Big brands are starting to glom onto the innovative technology behind ‘K-beauty’

It’s time to retire the foundation bottle because sponge filled compacts are in. Sarah Young discusses why the beauty industry’s latest trend is here for keeps

Nowadays it’s common knowledge that if you want to know the next big thing in beauty you look to Korea and just like the introduction of BB creams into the Western Market in 2011 we now have them to thank for the cushion compact’s rise to beauty industry domination. The technology behind ‘K-beauty’ is heralded as the most innovative and advanced in the world so it seems only natural that we would want a slice of the skin-perfecting action. Cushion foundations officially landed in the UK last year thanks to the launch of Lancôme’s Miracle Cushion Foundation, naturally, more and more brands are jumping on the bandwagon but with it they’re bringing a whole host of added skincare benefits, like added SPF, extra hydration and anti-aging benefits.

First of all, let’s discuss what they actually are. These makeup compacts come loaded with a sponge soaked in a light foundation, BB or CC cream and a sponge pad applicator so you can dab the formula onto your face. While traditional foundations can lead to unsightly lines and a thick layer, freed from the tube, these snap-lock compacts offer the ability to target specific areas and build coverage where needed. They are undoubtedly the secret to an even, customisable and undetectable finish. 

While these super thin, lightweight formulas are abundant, some brands are taking things one step further. Not only were Lancome the first to launch sponge filled compacts in the UK but they have just sprung upon us the first long wear, high coverage cushion foundation with an impressive SPF 50 sunscreen – the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Cushion. If that wasn’t enough, the brand have taken the concept of Air Cushion technology to blush territory; the results? A smooth, light and melt-away texture. In the same week, Dior has also launched its Dreamskin Perfect Skin Cushion which is one of those, part skincare, part foundation hybrids that give you instant moisturising, anti-ageing and complexion-perfecting results.

The job of applying foundation has never been easier and while the idea of a cushion foundation is all just a big step up from a BB cream it’s clear that some of the industry’s leading brands are keen to see it evolve. Are you a cushion convert?