Have you heard of cushion foundations? This stealth beauty trend hails from South Korea, the birthplace of so many amazing beauty trends (ombre lips, glass skin, essences…the list goes on). There’s a ton of brands offering these, from Korean brand Amorepacific to global giant Lancome.

When it comes to new trends, I don’t like to splurge on the most expensive options. What if I don’t like it? I’m particularly fussy about foundations and wasn’t ready to spend a lot of money on something that might not work for me.

So I was quite happy to see two drugstore dandies pop up at my local Ulta – Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation and L’Oreal Lumi Cushion Foundation.

I bought both of them around the same time last fall and have been using them regularly for about 6 months. After time to reflect on the pros and cons of each, I thought I’d share my thoughts.

Cushion Foundation Showdown

What the heck is a “cushion foundation?”

First off…in case you’re unfamiliar with cushion foundations, here’s the scoop. It’s basically a sheer liquid foundation housed in a portable compact with a “cushion-like” sponge to keep the liquid from leaking out.

Right off the bat – yes, it’s way easier to travel with than your typical liquid foundation. So there’s pro #1.

Secondly, the cushion delivery system keeps you from accidentally pouring out waaaay too much foundation and ending up with cake face. It’s actually really difficult to use too much of this, which forces you to apply your foundation in thin, sheer layers. The way god and makeup artist Lisa Eldridge intended. Pro #2.

You might be wondering how sanitary that little cushion is after a few months of using it. I’ve wondered that too. The good news is that most of these compacts are airtight, keeping bacteria and other nasties out. I understand that many of the Korean versions have antimicrobial sponges but I couldn’t find any information from Maybelline or L’Oreal on their sponges.

Quick Note: I actually apply these with a beauty blender and clean my beauty blender every 2 weeks. Also, I only apply this in the morning on freshly cleansed skin so the likelihood of contamination is probably pretty low. Plus, you go through these little compacts pretty quickly. Mine are both almost gone so I’d guess with daily use, you’d probably run out in about 4 months.

Cushion Foundation SHOWDOWN
Maybelline Dream Cushion L’Oreal Lumi Cushion
Coverage  Sheer but buildable to light  Sheer but buildable to light
Finish  Satin  Glowy
Longevity  4  4
Packaging  4  4.5
Price  $15.99  $16.99
Shade Range 3 5
Coverage + Finish

Both of these foundations are really sheer but can be built up to a light coverage. Maybe if you use a flat foundation brush you can build it up to medium but it would require so much product that I would advise against that. Basically, don’t buy these unless you’re down for super sheer coverage.

Finish-wise, I find the L’Oreal compact, (true to its name), has a slightly dewier finish than the Maybelline one. If you have oily skin or live in a humid climate, I’d recommend the Maybelline one first. Likewise, if you have dry skin and want a luminous finish, try the L’Oreal one.

Longevity

Both of these foundations have similar wear-time on me. Unless you’re dealing with code red heat and humidity, these foundations will last you for about 6 hours. If you finish with a little bit of powder, they can last closer to 8.

Because they’re so sheer, it’s actually sort of hard to tell when it’s fading. I like to use these with my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer on any spots that need extra concealing and some MAC Mineralized Skinfinish Natural powder on my t-zone.

Packaging

The packaging is pretty identical but I personally prefer the design of the L’Oreal compact. The rose gold makes it feel slightly more lux than the Maybelline white finish.

Cushion Foundation Packaging

Cushion Foundation Packaging

Shade Range

Maybelline loses a few points on this one. L’Oreal’s Lumi Cushion has 16 shades in the same range as their “True Match” line. Maybelline offers half that with only 8 shades. That being said, these are drugstore foundations so I wasn’t able to swatch.

Because these are so sheer, there’s probaby a bit of wiggle room when it comes to shade matching. I find that an exact shade match is more crucial for concealers or fuller coverage foundations.

The two shades I purchased (N2 in L’Oreal and 10 Porcelain in Maybelline) both seem to match me well. For reference, I’m an NW20 in MAC.

The Gist

Overall, I’m a huge fan of cushion foundation. “Cake-face” is my #1 makeup pet peeve and I have a tricky skin type that makes most foundations look patchy. These cushion compacts are so sheer and goofproof that I end up with perfect glowy coverage every single day.

Which one you should purchase comes down to preference and shade match. There’s only a $1 price difference and they’re both pretty inexpensive compared to Sephora prices.

If you have dry skin and/or prefer a luminous finish, go for the L’Oreal one. Otherwise, the Maybelline one will do you just fine.

Happy cushioning!

 

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So far, 2018 has been the year of the liquid lipstick for me. Although it’s a product trend that’s been around for a few years, I guess I’m somewhat of a lipstick traditionalist. And to be honest, it takes awhile to master the perfect liquid lip.

But the new Maybelline Superstay Matte Lip Inks are probably the best long wear liquid lipstick I’ve ever tried from the drugstore, and competes with some of the higher end formulas that cost twice as much. Plus, the pointy tip applicator makes it easy to get the perfect shape.

