Scented, Finish can feel a little tacky although it dries down after a while
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who likes using cushion foundations, Anyone who is new to using cushion foundations, Anyone who wants a higher coverage cushion foundation that gives a beautiful smooth and flawless finish on skin
PRICE: RM230 | US$60 for a box containing 1 case & 2 refills. Prices will vary depending on where you buy from as it is available on many different global websites
WHERE TO BUY: Sulwhasoo counters and various other websites or Korean sites if you know where to look
If you’re interested in what’s in there, here’s the ingredient list for the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion EX, painstakingly typed after squinting at font 4 sized text in compressed Arial font. Gah! My eyes!
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide (CI77891), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Titanium Dioxide, Phenyl Trimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Niacinamade, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Glycerin, Propanediol, Iron Oxides (CI77492), Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate/Dimethicone Methacrylate Copolymer, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Aluminium Hydroxide, Trimethyoxysilicate, Sodium Chloride, MethylMethacrylatecrosspolymer, Stearic Acid, Triethoxycaprylsilane, Fragrance, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Butylene Glycol , Iron Oxides (CI77491), Lecithin, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Isopropyl Palmitaye, Isostearic Acid, Polysorbate 80, Capryl Glycol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Lilium Canddum Bulb Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Polygonatum Officinale Rhizome/Root Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Iron Oxides (CI77499), Disodium EDTA, Adenosine, Acrylates/VP Copolymer, Honey, Pheoxyethanol, Alcohol, Beta-Glucan, Sodium Hyaluronate
Have you tried the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion EX or its predecessor?
I said before that I never quite understood the appeal of cushion foundations, until I met Sulwhasoo. Now, it seems like the world of cushions have caught up, but Sulwhasoo is pulling out, just edging ahead of the competition. Not many brands I’ve tried so far have offered coverage, and transparency in one package. It is usually one or the other. Well, until Sulwhasoo that is. They truly are the leaders for me in the cushion foundation world.
More cushion foundations can be found in this category.