A Cushy Decision

One of the best things to come out of South Korea (aside from the Hallyu wave), cushion compacts are making it easier to put our makeup on, with their better finishes, long-lasting formulas and skin-loving ingredients.

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One of the best things to come out of South Korea (aside from the Hallyu wave), cushion compacts are making it easier to put our makeup on, with their better finishes, long-lasting formulas and skin-loving ingredients. 
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The only issue is: We’re now spoilt for choice. 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ve probably heard of (and most likely have used) cushion compacts. Their ultra smooth application, hydrating properties, ease of use and airy finish have propelled them from an Asia-only fave to a global essential (for beauty junkies at least) – basically, they’re the Big Bang of makeup.

Given the bounty of cushions in the market today, it’s no walk in the park to choose one that’s most compatible for your skin type and lifestyle. We identify the cushions most suited for the women of today.

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If it’s skin-nourishing makeup tinged with a touch of luxury that you want, then Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Intense SPF50+/PA+++ ($105) is your must-have. Extremely hydrating, it also has the highest percentage of skincare ingredients among all of the Korean brand’s cushions.

It’s formulated with red pine, the signature anti-ageing ingredient in the brand’s exclusive Time Treasure range, which is supposed to help repair damage and strengthen skin. It also has antioxidant–rich plum blossom extract to fight free radical damage, boost vitality and purify, and a Radiance Pearl Powder complex that reflects light and gives you an instant, gorgeous glow.

While designed to give buildable medium to high coverage, it has a fluid texture that glides over skin easily and feels almost weightless, making it light enough for our hot, humid climate. The most moisturising of all the cushions from Sulwhasoo (it’s said to provide double the hydration), it has glycerine to soothe even the driest of complexions, leaving it soft and smooth.

To ensure an even application, the cushion has Watercolor Technology to disperse the pigment molecules in water instead of oil, so the formula slides over your complexion for a smoother coverage that doesn’t cake. Plus, its exclusive Ultrafine Fiber Brush Puff is embedded with microfibres that act like tiny brushes, so you can swipe on your makeup (instead of patting it in) to hide flaws like fine lines and open pores. 

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Leading a fast-paced lifestyle? Then you need a fuss-free fix like Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion SPF50+/PA+++ ($74) that provides long-lasting, full coverage so you won’t have to constantly touch up throughout the day.

Providing high coverage (you can even skip concealer), it has a lightweight texture that doesn’t become powdery or cake over time, so your complexion stays fresh looking. It also contains film polymers – said to be more flexible than regular ones – that keeps your skin looking flawless and smooth for up to 12 hours.

Infused with a cocktail of ingredients like apricot oil and Jaeumdam (the main ingredient found in the brand's Signature First Care Activating Serum), it helps skin retain moisture throughout the day and also treats a multitude of skin concerns such as dullness, wrinkles and loss of elasticity, skipping the need for serums when you're pressed for time. 

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Even if you're blessed with a relatively good complexion, Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening ($80) can help boost radiance, provide sheer coverage, and give skin a dewy glow. It’s popular even with Korean men who want to hide minor flaws without appearing as though they have makeup on.

Containing elastomers that help absorb excess sebum, it’s a boon for those with oily skin, leaving a soft matte finish with no sticky feeling. Use it for your entire face, or just on areas that you want to highlight, such as the cheekbones, nose bridge or forehead.

The lightweight formula has a Pearlescent Complex that instantly brightens skin, while its white magnolia blossom extract supposedly fights melanin production to prevent the formation of dark spots. With liquorice purifying water to hydrate and clarify, and white ginseng polysaccharide to fight sallowness, it's great for women who want a clean yet healthy look.