Cushion foundations: do you like them? Have you tried them? Well, if you aren’t in a pretty specific range of skin tones, you likely haven’t tried them as most companies are not particularly inclusive. This trend stemmed from Asia and, well, skin tones don’t vary in Asia the way they do in North America. (Though … thanks to the amazing Lisa Eldridge, makeup artist extraordinaire and the director of Lancome, Lancome does offer a highly rated cushion that can fit almost every skin tone on the planet). Two Korean cosmetic companies, Missha and Laneige, have started widely marketing their products in the U.S. and their cushion lines, while not at Lancome’s level of shade range, have a lot more options than most.
If you are very fair, like me, you will find that almost all cushions, foundations, BB creams, etc. skew too dark and/or have a poor fit in undertone for you in Asia. Laneige (and Missha) are different: I got a very good match from the lightest shade they had at a duty free shop in Taipei’s international airport last month. In fact, being an unusual skin tone for the region, while many other colors looked pretty tapped out, there were loads of packs of these cushions left in my shade (since when does that happen?!?).
Laneige cushion: why purchase from duty free?
I bought the Laneige (la-nej if you’re wondering how to say that) special duty free package they had available, which contained two packages of cushion foundation in the SPF50+ PA+++ whitening formulation (the other option was a pore control one, which was out of stock). Most higher end cushions contain a refill (so two packages in one box), and this was no exception. Missha, if you’re wondering, is more of a mid-range brand and you do not get a refill in the package. I paid about $72 USD for the pack, which was a very modest savings from the US prices (I saved $2 a cushion, or $4; but duty free doesn’t necessarily mean cost savings, particularly for Americans who don’t typically get loaded down with as much duty added to imports).
So why buy from duty free? Well, we don’t get Laneige out in Okinawa (unless I’ve missed it) and, being particularly pale, I like to shade test Asian complexion products in person if possible to see if they will match (remember me mentioning that most do not). So … I was able to see if the shade worked, and buy it and have it right away, no ordering and waiting required.
Laneige cushion: how did it fare?
Well, that was the gamble. I knew the shade matched, but didn’t know if it was going to oxidize on me, look like shit, etc … and I bought four flipping refills worth of the damn things.
Luckily, this cushion is the bomb.com. The coverage is on the lighter side, perhaps a smidge less coverage than Missha’s M Magic cushion. It looks very natural and skin-like, is just dewy enough (I have combo skin that gets a little oily during the day) to look fresh and healthy without looking greasy or sliding off, and covers everything I need but the darkest acne scars. Even with primer, I get about 6 to maaayyyybe 8 hours of wear (cushions are meant to be portable and touched up I believe, which I don’t do because I’m the laziest). I don’t have issues with it accentuating pores or creasing or misbehaving in any other way. Like all cushions, it layers on itself well so you can build coverage in just the spots you want it.
Price: I paid $36 per compact and refill (and the compact is super holographic fun, but in a tasteful way). To compare to the only other cushion I’ve bought so far that matches my skintone, Missha M Magic cushion is 1000 yen at Don Quixote, with no refill (and no holographic fun). If you’re stateside, the price from Misshaus directly is higher. So the Laneige isn’t quite double the price but it’s still quite a bit more expensive. Do I think it’s worth it? If your budget can handle it, yes. I’m personally in the camp where if you’re going to invest in one makeup product, make it your base. Beautiful skin is the most important part of any look. And this cushion from Laneige is a great fit for my skin. Thank goodness. I have four of them to go through after all.