Review: IOPE Air Cushion XP Comparison

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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

Price: ★★★★☆
Aesthetics: ★★★★☆
Coverage: ★★★☆☆
Glow: ★★★★☆
Moisture: ★★★★☆
Long-wear: ★★★★☆
Overall: ★★★★☆

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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

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Much shorter and compact! Button is also of a different shape, more sleek

IMG_6188.JPGOpened 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!!)

IMG_6191.JPGI like that the new puff has this embossed leather look, it is however slightly smaller than the old puff

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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. 

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The new formula in the moisture-lasting variant is a little runnier, I feel, and runs a little more yellow

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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 ❤

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The Small Things

As much as I’ve wanted to maintain Milliefeuille on a regular basis, it’s been really tough handling just school alone – I honestly thought that I’d have better time management and more free time now, but I guess not?

I’ve blogged about how samples are my ‘小确幸/xiao que xing’ they’re part of the little things that keep me sane and just bring me a disproportionately large amount of joy in tuff times! It’s so irrational that I’d give myself an extra half an hour to get home so I could drop by Raffles City or Capitol Piazza just to collect some samples… when I can’t even give myself that extra half an hour of sleep sometimes… but hey, whatever works right?

Given so, I’d just like to share with you guys some of the great stuff I’ve received in the past couple of months – and the story of how I collected them 🙂

SULWHASOO

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I remember being particularly down that day – I don’t quite remember why, maybe it was that I’d just received my midterms grades back and they weren’t that great? So I went to google for some free samples, and it just random occurred to me that I might want to look up Sulwhasoo – and I saw that they were offering a 5-day trial for their Snowise series.

I was treated to a warm experience by the saleslady, who sat me down and let me try and explained to me what the different products were. She was especially generous with me as well, actually offering me the full ‘5 day’ trial that included 5 packets each of the Snowise Brightening Serum, Spot Treatment, Water, Cream, and Fluid, and the First Care Activating Serum EX (I’m saying this as some brands offer a ‘5 day trial’ with 1 packet of serum? Wouldn’t that be like, a misrepresentation?); I know my skin isn’t that great, so I wasn’t offended or anything but I was quite pleased that she took the time to diagnose my skin type and offered some Brightening Exfoliating Gel to me. Usually, I’d just be in a rush to get my samples and go, but given the environment… mmm, it felt like a great temporary respite.

ORIGINS

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Actually, not much of a story here. After visiting Sulwhasoo, I dropped by the Origins outlet at Robinsons Raffles City to collect it – and I left with a Platscription set including an anti-aging cleanser, powerful lifting cream, and powerful lifting neck and décolleté treatment. Ha! I actually also dropped by Lancome for some samples, but I gave those to my mum already.

FRESH

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I was having lunch with J at Nam Nam – when I remembered that I had this SMS from like, February!!! A month had passed since I’d signed up for a sample of the Black Tea Age-Delay Firming Serum – but I decided to head up to the store to try my luck anyway. And luck it was! The sampling offer was ending in 4 days, and I managed to get my trial bottle; I’m amazed at how generous they were with the packaging this time, it’s almost the same as the real packaging – with the glass dropper and all. It smells great too!

KIEHL’S

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THE BODY SHOP

Hm. I was heading home from one of my finals papers and I needed to grab some food – I had extra time, so I dropped by the outlet at Junction 8 to pick up the Oils of Life Sleeping Cream and Facial Oil for my mum. She purchased the oil and toner (?) recently, and thought she’d like to try the new cream. I walked in, and asked whether or not I could redeem the sample – I mean I don’t expect anything, but without saying a word the saleslady turned around, grabbed the sample, turned back around and just stuck her hand out with it to me – all without saying a word? I said thanks and she continued to remain silent and I just left (???) what an odd sales experience… Extremely different from the warm and friendly service my mum and I experienced at Raffles City previously. I also collected some Drops of Light Serum and Cream.

Also I’ve spent the past few months taking a module that includes a case study on The Body Shop and Anita Roddick – did you know that Roddick was vehemently against advertising? Just food for thought.

BELIF

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My last finals paper was on Friday, and I was at Junction 8 with my mum again! Belif posted that they were offering samples of their new mask on Insta, so I dropped by with my mum to get a set. They’re offering quite a few products from 30-50% off now – fairly good deals but I don’t need anything right now 🙂

Altogether, I received varying amounts of First Aid Deep Pore Care Mask, Peat Miracle Revital Mask, Lavender Sky Hand Cream, First Aid Overnight Skin Regeneration Mask, First Aid Anti-Hangover Soothing Mask, Hungarian Water Essence, First Aid Overnight Brightening Mask, and First Aid Aqua Rush Mask. Each set came with 6 masks/samples, and my mum and I got a different assortment 🙂

PHYSIOGEL

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I signed up for samples online, and a few days later a package arrived in my mailbox! 🙂 Some Calming Relief Face Cream, and Calming Relief Gentle Cream Cleanser.

