Korean cushion foundations for light to medium skin tones


Cushion foundations were something I had really wanted to try when I started my k-beauty obsession last year. I was intrigued with the concept of foundation which could actually help your skin since they are usually infused with notable ingredients as well as fairly decent sun protection. There was a slight problem though, the hunt wasn’t as easy as I had thought it would be.

I’m aware that korean foundations are targeted to koreans (who are very fair) so I’m not complaining about that. I just struggled to find a shade which suited me online. For the record, I’m an NC30, light to medium skin tone with yellow/neutral undertones. After a few misses, I have however, managed to find a few which I totally love. Most of these products are in the shades #25 or #27 as I have given up on trying #23. Hopefully this helps anyone out there who are a bit on the “darker” side like me.

I won’t be going into too much detail about each one because this post will be ages long. If you want a more in depth review on any of these cushions, please let me know in the comments.

I will include some swatches on my arm but they aren’t very good since its kinda difficult to get a good swatch from a cushion. Had some issues with my lighting as well so bear with me. Anywho, enough chatter, let’s get on with this review!

Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion

Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion
Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion

Claims:  Source: https://us.sulwhasoo.com/perfecting-cushion

A cushion foundation that creates flawless-looking skin with a healthy, radiating glow

This cushion includes a moisturizing blend of apricot seed and Korean herbs, and creates a flawless radiant glow.

Covers spots and signs of wrinkles using a special watercolor method which disperses color into water instead of oil.

A film-fixing polymer forms a perfectly seamless layer for beautiful makeup that lasts up to 12 hours.

Shade: #25 Deep Beige (matches me perfectly)
Color range: 6 colours, up to #33
Lasting power: 8hrs
Why I love it: Satin or demi-matte finish making my skin look healthy. It never looks greasy on my combo skin. Its long lasting and has medium coverage. I usually set my t-zone with powder. Its a quick cushion to apply since the colour matches so well making it a good everyday cushion.
Cost: $46.06 USD from ibuybeauti.com. Includes 1 refill

sulwhasoo perfecting cushion
sulwhasoo perfecting cushion

YSL Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation/Le Cushion Encre De Peau

YSL Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation/Le Cushion Encre De Peau
YSL Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation/Le Cushion Encre De Peau



Claims: Source: https://www.yslbeauty.co.uk/makeup/complexion/foundation/fusion-ink-cushion-foundation/WW-20550YSL.html

For a radiant, smoother looking complexion on the go, use our latest innovation NEW Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation. The medium-coverage foundation can be used alone or as a top-up product for skin that looks luminous all day.

Shade: #50 medium tan, neutral undertone (matches me perfectly)
Color range: 6 colours, up to #60
Staying power: 8hrs
Why I love it: This gives me a nice luminous finish, making my skin look almost pore less and non greasy. You don’t need to apply highlighter on top of this one. Its long lasting and has medium coverage. I usually set it with powder on my t-zone. Lots of reviewers have raved about this one being their HG cushion and I would have to agree with that claim. It is special and I only use it on special occasions since its quite expensive. You may be wondering why I’m including this as a Korean cushion when its YSL, the reason being is that its actually made in Korea.
Cost: $89 AUD from myer.com.au. No refill.

YSL Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation
YSL Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation

Moonshot Face Perfection Balm Cushion

Moonshot Face Perfection Balm Cushion
Moonshot Face Perfection Balm Cushion

Claims: Source https://boniik.com/face-perfection-balm-cushion-refill.html

Balm foundation cushion that melts into the skin high coverage cushion foundation provides moisture and healthy glowing skin finish.

Shade: #301 sand beige (matches me 95%)
Color range: 3 colours, #301 is the darkest.
Staying power: 8hrs
Why I love it: This cushion has the best coverage of this bunch. High coverage and gives you a creamy and glowy finish. The cushion has a netting cover which makes it easy to get a good amount on the puff. This one definitely needs setting with powder especially if you have oily skin. With a light hand, you can pull off natural looking coverage with this. Since the colour match isn’t 100%, I usually go in with some bronzer. I have also tried their black micro cushion which was too light even though it was #301 too. That was a miss for me, this pink one was much better in terms of finish/coverage/colour.
Cost: $37.80 AUD from https://boniik.com (got it on sale). Includes 1 refill.

Moonshot Face Perfection Balm Cushion
Moonshot Face Perfection Balm Cushion

Pony Effect Everlasting Cushion Foundation

Pony Effect Everlasting Cushion Foundation
Pony Effect Everlasting Cushion Foundation

Claims: Source https://www.yesstyle.com/en/memebox-pony-effect-everlasting-cushion-foundation-spf50-pa-with-refill/info.html/pid.1062712815

Cushion foundation provides light buildable coverage to conceal uneven skin tone and light blemishes, culminating in a dewy finish. SPF 50+ PA+++ provides maximum sun protection.

