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A cushion compact—a gift from the K-beauty gods—is exactly what it sounds like: A compact with a cushiony sponge inside that is soaked in foundation or tinted moisturizer. To use, you simply pat a sponge applicator on top of the product-soaked sponge and apply directly to your skin.
While they fall somewhere in the world of foundation, cushion compacts are so much more than your average base makeup. These compacts are typically infused with skin-loving ingredients to help benefit the complexion, and—thanks to their small, portable size—they're also super travel-friendly. Instead of carrying around a heavy glass bottle of liquid foundation or opting for a stick formula, cushion compacts make it easy to bring your makeup around and touch up on the go.
To learn about the best cushion compacts you can buy now, read on.
Best Overall: AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+
If you want to look like one of those Instagram filters where your skin is totally airbrushed and it looks like you spent a ton of time applying your makeup, this cushion compact was meant exactly for you.
The formula brightens the skin, hydrates for deep moisturization, and builds an even, flawless coverage that won't settle into wrinkles or lines. The cherry on top: It contains SPF 50 to protect the skin from sun damage, and a cooling sensation refreshes and soothes the skin during application.
Best Drugstore: Maybelline Dream Cushion Fresh Face Liquid Foundation
This drugstore foundation works just as well, if not better than its luxury counterparts. This luminous finish foundation goes on light but builds up to full coverage and blends in smoothly. Just pat it on with a sponge and swipe it across your face for a refreshed, glowing look that still covers any blemishes.
The applicator picks up just the right amount of product so you’re never caking it on as you might accidentally do with a brush and bottle foundation. With just one swipe it’s easy to see a major difference while still looking natural and fresh.
Best Mattifying: MISSHA M Magic Cushion
One of the best parts about cushion compacts is that the product goes on light but can really build up to fuller coverage. But no matter how much you apply, it gives the skin a veil of product that makes it look airbrushed.
This cushion compact from the Korean brand MISSHA contains boron power in the liquid to help give you a smooth, lightweight finish. The silica bead powder is mattifying to help soak up sebum throughout the day without wearing off.
Best for Dry Skin: Laneige BB Cushion Hydra Radiance SPF 50
A Byrdie Editor-favorite, this cushion foundation has double-coated mineral pigments that accomplish the impossible: veiling discoloration and unevenness with a lightweight finish. It's also infused with moisturizer and micro pearls for an ultra-glowy effect.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Peripera Inklasting Mint Cushion
We also like this compact from Korean beauty brand Peripera. It's infused with mint extracts to soothe and invigorate sensitive skin while the soft-blurring minerals are especially good for covering redness.
Best for Oily Skin: Diorskin Forever Perfect Cushion Foundation SPF 35
Typically, cushion compacts are lighter foundations or BB and CC creams, but this one is straight-up full coverage foundation. At the same time, it feels incredibly light on the skin. When you swipe this formula on with the sponge, it blends in almost immediately and covers any blemishes or redness but still looks and feels like natural skin.
It’s matte without looking or feeling chalky, which is perfect for anyone with oily skin. And it lasts for 16 hours, so it’s not going anywhere throughout long days.
Best for Deep Skin Tones: Lancôme Miracle Cushion Foundation
It's hydrating and brightening, perfect for those who have an uneven tone or dry skin. But this Lancôme compact is particularly special since it comes in a wide variety of shades. Since most CC cushion compacts are marketed specifically in K-beauty circles, it can be frustratingly difficult to find those suited for darker complexions.
Best with SPF: Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free All-in-1 ABC Cushion Foundation
You would never know this cushion compact was from the drugstore based on the formula alone. Not only is it cruelty-free, talc-free, and fragrance-free, it's also non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. SPF 50 will keep your skin protected from the sun while the lightweight minerals will keep blemishes and imperfections from seeing the light of day.
Best for Mature Skin: Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion SPF 50+
As the skin ages, it can lose its youthful luminosity. To help restore radiance, rely on glow-boosting products in your skincare and makeup routine. This anti-aging cushion foundation is a great place to start. It features the brand’s unique Radiance Pearl Powder Complex to transform dull skin, as well as a moisturizing blend of antioxidant-rich extracts to help protect the skin, boost the look of firmness, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.