Maybelline Superstay Matte Lip Ink

Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink Applicator

Let’s dive in!

Formula

DANG these suckers are hard to get off. Even as I was doing the swatches, I had to really scrub and use a combination of coconut oil and makeup wipes.

On the lips, these are just as long-wearing, albeit a tad drying. They go on in thin, ultra-pigmented layers and have a smooth, paint-like texture. They dry fast and once they do – they’re staying on for the long haul.

The only downside of the formula is that they’re pretty drying so they may emphasize lines and cracks in your lips. Just make sure you prep your lips beforehand – scrub, balm, and tissue off. I do this before applying any liquid lipstick.

I don’t find that they flake or go patchy throughout the day which is a huge win.

Because they are so drying, they aren’t the most comfortable to wear but I’m no stranger to the feeling of “lipstick on” that I don’t mind it.

Overall, the formula does what it says. It’s matte, it has crazy long staying power, and is pigmented and smooth kinda like ink.

Shades

These babies come in 20 shades – 10 from the original collection and 10 from the new “un-nude” collection. The “Un-Nude” range may have a confusing name but basically includes a spectrum from truly natural nudes to a deep dark brown. It also includes a gorgeous lilac, purple, and grey. I think the purple and lilac shades stretch the definition of “nude” but since this collection is titled “UN-Nude” I suppose they can get away with it.

Although I love the names, the idea isn’t exactly original. The Girl Lip Stylo by Hourglass have very similar names, even some of the same names (Visionary, Creator, Protector). I’m not sure how companies get away with that but I like the names so I’m still buyin’.

But I digress…I have 4 shades (and counting) – 3 from the un-nude collection and 1 from the original collection.

Creator

Maybelline Superstay Matte Lip Ink in Creator

Visionary

Maybelline Superstay Matte Lip Ink in Visionary

Amazonian

Maybelline Superstay Matte Lip Ink in Amazonian

Ruler

Maybelline Superstay Matte Lip Ink in Ruler

Price

At $9.49 a pop, these are definitely worth the coin. Let’s compare. The Anastasia liquid lipsticks clock in at $20. Same for my high-end faves – Kat Von D. Kylie’s matte liquid lipsticks are $17.

At the budget end of the spectrum, ColourPop’s liquid lippies are only $6.50. NYX soft matte lip creams will run you $6.49.

If you purchase these at Ulta, there’s a good chance you can pick them up with a bogo 50% promo. These are so popular that many are out of stock right now but between Ulta and Target, I was able to get my hands on the shades I wanted.

I find these to be more long-wearing than Nyx and Anastasia’s liquid lipsticks. They are more drying but unless you wear them every single day, it’s not too bad.

Overall

I give these an A- and would definitely recommend. Even if you’re not a lipstick junkie like myself, you’ll find plenty of nude and wearable shades in the range and the little applicator makes them easier to apply than just about any other liquid lippie I’ve ever tried.

Has anyone else out there tried these yet? Comment below with your favorite shade or if you want me to review any other drugstore liquid lips.

Stay fabulous all you visionaries, creators, rulers and amazonians. <3

 

 

 

See my review of the Maybelline Matte lipstick collection here. 

Maybelline Inti-Matte Nude LipsticksI have a love/hate relationship with nude lipsticks. Whether it’s matte or glossy, I find that a lot of nudes wash out my fair, slightly cool-toned complexion. But alas…I keep trying to find that elusive, perfect nude and that led me to the Maybelline Inti-Matte Nude lipsticks.

Maybelline Inti-Matte Nude Lipsticks

Maybelline describes this collection as their “creamiest matte lipstick in 10 nude shades. Warmer, more sensational nudes for every skin tone.”

I have to say that these are, indeed, pretty creamy in texture – SLIGHTLY creamier than Maybelline’s standard matte lipstick formula. Personally, as much as I love a matte lip, I don’t mind the creamier texture. Nude lips can look sickly if they’re too matte so a smoother texture lends itself well to these kinds of shades.

Maybelline Inti-Matte Nude Lipsticks

Maybelline Inti-Matte Nude Lipsticks

I have 5 out of the 10 shades and really like 4/5 of them. Check out the shades on my NC/NW 25 skintone below:

Honey Pink

Words cannot describe how much I hate this color on me. I don’t know what sugar demon possessed me to buy it but alas, we are long past the 30-day return policy on this one so I guess Honey Pink and I are stuck together.

I would imagine this color would look way better on someone with red or blonde hair or as a fresh pop of color on very dark skintones. I’m smiling in this picture but I’m dying inside.

Maybelline Honey Pink

Almond Rose

This shade is oh-so romantic. It’s the perfect neutral rose for day or night, any season.

