If you randomly stop a woman on the streets and ask if she uses a cushion foundation of some sort, chances are, the answer is yes. No wonder AmorePacific, the Korean beauty behemoth who owns brands like Laneige and Sulwhasoo, has reported selling over 100 million units of cushion foundations by 2016. With such an enormous market, virtually every western brands have also jumped on the bandwagon and introduced their various versions.

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After testing out countless of them over the past couple of years, I have concluded that not all cushion foundations created equal, especially the cushion that holds the foundation (which requires a great deal of expertise to create). The best ones are usually spill- and leak-proof, no matter how you toss it around in your bag. Also, look out for cushions that dispense product evenly, because this will shorten application time greatly. Just follow these tips to get the most of your favourite cushion foundations!

Tip #1: Use The Right Amount Of Product
Everyone’s had the experience of being too heavy-handed when it comes to makeup application. To avoid the incessant blending, make sure to use just the right amount of product. To ensure that you’ve got the right amount of product, press the applicator sponge directly onto the centre of the cushion. The amount that sticks on the sponge is just enough for one section of your face (i.e. one of your cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin). It’s always good to start with this, and layer more on areas where you feel you need more coverage.

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Tip #2: Common Application Mistake: Applying In A Sweeping Motion
If you’ve been applying your cushion foundation in a sweeping motion, starting from the centre of your face, it’s time to restart. While this might work for a compact powder, it isn’t ideal for cushion foundations. This method deposits a layer of foundation over the surface of your skin, so while it looks fine immediately after application, makeup can smudge if your skin is prone to oiliness, or sink into wrinkles if your skin is dehydrated.

Tip #3: The Correct Way: Applying In A Press Motion
The ideal method of application should be in a light, dabbing motion. Inspired by the stippling method, this technique presses foundation into tiny crevices on the skin’s surface as it fills up pores and creases for a smooth finish. In addition, since makeup melds seamlessly with skin, it won’t crack or settle into fine lines or pores as you move your face with each expression.

Diorskin Forever Perfect Cushion, $78

Tip #4: Set Makeup With Powder
The best way to ensure makeup lasts long is to set it with powder, especially so in our humid weather. And the easiest way is to use a large fluffy brush to pick up loose powder, tap the brush handle lightly to get rid of excess product and then sweep it onto skin. For those with shine-prone skin, sweep powder all over face as this helps mop up excess sebum too, keeping your complexion fresh. But if your skin is prone to dryness, restrict powder application to the T-zone and keep your cheeks looking dewy to counter any signs of dehydration.

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Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder, By Terry
Powder Brush, $85, Sisley

By Joyce Cheo