Welcome friends, to Day 2 of Cushion Foundation Week on My Women Stuff!
This has been the new wave of foundations to hit our counters, popularised by Korean brands and formulations, so I wanted to keep it all in one place. What I’ll be doing over the next few days, will be to tell you what I think of the cushion foundation from a particular brand, and suspending all other regular programmes. The remaining cushion foundations will be from the Western brands, because that’s what I have on hand. At the end of the 5 days, I’ll do a quick round up with some general thoughts, and also tell you what I think about cushion foundations in general so look out for it then.
Today’s cushion foundation from a western brand, was one of the first I had the opportunity to try, a few weeks before its release, and it’s just become available at counters not very long ago. It’s the Bobbi Brown Cushion Foundation and I’m pretty impressed by the wide spectrum of shades it comes in! 6 shades!
Cushion Foundation: Bobbi Brown Cushion Foundation
I was a little surprised when I first found out that Bobbi Brown was coming out with a cushion foundation. If I’m to be honest, Bobbi Brown isn’t exactly at the forefront of innovative makeup (sorry, BB fans!) but I suppose that with all the Korean brands already available in the market, they had to get on the bandwagon or be left behind! It was nice to see BB get in quick and early.
According to Felix Nguyen, makeup artist for Bobbi Brown, this cushion foundation fared very well with the ladies in Korea, much to everyone’s surprise! Apparently, it sits very well on their skin and gives them the lovely Korean glow that everyone strives for. I’ve also read that this Bobbi Brown Cushion Foundation is an Asia-exclusive but I’m unable to confirm this.
Sunscreen protection : SPF50 PA+++
Cushion foundations are sometimes marketed as skincare or tinted sunscreen, because of the high sunscreen protection it offers. This cushion offers SPF50 and PA+++ sun protection that is very high and broad-spectrum, and perfect for where I live. I however, use this on top of regular sunscreen, not as a replacement for it. I’m kiasu that way 🙂
The Packaging & Refills
The Bobbi Brown Cushion Foundation comes as only 1 product – a case with the refill and a sponge. There is no refill offered in the same box, although you can buy refills separately.
The refills resemble coffee capsules ala Nespresso capsules, which is apparently a nod to one of the ingredients, which is caffeine. It however, comes with a new sponge. The cover of the cushion is therefore attached to the case, which is, I believe the only cushion foundation designed in this manner. This has pissed off purists, but I like to think that it’s a case of an “inspired by” cushion foundation as opposed to being a strict cushion foundation in itself.
The first odd thing you may notice when you peel off the seal of the cushion, is how white the cushion is. Unlike most cushion foundations that are pre-soaked with foundation, Bobbi Brown has not done so. Instead, what I was told is that the cushion “floats” on top of the liquid foundation, which is at the bottom of the cushion (are you still counting the number of times I’ve said “cushion”?)
As it isn’t pre-soaked, I do find that it feels a little stiff. What you are supposed to do, is to lightly press on the cushion, which will then prompt the foundation to flow and saturate the cushion (that’s what the hole is for) and transfer to your sponge. What this does, is to allow you to control the foundation – how much product or how little you want it.
The other reason, I was told, is that this way, the cushion foundation does not dry out as quickly as they normally do. Personally, I find that it’s just a little strange, and makes it look messy each time you use it, as the colour will spread and stain the pristine white sponge. It just feels a little weird.
The Sponge Puff
The sponge puff applicator has a slightly rubbery feel like that of a traditional Korean cushion foundation. However, unlike the Iope one, I find that this sponge absorbs the foundation a little too readily, by comparison.
Like all cushion foundations, slip your fingers through the band on the sponge, press it lightly on the surface of the cushion and then, PAT the product on your skin. You may notice how the product that is picked up is a little thicker and creamier in texture. This was just 1 light pat on the cushion.
While I’m a big advocate of using the sponge puff for cushion foundations, the formula of this particular foundation lends itself quite readily to using a brush applicator. This again, pisses off purists, because that’s NOT the point of a cushion foundation! Yet, a brush does work a LOT better in terms of application and ease of use.
Texture, Coverage & Finish
I found the texture of this Bobbi Brown Cushion Foundation a little thicker than I expected. It resembles a cream foundation more than a traditional, lightweight Korean style cushion foundation. So, with this thicker texture, I expected better coverage, but was a little disappointed to find that the coverage is light.
While low coverage, it does even out skintone quite naturally, although it doesn’t do very much for pigmentation or blemishes. I can follow up with a concealer if I want to.
When it first goes on skin, I find it a little “wet” in that it gives skin a lot more glow than I prefer (I have normal-dry skin and live in a hot, humid climate) so I am wont to look a little shiny. However, I learned that if I did what I usually do, and apply some powder over, my skin feels very dry and uncomfortable through the day.
It was then that I noticed that while this starts out a little glowy, it settles down on skin to a more natural, semi-matte finish. So, by adding powder, I was only drying out my skin further. Left on its own, it felt more comfortable as the day wore on. Here is an idea of how it looks in a before-after photo using Bobbi Brown Cushion Foundation in Porcelain.
