Why I Think It's a Game-Changer

YSL Cushion Foundation Review

I was so excited to try this YSL foundation because I’ve tried other cushion foundations in the past and loved their convenience. Even though I’m a fully certified makeup artist, I admit that I can be lazy when doing my daily makeup routine. I’m finding now, especially with mask-wearing, that I don’t have much motivation to wear full coverage foundation, so this product should be a great addition to my kit.

YSL has a few other cushion foundations available, but they seem to be phasing them out from most stores. I’ll be reviewing a specific one today called Le Cushion Encre de Peau Foundation.

Without further ado, let’s jump into my review!

Key Features

Le Cushion Encre de Peau is a light-to-medium foundation that offers a gorgeous radiant finish. It’s formulated to last all day on the skin and will keep you shine-free no matter how much running around you do. It’s also supposed to moisturize and protect the skin while you’re wearing it. If you’re wondering, I got the shade 10.

YSL claims that it can also be used as a touch-up product throughout the day, so if your current foundation is wearing away, you can apply a few pats to the face using the included sponge applicator.

The packaging itself is luxurious; the top of the packaging is made with signature black leather and is embossed with YSL’s logo in gold. I feel pretty sophisticated every time I pull out my compact. The foundation insert itself can also be removed and refilled when it runs out, so you never have to buy a completely new case each time. I believe that the refills are only available on the YSL website.

The foundation itself is available in 6 different shades, which in my opinion, is pretty abysmal. There aren’t many shades for very light and deep skin tones, so they need to up their shade range a lot.

Pros

  • The compact is made from luxurious materials and can be utilized as a fancy mirror if you decide to remove the foundation insert.
  • The finish of this foundation is very luminous and gives you an overall gorgeous glow.
  • The foundation feels very lightweight on the skin.
  • The natural finish means that your skin won’t look cakey throughout the day.

Cons

  • The shade range is minimal.
  • The refills are sort of hard to get a hold of, so you may have to wait once your product runs out.
  • The included sponge puff can get quite saturated with product and harbour facial bacteria if always stored in the compact.

Where and What To Buy

As previously mentioned, this cushion foundation comes in six different shades. The shade names themselves are just numbers; shades 10,15,20,25, 30, and 40. As the range is limited, there’s less risk of you picking an incorrect undertone; from what I can see, each shade leans more towards neutral so that it is more versatile for each specific undertone.

If you’re on the fence between two different shades, I would recommend going for the lighter shade, as it’s easier to warm up your face with bronzer afterward. If you choose a shade that is too dark, it’s pretty hard to hide in direct sunlight.

If you’re looking to purchase this cushion foundation for the first time, I would recommend going to Sephora, as they have the best shipping and points services on offer. As this is a more expensive foundation, you’ll get many points on your Beauty Insider account, which is a huge bonus! I also find that Sephora restocks a lot quicker than other beauty retailers.

Now, if you’ve run out of product in your cushion, then the best place to purchase is directly from the YSL website. Whatever you do, don’t repurchase the entire compact because you’ll be paying a hefty price each time you run out!

First Impressions & Application

When I first picked up the product in Sephora, I was mesmerized by how luxurious even the box felt! I have many nice makeup products in my kit, but I’ve never splurged on high-end couture brand items before.

While it’s more practical to equip your makeup routine with more affordable products, it is nice to buy something fancier every once in a while. I love that you can keep the compact forever and that it has a mirror in it. And if you have extra dollars lying around, you really can’t go wrong!

Once I had opened the box and removed the compact, I was glad to find that they had included an embossed sponge puff to use during the application. I don’t use the sponge for at-home applications because I find it gets too saturated and gross in no time, and I prefer brushes for more accurate coverage.

I would recommend keeping the sponge in the compact and only using it when you need to do touch-ups when you’re out-and-about. Remember to wash the sponge at the end of each week, so you don’t continue to apply bacteria back onto the face. Trust me, it’s tedious to wash your tools every week, but your skin will thank you.

When I applied the foundation with my stippling brush, I was pleased with the luminosity it brought to my skin. I used circular motions to buff the product deep into my skin and then applied a light coverage setting powder on top. Make sure you use a good primer and setting spray to optimize the product’s wear.

I didn’t notice any major issues after I did my entire routine. The only issue I could foresee happening is if you used the included sponge and swiped the product in linear motions, you will have a streaky application if you do this.

All-Day Wear

I wore this foundation over many days because sometimes issues can arise after a few wears. I can honestly say that I didn’t run into anything that made me regret my purchase.

What’s also important to note is that I was wearing my mask a lot during the day, and I also went to the gym, which isn’t the intended use for this product. If you want something that will withstand heavy sweating or heavy rain, I recommend looking for a waterproof foundation.

