Don’t Believe The Hype, The Innisfree Cushion Foundation Is Not Really That Diverse

The Innisfree Cushion Foundation comes in 14 diverse shades. Supposedly. However, these shades are not really that diverse at all.

Innisfree Cushion Foundation Compact

Cushion Foundation originated in Korea and is essentially a liquid formula housed in a compact. This makes it more portable and easy to apply. So what’s the big deal? The formula usually includes skincare benefits to improve skin health. Sounds familiar? Yes, it’s like BB Cream in a compact. I’ve heard of cushion foundation before. But I never really looked into trying it out. Bad beauty blogger. I know. So when I received the K-Beauty (Korean Beauty) Brand Innisfree Cushion Foundation for review through the Preen.Me VIP Program, I was excited to try it out. I could now redeem myself.

Innisfree Compact Case

Innisfree is the first Korean beauty brand to offer a “diverse” selection of shades for “darker” skin tones. The Innisfree Cushion Foundation comes in 14 shades and two finishes- matte full coverage and aqua fit. The formula includes Jeju Green Tea Extract to help hydrate skin. And SPF for sun protection. Innisfree has over 100 compact case designs to choose from. So you can personalize your cushion compact and make it your own. Innisfree also has a nice variety of puffs to apply the cushion foundation.

Innisfree Compact Case

I was sent the four darkest shades of both the Innisfree Matte Cushion, and the Aqua Fit Cushion.

Innisfree Matte Full Coverage Cushion Foundation Compact

Innisfree Matte Full Coverage Cushion Foundation Dark Shades Swatches

The Matte Full Cover Cushion is a velvety soft liquid that dries down into a smooth, matte finish. Waterless oil-dispersion technology forms an even yet flexible featherweight film on skin’s surface. While Cover-Lock Technology with oil-absorbing powder provides all day coverage. Broad Spectrum SPF 50 provides sun protection.

Innisfree Matte Full Coverage Cushion Foundation C43 Chocolate

Innisfree releasing “dark shades” was supposedly innovative. But it’s more of a gimmick. These shades are not diverse, nor dark at all. The deepest shade, Chocolate, is the only one geared toward dark skin. And it’s barely dark enough for me. If you’re darker than me, forget about it. As far as the formula is concerned, the Matte Cover Cushion provided pretty good coverage but required a few layers. I tried to use Golden Cinnamon to highlight. But by the time I took these pictures (about 4 hours later) it faded from under my eyes and revealed my dark circles. So I wouldn’t suggest using it for that purpose. Overall the formula wore well but did not absorb oil well. I had to blot the excess oil every few hours.

Innisfree Aqua Fit Cushion Foundation Compact

Innisfree Aqua Fit Cushion Foundation Dark Shades Swatches

The Aqua Fit Cushion is a lightweight, dewy liquid cushion. It’s more of a BB Cream than a foundation. Like your skin but better. Cover-Lock Technology is supposed to provide all day coverage. While Green Tea Extract and Hyaluronic Acid replenishes the skin with deep moisture. Broad Spectrum SPF 40 provides sun protection. I have not used this formula as I know I will end up looking a hot, greasy mess. It would be better for dry skin.

Overall I like the idea of cushion foundation, but I wasn’t blown away by the Innisfree Cushion Foundation. The formulas are not geared toward oily skin. So they are not right for me. But the shade selection is a joke. I did some research to find brands that actually offer cushion foundation in shades for dark skin. Here’s a few…

Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation

L’Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation

Sephora Collection Wonderful Cushion Foundation

J.Cat Beauty Compact Cushion Foundation

Philosophy Take A Deep Breath Cushion Foundation

Lancome Miracle Cushion Liquid Cushion Compact Foundation

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Cushion Compact

I haven’t tried any of these formulas personally. But it’s a start for the brown skinned beauties interested in trying cushion foundation. I may snatch up a few for myself to try out for review. Hopefully I can find one that works for my skin.

Have you tried Cushion Foundation? Leave your favorite brand in the comments!

Product(s) in this post were provided for review consideration. See my Disclosure page for additional information.


20 Responses

  1. I think the criticism in this review is a bit ignorant. Innisfree is a Korean brand and in Korea many foundations only come in two shades, for the entire diverse population of Korea. With many women actually preferring to wear foundations lighter than their skin. To have 14 shades is a big deal and to dedicate at least three of those shades to folks who are darker than their core demographic most is a big move. Innisfree wants to be more international and I think they are genuine in trying to offer their shades to more people. They aren’t some established American or European brand who has had decades to develop wider ranges.

