IOPE Air Cushion Foundation: Too Much Cushion, Not Enough Foundation

IOPE Air Cushion Foundation

I haven’t had much experience with Korean cosmetics but this much I know – they sure are popular for their cushion base makeup. The first type of cushion base makeup I tried was the Laneige BB Cushion. Unfortunately, that didn’t impress me much and I stopped giving cushion foundations and BB creams much thought after that. Well, that was until Mum got this for me.

The IOPE Air Cushion Foundation is one of her favourite foundations and during a recent trip to South Korea, she asked me if I was interested in trying it out as well. I figured why not, let’s give it a go! LeGeeque bought the same one very soon after I got mine and she likes it. Well, if these 2 people in my life like it that much, plus the fact that this foundation has won so many awards over the past few years, then things must look up for me, eh? 🙂

Well, erm, in this case, no. Not really.

IOPE Air Cushion Foundation

The IOPE Cushion Foundation comes in a white, plastic compact with a makeup sponge pad. As far as the packaging goes, it’s typical of cushion foundations in which it has a lid to cover the cushion and to prevent the product from drying out. It’s pretty much liquid foundation soaked in sponge.

IOPE Air Cushion Foundation

The foundation itself is lightweight and creamy, and it leaves a dewy finish on the skin. I’m not keen on the latter as it’s a tad too dewy for my liking (to a point where it makes my skin appear moist). The coverage is light and I found it hard to build it to a medium. Adding more layers of foundation on the skin didn’t seem to do the coverage much good. As for lasting power, it doesn’t stay on my skin for many hours. After wearing this all day, a lot of the foundation would have faded.

IOPE Air Cushion Foundation

I told LeGeeque that this wasn’t working for me and she recommended that I use my fingers to apply this instead of the sponge as the sponge soak up a lot of product and a lot of it is wasted. When I used my fingers (press on the cushion until liquid sticks to the finger), I managed to get more product on my skin, which gave the skin better coverage with less layers instead of using the sponge.

IOPE Air Cushion Foundation Swatch

Even so, I’m afraid I’m not a fan of this cushion foundation at all. I didn’t like how wet it looked on my skin, the lack of coverage and the pathetic sponge that soaks up so much product but doesn’t seem to pass on any onto my skin. It feels icky pushing my index finger into the cushion to get the foundation, which is weird because I definitely have no issues using my fingers on a cream foundation compact.

IOPE Air Cushion Foundation Before and After

I really had to wonder if it’s the foundation I’m not keen on or if it’s a TYPE of foundation I’m just not liking. I haven’t tried Lancome’s Cushion Foundation yet and while I’m quite eager on giving the one by Sulwhasoo a go (apparently, it’s much better than IOPE’s!), I must admit that I have my reservations. Perhaps it’s just the fact that it comes in a cushion that I’m not liking. Oh I don’t know. *throw hands up in the air in defeat*. 😛

IOPE Air Cushion Foundation

IOPE’s Air Cushion Foundation retails at around US$47 but you can find it ranging from US$40-$60 depending on which store you go to as different retailers tend to charge differently for Asian cosmetics. You can get IOPE products at SASA’s online store and on eBay. Each box of the cushion foundation comes with a refill, which is good because if you do like cushion foundations, you’ll find that they finish far more quickly than regular liquid foundations. The sceptic in me finds cushion foundations gimmicky and not economical. I don’t know if I’m keen on trying out another cushion foundation. But hey, never say never, right?

What I like about it: Lightweight, oil-free, high SPF

What I do not like about it: Poor coverage, mediocre lasting power, the sponge soaks up a lot of product (hence a lot of wasted foundation), the finish is too dewy for my liking.

Have you tried this cushion foundation by IOPE or any other cushion foundations from other brands? Did you like them? Do you prefer them to regular foundations or would you much rather stick to conventional foundations?

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11 comments… add one
  1. Norlin

    Okie dokie, I just bought the Lanegie one and I actually love mine! I think they’re meant to give you a dewy finish and yes it doesn’t pick up much product, I agree but I’m wondering if we’ve been so accustomed to putting too much on? The girl showed me how to apply the product and it definitely wasn’t the usual rubbing/buffing the sponge/puff on your face type of thing. More of a ‘pat pat pat’. And while it didn’t give full coverage- haven’t tried to build it up as I wanted a light cover – it did even out my skin tone. I’m a bit iffy about the sponge and bacteria relationship though…
    Norlin recently posted..Health & Fitness: What To Wear Running in Warmer WeatherMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Yeah I think I’m used to putting a lot more coverage on compared to just a teeny bit and looking all moist and tacky. I rubbed, buffed and patted the sponge on my skin, no matter how I did it, I couldn’t get it to look good on my skin. Sigh.

  2. Mel

    Thanks for the honest review. I love the idea of cushion foundation, but most are out of my price range now, especially since I’m not a huge liquid foundation lover.
    Mel recently posted..October Favourites! 2015My Profile

    1. Tine

      I reckon the Korean ones will be cheaper. Haven’t tried Lancome’s; not interested either. 😛

  3. Paris B

    You know Tine, I actually like this 🙂 Unlike Geek, I don’t use my fingers to apply. The sponge works, but you have to “understand” how it works. Because the surface of the sponge is rather rubbery, it doesn’t pick up as much product as say, a spongy texture will. So, what I so is slip my fingers into the strap, “roll” the sponge on the surface of the cushion, then “roll” or pat it on my face. This way, the coverage is better.

    However, I will agree that coverage itself is poor, although it does a very good job at giving me that “natural no makeup” look. I even out my skintone and redness, and what I do after that, is apply some concealer where I need it. A dusting of powder over usually helps to set and add coverage. Use a powder foundation, if you like, and a fluffy brush and just brush over. I get a very very natural look that I’m favouring right now. I think it’s just the Korean style of base – transparent.

    Most of the other Korean cushion foundations I’ve used are the same. Laneige is similar from memory. I haven’t tried Sulwhasoo although I was meaning to, but Geek says Iope is better. I personally am not in the market to try either Lancome or Estee Lauder for now. Too expensive, no refill and knowing these gwailos, it’ll be heavy 😛 So ya, my 2 sen = A$0.006 *cries*
    Paris B recently posted..Your Say: Do you buy backups of your favourite beauty products?My Profile

    1. Tine

      I did the whole patting thing too. Figured I’d better YouTube how the heck to use it correctly. Nothing. Or should I say, same thing. No difference. Oh wait, I did take much longer time to get product on my skin by patting so in the end I was like, GAH I GIVE UP! After complaining to Geek, I used my fingers instead.

      Like Norlin said, I reckon I’m just accustomed to having more coverage and doing less work to achieve it. In other words, LAZY. 😛

      PS: Sigh our 0.006 now dropped liao :'(

  4. Di from Max The Unicorn

    I haven’t tried a cushion foundation, but the concept does seem gimmicky to me too. The poor coverage would be a dealbreaker for me!
    Di from Max The Unicorn recently posted..Review: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel 2X Volume Top Coat*My Profile

    1. Tine

      Funny enough I thought the dealbreaker would be the poor coverage but for me, it’s actually the moist look and feeling it leaves on the skin. Not a fan 🙁 Unfortunately, this is a very popular trend in Korea, and as much as I like looking at pictures of radiant Korean skin, I don’t like it on me. 😛

  5. Robert C.

    The Sulwhasoo cushion is not bad, IMO. It’s one of my go-tos when I’m in a hurry (which let’s face it, almost everyday). I’d say, it’s a pretty solid medium coverage, although some may not agree with me. The only issue I’ve encountered so far is the price tag hahaha, have to buy it online because it’s not available here in the UK (plus the currency conversion is horrible. sighs.).

    Sad to hear that the iope one isn’t to your liking. Though I’ve never tried it before so I couldn’t comment or compare it. And similar to Paris’ comment, I don’t think I’ll ever try Lancome’s or EL’s “cushion” because I feel that these companies or “guai lous” (hahahaha) are milking this trend. You don’t get your money’s worth either as there’s no refills. Thus meaning the lancome cushion is 15ml for AU60/ 28-29pounds. Add another few pounds and you can get 15×2 sulwhasoo cushion compact lol. If memory serves me right, the EL one contains less product than the lancome one. Which is horrendous in itself.

    Additionally I trust the color-ranges of asian- companies more hahahaha but that’s just my preference.

    1. Tine

      Yeah the Western brand cushion foundations sure are expensive. I haven’t tried those either and I’m not tempted to at all. I reckon I’ll happily stick to conventional liquid foundations for now, until someone creates a cushion foundation with a tad more coverage and a lot less “wet” looking. 😛

  6. Hannah Thanh ho

    I have tried Iope Cushion. Honestly, I prefer to take more time to put on foundation and finished powder than to try any cushion one more time. It is mid-end product but it looks worse much time than US drugstore product…
    It is kinda of waste my money. It was not full of coverage, too dewy, take too much time too puff it on the face. I could use my beauty blender to build up my foundation mich faster than it. The reason i wanted to try cushion is the convenience of small compact. It will not take too much space in my purse .Packaging and fame was really impressed me. Not any more.

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