It would be an understatement to say that the Korean cushion compact has a cult-following – Korean beauty conglomerate Amore Pacific reported a whopping 50 million units sold worldwide earlier in March, just seven years since its first release.

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The product is a urethane sponge soaked in a multi-purpose formula that combines the functions of a sunscreen, moisturiser and base makeup. That is, a foundation, BB or CC cream.

Its unique press-and-stamp application has reportedly cut down the time women take to do their makeup by half in South Korea, taking just about six minutes. The formula also feels ultra-light and cooling on the skin.

Much of the world must have experienced the same phenomenon, too, with its international popularity pushing Western brands to roll out their own versions of the convenient compact this year.

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Lancome’s Blanc Expert UV Compact launched in Singapore this March 2015.

French beauty brand Lancome was the first of the lot, releasing its Blanc Expert Cushion UV Compact in February overseas. (It reached Singapore’s shores in March.) Italian brand Kiko Milano, which is unavailable here, followed suit in the Western market with a CC Cream version. Both capitalising on the need for a better shade range than the Korean products.

But, K-beauty brands were already starting to expand on their cushion compact offerings, determined to stay ahead of the game.

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Korean brands Hera and Iope’s permanent collections include cushion eyeliners and blushers. Both prove to be popular among locals and tourists.

Eyeliner and blusher cushion compacts made their debut in the South Korean market last year through mid-range brands Iope and Hera. Naturally, they flew off the shelves with hoards of locals and tourists rushing to buy them upon their release.

These new product types have since made their way to Singapore, with the first being cushion blushers from Etude House’s limited edition Lock’n Summer collection in 2014. They are now part of the brand’s permanent line up.

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Etude House’s Lock’n Summer collection from 2014. The brand’s cushion blusher is now a permanent offering in Singapore.

This July, Singapore shoppers will be treated to yet again, a new type of cushion product – a cushion highlighter from Laneige.

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Laneige’s cushion highlighter, $34, comes in a natural beige, said to give the same dewy glow Korean celebrities are known for.

The highlighter is said to contain micro particles that effectively cling to the skin without emphasising fine lines. But the biggest draw? The moisturising finish that gives the same mul-gwang-pi-bu effect – which literally translates to water glow skin – reminiscent of Korean wave pop and television starlets. In short, the dewy, healthy skin look that all K-beauty fanatics have been clamouring for.

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Laneige’s current five-shade range for its BB Cushion, Pore Control will see two new additions  a darker Cocoa Beige and a cool-toned Pink Beige this July. 

The brand will also expand its shade range to a total of seven shades. This will most likely extend to other brands under the Amorepacific umbrella, too – an exciting step forward that we would love to see more of.

Who knows? Come 2016, we may just hear of cushion mascaras – now that, would be interesting.

What do you think? Let us know what your favourite cushion product is, and what you think the next cushion product will be!

Photography: Vernon Wong; Art direction: Michelle Tham

Still looking for the right cushion compact? Check out our review of Lancome’s Blanc Expert Cushion UV Compact and 6 Korean cushion compacts.