Stories From a Curator is a column by Charlotte Cho, the curator and cofounder of Soko Glam. As a licensed esthetician and the author of The Little Book of Skin Care, Cho gives a glimpse into her discovery process and what brands and products make the cut for the curated site.
When IOPE disrupted the foundation segment through the first ever cushion compact, it launched a flurry of cushion compact copycats from Korea and the US. For years I’ve tested these rival cushions and there were not many that were up to par to IOPE’s cushion in terms of packaging, formula and skin benefits. That’s why IOPE became the recipient of the Soko Glam Best of Beauty Award back in 2014, and rightfully so.
Fast-forward two years later, I’m here to report that I’ve unexpectedly fallen in love with a new cushion and it has become a regular staple in my makeup bag. This favorite is the Missha Signature Essence Cushion and here’s all the reasons why I consider this my holy grail.
1. The foundation is absolutely amazing for your skin.
Consider it the marriage between your favorite essence and the best BB cream you’ve ever tried. Not only does it have 42.6% essence, the first ingredient is birch juice, an ingredient that I’ve been absolutely obsessed about because it floods your skin with moisture. It also contains other superstar ingredients such as niacinamide (for brightening), while ceramides, hyaluronic acid and aloe extracts to coat and hydrate the skin.
2. Coverage is natural, buildable, and long lasting.
I don’t have perfect skin. Like many of you, I have pigmentation along my cheek bones and chin (from hormonal acne). I have large pores on my nose and around my cheeks. A few pats of the Missha Essence cushion and it swipes the slate clean, without making me look cakey. I do touchups throughout the day not because the foundation has faded, but for the added sun protection.
3. SPF protection is at 50/ PA+++.
I dare you to suggest an easier way to reapply sunscreen. With titanium dioxide as the key physical sunscreen ingredient, the cushion will help me block harmful sun rays.
4. The applicator sponge is on point.
One of my biggest pet peeves for other cushion compacts is that the applicator is not as good as the IOPE’s. It’s a key component because it can’t soak up too much of the formula and it has to be in great condition all throughout the life of the sponge. (Others have shown wear and tear after a few weeks!) This applicator sponge is quality.
5. I get the most compliments when using this cushion.
My complexion looks so glowing, dewy and luminous, that you’d think my skin was photoshopped and airbrushed. It’s not just in my head either. You know you’ve found yourself a winner when you get unsolicited compliments about your skin every single time you use it.
This has been a hidden gem on Soko Glam, partly because so many people gravitate towards the First Treatment Essence and other Missha holy grails. Now that the Missha Signature Essence cushion has officially received the Soko Glam Best of Beauty Award for 2016, it’ll hopefully get the kudos and the love that it so rightfully deserves.