Ever wondered why and how Korean’s most popular beauty export, the cushion compact achieved its bestselling status across the globe? We aren’t surprised at its popularity with our Shoppers—cushion foundations are the niftiest compacts you can tote around in your beauty bag, making it easy to maintain a flawless complexion from day to night. Boxer AJ from Korea shares with us a guide to the Korean BB cushion and why you should invest in one (and more!).
Ahead, she answers all the questions you likely have about the most recognised beauty essential in every Korean girl’s beauty kit, along with a list of must-ShopandBox cushions from Korea:
What exactly is a cushion?
It’s basically a BB or CC Cream soaked sponge kept in a compact and applied with an air puff. The compact case keeps everything contained which makes it convenient and portable. Application is quick, touching up on the go is simple and the air puff distribution gives smooth, weightless coverage.
Cushion makeup is an evolution of the original BB creams and CC Creams. BB cream or ‘Blemish Balm’ was originally made in Germany but Korean companies were quick to notice it’s potential and adapt it for their own use. CC Cream or ‘Color Correcting’ cream followed as a lighter alternative used for smoothing skin tone rather than for coverage. After conquering their own homeland these creams spread to the rest of the world.
But the Korean Beauty industry is not one to rest on its laurels and the next step was Cushions. Arguably these were also not exactly invented in Korea as there were similar products prior to this but Korea refined it and made it their own.
What makes cushions stand out from other products?
Cushion makeup revolutionised the application of base makeup by keeping everything in one handy little pact which includes the air puff applicator and allows for smooth, even and lightweight application. BB Cushions use the same formula of that in the tubes and bottles but the innovation is in the application method.
Cushions use the ‘air puff’ which is a specially designed application puff made to minimize absorption. This means that the product sits on the puff and allowed the product to be quickly and evenly distributed across the whole face.
Which K-beauty brand first released the cushion?
Iope was the first cushion on the market and they continue to be one of the most popular brands. Iope maintains that one of their Air Cushion is sold every six seconds and that more than a third of Korean women use it. They now have several Cushions designed to suit different skin types and needs.
What are the prices of cushions like?
The price of cushions can range from around 6,000 won all the way up to 80,000 won and there is a plethora of options for every price range. Etude House and Missha have some of the most popular lower end cushions.
High end companies are not to be left out with Sulwhasoo’s very popular Perfecting Cushion and as far as luxury cushions go you can’t go past the beauty of The History of Whoo; their limited edition cushions are works of art.
There are plenty of mid-range offerings like from some lesser know and independent brands such as ifactory with their popular Coverst Moisture Killing Cushion and Beauty People with their gorgeous Absolute Lofty Girl Cushion Foundation.
What other variations of cushions are there?
Cushion BB Creams soon began to expand to include CC Cushions, Cushion Foundations and even Cushion blushers. While the sponge type remains the most popular there are also other adaptations where the product is distributed through holes when you press down. VDL has a metal example of this technology called the Beauty Metal cushion Foundation. A lot of people who are concerned about the hygiene of traditional cushions prefer this option.
There are also Tension Cushions which are slowly gaining popularity, so far they have been hit or miss so have not replaced the traditional sponge. Tension Cushions look identical with the compacts but replace the sponge with a finely woven net, this is supposed to allow more for a more even and natural looking coverage. Missha has some called The Original Tension Pacts which are some of the most popular and they also used the same technology in their recent blushers.
The constant evolution of the cushion has recently brought about a slimmer pact for example the Etude House Any Cushion Cream Filter. They have their holiday version of this out at the moment which is inspired by The Nutcracker. Other companies are taking note of this new trend like the SNP Animal Cushions which also reflect the new slim design.
Some companies like Etude House, Innisfree and recently Holika Holika sell their cases and refills separately so that if they get a new case you don’t have to buy it with a product. This is great if you already have that product and don’t want to buy it again but what the cute new case.
Most companies have refills available for their cushions. A little tip if you are buying online and not sure if something will suit—you can always just buy the refill. It’s a cheaper and more convenient option, and if you do like it you can go back and purchase the case if you want to.
Cushion collabs you need to know of:
Korea’s love of collaborations blew up in 2015 with more and more beauty brands looking for the ultimate collaborations with cute partnerships that would sell their products. This year there are many such collaborations that are selling Limited Edition Cushion Pacts – Holika Holika x Gudetama, Tony Moly x Pokemon, Peripera x The Powerpuff Girls, Missha x Minions, A’PIEU x Rilakuma to name just a few.
Up until about a year ago Korea had the market cornered on Cushion makeup. Recently the world has taking notice and there are a myriad of international brands putting out their own versions.
ShopandBox Boxer AJ’s cushion recommendations below:
- Cremorlab Eau Thermal Serum Cushion, Cremorlab, USD28, +Add to Wishlist
- Beauty People Absolute Lofty Girl Cushion Foundation, Beauty People, KRW15,000, +Add to Wishlist
- VDL Beauty Metal Cushion Foundation, VDL, KRW32,500, +Add to Wishlist
- iFactory Coverst Moisture Killing Cushion, iFactory, KRW19,000, +Add to Wishlist
- Missha Tension Cushion, Missha, USD12, +Add to Wishlist
- Gudetama BB Cushion, Holika Holika, USD21, +Add to Wishlist
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- Simply click on the ”Add To Wishlist” links above!
- This will automatically add the items into your ShopandBox wishlist after it prompts you to sign in/sign up.
- You can add as many items as you want into your wishlist (even items not mentioned above).
- Once you’re ready, simply select the items you want bought, name your order, and hit the “Submit Order” button.
- You will be assigned a personal Boxer who will help you buy all your coveted items.
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