You made it! I made it! Yay! We’re on Day 7 and the final day of Cushion Foundation Week 2 (The K-Beauty Edition)! If you missed the whole shebang, find them all here and look out for the round up tomorrow!
Naturally, I will not have ALL the brands in the market for this head to head comparisons – Korean brands aren’t all that generous at providing samples, unlike the Western brands I worked with before this – but I have enough to take you through 7 (yes, count that) SEVEN days of Cushion Foundations. This time, we will have a whole WEEK of cushions and then on Day 8 (if I have not yet collapsed from exhaustion), I’ll give you a round up, and on Day 9 (Yes, I’ve thought this through) I’ll do you a quick comparison of Korean vs Western brand cushions based on what I’ve tested so far. Whew! There’s a lot to get through so, fasten your seatbelts, here we go!
The 7th and final day of Cushion Foundation Week 2 (the K-Beauty edition) features the cushion foundation that convinced me that cushion foundations could have coverage, offer a lovely glow to the skin and be perfectly convenient. It is the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion which comes in 2 formula – Perfecting Cushion and Perfecting Cushion Brightening.
I had been told before this that the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion was very good, and that I had to try it if I could. I bought it for a friend who had heard the same things, and she wasn’t sold on it as compared to Iope. So, as we tended to share similar tastes in bases, I decided not to try it too. But I received the Perfecting Cushion Brightening in the special limited edition packaging that you see here, in a press gift bag one day, and eventually gave it a go. I was blown away! 😀
Cushion Foundation: Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening SPF50+ PA+++
Mine is in the special limited edition peach blossom packaging that Sulwhasoo released some time this year. The regular packaging boasts a white case. The Perfecting Cushion Brightening is supposed to offer a more brightening effect to your skin when you use this. Some people had warned me that this is why they did not like the Brightening version as much, because it could tend to look too glowy i.e. shiny.
It was with not a little trepidation that I tried it, and I have to say that I like this one very much! Yes, it is a little glowy and makes your skin look a little brighter (fairer), but it isn’t unnatural and it isn’t shiny, like you’re quietly sweating. It is a luminous sort of glow that makes your skin look very good, and it isn’t as obvious nor as fake as the April Skin version.
The other thing I liked was the coverage. I first tested the cushion at an event, where instead of cleansing my skin to remove my makeup as most people would, the makeup artist lightly dabbed some of the cushion over my existing base. The effect surprised me. My skin looked immediately refreshed, luminous and dewy. I later used it on bare skin and was just as impressed with how it looked! But this cushion is amazing for touch ups.
It really was the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening that made me warm up to using cushion foundation, and it helped me understand why it is so popular for touch ups. I love the Hera UV Mist Cushion, but I love this Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion just as much. This was the base product I took with me on my Summer trip to Paris, and it was perfect for travelling. I’m in fact planning to try the regular version instead of the Brightening one!
Sunscreen protection : SPF50+ PA+++
I’m not sure why I kept this section in, because all Korean Cushion foundations come with high SPF rating. That said, if you’re using a cushion foundation in place of sunscreen, come, let me smack you 😛
However, what is good about cushion foundations, is their portability and lightweight texture, like this one, so you can use it as a touch up for your sunscreen through the day, or to touch up your makeup in the afternoons after it’s faded off a little. The lightweight texture feels comfortable, and the light-medium coverage means you can boost your base makeup, if you have to, for the evenings.
As I’ve noted, many Korean brand cushion foundations use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in their ingredients which are physical UV blockers. These are my preferred choice of UV protection and I’m happy to see them in this one as well.
The Packaging & Refills
The Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening comes in a box with a sealed refill and sponge. Quite normal for a mid-high end Korean brand cushion. The compact is a little thick with a nice heft. Mine is the limited edition packaging with is very pretty and I believe Sulwhasoo has these limited edition packaging from time to time. The regular packaging is a plain white.
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. Sulwhasoo is part of the gigantic Amore Pacific brand umbrella, and I have found that their refills fit the cases for Hera, Iope and even Mamonde. I like this flexibility because it means you can just buy refills if you can get them (you can’t here in Malaysia for Sulwhasoo unfortunately, but refills are sold separately in Korea and Singapore, I’m told)
The cushion for the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening is fairly traditional, being the flat porous sponge that we have seen from the start. The cushion is dense and firm, and seems to hold the product well. I find it very similar to the Hera UV Mist Cushion which is unsurprising as I believe they are both in the mid-high end range. 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. I’ve been using this one quite a while and quite often, and while the surface is a little drier now than when it was new, there’s still product in there. You just have to press down a little more. What I like even better is that even though you press your sponge into the cushion, there’s no overflow and it doesn’t get messy. The cushion isn’t oversaturated with product, just nicely saturated.
