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Over the past few years, cushion compacts from transformed from being a sort of novelty beauty product brought to America from Korea to a full-on beauty category. These products are basically just a compact with a sponge inside that is soaked in foundation or tinted moisturizer. You pat a sponge applicator on top of the product-soaked sponge to pick it up 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 some kind of skincare ingredients to help benefit the skin, meaning the product inside is often categorized as a BB cream or a CC cream.
The compacts are also especially popular because of how travel-friendly they are. Instead of carrying around a heavy glass bottle of liquid foundation or opting for a stick formula, cushion compacts make it easy to carry your makeup around wherever and touch up on the go with the little sponge applicator that helps you apply just the right amount of product to keep your skin looking its best.
To learn about the best cushion compacts you can buy now, read on.
Best Overall: Etude House Any Cushion Cream Filter
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 Etude House Any Cushion Cream Filter was designed to make your skin look just as glowy and radiant as when you first wake up and wash your face.
The Korean brand found that skin is so beautiful first thing in the morning because it has more “green light” at that time of day than any other time. They call this “morning skin.” So, the brand came up with a cushion compact to give skin that glowing look all day long. It’s also formulated to increase radiance, hydration, and give you full coverage.
Best Drugstore: Maybelline Dream Cushion Fresh Face Liquid Foundation
This drugstore foundation works just as well, if not better than its designer 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 like you might accidentally do with a brush and liquid foundation in a bottle or glass jar. And with 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 silicia bead powder is mattifying to help soak up sebum throughout the day without wearing off.
Best for Dry Skin: L'Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation
When it comes to finding the right kind of coverage for dry skin, a luminous foundation is usually best since matte formulas can tend to highlight flakes and dry patches. The L'Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation gives a light, dewy finish to the skin that can also be built up to a heavier coverage. The brand instructs users to tap the applicator into the sponge filled with product once for sheer coverage, twice for light, and three times for medium.
Unlike many brands that don’t produce a wide variety of shades, this cushion compact comes in 16 shades formulated to match both your skin’s tone and undertone.
Best BB Cream: Laneige BB Cushion Pore Control
This cushion compact contains a formula that is the definition of a true BB cream. The name BB cream, a category of product that came from Korea, means “beauty balm.” It’s meant not only to cover the skin but to protect and correct the skin with added skincare benefits. The Laneige BB Cushion Pore Control does just that by using a Pore Control Pore Purifying Complex to help minimize the appearance of pores. It contains SPF 50 to protect the skin from sun damage, and the product has a cooling sensation to refresh the skin.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Belif Moisturizing Bomb Cushion Compact SPF 50
For skin that needs something a little more gentle, this Belif Moisturizing Bomb Cushion Compact works wonders. It’s a BB cream formula that’s packed with comfrey leaf, a hydrating and soothing herb that helps keep skin moisturized and calm through the day. It also has ceramides in it to help protect the skin’s barrier from any potential harm.
The coverage is meant to be full and long-lasting, but it still gives a glowy finish while covering any redness you might have. And the applicator in the compact is not only antimicrobial, but it has a cooling effect to refresh the skin every time you use it. And to top it off, it has SPF 50+ to protect your skin from the sun.
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 who wants a matte finish without looking like they’re wearing a ton of powder. And it lasts for 16 hours, so it’s not going anywhere throughout long days.