    I consider myself dark brown and I would be Golden Cinnamon or Tan, so I don’t think their is only one dark shade. Saying the line is limited is one thing, but to call it a joke and be so snarky is unnecessary and misdirected at a brand that is just starting to have a bigger international presence. I find it a bit ironic that you include Philosophy since Take A Deep Breath comes in comes in only 9 shades and only 3 are brown, so…

    Many people want to use a true cushion foundation, not an imitation and at the moment it’s mostly expensive brands that are making their cushions in Korea with the proper sponges and formulas. This offers an authentic cheaper option. Also, they make a matte foundation.

    1. I think for you to come on my site and call my review ignorant is in itself ignorant. I understand that Innisfree is a Korean brand. However, PR reached out to me to review on the premise that the brand was making dark shades to accommodate what I took as shades for black women. I also noticed that they reached out to other black beauty bloggers to review this foundation. Having three shades to accommodate us, the darkest shade being my complexion is not that diverse. This is my opinion. In this day and age with brands coming out the gate with dozens of shades, and half to accommodate black women, even the darkest of dark skin, no I don’t consider 3 shades to be diverse. And no I’m not making excuses for them. With brands like Fenty coming out with 40 truly diverse shades, and other brands that offer a diverse shade range like BECCA, Cover FX, MUFE and MAC, this is just unacceptable. If Innisfree considers they’re foundation range to be diverse for the Korean Community, then they shouldn’t be marketing to black women. I’m tired of these brands trying to exploit us. It’s as simple as that. And I’m dark brown and wear the darkest shade, Chocolate. So I have no clue why you believe that you would be Golden Cinnamon or Tan. Those shades are suited for light skinned to very light brown women.

    2. It’s not ignorant. If K-beauty brands want to bring their makeup to the United States, they should realize that they’re going to have to make more than 2 shades. They can be ‘genuine’ all they want to, but they still missed the mark. Their genuineness and authenticity doesn’t make up for the fact that they are leaving out entire subsets of the population. It doesn’t take years of research to realize that people in the United States come in more than a few shades.

      1. This is a Korean company. They provided more shades that others from their country. Which is amazing! Which makes then very much more inclusive than others. ALSO, they sell on their websites. They do not sell in stores in the USA. SO it wouldn’t make sense for them to go to deep at first. Thy test how the product sells. After , gaining popularity in the USA they can decide whether to expand or not. From a business stand point it makes sense. Since the majority of the population is not of darker complexions.

        Finally, I can on deduce this happened since thy now have 18 shades for this foundation.

        1. Actually they do sell in stores in the USA, they have a store here in NYC. And they taxed multiple black beauty bloggers (including myself) to for this campaign. So no, they were not marketing toward natives of their country. I said what I said!

    3. I agree 100%. They also have been slowly adding more shades with polarity of the foundation. I think this blogger is nitpicky, and ignorant.

      1. No, you’re ignorant as you can’t see the bigger picture. I stated facts and supported them with evidence. If you like the brand, be my guest and buy their products. I will continue to do honest reviews.

  2. I’ve tried Lancome’s cushion foundation – the original one (Miracle Cushion). I actually really like it – it feels lightweight, and the coverage is great. Honestly, I don’t think it’s worth it in the long-term and I won’t be repurchasing. I’d rather do a liquid foundation. Yes, the cushion foundation is good for travel, and that’s probably the biggest advantage it has. But you get so much less product with a cushion foundation – for example, with Lancome, you get half an oz (0.5 oz) for $47 for Miracle Cushion, whereas if you bought Teint Idole instead you’d get a whole ounce for the same price.

    Moreover, I’ve found that the cushion is actually kind of troublesome to work with. The included pad kind of sucks to use, but the opening is kind of too small to effectively dig a sponge in there and get a good amount of product out. (I mean, you *can*, it just takes a little work). I can usually get the right amount of liquid foundation in one or two goes, whereas with the cushion foundation I have to dip in a couple times.

    Ironically, I think if one is looking for a formula that’s easy for travel and easy for application, I’d recommend a cream stick foundation. I know you get even *less* foundation for the same price, but at least that is super duper easy to apply and blend.

    1. I totally agree with all of this. I feel like the cushion foundation only lasts about 2-3 weeks if using on a daily basis for initial application and touch ups. That’s not cost effective at all. And the pad picks up so little product that you have to constantly keep dipping to do your entire face. It’s highly annoying. Stick foundation is perfect for on the go and applying just the right amount, exactly where you need it.

