My word for 2015 is MAGIC. Probably because of all the crazy-ass magicians I met in 2014. But it turns out that there was already some magic in my house, in the form of this item: the Missha Magic Cushion Case.
What’s that, friends? Why, it’s a cushion compact of course. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of such a thing, I will get you up to speed with a magic lession.
A cushion compact is essentially an innovative way of applying foundation or BB cream. They were first developed by the Korean brand IOPE and subsequently copied by many other beauty brands.
Typically, a cushion compact looks like a powder compact, except it contains a sponge soaked in BB cream, which you dab and apply via a polyurethane puff. It’s the puff that makes the difference and leads to a far more natural, even application than you might get using your fingers or even a brush.
Cushion compacts are huge in Korea but haven’t spread hugely to the West yet. I think this might be because they tend to be quite pricey, plus foundation shades are often better off swatched in real life.
But it looks like cushions are coming our way. Lancome’s Miracle Cushion (RRP £29.50) goes on sale on 11th February in the UK and British Beauty Blogger has already reported on a high end cushion compact on sale in Harvey Nichols at an eye-watering £80.
However, because of the way a cushion works, the packaging, and especially that polyurethane puff, is more important than what it contains. So a budget workaround is to buy the cushion case and then fill it with your favourite face base. This means you can customise your cushion and get exactly the shade and formulation you like. Plus save yourself at least £20 in the process.
I bought the Missha Magic Cushion Case from TesterKorea for 12,000 won (around $11 or £7 – also available on eBay) to try it out.
The elegantly packaged cushion comes in three parts – main case, inner sponge and polyurethane puff. You can also buy replacement sponges, puffs and sachets of BB cream.
The pictured instructions are fairly easy to follow – fill the base of the case with your choice of liquid foundation, BB cream or even sunscreen. It’s a shallow dish so you only need about 5 to 7ml of product to fill it – leave room for the sponge cushion to go on top.
You can also mix more than one product together to custom blend your own shade. I decided to fill mine with a BB cream from Tosowoong which tends to need a lot of blending anyway, plus some Mizon Snail Recovery Gel for extra snaily goodness.
Fill the container, add the cushion, then wait an hour or so whilst it absorbs the product. As you can see it doesn’t absorb evenly, but then I didn’t help it by pressing my fingers down on the sponge to hurry it up.
To use, press down the face puff to pick up the product from the cushion. There is an inner plastic barrier which stops the puff from sitting in the product all the time.
And that’s it! It was a fiddly but ultimately quite fun to do.
As I’ve been using it over the last week, the product has spread out across the sponge more, but it’s still not as even as a pre-filled cushion compact would be.It applies very smoothly and evenly giving a light, natural coverage. Plus it’s unique, which very few things are nowadays. Magical indeed.
What do you think of this? Have you used a cushion compact before? Would you try a DIY version like the Missha cushion compact?