The Gloss Report: Cushion Foundations

Anna Hunter 23 June 2017
Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

1 / 8

Cushion Foundations tried and tested

Beauty in the summer can be extremely difficult - and transporting it can be even worse. Liquid foundations can end up all over the place and can the often heavy formulas even withstand the heat on our skin? The cushion foundation is the latest product to take the beauty world by storm with its light liquid formula and easy-to-transport packaging, but is it really worth all of the hype?

At Gloss HQ, we've tested the latest cushion foundations and are not holding back with what we thought of them. Click through the gallery to read our reviews...

2 / 8

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Le Cushion, £40

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The promise: “Customisable coverage that offers a burst of brilliant, tailor-made luminosity.”

We give it: 5/10

Review: “Touche Éclat, in all-over-face form? 25 years since the launch of the iconic golden pen, a cushion foundation form is born, and the retro gold compact is as covetable as the original- you can imagine film stars of old whipping this out on the Côte d’Azur.”

“Packaging aside, now onto whether it delivers on the telltale radiance that Touche Éclat is known for. In a word, yes, but if you’re even slightly oily or even combination of skin, the particles of gold along with the plant oils in the formula will likely prove too shiny on a summer’s day, or actually, any day. That’s not to say that this foundation is heavy- the liquid is sheer and lightweight, and dry skins will drink it up while profiting from the luminous finish. Portable and easy to use, it has many plus points, but unfortunately the shade range is limited (no shades to cater for dark skin tones at all, which is very disappointing), plus it has a pretty whopping price point. If you’re a long-term Touche Éclat devotee the likelihood is you’ll love it, but be aware that it’s not for everyone on a few different levels.”

Reviewer: AH

3 / 8

Lancome Miracle Cushion Foundation, £31.50

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The promise: 'Effortless perfection in seconds anytime, anywhere.'

We give it: 8/10

Review: “I’m not usually one for foundation as I generally find it far too heavy on my skin but the Lancome Miracle Cushion Foundation is very much an exception to that. This foundation is extremely lightweight with a fairly sheer coverage which is perfect for this time of year. With this foundation, your skin still looks like skin but evens everything out, instantly giving the look of an inner glow and radiance. The application is easy, I rarely use the brush or applicator given with a product but this puff picks up the perfect amount of product and blends it seamlessly into the skin. The application is super speedy and is a must-have for days when I’m rushing out the door - I also can’t get enough of it for touch-ups on the go. The only thing I would say, is for someone who doesn’t like to wear too much base makeup, I do still have to use a concealer over some problem areas like my under eyes or any blemishes.”

Reviewer: LP

4 / 8

Pur Air Perfection CC Compact Cushion Foundation, £28

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The promise: 'The flawless finish you love in our lightest foundation makeup ever. Believable coverage that’s lighter than air. Pur Air Perfection cushion foundation delivers ultra high-quality sheer to medium coverage with a unique, mousse-like texture that feels lighter than air, built for fast, flawless blending.'

We give it: 7/10

Review: "I rarely wear foundations day-to-day as I prefer to use a light coverage and allow my skin to breath (as much as possible anyway) so when I saw that this was a CC foundation it really caught my eye. They claim that it delivers a sheer to medium coverage without weighing you down and this is something that I can definitely vouch for; the foundation just glides on to your skin with it’s beautiful light, liquid-mousse texture which really helps to even out your complexion with the end result being a beautiful dewy finish. It also has SPF 50+ which is great as it gives you protection which is essential for this time of year without having to add another layer of coverage to your skin.

"You may need to powder the foundation throughout the day as I found myself getting shiny if I’d been out and about. I’d also recommend using a buffing brush or something similar to apply the foundation as I didn’t feel the sponge that came with it helped the application process at all. The biggest dislike for me however was the smell of the foundation, I’m really not a fan of scented or fragranced foundations, so this was slightly off-putting. However saying that didn’t actually take much away from my opinion of the foundation itself. As another added bonus you also get a refill for the foundation when you’re purchasing it so for the price you’re essentially getting two!"

Reviewer: RM

5 / 8

L’Oreal Paris Nude Magique Cushion Foundation, £14.99

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The promise: 'Customise your coverage with effortlessly buildable application on the go.'

We give it: 9/10

Review: “I have to admit, I assumed the cushion craze was a gimmick, but consider me proven wrong. I don't quite get how it works (Is it hygienic? Is this the foundation version of a face wipe? The jury’s out), but I get why it's a craze - portable, easy application of liquid foundation: done. If you're a makeup-applying commuter, you need one. And I would suggest you start with this one from L'Oreal; buildable, dewy coverage, using the sponge to dab or swipe on the foundation is foolproof and gives an impressive, soft focus effect on the skin. As well as containing mineral SPF, it's also somehow cooling, though perhaps that's more to do with the heatwave than any intended technology. It lasts well and looks natural while hiding spots and redness with the right application; the best bits of a foundation in a shiny new format.”

Reviewer: JJ

6 / 8

KIKO CC Cream Cushion System, £7.90

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The promise: “Colour-perfecting foundation with SPF 25 for a radiant complexion and even-looking skin.”

We give it: 10/10

Review: “Offering the finish of a liquid foundation and the practicality of a powder one, this particular pick scored full marks from me; and for good reason. Providing smooth, medium level coverage, it left my skin looking visibly more even and radiant. Building intensity was refreshingly easy and mess-free, and the 10 shades provide a good choice for a range of skin tones. The inner lid was a great addition, quite literally keeping a lid on any handbag spillages, and the formula was so lightweight that it felt like I had hardly anything on at all. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for an on-the-go foundation alternative.”

Reviewer: AM

7 / 8

Clinique Super City Block™ BB Cushion Compact SPF 50, £30

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The promise: “Buildable, breathable fluid makeup delivering a natural matte finish with high protection.”

We give it: 8/10

Review: “As a super fan of the liquid version of City Block (the Sheer version is my daily must-have) I was excited to give this cushion compact version a go. My love for City Block stems from the glow it gives as well as the use of mineral sun protection filters - which alongside their fragrance-free ethos makes it perfect for sensitive skin like mine. The cushion foundation uses mineral filters too, but of course is far more easy to use on the go and is much more lightweight despite being an impressive SPF50. The finish is flawless; it’s not oily, is easily buildable and lasts well. I did have to touch up a little in the day where it creased slightly, though I think that’s where my dry skin type needs more moisture generally. My main criticism is the shade range; even the fairest is quite warm (it suits me with my slight tan) but with only four shades in total it’s not as inclusive as it could be. Top marks though for texture and a super high SPF.”

Reviewer: JJ

8 / 8

Diorskin Forever Perfect Cushion Foundation, £35

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The promise: “16 hour wear with a luminous matte finish and pore refining effect.”

We give it: 9/10

Review: “If you find that cushions don’t quite deliver on coverage, staying power or grease relief, this sleek navy Dior number will confound your assumptions. To set the scene, I have combination skin that’s prone to breakouts, redness and midday sheen across my T-zone, and when I put this through its paces I was running on about three hour’s sleep (don’t ask) and was on and off planes, trains and tubes. That’s makeup bootcamp right there- only the toughest stuff will make it through, and this silky textured, shine mopping and skin-evening cushion passed the test with flying colours. In fact, the colour range is the only area where Forever Perfect falls short- Honey Beige is as deep as it gets, which is disappointing. Otherwise Dior’s take on a cushion for us shiny, slightly spotty people will have scored full marks. Shade 020 suits me to a tee too- I’ll be buying this again, especially for travel purposes (it neatly eschews the 100ml liquid limit dilemma).

Reviewer: AH