What's all the fuss about cushion compacts and are they worth investing in?

Image: Supplied.

Since they started appearing on shelves earlier this year, cushion compacts have been labelled the next big thing in beauty.

A Korean innovation, cushion compacts are foundations that come with a product-soaked sponge, which is protected by a sealed section. On top, in a separate section, is a powder puff which prevents the puff from becoming saturated and bacteria-ridden.

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But are they really worth the hype or are they just a passing fad? I put three currently available in Australia to the test.

1. It Cosmetics

I’ll admit I was skeptical trying cushion compacts for the first time. A beauty blender-devotee, I was convinced that we’d reached the peak of foundation application and nothing would compare. I was pleasantly surprised.

Renowned for their excellent face products, the ItCosmetics CC+ Veil Beauty Fluid Foundation SPF50+ ($58, available in Sephora) comes in five shades. I have quite pale skin and found that the second lightest shade ‘Light” worked well without washing me out.

Wearing just foundation in shade 'Light'. Image: supplied.

In the compact, the colour generally looks a little darker, but don't worry as it goes on much lighter on the skin. As the name suggests, the formula is a liquid and feels very light.


It doesn't look like the applicator picks up much product, but a gentle press is all that is needed as a little really does go a long way.

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Like a BB cream, the coverage is quite light although does a good job of covering up any redness or imperfections. It's very natural looking and the applicator makes it look very smooth and almost airbrushed on the skin, with a more matte finish than you get with a normal sponge.  (Post continues after video.)

2. Lancôme

Lancome's Miracle Cushion Compact, ($60) was one of the most hotly anticipated cushion compacts to hit the market - and for me, it didn't disappoint.

Wearing nothing but the foundation in shade '01 Pure Porcelain. Image: supplied.

The compact itself is beautiful and comes with a mirror which makes it the perfect product to slip into your bag and keep with you at all times for touch ups.

The colour (I used 01 Pure Porcelain) looks a little orange in the compact but - fear not - it goes on much lighter and the compact dispenses the product beautifully.

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The liquid foundation had a silky and dewy look and went on very smoothly, giving more coverage than I was expecting, lasting well throughout the day.

The only thing I found was that the product collected a little in the dry areas of my face, but applying a tiny bit of primer or moisturiser worked well to combat this. (Post continues after gallery)

3. Mirenesse

Offering a medium to high coverage, the Mirenesse 10 Collagen Cushion Compact Airbrush Liquid Powder ($79.50) is a great colour and has a seriously flawless application.

You really don't need a lot, just patting the puff lightly on the sponge gives enough product. It's packed full of collagen and anti-ageing properties and is great at covering fine lines.

Wearing nothing but the foundation (in 21: Vienna) Image: Supplied.

The liquid formula dries to more of a powdery look on the skin which makes it long lasting but without a cakey feel. It's also very quick to apply, making this my favourite on-the-go alternative.

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I'm ready to eat my words - cushion compacts are certainly not a gimmick but a really solid foundation option, particularly for day-to-day, travel or on-the-go touch ups. I also think they're some of the best on the market for mature skin, providing ample coverage without looking too done up or cakey.

Cushion compacts are more than a gimmick. Image: supplied.

One common criticism has been the price of the products, particularly because they contain less than a standard foundation due to the sponge applicator.

This is largely because they are new and limited to the higher-end companies, but as they become more popular, we will see some slightly cheaper options on offer as the high-street brands jump on board. They are also refillable which I like.

Have you tried cushion compacts? What did you think?