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IMAGE: Lane Oatey/Blue Jean Images/Corbis

The Asian phenomenon of BB creams is starting to win the world over. But although BB creams are great in almost every way, they are a hassle to re-apply. So I leapt with joy when the makeup gods invented BB cushions – a sponge-like applicator saturated with a BB cream.

The relatively new invention has been winning fans in Singapore, but in true Singapore style many people still have issues with it.

Due to its fine liquid texture, BB cushions generally don’t give you much coverage. The dewy finish also means it makes it difficult to wear if you have oily skin. I refused to believe that some of these reasons are valid, so Fashion Writer Tianyun and I put the products to the test.

PS. Tian has dry skin, while I have combination dry skin (that gets really oily in the afternoon).

Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion

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A luxury brand owned by AmorePacific, Sulwhasoo prides itself on using traditional Korean medicine in all its products. The brand primarily targets mature skin, so even its BB cushion is infused with a plethora of anti-ageing ingredients such as white lily and apricot kernel oil. From whitening to anti-wrinkle benefits, Sulwhasoo’s Evenfair Perfecting Cushion seems like the anti-ageing BB cushion to beat.

Tian: This is the first BB cushion that I tried and boy was I pleasantly surprised. The sponge was really fluffy soft on my skin and the redness around my nose disappeared under a thin layer. Although I didn’t notice it myself, my friends commented that my complexion appeared more radiant.

Phoenix: The cream is easily picked up by the sponge, which was great for days when I’m in a rush. On the flip side, it took a few layers before the BB cream covered my mega zit. True to its promise, my makeup did last the entire day ‒ but my T-zone looked like a mini oil spill by the end of it.

Dr Jart+ BB Bounce

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The only BB cushion with a unique “bouncy” texture, Dr Jart’s BB Bounce is so dense, you can literally feel and see the cream move about. Housed in a wire-mesh applicator, the BB contains Marine Collagen and Pomegranate extract: Promising to give you firm and radiant skin in one bouncy step.

Tian: The 30 SPF sun protection pales in comparison with the rest we tried that are mainly 50 SPF. I’m not used to such a sticky and thick texture ‒ it felt uncomfortable on my skin. But I would use it for a special occasion if I know I need good coverage.

Phoenix: The creamy texture gives me very decent coverage with just one swipe. The sticky texture may need some getting used to, but once you get over it, it works great. My makeup stayed intact most of the day, no major touch ups required!

Pure Heals Propolis 27 Cover Cushion

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A derivative collected by bees, Propolis has been proven to heal the skin and provide anti-bacterial properties. This might be why Pure Heals decided to create the Propolis 27 Cover Cushion. Filled with 27 percent propolis, the brand says that its cushion can soothe sensitive skin while giving it the coverage it needs.

Tian: For some reason, there’s a slight fishy smell when I unwrapped the compact from its silver foil. I had to be careful when dabbing the sponge onto the cushion because a slight touch would pick up a substantial amount. But the tiny dab I used gave me an even skin tone and felt weightless on my skin.

Phoenix: The first thing I noticed was that the cushion was smaller-than-average, so it was great that the sponge picked up a substantial amount of BB with each dab. Apart from that, the BB didn’t adhere to my skin as much as I hoped it would, with regular touch-ups necessary throughout the day.

Laneige BB Cushion

Probably the most publicised BB cushion on the market, Laneige’s BB Cushion touts six benefits in one chic compact. Available in two options: Original and Pore Control, Laneige’s BB Cushion uses Green Tea and Vitamin B extracts to give your skin a radiant even finish.

Tian: I’m partial to the aroma of green tea so the hint of green tea won me over. The cream had a cooling sensation on my skin although I wasn’t sure whether I was a fan of the dewy look. A friend actually asked me whether I put on makeup (I usually don’t) when she saw me later in the day. She said my skin looked flawless.

Phoenix: The BB gave me a dewy look instantly, which became oiler as the hours went by. It also took a bit of pressing before I could get a visible pool of BB onto the sponge. If you have oily-prone skin, I would suggest dusting a generous layer of loose powder over.

The Face Shop Screen Cell Cushion

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Branded as a makeup tool with skincare benefits, The Face Shop’s Screen Cell Cushion is a BB cushion that is covered with a patented screen. The micro screen cell acts as a very fine filter, which I suppose refines the texture of the BB cream before it adheres to the sponge. The brand says that this cushion is filled with ingredients to brighten your skin, while reducing the appearance of wrinkles at the same time.

Tian: The filter impressed me although I was confused to whether the filter was to block out impurities from the cushion or to prevent the sponge from picking up other stuff than BB cream. Maybe it was psychological but it felt more hygienic. Apart from the filter, I achieved an even skin tone and the light coverage was good enough for me.

Phoenix: At first I thought the filter was just another marketing gimmick, but it really did make a difference to the makeup. This BB was comparably smoother and finer than most, making it a breeze to apply. I had this on for a date night out, and I noticed that it didn’t smudge or leave my T-zone an oily mess.

We’ve certainly found our favorite BB cushions, and we hope you have too.

Dr Jart+ BB Bounce, $47, is available at selected Guardian and Sa Sa stores. For more information, visit and follow the brand on Facebook.

Laneige BB Cushion, $59, is available at all Laneige stores and counters. For more information, visit www.laneige.com.sg and follow the brand on Facebook.

Pure Heals Propolis 27 Cover Cushion, $43, is available at Sephora stores. For more information, visit www.pureheals.com and follow the brand on Facebook.

Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion, $74, is available at Sulwhasoo counters. For more information, visit www.sulwhasoo.com.sg and follow the brand on Facebook.

The Face Shop Cushion Screen Cell, $49.90, is available at The Face Shop stores. For more information, visit www.thefaceshop.com.sg and follow the brand on Facebook.