NEULII

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I’m sure you guys all know about this! Roseroseshop came up with their own brand, Neulii, and offered to send samples to anyone who messaged them on SNS 🙂 By chance, I got 5 packets each of the AHA Vita Brightening Serum, and the Teatree BHA Blemish Control Serum. I don’t quite fancy the AHA, but I’ve been using the BHA over the past couple of weeks and I’m quite happy using it 🙂

SAMPLESTORE

I love the way SampleStore works but…. man you really have to rush when the new samples are out haha. I was lucky enough to get a few things – Labo Labo Super Moist Gel, Dove Body Wash, Pond’s Flawless White BB Cream, and Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock!

MISCELLANEOUS

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Also I finally received the Histolab 72% Azulene Complex Ampoule samples from HKC Plaza… and did you know that Her World sometimes attaches free samples to the magazine? That’s a The History of Whoo Ja Saeng Essence.

And sometimes I win some stuff from contests 🙂 I received Bioderma micellar water travel bottles, including a Hydrabio H2O, Sensibio H2O, and a Sébium H2O. Super cute 🙂

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Gmarket Haul: January 2015

This… is completely long overdue. Finals are finally over, and it’s summer (for the next 4 months!) I’ve posted about getting some stuff from Gmarket in May 2015, and in January I thought it was fair time I restocked some of my stuff – here we go!

DR. JART+ CERAMIDIN CREAM

What it is: “A lightweight cream to moisturize the skin.”
Why I purchased it: my skin was cracking and peeling and tight and just dying throughout my Differin routine; I needed something to repair my skin barrier, and I thought ceramide would do just the trick.
What it cost: After discounts, about SGD28.00 / KRW23,000
How it performs: A thick, thick humectant – smells just like the Ceramidin Liquid. I still prefer that one!

VERITE ULTRA MOIST SKIN INTENSE CREAM

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What it is: A cream packed with ceramides and stuff
Why I purchased it: I wanted a cream with ceramides, I was looking for a Verite cushion…. the packaging was too cute cmon let’s not kid myself
What it cost: After discounts, about SGD35.00 / KRW29,000
How it performs: I actually kind of prefer this over Dr. Jart+’s – that one is more like a balmy paste, while this one is a smooth cream that spreads over my skin

VERITE UV MULTI CUSHION LX WONDER STORY #21

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What it is: A “repurchase” of my HG Verite DX cushion
Why I purchased it: I love my Verite cushion. I wore it to work, I wore it to school like every day, and it was running out – I needed a refill, and since they discontinued the DX, I had to go with the LX
What it cost: After discounts, about SGD28.00 / KRW23,000
How it performs: Cute case, but I actually haven’t opened the new LX yet!

TOSOWOONG PROPOLIS SPARKLING AMPOULE

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What it is: A propolis sparkling ampoule.
Why I purchased it: I needed something soothing and something that would even my skin tone, given that I’m trying to clear PIH
What it cost: After discounts, about SGD25.00 / KRW21,000
How it performs: It has a thick, gel-like texture that leaves my face supple and hydrated; however, not too sure about the long-term effects?

SAMPLES GALORE

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Cute – the Verite stuff came with loooots of samples! It included a 5 Skin Care Trial Kit, a lip tint, a mini Skin Intense Cream, and a mist; the other stuff came with IOPE’s Bio-Essence mini mask, Mamonde anti-aging cream, Laneige Original Essence White Plus Renew, and a Hanyul mask; Tosowoong threw in some samples too!

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I’m actually headed off to Korea in a couple of days, and I’m planning to try everythingggg there so I can take advantage of the Gmarket $5 shipping promotion when I’m back! Exciting times – I’ve never looked forward to summer this much before. Cheers!

Battle of the CC Creams: Banila Co. it Radiant CC Cream and CC Cushion

Those who’ve spoken to me about my beauty stash know that I have a love affair with CC Creams / Colour Correcting Creams. Yes, I said it – I don’t particularly like BB creams, no – I don’t see any magical glowy effects after using them, and they sometimes leave a cakey effect on my skin/dry it out/produce an oily t-zone. But with my not-so-recent discovery of CC Creams, I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole.

After starting off the journey of light-coverage base-makeup, i.e. CC creams, my complexion has been more radiant than ever. There’s this sheer glow I seem to find in the moisturizing properties of CC Creams; I don’t really need the medium-coverage properties of typical BB Creams, so CC Creams are perfect for me because they’re typically sheer coverage, and are marketed to help with sallowness/redness etc. Quick warning: this is not for someone who’s looking to cover multiple blemishes!

