Cool Cushion Makeup (You Need In Your Life)

Get cushy with these new-age blushers, highlighters and more. Who says cushions are only for BB compacts and foundation?

LANCÔME Cushion Blush Subtil

$55, Available at LANCÔME counters in Singapore and Sephora.

Korean makeup brands may have pioneered the cushion makeup movement, but their Western counterparts sure are doing a good job of catching up to them. The LANCÔME Cushion Blush Subtil, for instance, is a lovely cushion blush to add to your collection. At $55 a pop, it is admittedly pricier than what most Korean makeup brands would offer – but the product does perform much better across the board.

Most cushion blushers tend to have a sheer finish, almost to the point where you’re like “Huh, where did all that colour go?”. However, LANCÔME’s formula is pigmented enough to give good colour payoff with a few dabs, and blends beautifully on the skin for a natural flush. Plus, the convenient compact is perfect for touch-ups on the go – not that you would need very many, as the formula seems to be more long-wearing that its Korean counterparts.

There are four shades in the collection, ranging from peachy hues to the softest shades of pink. This particular one is from the limited edition Sonia Rykiel x LANCÔME collection (hence the jazzy case), but the regular black packaging is not too shabby either.

L’Oreal (which incidentally owns LANCÔME, ahem) has a drugstore cushion blush which may seem like a good dupe, but it’s honestly not that great. The shades available (in Singapore, at least) are limited and the formula is a bit too watery. Try the Sephora Collection Wonderful Cushion Blush instead – the colour range is better, the creamy formula blends well and  it comes in a cute tube with a cushion applicator.

LANCÔME Cushion Blush Subtil in Splash Corail; Top swatch – blended; Bottom swatch – dabbed

Laneige Eyebrow Cushion-cara

$36, Available at Laneige counters in Singapore and on Zalora.

Ah…we can’t have a Cushion Makeup list without mentioning Laneige, can we now? The Korean beauty brand has always been at the forefront of innovative makeup products, so it is hardly surprising that they developed a cushion product for your brows.

The Laneige Eyebrow Cushion-cara comes in a neat little compact, with a double-ended angled brush and spoolie applicator. Unlike typical cushion makeup products, there is no cushion applicator. Instead, you are meant to use the angled brush to outline your brows, and the spoolie to build colour. The compact also comes with two shades, so you can mix and match to get a shade that suits your hair colour and skin tone best.

Unlike BB cushions, which give a dewy finish, the Laneige Eyebrow Cushion-cara applies as a liquid but dries to a powder finish. Just as well anyway, because who wants dewy brows am I right?

I have to say though, the product does take a fair bit of skill and effort to apply – so only get this if you are meticulous about your brows. If you are a 5-minute makeup kind of girl (or if you have done brow embroidery), you are probably better off with a brow mascara or pencil for easier application.

Laneige Eyebrow Cushion-cara in Two-tone Brown

Etude House Big Cover Cushion Concealer

$20.90, Available at Etude House stores in Singapore and on Lazada.

While I’m not the biggest fan of cushion applicators for concealer, the Etude House Big Cover Concealer Cushion has made me change my mind somewhat. You see, the problem with cushion concealers is that you end up having to blend in the concealer with a brush (or your finger) anyway, so how is it different from regular concealer wands?

The Big Cover Concealer Cushion, however, has a nifty cushion applicator that is just the right size for under-eye application. The soft cushion applicator dispenses the product sparingly, so you can dab lightly to build coverage.

The coverage is obviously not as heavy-duty as cream concealers, but I find it comparable to liquid concealers. In fact, it is a good alternative to the popular Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer, except it offers more precise application. The formula also has a fresh powder scent, which is always a plus in my books.

The only caveat is that the range of shades (available in Singapore, at least) seem to be limited to fairer skin tones. They do have correctors (for dark circles or sallowness) and an illuminator (for that Korean ~glow~) in the same Big Cover product range though.

Etude House Big Cover Concealer Cushion in Beige; Top swatch – blended; Bottom swatch – applied directly onto the skin

Sephora Collection Wonderful Cushion Luminizer

$20, Available at Sephora.

Ah, highlighters. The light of my life. The shining centrepiece of my makeup collection. The illuminat- yeah, okay you get it. When it comes to highlighters, I never discriminate. As long as they do the job and give me that *shine*, I’m sold.

Naturally, when I swatched Sephora’s Wonderful Cushion Face Luminizer and saw that it was so very pretty, I just had to get it. I mean, who cares if I have about a dozen highlighters already? And so what if I hardly use them, because I spend most of my time at home, watching YouTube videos with my dog? I just like having pretty (and shiny) things, k.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the topic at hand.

Unlike conventional cushion makeup, Sephora’s version of a cushion highlighter comes in a tube. The cushion applicator is quite large, so you can swipe the product directly onto your face.

