Review: Laneige BB Cushion

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People keep saying that BB cushions are going to be “the next big thing.” I mean, it makes sense right? People love BB creams (though, they’ve become a bit over-hyped in the last few years) and what’s not to love about your favorite liquid foundation coming in a travel-friendly compact? So, when I found out that Target was going to start carrying Laneige, the much-loved Korean skincare brand, I was pumped. I’d heard so many great things about about their products, particularly their BB cushion, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

I finally had the chance to pick one up from my local Target last week. After testing it in a variety of settings, here are my thoughts. And unfortunately, they ain’t pretty.

I didn’t think it was possible for a foundation to simultaneously provide zero coverage and be cakey, but the Laneige BB cushion proved me wrong. I wanted to love this foundation– I really did. And I’m sure that there are some of you out there who will love this product, but it just missed the mark for me.

I know “glowing skin” is a huge thing in Asia, particularly Korea. So it makes sense to me that their base products would be suited toward creating a glowy complexion. I myself love the look of a dewey base: within reason. My combination-oily skin means that I have to strategically powder my t-zone so that I look glowy and not greasy. But this Laneige BB Cushion…it was just too much.

Here are the product claims:

The revolutionary 5-in-1 BB in a convenient compact. Go beyond your regular BB cream. Broad-spectrum SPF 50 blocks harmful UVA/UVB rays, while skin perfecting Optimal Mineral Water cools and hydrates upon application. Prevent shine and brighten skin by visibly reducing dark spots. Patented air cushion distributes just the right amount of BB cream. Apply whenever and wherever you want, with no buildup or bother. All day flawless skin is just 1 step away with BB Cushion.

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Packaging

Let me start off with the (only) positive. I actually quite like the packaging. As with all BB cushions, this one comes in a compact, with a foundation-soaked sponge on the inside. It also comes with an applicator puff, used to apply the BB Cream all over the face. The compact is a tad bulky, but I suppose it’s not any more or less cumbersome than throwing a foundation bottle and a brush/sponge into your makeup bag.

The designers clearly thought about everything with this packaging: There’s a white plastic “door” that covers the sponge to keep the product sealed tightly, and to keep the sponge getting excessively dirty. There’s a mirror on the inside cover, though, I find it hard to apply foundation in a mirror where I can’t see my whole face.

According to the instructions, you’re supposed to press the applicator sponge into the foundation, and then apply to your face using a patting and rolling motion. While this technique did apply the foundation evenly, I found it awkward, and it took me a long time to apply an even layer all over. Maybe I’d get better with practice, but I don’t think it’s something I’d be able to do quickly or while on the go– which kind of defeats the purpose of a BB cushion. (Sidenote: I rarely, if ever, re-apply foundation during the day, so I don’t necessarily need my foundation to be able to accomplish this. But since it’s one of the “benefits” touted by BB cushions, I thought it would be nice for you to know.)

Formula

This BB cream is extremely thin in consistency and appears almost watery on the applicator sponge. Korean BB Creams are supposedly much more pigmented than typical American ones. When applying I use one “press” of the sponge for each side of my face, and a “half press” for my forehead. (In total, about 2 1/2 dips of the sponge into the product.) While you do end up using a lot less product with the Laneige BB cushion than you do with a typical BB or CC cream, I have a feeling that the sponge will dry out before you can actually use all of the product inside, meaning that you get even less than the full 0.5 oz total reported. Pressing the applicator into the sponge more times does increase coverage, but I found that the product quickly builds up and becomes more cakey this way.

This foundation also has an extremely unpleasant smell that lingers for several hours. I can deal with scented foundations, and will put up with a lot, but I found this to be a bit overwhelming. My guess is that it’s because it contains SPF 50, but other foundations have found their away around it, and I don’t see why this one can’t. Also, due to the thin consistency of the product and how little I actually apply to my face, I can’t imagine that it provides the full SPF 50 protection. My beloved It Cosmetics CC Cream (sorry I keep bringing it up, but that’s the standard I’m working with here) has the same SPF, and I feel much more protected from the sun. (Though, I have no way of substantiating that claim without sitting in the sun to see if I get a sunburn.)