Maybelline Almond Rose

 

Brown Blush

This one is more like a dark mauve and pairs great with a golden/bronze eyeshadow look. It’s very on-trend for that cool-toned grunge look. If that’s your thing.
Maybelline Brown Blush

Raw Chocolate

Does anyone else sometimes buy makeup products based on the shade name? I think I was craving chocolate when I bought this one and I have #noregrets. It’s warm, chocolatey and rich without being too dark and pairs pretty well with just about any eyeshadow look.Maybelline Raw Chocolate

Toasted Truffle

Mmm…toasted truffles…if I wear the lipstick, will Maybelline feed me truffles? Sadly, no. But this is a gorgeous shade worthy of its name. It’s pretty dark on me but because it’s still so neutral, it’s not difficult to pull off on a random Wednesday morning.

 

Overall, I’d give these lipsticks an A+ for formula and shade range. My favorite, most-worn shades are “Almond Rose” and “Raw Chocolate.” What are your thoughts on nude lipsticks? Love em’ or hate em’?

Comment below with your favorite nude lipstick <3

 

 

At this point, I probably don’t need to tell you that I’m completely obsessed with matte lipsticks. My cup literally overflow-eth with various matte lip formulas from Rimmel to Nars. I would have to say, that one of my favorite, most-worn matte lipsticks is actually from that old drugstore standby – Maybelline.

These babies come in at $7.49 a pop and if you can get them while Ulta has one of their bogo sales, you can get two for under $12 bucks. Not too shabby.

I have 8 out of the 20 shades and I have to say – these are killer quality for a drugstore lipstick. They’re super pigmented, matte as hell and reasonably long-lasting.

Maybelline Matte Lipsticks

Maybelline Matte LipsticksIn terms of comfort, it’s a matte. So if you usually think matte lipsticks are too drying or uncomfortable, you may not like these. They’re classic matte formulas which I personally love, but I know some people may not find them comfortable. That being said, I wear these every day in the dead of winter and as long as I’m slathering on that lip balm at the end of the day, I’m fine.

Okay, now let’s get into the fun stuff. Here are the shades!

Clay Crush

This color wears like a warm, terracotta, medium-toned peachy nude on me. It’s pretty wearable year-round and with a variety of eye looks.

Maybelline Matte Lipstick in Clay Crush

Clay Crush

 

Lust For Blush

I don’t tend to wear this one as often as I should but it’s a really cool-toned pink without being too “barbie.” I don’t really feel like it’s “me” but I imagine this color would flatter a wide range of skin tones. When I do wear this, I like to pair it with a warm/bronze/gold smoky eye to balance out the coolness of the lip.

Maybelline Matte Lipstick in Lust for Blush

Lust For Blush

 

Touch Of Spice

Touch of Spice, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…it’s neutral without washing me out, has enough of a pink undertone to be flattering but not so much that it looks like a pink lip…it’s perfect for fall/winter but I’ve definitely worn it in spring.It pairs perfectly with pretty much any of those neutral MAC lip liners (spice, soar, whirl etc.)

Maybelline Matte Lipstick in Touch of Spice

Touch Of Spice

 

Nude Nuance

This is like Touch Of Spice’s bitchier sister. It has a little more of a cool tone than Touch Of Spice and doesn’t have any pink in it but is otherwise pretty similar.

Maybelline Matte Lipstick in Nude Nuance

Nude Nuance

 

Siren In Scarlet

When I first bought this, I was all about the bright lipstick shades and this is a classic, bright, fire-engine red. I prefer the Rich Ruby shade below, but if you like a brighter red from the drugstore, look no further.

Maybelline Matte Lipstick in Siren in Scarlet

Siren In Scarlet

 

Rich Ruby

This shade is super appropriately named, rich and classic. It’s perfect for all your holiday soirees, as well as with a casual makeup look for day. This is one of my most-worn shades.

Maybelline Matte Lipstick in Rich Ruby

Rich Ruby

 

Divine Wine

I love a good wine-colored lip and this one does not disappoint. It’s a little more purple-toned than the famous Rimmel 107, but still enough red to be flattering on warmer complexions. Again, I love to pair this one with a warmer eyeshadow to keep the overall look from becoming too frosty and cool-toned.

Maybelline Matte Lipstick in Divine Wine

Divine Wine

 

Burgandy Blush

Yowza. This color is almost black but if you’re into a gothic lip or just want to try it out, the formula and drugstore price tag make this one worth looking into. Something I love about this range, is that the formula is consistent across all the shades. Frequently, darker lipstick shades apply patchier than lighter shades but that’s not the case with these babies.

Maybelline Matte Lipstick in Burgandy Blush

Burgandy Blush

My most worn are definitely Touch of Spice, Rich Ruby and Divine Wine. These are great shades for the fall/winter season but honestly, I wear all three of those pretty regularly September – April.

I also wanted to give an honorable mention to two of my other favorite Maybelline matte lipstick collections – the “Inti-Matte Nudes” and the “Loaded Bolds.” I may do a second post on those collections in the coming weeks since I wear a lot of those shades as well.

Overall, I give Maybelline an A- for their matte lipstick range. If you like matte lipsticks as much as I do, I’d recommend giving them a try. They’re super reasonably priced and if you really hate them, most drugstores (including Ulta) will take returns.