LANCOME MIRACLE CUSHION FOUNDATION

how does this Korean-beauty-inspired compact rate? + all six Canadian shades swatched
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how does this Korean-beauty-inspired compact rate? + all six Canadian shades swatched
Lancome Miracle Cushion_post office sponge damper

Remember this? It's a post-office sponge damper.

about cushion compacts

Once upon a time, before someone invented self-adhesive stamps, post offices kept a little round sponge sitting in water in a little round dish so you could moisten your stamp without having to lick stuff (ick). Sometime in 2007, Korean beauty brand AmorePacific, apparently inspired by the idea of putting a "stamp of approval" on a new must-have concept, developed the first cushion compact. They released the IOPE Air Cushion in 2008. Since then, cushion compacts have become so popular that apparently 75% of Korean women have used/are using a cushion compact.

Lancome Miracle Cushion_3Lab Aqua BB cushion

3Lab Aqua BB cushion has been available in Canada since August 2014

Lancôme Miracle Cushion foundation is the first from French beauty group L'Oréal. It's not the only cushion compact available in Canada; 3Lab has a BB cushion at Murale, and Korean retailer Holika Holika has a selection available online as well. Plus AmorePacific's range is available here, too. But I haven't tried any of those yet. I have, however, tried Lancôme's.

lancôme miracle cushion compact

I've been obsessed with Lancôme Miracle Cushion since I tried it a couple of months ago. I've worn it almost every makeup day since I opened the compact. The packaging is handy, of course. Not that you can't carry a bottle, but the cushion format means a sponge impregnated with liquid foundation and set into a case that includes a mirror and convenient applicator pad, plus a hinged cap that creates an airtight seal over the sponge and provides a nice resting spot for the applicator.

Lancome Miracle Cushion compact

Lancôme Miracle Cushion compact

The Lancôme Miracle Cushion compact is refillable (smart). The cushion and applicator are made of polyurethane; they don't absorb the product so much as hold onto it (so I'm told) until you apply pressure to transfer the liquid to the applicator and then to your skin. Note: A few weeks into using it, you'll want to flip the cushion -- use tweezers to remove it carefully and reposition.

As for the makeup itself, Lancôme says it's not a bb nor a foundation, but whatever. Let's just call it foundation -- a beautifully formulated airy foundation with a gorgeous, sheer-to-medium buildable dewy finish that looks like luminous skin. (As with any makeup, it looks best on well exfoliated skin; no flaky patches please.) Skincare benefits include improved hydration and ingredients such as soothing adenosine and pigment-targeting pine needle extract. In US, the packaging says SPF23/PA++.

Lancome Magic Cushion shades

Lancôme Miracle Cushion comes in six shades in Canada, and 11 in the USA. I need the lightest shade, 01, but can get away with 02 if I blend a little down my neck which is naturally a shade paler than my face (grrr).

Normal to dry skin will like the Lancôme Miracle Cushion texture more than oily skin will. Made with water and volatile oils that flash off the skin soon after application, the foundation is cooling on contact with the skin -- it temporarily reduces the skin's temperature by 2.3ºC as the oils evaporate. Feels lovely. And looks dewy. The more you apply, the dewier you look. I have combination/oily skin; I need a light dusting of MAC Blot Powder on top, and it stays put nicely all day. Best part: almost every time I wear this stuff, I get compliments on my complexion. I'm wearing Miracle Cushion here, in a light, sheer application, plus a little MAC Blot Powder.

Lancôme Miracle Cushion: all six Canadian shades swatched.

Lancôme Miracle Cushion: all six Canadian shades swatched.

I do wish Miracle Cushion had slightly more pigment, though. Once, a sunscreen had made my skin sting and flush all over. I had only enough time for a light Miracle Cushion application, no time for powder, and it didn't really cover the blotchy redness. If I'd had time, I'd have stippled the foundation on with the applicator rather than (gently) wipe it over my skin, and gradually dabbed more on in some areas for more coverage. But here's the thing -- a heavier application feels less light on the face, and on some skin it'll look oily. Guess which type of complexion won't like that?

Lancome Miracle Cushion Foundation

Lancome Miracle Cushion Foundation

If you've got normal to dry skin, I think you'll really like Lancôme Miracle Cushion. The texture is beyond silky, and the finish really is beautiful and radiant in a natural, blessed-skin way. Although I might prefer to wear it in cooler weather, I love Miracle Cushion. Love.

Lancôme Miracle Cushion ($48/$38 refill at thebay.com and $46.50/$39 refill) is available now. Canada has six shades; the US has 11.

Who's tried Miracle Cushion already? What did you think? And who's intrigued enough to head to a Lancôme counter this weekend?

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