Shade: Sand (matches me 95%)
Color range: 7 colours, Sand is the darkest.
Staying power: 5hrs
Why I love it: I actually don’t love this one. I like that it has medium coverage and its dewy (borderline shiny) finish but my only gripe is that I can feel it on my skin. It feels like a weightier formula which drier skin types might enjoy. I feel like for my combo skin, I would enjoy it more in the cooler months.
Cost: $30.68 USD ebay – roseroseshop. Includes 1 refill.

Pony Effect Everlasting Cushion Foundation
Pony Effect Everlasting Cushion Foundation

Hera UV Mist Cushion

Hera UV Mist Cushion
Hera UV Mist Cushion

Claims: Source https://www.yesstyle.com/en/hera-uv-mist-cushion-nude-with-refill-spf34-pa-25-amber-15g-15g/info.html/pid.1050466779?cpid=1050466778

Light texture completes transparent and bright complexion at the same time and protects against rays.

Shade: #25 Amber (matches me 100%)
Color range: 4 colours, Amber is the darkest.
Staying power: 6hrs
Why I love it:  This cushion is a no brainer for me. It has light coverage and the finish is more on the satin/demi-matte side. It gives me a bright and healthy looking glow. Staying power isn’t as long on my skin, I would say 6 hours and I usually set my t-zone with powder. I alternate between this and the Sulwhasoo cushion on the daily.
Cost: $34.75 USD – https://cosmetic-love.com/. Includes 1 refill.

Hera UV Mist Cushion
Hera UV Mist Cushion

Final thoughts

I love the idea of cushion foundations so I’m really glad that I’ve found some which I really enjoy. Cushion foundations are made to be applied with its puff, using a patting motion, which I find is quick and easy. People who chuck them out aren’t getting the most of their “cushion foundation experience”. The puffs can also be washed (I use my oil cleanser) and reused. They supposedly are anti-microbial so you don’t HAVE to wash them after each use, just regularly will do. I usually buy a pack of puffs and alternate them anyway which is why some of the cushions had Gudetama puffs.

I realise that some of the cushions that I have mentioned are quite pricey but it just seemed like the higher end companies were more accomodating with their shade range.  I know western brands such as Wet and Wild, Maybelline and Loreal have produced their own versions too but I haven’t tried them out yet. Laneige also has a good shade range for their cushions but the one I have tried, their Pore Control BB cushion, was a miss for me (too matte and too light #23). Missha and Etude House also have a good shade range for their cushions too. A review on the Missha Magic Cushion will be coming soon!

Let me know if you have tried any of the foundations I have mentioned and your experience, I would love to know!




11 thoughts on “Korean cushion foundations for light to medium skin tones

  1. I am searching for the right skin tone for Korean brand foundation. So glad that I found yours!. I am also NC30 with yellow undertone. I am getting addiction in finding the right shade for my skin tone, and also will cover the hot humid summer in Gulf Coast area. People here prefer tan rather than pale looking. YSL cushion is always under my radar, but I can’t lay my hands on while living in the States. Espoir Pro Taylor Foundation Be Glow recently came up with an array of skin tones this year. I am very interested, but can’t decide on the color. Jungsamemool’s Essential Star-cealer Foundation is also on my radar. It has only three colors, and I am worried that the deep medium shade has pink undertone. Their medium shade is close to Korean’s No. 21.


    • Hi Julia, I just quickly checked out some swatches online of both foundations you mentioned and they seem great. I haven’t used any espoir foundations before but judging from the swatches, I would either go for tan or honey. With the Jungsamemool one, the deepest shade looks more neautral to me, not pink not that is just from a swatch. Generally though, when a foundation only has three shades, chances are they even the darkest (#23) is too light. I did hear that the YSL cushion wasn’t available in the states which sux because it’s really good. I tried Missha’s magic cushion recently and it has good coverage, med – high, and the shade 27 matches me perfectly! It’s fun to hunt around for the right one, have fun and good luck! 😁


      • Hi Kim,
        So glad to get your replay, and thank you so much for checking both foundations’ shades for me. I caved and ordered Jungsamemool in darkest shade and Espoir’s in tan, plus a 3ce Mood Recipe in Brilliant lipstick. The Espoir one is meant for current Korean trend in glass looking foundation. A fairly new product. Will share my thoughts after they arrive. International shipping above $11 was expensive, but oh well. I will definitely check into Missha’s Magic Cushion. It’s not easy to find the right shade for our skin tone. Thanks for sharing! Persevere!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Kim, glad i found your article. I am also in the search of bb cushion for my light to medium with yellow undertone. #23 is still too light for my NC27ish. From all the cushions above, which one suits for NC27 with dry skin? Thanks a lot


    • Hi Poet!
      I’m usually a #25 or #27 in Korean foundations and BB creams. For dry skin I would recommend the YSL Cushion Ink cushion in shade #40 perhaps? You sound a bit lighter than me and I bought #50. If you can try it in store, then you can colour match exactly which is what I did. Would also recommend the Pony Effect cushion if you like more glowy finishes.

      Good luck in your hunt! Hope this helped!


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