I’ll be posting a series of long-overdue reviews of the various CC creams in my stash – while I have made previous judgements on some of them, these will be my honest, latest, long-term-use reviews of these products.


Banila Co. it Radiant CC Cream

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Let’s start off with the very first CC cream I tried – the whitening, moisturizing, color control base produced by Banila Co. What made me get this? I remember catching a glimpse of this CC cream from an unfamiliar brand, Banila Co., on Get It Beauty. As I was shopping around in Bonjour Hong Kong, I caught it at 98HKD as I posted previously. Check out the clip here:

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Song Ji Hyo is the brand ambassador of Banila Co., and this product has won awards from Get It Beauty, Allure Korea, Sure, and Cosmo Korea. Sounds pretty convincing to me!


What I previously posted:

1. This handy pump dispenser provides for more hygienic access to the CC cream

IMG_47722. What the CC cream looks like, unblended

IMG_47763. What the CC cream looks like half blended

IMG_47774. Left side has no CC cream, right side has blended CC cream.
Do note that my hand is slightly tanner than my face!

First impression: ★★★★★ +++ HG LEVEL!!!!!

It’s no wonder that the Banila Co CC Cream came out as one of the top contenders on Get It Beauty – it certainly is moisturizing, provides basic sun protection, and brightens your face. Definitely dedicating a review post to this (and other CC creams) soon!


HOWEVER,
What I can say now is that it’s really got this amazing, smooth and blendable texture that just melts into your face, and I thought it was love at first sight for me. At that point in time, I’d say that my skin was a notch lighter than it is right now – maybe that was why this CC cream seemed to merely brighten my appearance due to its lightness and pink undertones, cancelling out the olive-ness of my skin. I remember yelling at my mum to ‘come look!! I don’t even need undereye concealer with this!!’, but sadly, those days ended mid 2015.

As I got slightly tanner throughout 2015, I started noticing that I looked as pale as a sheet under fluorescent lights whenever I was wearing this CC cream – it simply didn’t suit me anymore, and I started having to mix in darker concealer/base makeup product to make this CC cream work for me. As you can see in the fourth picture above, while the right side of my hand looks brighter, if I was any tanner at all, the shade of the cream just washes me out.

Today, while I still agree that it’s great for brightening my skin tone and as a quick makeup base, I just don’t find myself reaching for it as often. It’s become more of a makeup blender for me.

Pros
– Smells lovely, quite flowery
– Smooth consistency makes it easy to blend
– Feels moisturizing on the skin
– Sufficiently brightening effect

Cons
– May only suit pale skin tones
– May not have sufficient coverage

Overall
– Shade/Tone: Pink undertones, suitable only for those < NC20.
– Consistency: Smooth, blendable
– Application: Easy to apply with fingers
– Coverage: Sheer-light
– Packaging: Pretty good, the standing pump tube is easy to dispense
– Fragrance: Lightly flowery and powdery, not overwhelming

Rating: ★★★★☆
Would I recommend this? Yes!

Details: 30ml, SPF 30 PA++, RRP 25,000KRW / ~SGD$35
Comes in variants including cc+sun, for men, as well as a similarly packaged line of bb creams


Bonus review: Banila Co it Radiant CC Cushion

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Just as an add-on to this review, I purchased the BE10 shade of the CC cushion from Carousell in April last year. With my expectations of the CC cream at that point in time, I had high hopes this product would be equally great – however, I was wholly disappointed with this cushion. What’s there to like about it? Uhhhh, not much here to check out. I’m gonna write about this in the order of how I opened it:

Taking a glance at the cushion case, it looked basic, nothing special nor different from any other cushion – clean-cut and sturdy on the outside. Popping open the case, I immediately noticed that the quality of Banila Co.’s rubycell puff is miles below the golden AmorePacific standard – it’s just like any other sponge to be honest. The worst part is, the rubycell puff literally disintegrated after a few months – yeah, no. That’s just gross.

You know how most cushions have a comfortable ‘click’ lock on their inner-cushion lids? This one had a slipshod click notch on the right-hand side of the lid, which meant that it was SO inconvenient for me to pop open each time – with others, I could easily tip it open with one hand. The liquid in the sponge… I don’t even know what it’s supposed to be. It’s so, freaking, watery, it literally drips out of the case if you store it vertically – which completely negates the point of the inner lid anyway!?

I admit that the shade BE10 is definitely too light for me, but even the way it sits on my face made me feel uncomfortable – it was so sheer, it might as well have not have been on my face – no color correcting or complexion-covering properties in this one. Can you see how the right side of my hand is orangey? The effect was more pronounced in reality – it’s this peachy shade that I simply don’t think suits Asian skin tones.