    2. After trying like mad to find a cushioned foundation that would fit my skin tone, I ended up buying an empty cushion compact to fill with my HG liquid foundation. It was $8 tops on Amazon for two empty compacts that could be cleaned, refilled and stashed in my purse. You’re completely right about the application cushion being a touch of a pain, but it’s convenient when on the move, such as applying a fast face base on a train/bus. ^_^: Stick foundations used to be my HGs but then my skin became super oily and most of the ones I used (Fashion Fair, etc) started to slide around or rub off on my clothing. Le sigh, such is life.

      1. That’s a great idea to make your own. I don’t do too well with most stick foundations either!

  3. I’ve been looking everywhere for as many reviews on their cushion as I could find. I really like Innisfree’s skincare products and when I saw the cushion came out in what miiight be my color, I admit to being a little excited. So many reviews I’ve seen were either exaggeratedly good or flat-out no, but none of them went in as much as this one(and almost none my color). I’ve had enough experiences with foundations that are supposed to be my color but come out more “caramel” than “mocha” so I’ve been sitting on the idea of trying this for a long while. I wear foundation maybe once or twice a year and even then I apply it lightly so I think I might try this cushion after all. Do you have any recommendations on a good tinted moisturizer?

    1. They actually came out with two more shades! I wear the shade W39 (Deep Tan). The other shade they added was W41 (Cinnamon). I actually bought both because they didn’t have live swatches for it yet and there no reviews, but they do allow returns, which is nice. I’m close to a NW43-NC50, my undertones are a bit mixed. I describe them as peachy. The Cinnamon is bit darker, but I imagine not as red as the C43. They have really nice customer service folks and if you’re interested it might be worth trying in your nest skin care order. I use their Aqua formula, because my skin is dry and I really like it. It’s a light-medium coverage, very hydrating with a soft finish. I like their “Glow” puff, but I didn’t like their “Fitting”. I don’t feel like the fitting really melts the product into your skin as well, but it may work better for other skin types or the matte foundation.

      I use don’t pack on a ton of foundation and find that my cushions last 6-9 months with regular use. I think $12 is a good price for it.

      1. I’m NW43 or NC47+NC50 mix (2 parts NC50 to 1 part NC47) and I actually just purchased W39 as a blind buy. So good to see someone around my shade match already has the same shade I just ordered. When I saw YT reviews I only saw people wearing Golden Tan which I knew was too light and I knew Chocolate would be too dark. I saw on Innisfree they have that W41 Cinammon as well but my gut kind of told me that’d be a bit too dark too. So….looks like I did good picking W39 only looking at the site swatches :).

  4. The blogger is right. There is a definite lack of diversity on both ends of the spectrum. Extremely disappointing to see only 2 cool tones in the very lightest shades and no warm or neutral on that end.

  5. I’m sorry, but I find this post to be very ignorant, borderline laughable. It’s a Korean company. Why do you expect them to have various shades for dark skin? If they want to expand into the international (mostly American) scene, it still doesn’t make sense to have multiple shades for darker skin tones, at first. We only make up 12% of the population. Logistically, it just doesn’t make sense. I assumed that would be common knowledge, but I guess not.

    Also, Korean foundation isn’t supposed to be packed on as much as we do it in the states, which is probably why it wouldn’t last as long as your normal foundation would.

    1. You come in here name calling because you don’t agree with my opinion, and I’m ignorant? Girl bye. You can take your ignorant ass elsewhere because I’m not here for the bullshit. I said what I said. If a brand claims that they are coming out with diverse shades for ALL of us, then that’s what I expect. The brand’s PR reached out to me to review as the new shades were supposedly geared toward black women and other women of color. In a nutshell they were not. So don’t come on here talking about what I shouldn’t expect from a Korean company. I expected them to deliver what they claimed and quite frankly they didn’t. I’m so tired of brands leaving us out initially, then thinking about us later when they realize they are missing out on coins, and then still not getting it right. People like you accepting this nonsense is why they continue to do it.

      1. don’t get pissy at people for criticizing your idiotic complaints. if you can handle criticism, don’t post your opinion online. This is a Korean brand. An overwhelming majority of users are people with light skin. It makes zero sense to start making darker shades yet, because Innisfree has only recently left Korea, meaning the chances of a darker skinned person being interested in or even being aware of innisfree are slim. Don’t say it isn’t diverse. It’s just not diverse to YOU. These shades are diverse for Asian skintones.

        1. Girl bye. Apparently you’re the idiot that can’t read. The brand’s PR reached out to me saying that the brand was expanding their range to include deeper shades and asked me to review and give my opinion. So I did. On MY SITE. If the shades weren’t supposed to be diverse enough to include black women, then the brand should not have asked black women to review. You sound like a whole entire fool. I said what I said. If you don’t like it then keep it moving. If you love the brand so much, then give a raving review in your own space. But you will not find one here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Get a weekly serving of new posts & more!