Certain beauty products — think NARS blush in Orgasm, Clinique's Black Honey lipstick — are so good, they're practically famous. And, while we do love so many of those well-known, well-loved products with a loyal following, we've been wondering why others have been quietly flying under the radar. With that in mind, meet our beauty series, Cult Classics, in which we'll introduce you to the products you really, truly should know about (and try, like, right now). They're not brand new, but trust us: They've got staying power.
Let's just call it exactly as it is: Foundation can be a total bitch to apply. Either it cakes and it's drying, or it's greasy and it slides down your face. Applying it can be a nightmare, because it can often look totally uneven, and finding a formula that doesn't suffocate your skin is one of the greatest known challenges of anyone who's been to a Sephora.
Perhaps that's why the beauty world exploded when BB Creams arrived. It's like foundation, but easier! we all thought. But, no. Not me. BBs, you see, always left a bizarre white cast on my skin (probably from their high SPF content), and they never gave me my desired dewy-fresh complexion. And, I am positively fanatical about gleaming.
It wasn't until I was sharing a cab with a fellow beauty editor that I finally became a convert. She whipped out this terribly chic silver compact and then squeezed this little sponge to impart light, radiant coverage on her face. "It's a CC Cream, and it's all the rage in Korea," she said, matter-of-factly. Approximately three hours later, I had one atop my desk.
You see, my friend was both right and wrong. AmorePacific calls this product "Color Control Cushion Compact," but calling it a CC is kind of a disservice. The real beauty is in its newly patented design. Apparently, the founder of the company (the largest beauty company in South Korea, by the way) wanted to pay homage to an ancient stamping signature system that adorned Korean scrolls. His R&D team came up with a genius innovation: a pre-soaked sponge that holds both pigment and skin care, all in one formula. They called it, fittingly, the cushion compact. You may have seen one or two pop up in the past few years, but this is the OG of the category. In fact, there are a whopping 14 patents attached to it right now. It's currently the brand's top seller in department stores and Sephora.
But, here's the real kicker: It has broad spectrum SPF 50, the coverage is lightweight but actually buildable, and it leaves a beautiful, dewy finish on the skin. It comes with a little antimicrobial sponge, but I actually apply it with a Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush. It's the ultimate in on-the-go coverage (especially when you're traveling) and you can touch up with it in the middle of the day without looking like a cakey mess. Best of all, it lasts a long time — if a little shorter than the average tube of foundation. However, your original purchase comes with a refill, making it more of a value than buying a similarly priced luxury foundation.
My only reservation in recommending this is that there aren't more shades — I'm pretty much as dark as the brand gets at the moment. Here's hoping diversity is on the way soon, so everyone can enjoy portable, easy coverage.
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