Coverage is low, as I’ve pointed out, but it does even out the skintone somewhat. I find Porcelain a little light. Yet, the next shade up, Extra Light, is a little warm. So what I probably need, is the same shade I wear in the Serum Foundation, Warm Porcelain, a half shade up from Porcelain.
I’ve worn this a few times, and while I will continue wearing it, I’m not in love with it. I find the texture a little too heavy, and feels a little heavier on my skin than I like. I have enjoyed using the other Bobbi Brown foundations, so this puzzles me somewhat. But perhaps a brush makes it feel better 🙂
The shade selection in this range is fairly good, with there being 6 shades released presently to cover the skintone spectrum from light to dark (if you’re tanned or have a deeper skintone, rejoice!). I’m told they expect more shades to be released in future. However, I did find that the shades tend to run a little yellow and warm, so it would be best to test it out in person if you can.
Here are swatches of the shades I have – Porcelain and Light – in the Cushion Foundation swatched alongside other Bobbi Brown foundations so you have an idea.
Porcelain is for the very fair, and has a slight pink tone. Light is 2 shades up (there’s an Extra Light in between) which has a significant yellow/warm tone. I do find the shades to be a bit of a problem, so I suggest testing out in person before pulling the trigger. As compared to the other shades I have, Porcelain is closest to Warm Porcelain in the Serum Foundation.
Update: Here are all 6 shades of the Bobbi Brown Cushion Foundation swatched on my arm.
Porcelain as you can see, is best suited for my skin tone. The other shades are varying degrees of warmth, and I do find that Medium and Medium to Dark are a bit orange-based, so I do strongly suggest that you check it out in person and get properly colour matched if you want their cushion foundation. That said, 6 shades is pretty impressive!
Yes, there is a rather strong lavender scent which is similar to that in the Serum Foundation. Not unpleasant, but fairly strong, so I’m sometimes taken aback when I open the compact.
Do I like this?
I’m not sure if I like this. I think they put a lot of thought into the cushion, but at the same time, I don’t think the creamier formula used lends itself as well to a cushion foundation. I also find it a little more glowy than I like, albeit a little sheerer than expected as well. I think it works better with a brush, but then, cushion foundations aren’t supposed to be used with brushes and therein lies the conundrum!
IN A NUTSHELL
The Bobbi Brown Cushion Foundation has a slightly creamer texture and works well with a brush, which rather goes against the grain of cushion foundations! The sponge puff is of decent quality although it does absorb product a little. The cushion for the foundation does not come pre-soaked, which is supposed to keep it moist for longer and to allow us to control the amount of product we use. I again find that a little bit of an anti-thesis to a cushion foundation which is supposed to be quick. The texture goes on skin a little glowy but settles to a semi-matte finish so I recommend wearing it on its own. I don’t think this is a winner, but it’s a decent foundation.
PROS: Easily available, Creamy but light texture, Evens out skintone, Easy to use, Gives skin a glowy effect, High sunscreen protection, Portable packaging, Works with a brush as well, Refills available separately, Fairly wide shade selection even for deeper skintones
CONS: Pricey, Low coverage, Scented, Texture is a bit creamy and feels a little heavy on my skin, Cushion does not come pre-soaked and may not sit well with everyone, Refill does not come with a cover as that’s attached to the case
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who prefers a creamier foundation formula, Anyone who prefers using a brush with their foundations
PRICE: RM185 (case + refill) Refill available separately at RM145 each – 6 shades available Porcelain, Extra Light, Light, Light to Medium, Medium, Medium to Dark
AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown counters and stores – Possibly exclusive to Asia for now
If you’re interested in what’s in there, here’s the ingredient list
Does this western Cushion Foundation intrigue you? Have you checked it out?
I’d be interested to know what you think if you’ve tried this, or if you are a cushion user and have tested this and how you feel it compares to other cushions you have. I’m not quite sold on this, rather unfortunately. But I suppose that’s just how it is 🙂 Onwards in Cushion Foundation Week!
More cushion foundations can be found in this category.
16 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
ML Chan says
“Personally, I find that it’s just a little strange, and makes it look messy each time you use it, as the colour will spread and stain the pristine white sponge”
Is this your OCD speaking? 🙂
Paris B says
Hahah not that OCD but it doesn’t look that nice la, right? 😛
ML Chan says
Haha! It’s OK. You’re talking to another OCD nut 😉
Hmm, I haven’t try this yet – I have to travel across the South China Sea to get Bobbi Brown products or get them delivered :'(
I like Bobbi Brown foundations and face powder as the shades available are good match for my skin tone … but when it comes to Asian-trend products, sadly not quite satisfying so I’m afraid of this product might be another disappointment 🙁
From your review, I think I will be happy with the shade and I like how they sold the case and the refill as one (I don’t have to do the refill myself for first time, yay!) I also like the coverage from your after picture – I like light to medium coverage so people will not so surprise with my bare face, hehe. But I’m worry about getting the product to the sponge -I’m pretty terrible using sponge. So, I’m curious on how did you get the foundation using brush?
