I always need to have an SPF product underneath my makeup for my peace of mind. And ever since I started using my first cushion compact, I’ve swapped the dedicated sunscreen for these convenient, colored face bases that do the multitasking for me. My latest one is Laneige BB Cushion Whitening SPF 50+ PA+++ in 21N (PHP 1,320) that I got from Althea Korea.
Quick Specs: 15 g (comes with a refill and replacement sponge) ; made in Korea
I know the first round/edition of Laneige cushion compacts were a huge hit, but I only got as far as swatching them. It was only this year that I felt like cushion compacts were worth the investment, so I finally went for it. The 2016 edition has a holographic lid underneath clear plastic, making it look more futuristic than its predecessor. In line with Laneige products, the cushion and its refill are both hygienically sealed.
Aside from the formula and the shade selection, I notice that the major differences among cushion compact brands is the actual cushion inside the compact. Some are soft and squishy, while others are on the firm side. It’s the latter in the case of Laneige. The diamond-patterned cushion is thick and firm, offering some resistance when the sponge is being patted over it. I suppose it helps prevent the sponge applicator from soaking up too much of that precious face base. The scent is sweet and floral, but doesn’t linger too long. The shade 21 is a neutral beige that blends well into my between NC15 and NC20 skin.
Performance-wise, the coverage is sheer to medium with a slightly dewy finish. I expected something thicker, to be honest, because some of the reviews I read gave me the impression that it could be a solid medium coverage. However, it takes 3 layers to sufficiently get rid of redness, and doesn’t cover up blemishes so well. (Concealer is definitely required to deal with blemishes.) It is noticeably thicker than the usual liquid foundation, but somehow covers less. Let’s chalk it up to the skincare benefits… I have been layering liquid foundation over cushion compacts ever since I started using them, just to get the most coverage, and this is no exception. Longevity is average at 2-3 hours, though let me emphasize that I never use this by itself. It may or may not last longer by itself.
Verdict: When used by itself, the level of coverage and skincare benefits is perfectly suitable for those with minor skin issues. If that’s not enough, top it with foundation. Personally, since I use it as a “base of a base” or as a color correcting primer, I don’t find the mild coverage a big issue as my foundation makes up for it anyway.