I haven’t used a cushion foundation in ages, mostly because it’s very rare to find a formula to my liking that’s also a color match for anyone who’s deeper than an NC15 skintone. Most cushions in the universal #23 shade tend to fall between a neutral NC20 to NC23.
I decided to wait a few (years?) for cushion foundations to gain traction and expand into deeper shades for a more global customer base. Luckily, I’ve seen this expansion in U.S. markets, and now (mostly) everyone can enjoy a portable base product.
I purchased the HERA UV Mist Cushion Ultra Moisture (SPF 34/PA++) (~$45) on Ebay in shade #23 Beige, and it’s the very first cushion that is solidly NC30. Amazing! I had some reservations about the formula being too moisturizing for the summer heat, but it’s the best one I’ve tried thus far.
Like most standard cushion products, the box comes with the cushion, the cushion refill compact, and two puffs. I really do think that the standard puffs that come with cushions make a huge difference in application and wear. They’re a little less porous than Beautyblenders and waste less product, offers more product, and is often less streaky than using a brush.
The cushion holding the base product itself feels a little stiffer to the touch and you must press down to retrieve product. In this way, I’ve found myself using much less of the cushion and try to layer it as thinly as possible over a wide area of my face (think cheeks and forehead.) I’ll then go back in with multiple stamps and stamp out the rest of my problematic areas such as redness and blemishes.
Here are swatches with two other wildly popular cushions (from left to right): Laneige BB Cushion Pore Control in #23 Sand Beige (about NC25), Iope Air Cushion XP Cover in C23 (about NC15-20), and Hera Ultra Moisture in 23 Beige (NC30).
Though I don’t expect long wear time from cushions, this one really stands the test of air conditioned environments, humidity, and heat– even without a mattifying powder on top. It started breaking down on the skin by the 6 hour mark in the full heat of summer, but with minimal patchiness and a fading rather than piling effect.
Luckily, you can reapply it without worrying about it caking up. Strangely enough, layering is still not a problem if you have textural issues like large pores (especially around the sides of the nose for me) or dry and flaky patches. I think this one would be a top seller if it had a higher SPF rating, but I always wear a separate chemical sunscreen underneath of my base makeup.
I think that those with dry to normal skin with minor texture and tone issues will enjoy this as an everyday option, especially for the summer, if they can find a shade match. I definitely enjoy the portability of the product enough to repurchase it once I use up my back-up refill.