The Sponge Puff
Again, this was a category I kept in from the previous Cushion Foundation Week series, and I’m not sure why, because the Koreans know their sponge puff applicators! This Sulwhasoo one is no exception. I will tell you right here right now, that for best effect, ALWAYS USE THE SPONGE PUFF!
The Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening puff has a brown-beige base which sort of blends with the foundation, so you can’t really see how well used it is LOL! Clever! 😀 Mine is quite well used but you can’t tell can you? It is a little soft, but with a surface density that has a nice bounce on the skin.
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 (you can see this is just 1 dab) 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.
Like the Laneige BB Cushion and Hera cushion, 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
This is where the cushion foundation war for my affections was won. The texture of Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening is so lightweight, yet it offers very good coverage right off the sponge. This is unlike Mamonde or April Skin, both of which I could feel on my skin. This one, like Hera, feels like nothing on. Yet, as you dab the puff on your skin, you notice it looking better and better.
The Brightening in the name tells you that this offers a more luminous effect than the regular Perfecting Cushion. I will have to try that some day (if I do, I’ll do you a comparison) but I have no basis for comparison now. Yet, despite the promise of luminosity and glow, it doesn’t look oily on your skin. It really does make you look luminous and glowy and natural, without the heaviness of makeup. I find that it does not have that awful tacky feeling associated with most brightening formula. In fact, even if I don’t set it, like Hera, it doesn’t feel sticky nor heavy. It just feels like you’re wearing nothing, yet when you look in the mirror, you maybe thankful for having SOMETHING on 😀
In many ways, I find Hera and Sulwhasoo similar in their cushion foundations. They both have the same high-end feel, where the product feels much more refined on your skin than the others I’ve been showing you. They are both also lightweight, yet offer good coverage on skin, and they both look good as the day wears on.
In these before-after pictures, I’m wearing the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening in Shade #C21 .
I love the coverage, which is medium, yet transparent, if there’s such a thing. It isn’t thick or cakey on skin, and it covers up redness and evens out my skin tone, but also allows my natural skin to come through. Pigmentation or blemish marks aren’t covered 100%, but enough that I’m comfortable with them, so it looks very natural.
If I layer on product, it just looks better. Not heavy, not unnatural, not fake. This has a lot of the same accolades I have shared about Hera UV Mist Cushion. The reason I picked Hera as my No. 1 favourite, was simply because I feel it looks that smidge better when I wear it. I don’t know if it’s because this Sulwhasoo one is the Brightening version, and if the regular Perfecting Cushion might pip Hera to the post. But either way, these are both AMAZING cushion foundations that I think are worth every penny.
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 is much better improved compared to Hera because Sulwhasoo has a more global reach as a brand. So, they come in 7 shades #11, 13, 17, 21, 23, 25 and 33. I believe it also comes in only 1 formula so no differentiation between C for Cover and N for Natural like Hera, or any other formula. I had a look at the deeper shades #25 and 33 at the Sulwhasoo counter, and I think it could suit up to deeper medium skintones so if you have a deeper skintone and want to try a good quality cushion foundation that I truly love using, Sulwhasoo is where you have to be at!
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 this primarily because I have access to it locally and can therefore check it out in person and try it to get my proper shade, instead of playing some sort of lottery online. I like it because it is a high quality foundation that makes my skin look amazing with lovely coverage and texture. This was the first cushion that I truly appreciated and enjoyed enough to tote around with me on holidays and for touch ups. It helped me understand that cushion foundations can be awesome as well as liquid foundations. Until I tried Hera UV Mist Cushion, this was my favourite cushion foundation. But they are close. VERY CLOSE! 😀
IN A NUTSHELL
Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening SPF50+ PA+++ is very impressive and helped put me on the track to try Korean cushion foundations. They have a wider shade range with shades for up to medium toned skin, which is very impressive. I love the lightweight texture and formula that looks and feels natural on skin. The brightening effect can make skin look a little more glowy than I like, but it is a gentle luminosity that flatters, instead of make you look oily and sweaty. It is fairly long lasting and makes me skin look amazing. Definitely one to keep!