Maybe I’ll stick with my Stick Foundation and loose/pressed powder for now. Korean-trend products usually don’t agree with me LOL
Paris B says
Oh, boo to no Bobbi! I know what a big fan you are 🙁 Hopefully when you are next in town, you can check it out! Actually you won’t have a problem getting the product onto the sponge. Just press on the cushion and it’ll transfer 😀 But to use a foundation brush, do the same. Press the foundation brush on the surface of the cushion and then apply to your face. But you know what? Just do that with your regular liquid foundation la – same thing LOL! 😉
I hope you’ll cover YSL and Biotherm cushions! I’ve tried the Biotherm one at the counter and it seems good!
Paris B says
Hey Jasmine, unfortunately I won’t be covering those two 🙁 Not this time anyway. I don’t have the Biotherm one (didn’t even know it existed!) and as we don’t have YSL here, it’s also not something I can get my hands on easily. I have read some glowing reviews on the YSL one though!
Hi Paris, I have the same issue too about the coverage. I find that the coverage is too low for my liking. I’d prefer something that gives me enough coverage to skip concealer (morning rush). Have you heard about the super popular April Skin Cushion ? I’ve seen many rave reviews online and on YouTube. I’m so tempted to place an order like ASAP. LOL
Paris B says
Hiya! I hadn’t heard about April Skin until I started this series and a friend mentioned it on Instagram! I don’t pay a lot of attention to Korean makeup, hence it flew under my radar 🙂 If I’m feeling the itch one day, I might give it a go – see how it goes 🙂
Hey Paris, it’s interesting that you find this texture heavy. I actually thought it’s quite lightweight. I use the sponge provided, and don’t use that much product. I don’t need much coverage on my skin, so this does nicely to even out my skin tone. I like to use it on its own without powder because I love the dewiness it gives without being too glowy, but when I’m out in the sun more, I do like to set it with powder around my T-zone 🙂
Paris B says
Hey Lily, good to know that this works for you! I guess it all depends on what we prefer in terms of texture and coverage. I did find this heavier than some of the others, and more creamy. But the shades selection could be improved on, that’s for sure!
Mandy McMullin says
I cannot stand the idea of any cushion foundation made by any brand. It is a great way to market a minimal amount of product for a very high price. I’m not surprised everyone’s jumping on board in a hurry to make their version.
I also hate the thought of pushing a sponge into foundation and placing it on my skin and then, placing the sponge back into the product with the added extra bacteria that resides naturally on my skin. Just disgusting!
It can be as hygienic as you want it or it can be a cesspool of germs if you want it. I personally use clean fingers to tap into the cushion. One clean finger each time. By the time I’ve reached my 5th or 6th, I’m done. So, with a little creativity and thinking outside of the box, one can actually utilise the product without being constrained by what’s advised by the instruction booklet.
You’d actually be surprised by how much product there is in one sponge (and then there’s the refill that comes with it). Even with regular touchups, my compact has lasted me for months.
I personally don’t see how say, a keyboard is grittier and dirtier than this. And how often do we absent-mindedly touch our faces while working away at our desks?
Paris B says
Well, the Korean wave is certainly going global, so it’s not surprising that brands are quick to jump on the latest trends to capture their niche 🙂 I realise that many people have hygiene as an issue. But I suppose it’s a matter of personal preference with these things. I don’t think it’s very much more different than a cream compact or powder compact that comes with a sponge. It can be washed out quite easily. Either way, I think it’s an interesting trend – I just don’t know how long it’ll last!
I do agree with you that Bobbi Brown cushion gives very low coverage but I am using it because it perfectly matches my skin tone (my skin tone is more to Medium).
I have been using Bobbi Brown for a long time now so I am glad they decided to jump on the cushion foundation bandwagon.
Previously I have tried April Skin Cushion and loved the medium to full coverage it offers but I had to ditch it because my husband said I look like a ghost.
With only 3 shades I chose the darkest (#23 Natural Beige) from April Skin Cushion which isn’t dark at all.
I fell in love with cushion foundation when I first used April Skin because it is cheap ($15 on Amazon, I got it when my friend came back from the United States) and my skin actually looks flawless just by using it alone (I’m a mother of two small kids and I need a quick fix before I go out instead of using three different makeup items stick foundation, liquid foundation, and loose powder to get me an even finish).
I have small pores, scares, and blemish and April Skin covered all that and that is what I am looking for in a cushion foundation.
If I can I’m going to try Missha M Magic Cushion ($9 on Amazon, there is a picture review on Amazon for Missha M Magic No.23) but I will try their darker shade no.27as it boast simillarity to IOPE Cushion.
Paris B says
Hiya! The one good thing to have come out of the Western brand cushions is their wider shade selection, which allows deeper skintones to wear cushion foundations too! That was always the problem with the Korean brands, their shades are far too light and limited. Thanks for letting me know the April Skin cushion is a good one. I hadn’t heard about it before but I’m now definitely curious! It’s not expensive either, so it’s a bonus 😉 Have you tried layering a slightly warmer powder over the light base? While I can’t promise it’ll help, it might help you wear it at least, without looking too ghostly 🙂