Coverage, Longevity and Finish

[Sidenote: This is the first photoshoot I’ve done in the new apartment. Let me just say that A) It’s amazing to work in a space where the walls aren’t a weird off-white, yellowy color that make you look like you have jaundice, and B) These photos are great examples that good lighting can make anything look good. The improved appearance of my skin is not due to this product, but rather a combination of lighting and an update in my skincare regimen. Also, let’s ignore my crazy hair. I’m long overdue for a bang-trim and decided looking like a sheepdog would be more distracting than pulling it back.]

Bare Face
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Foundation Only
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Full Face of Makeup
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If you’re looking at the first and second photos and can’t see a difference, don’t worry. I didn’t upload the wrong photos– there’s really not much to see.

I wear the shade Light, which is a decent skintone match, though slightly too yellow. It does an okay job at reducing redness, but that’s about it. The coverage is very, very sheer and you can still see all of my freckles and blemishes. The discoloration under my eyes and around my nose is still visible. In the close up photo, you’ll notice that the finish is extremely shiny. This becomes even more apparent through the course of the day. Additionally, it emphasizes all of my pores– a problem I don’t typically encounter. I found that applying a pore minimizing primer does help with this, but since I don’t typically wear a primer, it’s an annoying extra step.

In the final two photos, I applied a full face of makeup, including concealer under my eyes and around my nose, and all-over loose powder. (I chose the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro Powder because I find that it’s the most undetectable on the skin, and would best preserve the finish of the foundation for photos.) I’m wearing a matte contour and blush, but no highlighter.

Look at my forehead and nose (ignoring the breakout I’m currently dealing with). Do you see how shiny that is? And that’s immediately after powdering. Now imagine wearing this over the course of a normal day! Unless I’m powdering every two hours, I end up a greasy disgusting mess. (Ain’t nobody got time for that anyhow!)

Strangely, I find that even after powdering, my face retains a tacky feeling all day. All in all, this gets a giant no from me.

Price

This puppy cost me $34 plus tax. $34?! That’s almost as much as the Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation or the It Cosmetics “Your Skin But Better” CC Cream (my longtime favorite BB/CC product). While I don’t necessarily mind paying that much for a foundation, I had a little bit of sticker shock, considering the product was coming from Target. For that amount of money, I expect great performance.

However, you do get a “refill” pack with your purchase, which provides you with a second BB cream soaked sponge. (I don’t know if this applies everywhere, or if it’s just the products sold through Target.) Each sponge contains 0.25 oz of product, which means that it contains less than half the amount of product in the It Cosmetics CC Cream. You do end up using a lot less product for application with the Laneige BB Cushion, but still. Less than half the product for the same price seems a bit absurd. (Additionally, given the nature of this product- I have a feeling that the sponge will dry out before you can actually use all of the product inside, meaning that you get even less than the full 0.5 oz total reported.)

I kind of wish that it came with an extra applicator sponge. I haven’t been using mine terribly long, and it’s already pretty grubby. (Also, using one applicator for the entire life of a bottle of foundation sounds pretty unsanitary to me.)

Final Thoughts

This product gets one giant fail from me. It’s expensive, looks greasy on my skin, provides little to no coverage, and smells bad. While the packaging of a BB cushion is convenient, it doesn’t come anywhere close to making up for an awful, awful foundation. Would I wear it out of the house? Maybe, if I knew I’d only have to wear it for a couple of hours. Is it worth paying $34 for this? Absolutely not.

do think that I’d like using a BB cushion– especially for travel or to carry in my handbag. However, this one from Laneige is definitely not the one for me. It’s probably better suited to someone with dry skin, or someone in high school who is just getting into makeup and needs minimal coverage. (Actually, as I write this, I’ve realized it would probably be a good “compromise product” for any moms out there whose daughters want to wear foundation, but you don’t want them wearing heavy, full coverage.)

If this is your favorite foundation of all time– my apologies. That’s the beauty of makeup– what works for one person may not work for another. (And if you have any tips for taking down the shine, improving the coverage and making it last longer, please share! If I can find a way to get my money’s worth, I’d be very happy.) Has anyone else tried a BB Cushion formula that they like? I’m not completely discouraged and so I’d love to hear your suggestions.

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