In the best type of war possible, beauty brands everywhere have been really upping their game when it comes to that most important of base products: foundations. In the last few years there has been a literal explosion of new formulations, packaging, shades and formats in the industry and as a gleeful consumer, I am loving it! First there were BB creams, then CC, DD, EE (maybe I'm just making that one up) and then foundation+concealer combos, then foundation serums, and now CC cushion foundations.
Originally made popular in Asia, cushion foundations are slowly making their way to product shelves. I've only ever seen them at higher end and more specialty type beauty stores, but I'm sure a budget drugstore offering is on the horizon. CC Cushion foundations are designed to give its wearer the most sheer, true-to-skin finish they'll ever have in a foundation. Unlike conventional foundations, CC cushions borrow from the packaging of cream foundations and come in a compact form. The cushion part comes from its unique interior, which houses a sponge that has been infused with foundation. Usually, cushion foundations will also include a puff, that is pressed against the cushion and then applied to the face. The idea, is that the cushion will gently dispense a light "spray" of pigment onto the puff, and the puff will then buff that into your skin for an airbrushed look.
While it's been primarily Asian brands pioneering it here in the West, Pur Minerals has now entered into the category with their Air Perfection CC Compact Cushion Foundation. Available in four shades, this foundation claims to provide buildable sheer to medium coverage while also conditioning and improving skin with Babassu oil and provide sun protection with SPF 50. With continued use, Pur Minerals claims its Air Perfection CC Compact Cushion Foundation will:
- Eliminate irritated skin
- Plump skin and remove fine lines
- Fight signs of aging with natural antioxidants, amino acids and vitamins
These are rather tall claims for a foundation, so I was eager to see what was inside this wonder cushion.
The primary ingredients in this foundation are:
- Phenyl trimethicone - a silicone with emollient properties. Like most silicones, it helps smooth skin and create a light, airy texture
- Isododecane - another emollient
- Glycerin - a humectant
- Cyclopentasiloxane - another silicone that is known for creating a silky texture in products and acts as an emollient
- Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide - physical sunscreens
Other ingredients of note are denatured alcohol, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil aka Babassu seed oil (moisturizing), Niacinamide aka vitamin B3 (fights hyperpigmentation), Tocopheryl acetate aka vitamin E (antioxidant), Sodium hyaluronate aka hyaluronic acid (moisturizing), and Mango seed oil (moisturizing).
Price & Packaging
A single compact costs $43 and you get about 10 ml oz of product. I've always loved compacts as there's just something so glam about them. Blame it on old Hollywood movies, but I've always dreamed of touching up my makeup with a compact in the middle of a fancy-ass restaurant!
The Air Perfection compact is a cute pearlescent white and has an interior mirror and an ingenious hinged lid on the inside to separate the cushion from the puff. Sadly, the puff is probably the least squee-inducing part of this product. Oh it's definitely nicer than your run-of-the-mill foundation sponge, but it's kinda dull looking, like a pink flappy pancake.
Coverage, Texture & Wear
On a regular day, I like to wear a thin layer of foundation across my cheeks, nose and chin. My primary uses for foundation are to eliminate any redness and to cover any scars or blemishes. I found the Air Perfection CC Compact Cushion Foundation adequate at doing all three, with a caveat that I didn't have any major blemishes present while testing this product.
The coverage was surprisingly decent too, BUT only if you already have really good skin to begin with. My aforementioned scars and redness is pretty minimal as my skin is behaving awesomely these days, so I don't need much coverage. One light layer of patting immediately brightens and evens my complexion. Two layers gets me so that I feel more comfortable and is enough to get to the regular coverage level of say, my Burberry Fresh Glow.
In terms of application, using a CC cushion takes some getting used to. The puff is bigger than the sponge and the sponge is quite pliable so when you press down, you really only get one splotch in the center of your puff rather than a fine spread. It was also difficult to press down evenly across the entire surface of the sponge, so I liked to focus my presses on different areas of the sponge to ensure I use it up evenly. The puff acts pretty well at buffing product into my skin. All you need to do is lightly pat and it just becomes one with your skin in a really lovely way.
The shade Light is definitely a winter shade for me, as I veer more towards NC20 this time of year. Light is just a tinge lighter than my skin, making it look brighter; in fact, it's such a good shade match that I couldn't get any decent swatches!
I love the dewy finish the Air Perfection CC Compact Cushion Foundation provides and on me, it lasted well throughout the day, although you do need to be careful not to brush against anything as you may leave a foundation streak for the first while. Because it's advertised to be a dewy foundation, I didn't expect this one to have any oil control properties... and I was right.
Buy - a fun concept and great ingredients, but something I'd recommend only if you're curious about CC cushions and you only want the lightest of coverage.