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Look at everything leaking out. Just a big no from me, sorry Banila Co. While your brand makes some pretty great stuff, you’ve successfully convinced me not to buy any of your cushion products again.

Pros
– Smells lovely, quite flowery – similar to the CC cream
– Glowy effect noticeable on my skin due to pink tones

Cons
– Oily consistency that feels like a film on your face
– Too watery, loose formula
– Shade doesn’t make sense – very orange on my skin, although it’s formulated for yellow undertones
– Terrible rubycell puff that disintegrates
– Poor packaging design, lacks ease of use
– Formula leaks out of the cushion

Overall
– Shade/Tone: ?? undertones, suitable for orange people ~NC20
– Consistency: Oily and watery
– Application: Unusable once the cushion puff disintegrates, which is really soon
– Coverage: None-sheer
– Packaging: Sturdy case, but poor design makes it annoying to use and formula leaks out
– Fragrance: Lightly flowery and powdery, not overwhelming

Rating: ★★☆
Would I recommend this? No!

Details: 15ml*2, SPF 35 PA++, RRP 35,000KRW / ~SGD$40
Comes in 3 shades: BE10, BP15, and BE20


I’ll be reviewing more CC creams, specifically some from AmorePacific soon. Update again… sometime!

 

TFS/VDL/Belif Friends & Family Sale 2015 (Suntec City)

I received an email a couple of days ago the The Face Shop, VDL, and Belif would be holding a Friends & Family Sale this August!

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IMG_5625-2What my mum and I got (minus the extra free gifts)

Aqua Gel Oil (75ml, $68.00 -> $44.20); Numero 10 Essence (75ml, $46.00 -> $29.90)

The True Cream – Moisturizing Bomb (50ml, $54.00 -> $35.10); Delightful Body Bomb (150ml, $46 -> $23.00)

Essential Gel Mist Blue (100ml, $42.00 -> $21.00); De-wrinkle Treatment Spot Care (25ml, $71.00 -> $35.50)

Our free samples!!! This included a travel kit including Milky Moisturizer Hydra Balancing, Numero 10 Essence, and Creamy Cleansing Foam Moist, and samples for the Classic Essence Increment which we requested for. My aunt bought the full-sized version of this, and it was the last one… so my mum settled for samples for now (she has too many things to use now anyway!!) We also received 2 cute umbrellas, and a makeup organizer pouch!

Brow Contour Kit ($40.00 -> $24.00); Metal Cushion Foundation ($42.00 -> $25.20)

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We also received a ton of free gifts – the welcome member set included a Lumilayer Primer, Beauty Cleansing Foam, and Perfecting Last Foundation. I didn’t even take pics of the 1. Tumbler 2. Laptop Bag and 3. Lunch bag they gave us!!!

My aunt also purchased some stuff from The Face Shop – she gave us one of the free sample kits she received.

IMG_5636Raspberry Roots Special Set (Includes 2x Collagen Eye Patch, Depuffing Eye Gel, and Sleeping mask) (Free gift)

While the prices are quite amazing, I must warn you guys that the expiry dates are fairly near, with most of them expiring in mid-2016. I highly suggest against irresponsible hauling – if you’re not gonna be able to finish it by then, don’t buy it!! Or I mean like you could use it on your body, but still. Take note of the expiry dates before purchase!!!

The sale is held at Suntec City (where the 3 shops are side by side), from 27-30th August. Have fun guys!

Cushion Case ‘Decoden’

When I travel, I’m always in a rush and I’ve got this bad habit of well… Throwing everything into my bag. Which means that everything gets dumped in together! Which err also means that if my keys + cushion meet my cushion case gets scratched up. And it did 😦

So after I saw the countless cushion decoden posts online, it occurred to me that it’d be a brilliant way to cover up the scratches on my case!! (p.s. I use an IOPE refill in an eSpoir case, since it’s the most lightweight one I own)

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Goodbye scratches!! While I don’t really like the excessively cutesy style of Japanese decoden, I thought paper flowers would make a great design! Totally random, but these paper flowers were purchased in Bangkok around.. ten… years ago……

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I stuck down the flowers with small drops of heavy-duty glue, and they look pretty fixed-on to the case now. I initially wanted to glue down a bed of flowers, but my mum suggested this instead – and I love the look, since the eSpoir logo is still featured in the centre :>

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Here’s hoping that they won’t be scratched off quickly – I promise I’ll be more careful with this in my bag now! I hope this gives some inspiration to anyone looking to spruce up their BB cushion cases 🙂

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