While cushion foundations might seem ubiquitous now, it was in fact Amore Pacific, the parent company of Sulwhasoo, that invented the cushion category in 2008. Drawing inspiration from the humble stamp, Amore Pacific developed a unique cell trap technology using a special sponge with 800,000 holes to contain the liquid foundation in an easy-to-use compact.
Fast forward to 2015 and Sulwhasoo has outdone itself with the Perfecting Cushion Brightening. Ever wanted an ultra-bright complexion with a satin-soft, matte finish? Who doesn't? This new cushion works even better than the original thanks to Bright Complexion Care, a blend of white magnolia blossoms extract and Mother of Pearl complex to brighten the complexion and reduce the amount of melanin present in the skin. In addition, the formula has a Clear Complexion Care that is a combination of liquorice purifying water to hydrate the skin and prevent pigmentation, as well as white ginseng polysaccharides to improve the dullness in your skin tone. Makeup that brightens — not whiten — the skin over time? Sign us up!
To help deal with out hot, humid climate, the formula also contains elastomers to capture the extra sebum on the skin, so that skin feels oil-free and comfortable throughout the day. But don't take our word for it, three women who each live busy lives put the cushion foundation to the test and give their verdict.
SHARON LEISINGER, 31
Photographer and founder of @Isle_of_ease, a bespoke landscape and landscape design company
My lifestyle is... unpredictable and mostly on the go. Some days I'm at the nursery getting my hands dirty under the sun, other days I'm behind or in front of the camera as a photographer and model.
In this weather... I always carry my little pouch of makeup essentials due to my work. Because of Singapore's weather and my having skin that's a tad oily, I also touch up as needed during the course of the day.
My dream foundation... is something that is natural and hydrating, that allows the skin to breathe yet offers some coverage for everyday use. For events, I look for something that's matte without looking cakey, gives a flawless finish and photographs well.
I liked the Perfecting Cushion Brightening as... knowing that its made of herbal ingredients and has skincare benefits makes me feel less guilty about wearing foundation more often. Plus, it accomplishes two things at once — it saves time and is fuss-free. I used shade #23 Medium Beige, and the colour matched perfectly. My skin felt hydrated with just the right amount of coverage. If you're going for a natural, dewy finish, this is perfect, though for oilier complexions, a dusting of powder on top works best. The wet cushion and sponge feature makes re-application quick and convenient compared to using your fingers with regular liquid foundation.
ALMA BISEKEEVA, 33
Entrepreneur and mother of two
My lifestyle is... active. I work with Buro 24/7 during the day and we have quite a lot of after-work events. A few times a week I go to the gym or practice yoga after I put my kids to bed. Therefore, some days are really long. On the weekends, I often go to the park or go biking with my daughters.
In Singapore... it's quite difficult to look fresh throughout the day. My friends sometimes joke about it, as I always try to look good no matter where I am or what I'm doing. I always carry my powder foundation with me. It is so humid here that I need to touch up quite often.
My dream foundation... must be light and fresh. I hate to feel like it's clogging my pores. I need a foundation that won't be visible and obvious on my face. I am always looking for something that will look as natural and flawless as possible.
I liked the Perfecting Cushion Brightening as... it feels very light on my skin and it looks natural. It has a very moisturising formula, yet it doesn't feel oily. And it's easy to use. It's also good to know that this foundation is working on my skin in the long-term as well, by brightening my complexion and making it look more even.
NISA ARIF, 30
Associate at a bank, and founder of @madeforyou.fleurs, a company that personalises floral provisions including bouquets, boutonnièrs and decor.
My lifestyle is... varied. I work in a desk-bound job, but I have a very active daily schedule that includes meetings, presentations, trainings and also lunchtime gym sessions.
I carry... compact powder and lip balm for both work and play. I always have them ready in my handbag for quick touch ups before work meetings, after the gym or post-lunch.
My dream foundation... should work like a magic wand — handy and practical — with the ability to perk up my skin with a fresh, glowing and flawless finish.
I thought that brightening was not for me at first... as I was not a fan of whitening skincare or cosmetics. I love the sun and don't mind the occasional tan. However the brightening effect of the foundation helps to give my skin the glow that I need.
I liked the Perfecting Cushion Brightening as... the colour I wore, #25 Deep Beige, blends well with my skin and it gives me good amount of coverage despite the light texture. I hardly use foundation as it tends to be thick and clogs up my pores. However I am happy to include this into my daily makeup routine due to the texture and the ease of application. I'm excited that I finally found the foundation that suits both my skin and lifestyle.
I tried it with Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum... and it makes the foundation last even longer and provides added hydration and radiance to the skin.
Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening is priced at $80. Available at the Sulwhasoo store and counters.
Photography: Vanessa Caitlin
Beauty Direction: Renée Batchelor
Makeup & Hair: Ira Tedja