PROS: Lightweight texture feels featherlight on skin, Evens out skintone very naturally, Low to 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, Colour of sponge puff doesn’t make it look so grubby quickly
CONS: Scented, Some people may not like the sponge for application or hygiene purposes, I don’t mind, Sponge feels a little small
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: RM210 | US$52-65 for a box containing 1 case & 2 refills. Prices will vary depending on where you buy from as it is available on many different 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
Glycyrrhiza Uralensis (Licorice) Root Extract, Zinc Oxide (CI77947), Phenyl Trimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Titanium Dioxide (CI77891), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Butylene Clycol, Butylene Clycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Arbutin, Water, Cethyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Sorbitan Isostearate, Sodium Chloride, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate/Dimethicone Methacrylate Copolymer, Polymethul Methacrylate, Aluminium Hydroxide, Mica (CI77019), Polysilicone-11, Stearic Acid, Disteardimonium Hectorite, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Triethoxycaprylsilane, Glycerine, Capryl Glycol, Pheoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Alcohol, Disonium EDTA, Adenosine, Mother of Pearl, Sodium Hyaluronate, Silica, Propanediol, 1,2-Jexanediol, Nelumbo Nucifera Seed Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Liuum Tigrinum Flower/Stem Extract, Rehmannia Glutinosa Root Extract, Polygonatum Officinale Rhizome/Root Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Honey, Magnolia Biondii Floewer Extract, Iron Oxides (CI77492), Iron Ixodes (CI77491), Iron Oxides (CI77499) Fragrance
Have you tried this popular Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening?
I’m planning to pick up the regular cushion soon. Maybe I’ll wait till they come out with another limited edition compact – it’s sold at the same price after all, but usually only comes in 1 shade, which is happily #21, the shade I wear! LOL! Now, you tell me if you like it? 😀
More cushion foundations can be found in this category.
17 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Okay. Okay. That’s it. I’m gonna crack into mine today lol 😀
Paris B says
You won’t regret it! I hope they release a pretty case next year too so I can get the other version! 😀
Ah! Another one in my long list of things to try. My friend highly recommends this and bugs me to try since last year. Lol! Good to know you like it too. I’ll have to give this a go. Just have to get myself to KL.
Paris B says
It’s worth bugging you for! HAHA! Come to KL for a day shopping trip! 😉
Cecilia Wong says
I have Laneige, sulwhasoo, iope and history of whoo. I’m picking up hera. Not that I need it, but because you said it’s good. I’ll need to scratch that itch ?
Paris B says
ROFLOL! Oh dear, I hope you’ll like Hera (but if you like Sulwhasoo I think you will!) I’m dying to try History of Whoo – is it nice? But the prices are too scary!
I had intended to buy this while I was in Korea but they did not have the darker shades. I’m definitely going to pick this one up, thanks for the review Paris.
Paris B says
You’re welcome! Singapore should have the expanded shade range too!
I got the ordinary perfecting cushion from Sulwhasoo about 2 months ago and it’s been great for summer. Nice coverage, lasted longer than I thought. I’ll probably buy another for next summer!
Paris B says
So awesome to know that you liked it too! I want to try the regular Perfecting Cushion next. It really does sit amazing well on the skin and it’s nice to know that it works for summer for you, because it’s summer all year round here!
Tine @ Beautyholics Anonymous says
I didn’t like the IOPE one because it was too moist but this one was the one that made me fall in love with cushion foundations too! It’s SO good, isn’t it? I’ve not tried the Hera one (it’s going into my to-buy list no thanks to you 😛 ) but this one hits the mark. I brought it with me to Europe and it worked a treat! 🙂
Paris B says
This one is really a game changer for cushions! I love it and how more accessible it is, and the wider shade range. Hera is really nice. If you like this one, you’ll like Hera! Same same, but different name LOL! 😀
ah crap now I have to go buy this instead. 😀
Paris B says
Try both the Brightening and the normal Perfecting Cushion – one gives off a bit more glow than the other I believe. And yes, you probably have to buy this one LOL! Wait till there are promos or vouchers or something 😉
Victoria Shanti says
I must go to a Sulwhasoo counter soon. So nice to know they have shades for deeper skintones 🙂
Paris B says
I was pleasantly surprised too! You just never know with these Korean brands you know LOL!
Ah I really want to try this but I’m scared I’ll buy the wrong shade!