KOREAN BEAUTY [RAVE] REVIEW: IOPE AIR CUSHION XP [Before&After in Post!]
I originally planned to show you what I was doing in Korea during September but I scheduled that back a post because today I finally tested the IOPE Air Cushion XP that I bought on a whim last week and I am so amazed I have to share it with you asap. I have read a lot of good things about the IOPE cushion and it is honestly the hottest item in Korea even today. I always see girls frantically buying this whenever there is a sale happening here at local drugstores or over at the IOPE counter. I have never seen this on sale before so when I saw my local drugstore preparing a "20% off on IOPE and Verité products" I knew I had to act and I got the cushion pact + a refill + 5 samples of cleansers and moisturizers for 32,000Won (=23€/30$) which is really cheap for two (since you get one refill). It usually retails for 40,000Won (=29€/37$) which is not bad because you only have to purchase it once and then you can refill it for 17,000Won (=12€/15$). I don't know yet how long it will last but I personally expect it to last about 2 months with more or less daily usage.
Now one reason I have not been in love with cushions yet: Most of them have a really sheer coverage. I tried the ones from Etude House and they are beyond sheer! If you have amazing skin, that's fine. I wish I could get away with that. Since I got a lot of acne marks and random breakouts I was really wary if this could provide me with enough coverage. I originally wanted to get the Verité cushion because it is supposed to have best coverage out of all cushions but that one wasn't on sale and Koreans are just crazy about the IOPE cushion so.... I was feeling brave! And it paid off.
Refill, actual cushion pact with sponge and mirror inside (<3!!), the packaging and my five samples. Actually every set they sold (I got mine from Watsons btw!) came with different samples, some had also two packages of make-up wipes. I personally have enough make-up wipes until I leave the country again, so I chose the moisturizers and cleansers.
The IOPE Air Cushion XP has a very elegant and sturdy packaging. It's great for travelling and carrying around in your purse for touch-ups. I love that it has a sponge that fits into the packaging and a big mirror!! This is already more practicable than anything I've ever purchased in Germany beauty-related.
(Sorry for different lightning, took pictures on two different days because I didn't open the cushion right away.) The cushion foundation is sealed so you know it is knew, unused and also to prevent the cushion from getting dry.
Voilà, pretty cushion inside! Don't worry the foundation is nowhere near the dark color of the cushion as it is right now.
I got the shade C21 (I am MAC shade NC15). 21 is the lightest color when it comes to Korean foundations/BB creams and usually they suit me just fine because I am really pale. They also have a 23 shade but I personally thought it wasn't that much darker, just a bit more yellow. I personally found the 21 to be pretty neutral, it's really neither yellow nor pink. The C stands for Cover. If you don't need as much cover as I do, you could purchase their N-shades which stand for Neutral. The cushion foundation has SPF50+ and PA+++ (although it is important to note that Korea did not adopt the "PA++++" system, so the highest statement you will find is PA+++ although it may be equivalent to PA++++)
The shade of this cushion suits me so well it was incredibly hard to get a picture with a little contrast because this shade seriously melts on my skin and is invisible after drying. This was the best I could do when I patted a lot and let it dry on my hand.
Now as I already told you, I suffered from a horrible breakout last week. Like, really really bad. My left cheek was covered in painful cysts for almost a week, it was pretty painful. Although my breakout has healed almost completely, it left my cheek with a lot acne marks. I decided I don't care if people judged me over that and will show you my bare face from all angles for the purpose of science and good reviews! High five for that! (I'm on acne medication from my derm now.) Note: I did not edit these pictures with Photoshop to show you as closest as possible to reality how it performs. Also, I only applied one thin layer of the product on my face, no extra dabbing on problem areas!
Frontal comparison. As you can see, left cheek is covered in visible marks. Although these are still visible (of course, I don't expect any foundation to cover them 100% that's just impossible) my skintone is evened out and I look more fresh, don't I? :) Wait, it gets more impressive.
Half face with and without the cushion. Pay attention to my forehead which is clear on both sides but my skin tone just looks so much better on the left side. It looks as if I went over it with the smoothing tool in Photoshop (but I didn't!!)
Now comes my favorite part. Close-up on my acne-suffering cheeks. Please a silent applaus for my poor left cheek barely recovering from last week's breakout.
....pretty amazing, don't you think?! As you can see, my whole cheek is covered in red marks and what-not. I definitely don't feel pretty but I do feel with the cushion on! Of course it didn't cover 100% as I said before, I don't expect that. I love how three-dimensional my face looks! My MAC Studio Fix has pretty good coverage but it makes me look pretty flat and not fresh at all. It covered the redness pretty amazingly; what you see are mostly bumps that no foundation on the planet can cover, that will just need time.
My other side doesn't need as much coverage but oh-my, I just love how it makes my face look. I look so much more alive! I am seriously seriously loving this cushion and understand why so many Korean girls are crazy about it!
What can I say. I am so so so happy with this. It does not cover all my flaws but I personally don't want that. I just want my face to look better and more fresh in general and that is what the IOPE Air Cushion XP is really really good at. I am super happy that even with moderate acne like mine, it works like a charm. Staying power is also really good, depending on the coverage you need you will probably need to touch-up after 6-8 hours (if you're oily like me). I specifically showed my acne to encourage others who are suffering from breakouts to show products that work really well. Someone has to do that, right? Application is super smooth and feels very moisturizing although not too much for my oily face. It dries a liiiittle bit more matte than in the pictures above which I took right after application. It does not dry completely matte though and leaves a very dewy finish which I love (I usually hate dewy finish because it looks more oily than anything else on me.) I personally think it looks even better in real life as pictures sometimes accentuate our faces weirdly.
BONUS BAREFACE PIC!! (Because I can and my mood is so over the top.)
This post took me two hours when I should really continue with the preparations for my next Japanese presentation (first went well on Tuesday!) Hope this was helpful and wish you all a happy Thursday! (It's National Holiday - Hangul Proclamation Day here in Korea.)
Lots of love,