Benefits of a BB cushion

Ask any woman what base makeup she uses on a daily basis and the answer will most probably be a tinted moisturiser, BB, CC Cream or cushion compact.

These light-to-medium coverage base products have been a staple in beauty routines for years now, owing to the no-makeup makeup look that’s – relatively! – fuss-free and appropriate for all occasions. On top of the natural and radiant glow that it creates on the skin, these products have also been touted to have more skincare benefits than your traditional foundation.

At the forefront of this trend is the cushion compact, famous for its quick and easy application and ability to create the “mul-gwang-pi-bu” glow – which literally translates to “water glow” skin – seen on several Korean celebrities in popular dramas.

Little did we know however, that before the days of fresh-faced Korean actresses causing instant product sell-outs, that a similar form of cushion makeup existed as early as 2001 by means of the Stila Sport Pivotal Skin Foundation which was housed in an ink pad, according to makeup artist Larry Yeo. How’s that for a surprising fun fact?

“It was too advanced for the market,” says Larry, as the product was discontinued. But if it had been out about a decade later, it would be right smack in the middle of the cushion compact boom that we’ve been experiencing in the past few years.

And the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Last year, Givenchy gave us a sneak peek of its Teint Couture Cushion in Singapore, two months ahead of its official global launch. This year, YSL Beauty, Shu Uemura and Bobbi Brown rolled out their versions of the convenient compact, too.

Ask yourself: What sort of finish do you want from your makeup?

But as much as we love the cushion compact and crave for more products and shades from our favourite beauty brands, can it actually replace traditional liquid base makeup products, housed in tubes and bottles?

The answer, which we gleaned from an interview with Larry, is a qualified no, with some caveats, of course.

“Due to this (sponge-type) packaging and limitations in formulation, a cushion foundation can rarely be as oil-controlling, super matte or even – dare I say it – long-wearing as foundation in traditional packaging. The sponges in cushion compacts need to stay moist, or they will look patchy on the skin,” he says.

But the good news is that cushion compacts are great for the majority of us in our mid-20s and older, especially if you’re after that K-Beauty glow.

“Cushion foundation is normally easier for those with combination-dry to combination-oily skin; for those who normally stay indoors a lot; or those in a temperate climate where heat is not an issue,” says Larry.

Those with very oily skin or who have large pores that they wish to cover should however, make a careful decision when considering between a cushion compact or a traditional tube-type base makeup product.

“They need a foundation with mattifying properties that sit matte on open pores,” says Larry, as an overly dewy finish can emphasise the look of large pores. “I’ve always preferred foundations because most of them photograph well – as long as you pick the right colour – and there are always foundations that cater to different skin types and environmental needs,” he adds.

The bottomline

Of course, this doesn’t mean that traditional foundations are better than cushion compacts either, because it all boils down to personal preference. Larry advises: “Pick the foundation that caters to your skin type and daily needs – it’s more important than nonsensical hype and what people are raving about.”

So if you happen to be deciding between a cushion compact or a traditional foundation for your next purchase, ask for a sample of both to see which suits your needs better. And don’t rule out buying both of them too, as they could be useful for different occasions.

Want more? Check out these expert tips and tricks to banish brown blotches and discolouration on dull skin, and stave off the advances of Old Father Time by following these anti-ageing beauty best practices every self-respecting office lady should know. Get your daily dose of beauty