Sulwhasoo’s been a massive player in the Korean skincare industry. They’re especially popular for integrating traditional Korean herbs into their products, catering each to particular facets skincare needs of the Asian market. While makeup has not been the brand’s main focus, they do have a select cushion foundation range.

This month, they’ve released an update to their popular Perfecting Cushion — the Perfecting Cushion Intense. I’ve put the product to the test, wearing it daily across two weeks to see how it has held up to the claims.

What it promises

The Perfecting Cushion Intense is an “anti-ageing cushion that gives your skin a younger, firmer-looking glow”. It is brightening, hydrating, anti-ageing, and has strong UV protection with SPF 50+/PA+++. There are three key herbal ingredients, with red pine extract taking centre stage. Those who have used Sulwhasoo’s Timetreasure range will be familiar with red pine’s ability to firm and impart a subtle glow to duller skin. Plum blossoms are the main anti-oxidants within the foundation, accompanied by the brand’s patented Pearl Radiance Powder complex to heighten your skin’s dewiness.

Shade range

sulwhasoo perfecting cushion intense review
The current shade range for the Perfecting Cushion Intense.

The Perfecting Cushion Intense features an extended shade range to cater to Singapore’s multiracial society, though the eventual selection is disappointing. There are seven shades, three with pink undertones, and four with yellow undertones. The darkest colour, No. 33 Dark Beige, is just a deeper, more cool-toned tan shade. Though the expanded selection is a step in the right direction, we do wish they’d broaden it more to truly accommodate all skin tones.

Packaging

Unlike the sleek, white Perfecting Cushion, the Perfecting Cushion Intense comes in a luxurious gold and mahogany compact case. Open it up, and you’re greeted by an embossed gold leaf foil keeping the cushion sterile before use. It felt so opulent, I found myself an inch away from wanting to preserve the cushion in its original state forever.

The applicator

sulwhasoo perfecting cushion intense
A look into the product.

Though most applicator sponges are soft and ultra-absorbent, this one felt slightly stiffer, with barely any discernible pores. Because of this, it appears to not pick up much product with one tap. The lack of porousness did work interestingly well though, as the sponge delivered just the right amount of product without wastage, or streakiness. Tapping the product into your skin is an optimal way to apply the product. Otherwise, try a dense stippling brush or blender sponge.

First impressions

I used the No. 13 “Light Pink” thanks to underlying redness, and found it to be of medium, but buildable coverage. It didn’t settle into the fine lines on my under-eyes, or seep into my pores. I have severely dry skin except for my T-zone, and the product is lightweight enough to not make my dry patches too pronounced, which is something much appreciated. Also, it doesn’t feel like you have foundation on. Here’s the what stole my heart: it evened out my skin tone, and gave such a fresh dewiness to my parched complexion. It was as if my skin was a product of the blurring beauty filter, except it was all the work of the Perfecting Cushion Intense. Massive win on the radiance front so far.

Wear test

It does last longer on my oily T-zone when mattified with a translucent setting powder, but has days when it tends to break up on my nose after six hours of wear. This hasn’t been a daily recurrence, so it may have something to do with a prior setting powder I used. The Perfecting Cushion Intense can’t be expected to cling onto your skin for 12 hours straight without touch-ups (unless used with a setting spray), but has decent lasting power if you’re just working in the office, or going out for the evening — something very typical of cushion foundations. The foundation also doesn’t settle into the fine lines around my nose and eyes, nor does it crease, making it suitable for those aiming to blur emerging wrinkles.

Verdict

With dry skin, dewier foundation finishes are always welcome, and this scores big time thanks to the delicate sheen it gives my complexion. It covers up mild blemishes and redness efficiently, has ample decent lasting power, and doesn’t irritate my highly sensitive face either. If you’re in the market looking for a new BB cushion with a slight blurring effect the makes you look naturally radiant, give the Perfecting Cushion Intense a shot.

Rating: 8/10

Beatrice Bowers
Features Editor
Beatrice Bowers writes about beauty, drinks, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she moonlights as a Niffler for novels and can be found en route to bankruptcy at your nearest bookstore. Don't tell her boss.