Packing sun protection as well as skincare ingredients, stylish and travel-friendly cushion foundations are perfect all-in-one solutions for Hong Kong’s humid weather. Here are our picks for the best cushion foundations for every skin type, whether you have dry, oily, acne-prone or mature skin.
Those with dry skin need appropriate hydration, and the right formulated foundation that won’t crease on parched skin. A dewy glow is often a plus!
Chanel Le Blanc Brightening Gentle Touch Foundation (SPF 30/PA+++)
For a fresh-faced, hydrating finish, you’ll want to reach for Chanel’s latest Le Blanc cushion compact (HK$500). With more sun protection than its first Les Beiges range, the Le Blanc cushion boasts a water-in-oil formula that gives off a glowy touch, with buildable coverage so that you can retouch throughout the day without any cakey-ness. Plus, its packed with hyaluronic acid and glycerin, helping to retain a gorgeous texture for up to 8-hour wear. It’s currently only available in five light to medium shades in Asia. Pair it with the multi-use Foundation Sponge Brush for perfect application each time.
La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation (SPF 25/PA+++)
The first cushion compact infused with La Prairie’s famous caviar water, this foundation (HK$1,760) improves your skin as you use it, and honestly helps you fake poreless, flawless skin. It’s perfect for those looking to give their skin some extra pampering throughout the day with deep hydration. It leaves an enviable glossy smoothness — no wonder makeup artists rarely use much else on the skin besides the cushion itself, except maybe a few varying shades of the stuff for contouring the cheeks.
Tom Ford Beauty Soleil Glow Tone Up Cushion Compact (SPF 40/PA++++)
The very first cushion compact in Tom Ford’s sun-loving Soleil range, this chic foundation (HK$640) not only features a gorgeous white-on-gold design, but is equally practical with a hydrating, long-wearing formula. Pat it on the skin for a natural, sheer coverage that feels cool on the skin and also releases a touch of relaxing lavender scent. The luminous pearl powders within the formula also add to a sun-kissed effect. The foundation is available in five translucent shades, as well as a Rose Glow Tone Up shade made to be used as primer or highlight.
Dior Diorskin Forever Perfect Cushion (SPF 35/PA+++)
The formula used in the Diorskin Forever foundation cushion (HK$420) practically blends itself while on the skin, looking fresh and flawless all day. Formulated with a pore-refining effect, the cushion enhances the skin for a smoothened, luminous-matte finish that stays all day. It also smells fantastic, and the cushion itself features Dior’s cut logo, making for a truly luxe experience during every touch-up — however brief!
To mattify and hydrate shiny foreheads, noses and cheeks, or if you’re looking to go for a silky fresh-faced look all day, these cushion foundations are what you need.
Giorgio Armani My Armani To Go The Cushion (SPF 23)
While we sang praises for the sister product Power Fabric foundation balm, for something that’s lightweight and keeps you looking fresh all day, you’ll want to look to My Armani To Go (HK$590). Armani’s first cushion My Armani To Go combines a hydrating essence with a buildable liquid formula that is perfect for touch-ups throughout the day. It’s lightweight, provides great coverage (blurs pores nicely) with a satin-y, semi-matte finish, and has a total of 10 shades suited for Asian skin tones. It’s quite low on the sun protection though, so be sure to prime your skin with your favourite sunscreen.
Clé de Peau Radiant Cushion Foundation (SPF 25/PA+++)
Boasting 24-hour hydration with its water-locking capabilities, CDP’s Radiant Cushion Foundation (HK$700) is prized for its non-sticky, practically weightless longwear formula. Its cushion gel makes it all the more easy to blend, flattening and blurring out unruly texture, large pores and fine lines, while its soft refocusing powder pigment reflects light to accentuate the curves of your face, even without contouring.
Yves Saint Laurent All Hours Cushion Foundation (SPF 50/PA+++)
The glossy, classic design of YSL’s cushion foundations will already tempt many to reach for this compact, but Hongkongers will be glad to know of this high coverage, longwear, hydrating, lightweight, luminous-matte cushion foundation that also boasts high sun protection. Honestly, what can’t it do? The All Hours cushion (HK$480) follows on from YSL’s previous cushion release, Le Compact Encre de Peau, based on the bestselling fluid Fusion Ink Foundation (often considered the holy grail for oily skin types!). Just launched in July, the All Hours cushion was designed to hit the sweet spot of being hydrating while also mattifying sebum, sweat and shine in the summer heat. Four Asian skin tones are available in Hong Kong.
Make Up For Ever Light Velvet Cushion (SPF 50+/PA+++)
For a luminous matte finish, MUFE’s Light Velvet Cushion (HK$380) is particularly touted by loyal fans of the brand’s iconic Ultra HD foundation. It gives off a velvety finish rather than the dewy, glowy look that most cushion foundations deliver. The hygienic airtight delivery system and the high sun protection are both massive pluses!
Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Cushion Foundation (SPF 50/PA+++)
To truly know if a foundation is right for you, you have to let it set — sometimes when it oxidises you’ll find the shade can often dull your complexion. Nars’ latest cushion foundation (HK$410) instead gets better the longer you wear it, boasting full coverage for up to 16 hours — keeping you looking fresh and radiant all day. Once the makeup sets, the moisturising nylon powder within actually helps to give a subtle glow, accentuating the natural contours of the face. Protecting from sun and environmental stress, the foundation also contains a skin optimising complex that helps to hydrate, smooth and improve the skin texture over time.
Acne-prone or sensitive skin
For those dealing with acne, scarring or uneven skin tone (or chronic blackheads that just keep coming back), these hydrating and blurring foundations will help fake a flawless face.
Shiseido Synchro Skin Glow Cushion (SPF23/PA++)
Shiseido’s Synchro Skin Glow cushion pairs the brand’s stylish, minimalist aesthetic with a handy compact case together with everything people loved about the Synchro Skin fluid foundation. It’s sheer and lightweight — you barely feel anything on; it’s hydrating, yet gives amazing coverage that seems to blend away imperfections with a subtle glow. The only drawbacks are its low sun protection and the fact you’ll have to purchase the case and cushion separately (HK$290 for cushion; HK$100 for case).
Sulwhasoo Snowise Brightening Cushion (SPF50/PA+++)
Newly launching this August, Sulwhasoo has created a cushion foundation (HK$460) based on its Snowise brightening line. It’s tailored to Asian skin tones (with six shades available), brightening and naturally covering blemishes while giving the look of clear, translucent glass skin. With floral extract and white ginseng polysaccharides — the signature ingredient from Sulwhasoo’s Snowise Brightening skincare — the antioxidant formula helps to reflect light while injecting more moisture in the skin even with a thin application.
Dior Prestige Light-in-White Le Protecteur UV Mineral BB Compact (SPF 50+/PA+++)
Launched together with the new La Solution Lumière serum — the first Dior serum to combine whitening effects with skin repair — this cushion foundation (HK$785) is like a light veil that evens out the skin. It’s perfect for super sensitive skin, particularly after procedures such as peels and lasers. Protecting against harmful UV rays with a fully mineral filter, this cushion compact blocks the sun and tops it with a gorgeous silky and brightening texture.
Need to lift, hydrate and heal from tired complexions and fine lines? These cushion foundations will help.
La Mer The Luminous Lifting Cushion Foundation (SPF 20)
Featuring La Mer’s Miracle Broth essence, this cushion foundation (HK$950) features anti-pollution and anti-oxidising effects of the brand’s proprietory skincare ingredient. Targeting fine lines, pigmentation and areas that need lifting, this cushion foundation offers a buildable coverage that smooths out imperfections with a glowy, radiant finish. Unlike many BB foundations, this actually has a decent range of shades, with 12 available from pink porcelain to a healthy tan warm honey.
Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Cushion (SPF 25/PA++)
Guerlain’s Lingerie de Peau cushion foundation (HK$420) boasts an ‘anti-fatigue’ effect with its radiance-boosting formula. Users claimed that the skin looks revitalised and pumped up, maintaining around 37 percent increase in hydration for six hours, and also noticed visibly smoothened skin upon application. As with Guerlain, you can expect a soothing scent with notes of violet and rose. Sadly, the shade spectrum is limited to lighter complexions.
Sisley Phyto-Blanc Cushion Foundation (SPF 30/PA+++)
Launched in 2018, Sisley’s first cushion foundation (HK$800) boasts all-day colour-correction with a formula that brightens and helps protect against elements that cause skin ageing, including UV rays, pollution and free radicals. Its colour correcting pearls work to illuminate the complexion for a healthy, radiant glow. The unique design releases only small doses of the foundation each time, making it more hygienic in the long run. The downside? There’s only three shades in White Opal, White Pearl, and Light Rose suited best for fair Asian complexions.
Laneige BB Cushion Anti-aging (SPF 50+/PA+++)
Laneige’s best-selling BB Cushion was arguably the cushion that started the whole cushion foundation craze — particularly prized for its pore-minimising effect. This anti-ageing iteration (HK$310) is tailored for more mature skin, with a formula powered by Laneige’s Dynamic Collagen EX from its ageing skincare line, which helps to strengthen skin elastin. It’s comparatively wallet-friendly too while also being packed with skincare benefits. The cushion foundation’s Cover Fit Complex works to fill in the gaps between the elastic fibres that loosen as we age, so the more foundation is patted on the skin, the more blemishes, micro-fine bumps and wrinkles look smoother and are strengthened. Finally, light reflected from the pigment is redirected in fixed directions, so naturally your skin looks smoother with a luxurious glow.