I thought it would be best to layout my observations in a list below so you have a comprehensive picture of my experience. Here are my all-day wear observations:

  • The first time I put on my mask, there was some product transfer. To be fair to the product, even some of my other high-coverage and transfer-resistant foundations have done this too. You won’t be dealing with this issue as much in normal circumstances.
  • I noticed a slight product separation in my drier areas at about two hours into wear. It wasn’t as bad as some of my other foundations, and I did a quick re-application with the included sponge. If you run into this issue and don’t have your compact with you, take a tissue and gently pat at the area, so it doesn’t get worse.
  • As the day wore on, some of those separations kept happening, but I could fix them quite easily. This is why primer and setting spray is so important; it can delay or even stop these minor issues from happening. Also, I used a primer that wasn’t targeted to my specific skin type, so I could be partially to blame for this.
  • At the end of the day, most of my coverage was still there, except the tip of my nose from my mask. Trust me; this is not something to worry about, as masks will do this to pretty much everyone. When I stayed home for most of the day on one wear test, it was totally fine!

Alternatives

If you’re not able to pick up the Le Cushion Encre de Peau Foundation or want to check out other options, see below for some great alternatives!

Amore Pacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

This compact foundation is a great option if you’re looking for added sun protection benefits; the built-in 50 SPF provides a great barrier between harmful UVA and UVB rays. Amore Pacific spent five years crafting this cushion foundation; they created a unique patented foam that holds powerful skincare ingredients so you can get a uniform application every time.

The foundation itself comes in five different shades that consider a range of undertones. This product wears more like a tinted moisturizer, so the shade is more likely to adapt to your skin as you wear it. You also get an extra refill, so you don’t have to worry about running out last minute.

Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Cushion Compact Foundation

Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Cushion Compact Foundation

The Shiseido cushion compact is unique in that it contains a patented ActiveForce technology that adapts to your skin’s unique needs and refreshes itself for over 16 hours of wear. It has a natural finish, so you don’t have to worry about it looking overly cakey too. That sounds pretty good to me!

This cushion foundation comes in eight different shades, and there are different undertone options. However, there aren’t many options for deeper skin tones. Shiseido needs to expand its range here.

Dior Capture Dreamskin Fresh & Perfect Cushion

The Dior cushion foundation is a great option for very light coverage and many skincare benefits. Think of this product as more of a skin evener than a full coverage foundation; upon application, it will cover redness, shine, and visible pores.

Dior claims that your skin will start to appear more hydrated and luminous over time, which is a huge plus! It’s always great to use a face product that gives you hidden benefits way after you’ve taken it off. The cushion comes in 4 different tints and an untinted version geared more towards the evening skincare benefits.

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Cushion Foundation

The Teint Idole Cushion compact is an excellent option if you want buildable coverage with 50 SPF protection. Most other cushion foundations are quite light and luminous, but Lancôme created the formula towards medium-full coverage and a velvety matte finish.

The cushion itself is not made from traditional foam but an intricate fiber network that eliminates product waste on every application. It’s also suitable for all skin types, so you don’t have to worry about whether it will cause breakouts or dry patches.

On the website, there are only five available shades showing. However, I believe they are low on stock, and there should be a greater range of shades normally.

FAQs

Question: Are cushion foundations better than liquid foundations?

Answer: No, cushion foundations aren’t necessarily better than liquids! I always say that it comes down to preference and what you’re looking to get out of your product. Cushion foundations tend to be lighter coverage and contain additional skincare benefits. Liquid foundations are more versatile in that they can be built to the coverage you desire. Honestly, I would recommend investing in both, so you always have options.

Question: Do I need a primer with a cushion foundation?

Answer: Yes! I would always recommend a primer with a cushion, or any foundation for that matter! Primers help keep the foundation in place for longer and provide additional benefits, like hydration or pore tightening. I would always recommend getting a primer formulated for your skin type.

Question: What is the best method to apply a cushion foundation?

Answer: I would always recommend using a soft stippling brush to apply a cushion foundation; this will ensure a smoother application each time. Whatever tool you use, make sure that you clean it often as the foam barrier of the cushion can start to grow bacteria.

YSL Cushion Foundation Review: Bottomline

All in all, the YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau is a great option if you’re looking for a light, buildable foundation that evens tone and provides luminosity to the skin. I love how convenient it is to carry and that the packaging is well made and luxurious. If you’re interested in giving it a try yourself, make sure you follow my recommendations so that you get the best wear possible.

If you’d like to read more about some more fantastic reviews, check out these articles below:

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