Everyone’s heard about the IOPE Air Cushion. It’s often lauded as one of the best, high-coverage, long-wearing cushions that’s out there on the market – it’s easily accessible, priced pretty decently, and is just one of the top picks that you’ll always hear about!
Well – when I first started exploring cushions a couple of years ago, I blindly followed the trends and I got myself the original IOPE AIR CUSHION® XP NATURAL SPF50+/PA+++, pictured below.
IOPE AIR CUSHION Natural, N21
So shiny, so sturdy! This cushion was boasted as “Cushion foundation that provides powerful protection against UV rays and delivers complete coverage for natural, luminous complexion.” I think I missed out this post, but I previously purchased this cushion, as well as the Laneige BB Cushion (somehow in the Anti-Ageing formulation?!), from TesterKorea back before I really knew much.
I’ve already finished using one refill of this cushion, and while I haven’t touched it in months, I’ll just be sharing my opinion of it when I was using it. This IOPE Cushion was alright, and was something that I reached out for on a regular basis, maybe 1-2 times a week. I’d usually reach out for it on days when I needed higher coverage, maybe because of all the hype surrounding it.
But really, as I kept using it, I realised I didn’t quite like it – it didn’t feel special on my face at all, and wasn’t quite able to cover all my light blemishes. My nose would be oily by noon (urghhhhh), and it’d start to break up around dry areas by midday (~3pm). Wasn’t something I was looking for…
So since this cushion isn’t quite available in the market anymore, I won’t be giving this a proper review – my final verdict would be YMMV, probably not suitable for my skin type and environment – dry combo skin, in humid weather, and for long hours. For me, what convinces me that a cushion is good is that I /actually/ take out the refill (that comes with the package) to use – I didn’t open that refill up. That one’s gone to Carousell. WNR
IOPE AIR CUSHION Moisture Lasting, N21
So around came 2016, and I was in Seoul! The ~new~ IOPE Air Cushion was reformulated and released again! But this time, in four variants: Natural Glow, Matte Longwear, Intense Cover, and Moisture Lasting. And in more shades than ever: C13, N21, W21, N23, W23! That’s much more than the previously widely available N21 and N23.
Well I saw this in a ton of Duty-Free shops, and Lotte, and Aritaum shops… Eventually, I was tempted enough to pick up one from the Duty-Free shop in Jeju Airport (I can’t remember which Dept. store ran it!!). There was an ongoing 20% off sale, so I snagged it at a pretty great ~SGD$30 🙂 I chose to stick with the neutral tones, and since I still prefer a brighter skin tone, I chose N21 again, in the Moisture Lasting variant.
I will first note the key reasons that drew me in to purchase yet another IOPE cushion (although I hadn’t liked the original):
- It looks GORGEOUS. This new cushion is considerably thinner than the original “standard” cushion, clocking in at 2.8cm tall
- Its curved edges and shiny blue rim just drew. me. in. It looks so sleek and classy, and something that I’d carry around out to school/work. I was fairly tempted to purchase the pink cushion case variant in another IOPE store in Myeongdong, but I held myself back
- Isn’t the new puff pretty? It’s slightly smaller than the original size, but there’s this gorgeous leather emboss on top
- The hype. Let’s face it, the hype surrounding this cushion has pretty much never died down. When this new version was released, I was like oh my god I HAVE to try this new flashy cushion
Each cushion set (cushion case + 15g x 2 refills) runs for (supposedly) KRW42,000 on Amore Pacific’s website, but I think you’ll be able to get it much cheaper on Gmarket Korea.
It’s an alright cushion, and I really /don’t mind/ using it. One thing that really irks me is that the cushion sponge can’t be flipped around. I’m only “a few weeks” into using this cushion, and I already feel that it’s running out – but I know that there’s a lot of liquid at the bottom! And it’s not coming out! I don’t feel like I’m getting my money’s worth by using this product. 😦
Overall, it’s just not a cushion that blew me away, and isn’t something that I’ll be using with my current skin condition (some small visible acne scars). So once again, the refill test – the refill is still sitting in the box, untouched… Sadly, once again, I think this one’s going to Carousell as well (the pretty case I’ll keep).
Would I buy this again? Maybe, if it somehow turns out that my skin becomes ~perfect~ and this just gives me the perfect minimalistic coverage. In the meantime, I think I’ll stick with my other HGs.
Comparison: Old vs New Cushions
New on the left, old on the right. Huge font size for the cushion color, differences in shape and curvature, gorgeous new ring along the side rather than a fat shiny strip
Much shorter and compact! Button is also of a different shape, more sleek
Opened up, the new mirror is slightly more “accessible” than the old one (I lost my IOPE puff, so a Lirikos puff is about the same!!)
I like that the new puff has this embossed leather look, it is however slightly smaller than the old puff
Pretty new design
The new foundation-soaked sponge has a special ridged pattern on the top. Note that this is only on the top, which means that you cannot flip the sponge.
The new formula in the moisture-lasting variant is a little runnier, I feel, and runs a little more yellow
My inner wrist is definitely paler than my face, so both of them blend quite well but you can tell that the shades aren’t an absolutely perfect match
IOPE Air Cushion, as lovely as you might seem, I don’t think we’re a match.
I’ll probably do an update soon on my favourite base makeup products! Hint: Hera, Verite, and Lirikos are my baes now ❤