The colour payoff is truly impressive, with intense shine in just one swipe. Cushion makeup is usually associated with a subtle and more natural finish, but this? This will take your glow to the next level (in a good way, of course). Divine shine aside, the formula also blends easily and sits well over base makeup.

The lightweight formula applies as a cream, but dries to a powder finish. The lasting power isn’t phenomenal or anything, but hey, the packaging makes it perfect for touching up on the go, no?

The Wonderful Cushion Luminizer only comes in one shade (a yellow-toned champagne) though, but I would think that it is versatile enough to work with most skin tones.

Sephora Collection Wonderful Cushion Face Luminizer; Top swatch – blended; Bottom swatch – swiped

Laneige Cushion Highlighter

$34, Available at Laneige counters in Singapore.

If you prefer a more subtle shine, the Laneige Cushion Highlighter may be better suited for you. The lightweight formula has a sheer finish, so you will get a more natural highlight suitable for daytime looks. It has pink undertones though, so it may not be suitable for all skin tones.

The product comes in standard cushion compact packaging, and it’s pretty much the same drill in terms of application. Just sponge off some product and dab lightly on your cheekbones (or wherever you want to highlight). The effect it creates is more of a subtle glow rather than full-on glam, so it is a lot more forgiving on the skin. Let’s just say that you won’t end up looking like a disco ball, even if you’re overzealous about highlighter application.

The compact can’t be refilled though, so you’ll probably have to chuck it once you’re done with the product. What a shame, because the compact is a great size for travelling or touch-ups.

LANCÔME Juicy Shaker

$36, Available at LANCÔME counters in Singapore and Sephora.

When LANCÔME first released their line of Juicy Shakers, I was intrigued. I mean, it did seem kind of gimmicky, but the packaging was just too cute to resist. It looks like a mini cocktail shaker, no?

Cute packaging aside, the LANCÔME Juicy Shaker is quite unlike your regular ol’ lip gloss. For starters, it’s a lip oil – which I know sounds kind of iffy, but hear me out for a bit.

The lip oil combines with colour pigments when you shake the tube, so you get moisture, colour and shine with one swipe. And boy does it do wonders for dry lips (trust me, I would know).

The great thing about the oil formula is that it leaves a light coat of moisture and colour, without that gross sticky feeling you get with most moisturising lip products. Ahh, the wonders of technology.

The colour is of course not as intense or long-wearing as liquid lipstick, but it still leaves a decent tint on the lips, even after eating and drinking. The colour range can look a bit scary at first glance (think neon purple, bright coral and fuchsia), but the product actually has a sheer finish on the lips. Also, I feel like I need to point out how the applicator looks like a strawberry gummy? How delightful.

LANCÔME Juicy Shaker in Berry Tale Bright Pink

Sephora Collection Wonderful Cushion Lips

$16, Available at Sephora.

Here’s another good one from Sephora’s Wonderful Cushion collection, especially if you’re into the gradient lips look often seen on Korean actresses. The Wonderful Cushion Lips is a matte lip colour that gives good colour payoff and staying power. Granted, it’s not going to give you the same effect as liquid lipsticks or lip creams, but it’s also much easier to apply.

I would say that the Wonderful Cushion Lips is a nice in-between for those who want something more long-lasting than lipstick or lip gloss, but not as drying or unforgiving as liquid lipstick.

The formula is a bit heavier than what you might expect from cushion makeup, but it blends easily when freshly applied. The sponge applicator allows for some versatility with application too – you can dab on a bit of colour and smack your lips for a more natural finish, or swipe to build more intense colour.

While this is not a moisturising lip product (at all), it is still more forgiving than liquid lipsticks. Pair it with a lip balm if you have dry lips.

Sephora Collection Wonderful Cushion Lips in 04

L’Oreal Paris Superliner Vsculptor

$18.90, Available at Watsons and Guardian pharmacies.

The L’Oreal Paris Superliner Vsculptor (wow, that was a mouthful) is not exactly marketed as a cushion product, but it does have some similar characteristics. The product comes in pen-like packaging, with a soft sponge applicator to apply directly onto your eyelids.

Application-wise though, the Superliner Vsculptor probably offers less control than a conventional eyeshadow palette. However, the formula is surprisingly pigmented and blends well on the skin.

I don’t care much for the cheap packaging (it is a drugstore product, after all), but the product performs its intended functions pretty adequately. If you are a noob at eyeshadow application (or just generally lazy, hear hear), this is pretty much as simple as it gets. All you really have to do is swipe a little product on your eyelids and blend with your fingers. No palettes or brushes needed.

The L’Oreal Paris Superliner Vsculptor also comes in four shades, all of which are versatile enough to work alone or with each other.

The L’Oreal Paris Superliner Vsculptor in Softening Bronze (Top) and Magnifying Brown (Bottom).

Still want more? Check out these other articles:

The Ultimate Guide To BB Creams and Cushions

Unconventional (But Useful) Beauty Products

Guide To Liquid Lipsticks and Lip Creams

How To Contour and Highlight (Like A Goddess)

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