Korean Beauty: Cushion Makeup 101


There has been a lot of interest and hype in K-Beauty cushion products ever since they were released. The cosmetics market has been saturated with an extremely large amount of cushion related products. This article will serve as a helpful guide to introduce cushion products to those who are interested in them.

First of all, what is cushion makeup? It first started as a BB Cream/CC Cream/Foundation product from IOPE. So many letters… basically it’s a lightweight buildable watery foundation product in a compact. The foundation is contained within a sponge. After pressing an applicator puff on the foundation sponge, you gently press the product onto your face to apply it. The consistency of the product and the anti-microbial puff makes it easier to prevent a cakey look.

See how Song Hye Kyo applies it here:

Cushion makeup is so popular that it is beginning to be copied by cosmetic brands in other countries. Lancome, in particular, has recently come out with a cushion makeup product.

Moving on to the actual cushion products. Since there are so many to choose from, let’s break it down by skin type. Please keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different and even those with the same skin type might have different reactions to the same product. This is just a general guide so please use your best judgement. Weather and climate should also be taken into consideration.

Dry Skin Recommendations

Most cushion makeup products are on the dewy side. However, there are some that are especially moisturizing for those with dry skin.


Innisfree Ampoule Intense Cushion


HERA UV Mist Cushion Ultra Moisture

Normal/Combination Skin Recommendations

The original IOPE Air Cushion XP is great for normal and combination skin. It will leave you with a natural dewy finish. There are two types of finishes to choose from: N – Natural finish and C – Better coverage.


IOPE Air Cushion XP


Laneige BB Cushion

If your skin is combination and it leans toward dry or oily, then try the other recommendations.

Oily Skin Recommendations

Innisfree Long Wear Cushion

Innisfree Long Wear Cushion

Laneige BB Cushion Pore Control

Laneige BB Cushion Pore Control

For individuals with oily skin, you might be able to get away with some of the more moisturizing cushions listed in the other sections with some alterations. A primer, setting powder, or finishing spray will also help keep the oilies at bay.

Anti-Aging Recommendations

Most cushion makeup products contain anti-aging properties, but if it’s a primary concern for you, the following cushions are especially great for that.


Sulhwasoo Perfecting Cushion


O HUI Cover Moist CC Cushion

Recommendation for Men

Since cushion products are on the natural side, they are great for men who want coverage without it being too noticeable.


IOPE Men Cushion

Affordable Alternatives

Some of you might be really interested in trying a cushion product, but don’t want to invest a lot of money into something that you’re not 100 percent sure will work for you. Then try out some of these slightly cheaper alternatives. They might not be as longlasting as the products mentioned above, but they could be good introductory products as you enter the beauty world of cushion makeup.


Etude House Precious Mineral Moist Any Cushion


The Face Shop Natural Sun Smart Cushion

This set is a great value set since you not only get a cushion product, but a blusher and a sheet mask as well.


Memebox Fun Fresh Face Set

You can also save money by simply purchasing refills if you already own a cushion case.


The Saem Eco Soul CC Cushion Refill

Other Notable Cushion Products

Are you in love with cushion products? Try out these ones below to expand beyond foundation cushions!

IOPE Air Cushion Blusher

IOPE Air Cushion Blusher

Banila Co Cushion Gel Eyeliner

Banila Co Cushion Gel Eyeliner

Laneige Water Cushion Concealer

Laneige Watery Cushion Concealer

Which products are you interested in most? Got any other K-Beauty questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below!

See also: