Review: Innisfree Ampoule Intense Cushion

Friday, 29 May 2015

If you're even the slightest bit interested in Korean makeup, then you should know that cushion compacts have taken the Asian beauty market by storm for the past 2 years. Not only do they have properties that are good for the skin, they are also more convenient in terms of application.

BUT despite how big it got in Korea, I wasn't too eager to get my hands on one because I didn't want to buy anything that I couldn't test directly on my face. It was PONY who changed my mind because it was a product she recommended for people with dry skin. The Innisfree Ampoule Intense Cushion also goes by the name "winter cushion" due to its high moisturising properties to "[keep] your skin hydrated for a long period by restoring moisture to your skin". According to Innisfree:

The winter cushion provides moisture for non-drying moisture skin for 24 hours. High refraction of the blooming oil evenly distributes light, giving your skin a gorgeous natural glow. The excellent formula of the cushion absorbs quickly to the skin, allowing a buildable layer.

I bought my first one (in shade #21) in Hong Kong for HKD$195 (about $31) and my second one on eBay (in shade #23) for $33—I could've gotten it for about $26-27, but I clicked "Commit to Buy" too fast (sigh).

I've read pretty good reviews about this product before my first purchase, but now that more cushions have come out into the market, I can see that a lot people have rated it quite poorly—which surprised me because I really like it. It's by no means perfect, but it's one of the best face products I've ever used. (And it's my first cushion too!) Innisfree claims it has the following benefits:

  • It keeps the skin moisturised;
  • Skin looks healthy-looking (natural coverage);
  • Skin looks more radiant; and
  • It has 3 cosmetic functions: UV protection (SPF43 PA++), whitening and wrinkle care.

It definitely moisturises my skin better than any foundation/BB cream I've previously tried because it doesn't accentuate the dry areas on my face. (Though, my skin texture itself has improved since I started using Biotherm's Life Plankton Essence.) It also makes my skin look dewy (which I LOVE), and it hides my pores really well. While the Eco Air Magic Puff might not be the most hygienic applicator out there, it does an AMAZING job: it applies the product evenly to my face and won't leave any uneven blotches or streaks like some brushes do. (I'm going to go to Korea and just buy like 10 of them.) The only thing I don't like about this cushion is the fact that it has really light coverage, which is not buildable either—in other words, it brightens (when I'm using shade #21), but doesn't cover.

Now for the breakdown. It's more suitable for people with dry skin—but that's not to say that people with normal to combination skin can't use it. If you like that Korean dewy look, then by all means, give it a try. But I'd stay away if I had oily skin. One compact will cost you about $26-35 depending on where you buy it (and taking into account exchange rates). It comes in a round plastic container with a mirror inside. The original packaging has 15g of product, but it's refillable like most cushions (just pop out the inside part where the actual product sits with a ruler or something). Refills cost about $20. To use, simply press the puff into the "cushion" and then pat it all over your face.

It comes in three shades: #13 Light Beige, #21 Natural Beige and #23 True Beige. I rarely go wrong with Korean face products (from whichever brand) with shade #21. FYI, I'm light with a yellow undertone. I don't actually know what Mac shade I am (I'm guessing a NC20), but I'm #1 Warm Ivory in Bobbi Brown's books and Deauville according to NARS. Click here for a better guide and see how you fair.

At first, I bought shade #21 Natural Beige because it matched me the most when I tested it in Hong Kong. However, when I started using it in Sydney, it turned out to be lighter than I had imagined so I bought shade #23 True Beige to see how much "darker" it was. Turns out that #23 is a better match for me, but it doesn't actually give me a "glow". Bottom line: I prefer #21 now that I've tried #23 (a matter of personal preference, really).

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