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4 FAQs about Korean Cushion applicators

K Beauty is a sizzling-hot trend these days! I must admit though, I’m a bit late to the party. I used to associate the term with skincare, not really knowing that amazing makeup innovations had been coming out of South Korea as well. One such innovation is the unique Korean Cushion applicator.

When learned a bit more about them, my mind was blown!

If you’re reading this, chances are you have already heard of the Cushion and are itching to know more! I know I was! Surprisingly, this application technology has been in use for over 10 years (since 2008). However, it has only gained popularity in the U.S. in the past few years.

Illustration showing three different types of korean cushion product, against a light pink background. Large text reads: The Cush Life. Small text reads: foundation, blush, highlighter.

Still have questions? I don’t blame you. Let’s take a brief look at some of the FAQs Americans are wondering about this intriguing trend . . .

#1 How does the Cushion technology work?

Korean Cushion technology was originally inspired by the ink stamp. So, in a sense, it’s a way to stamp makeup on your face – but in a much more luxurious way! Basically, the liquid foundation is held in a “cushion” that is better described as a sponge. It is normally made from a special type of polyurethane foam, which helps evenly disperse the liquid. This makes it especially easy to control how much product is being applied.

Here is how the company that invented the Cushion describes it, in their own words:

“By keeping the liquid formula within the 800,000 pores of each Cushion sponge, Amorepacific was able to control the fluidity as well as stabilize the formula keeping it from separating and also making it possible to create a thin makeup layer. The Cell-trap technology also kept the formula from spilling, running, or drying out.”

To apply makeup using the Cushion:

  1. Gently push the Rubycell puff into the Cushion to transfer some of the liquid (don’t push too hard!)
  2. Use the puff to apply the liquid to the face using a light patting motion
  3. repeat steps 1-2 until you’ve reached your desired amount of coverage

#2 How is the foundation coverage different when using a Cushion product? Is it really any better?

Generally speaking, Korean Cushion foundations are designed for a lighter, more natural coverage. This is likely because skincare is so emphasized in the K Beauty scene – covering up skin flaws just becomes less important.

However, now that the Cushion technology is becoming more and more trendy around the world, the amount of products that offer full coverage is increasing. Just make sure you read product descriptions and choose a Cushion foundation that gives you what you need.

The real difference these days is the ability to apply the product evenly with very little effort. A flawless natural foundation look can be achieved with just a few pats! And if you want full coverage, just keep patting until you’ve reached your desired thickness. If nothing else, it will save you a ton of time!

Woman holding her hand up to her face and looking to the upper left

#3 Won't lots of bacteria breed if the Cushion always sits in the liquid product?

Short answer:


Long answer:

No makeup product is foolproof in the bacteria department. But compared to other application technologies, there is really not much cause for concern with the Cushion. The Rubycell puff that is used to apply the product to the face is designed with antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, and can also be washed as often as you wash your makeup brushes. In addition, reputable brands design their packaging so that the cushion is protected and airtight when not in use. So, the risk is minimal as long as you use up your product within a reasonable timeframe and don’t leave it sitting in your drawer for forever.

Compact korean cushion product Ink Lasting Cushion Foundation, against a beige background

#4 I’d like to use this cool technology, but I heard Cushion products don’t have color options for all skin tones. How true is this?

There is some truth to this. However, things are changing as more and more Cushion products become available in places outside of South Korea.

If you are shopping a website designed for Korean consumers, chances are the Cushion products will not come in many shades, and some may even contain whitening agents (yikes!). But don’t lose heart – Cushion products designed for international consumers are just a click away!

For example, foundation products available on The Face Shop website (Korean product lines) have 3-4 color options. In contrast, U.S.-based Avon x The Face Shop offers up to 18 shades in their collaborative foundation line that launched just last month. Now that’s a staggering difference!

Those are the main burning questions that I’ve been made aware of. If you’re still curious, feel free to drop a question in the comments below!

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