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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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!

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 🙂

美容护肤

♥ April Favourites ♥

April Faves

Let’s go! My top 5 April Favourites are: (in no particular order)

1. Kicho Pore Cleansing Brush
2. Curél Foaming Body Wash
3. Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule
4. VDL Beauty Metal Cushion Foundation EX
5. Shiseido Foundation Brush 131

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1. Kicho Pore Cleansing Brush

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This pore brush technically isn’t a new buy, but I’ve only just started using it after deciding that I was too lazy to charge my Clarisonic Mia. I got this from Sasa late last year, and its finely-packed bristles are amazing for gentle cleansing. Paired with my Hada Labo foam cleanser, it makes sure that my face is always clean at the end of the day!

2. Curél Foaming Body Wash

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After we ran out of the usual body wash, we wanted to try something new – Curél, as you might already know, is a brand my family is pretty familiar with. While foaming face washes are typical, we’d never tried foaming body washes – and this is great! This is softly moisturizing and cleanses my skin gently. One issue is, it’s so gentle that it might not be strong enough for sweaty days out.

3. Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule
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An old purchase, but I’ve never noticed how effective this snail ampoule was until April. With my internship, I’ve barely had time to run through my full routine every night, so I’ve been experimenting with using 1-2 products per night to help combat the dry skin from the aircon >( After much experimenting, I discovered that this snail ampoule was the 1 product that made a huge difference when I woke up in the morning – paired with my Hada Labo Lotion, and Laneige Sleeping Pack, my face is baby soft when I wake up :’)

4. VDL Beauty Metal Cushion Foundation EX

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A new purchase!! This was part of my GMarket haul, which I will be uploading sometime soon 🙂 What caught my eye about this VDL Metal Cushion is its metal palette; I can mix the foundation with other products (including concealer and emulsions), and I can use a brush with this… which brings me to:

5. Shiseido Foundation Brush 131

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I’ve always been eyeing a brush like this; After I spotted the 1028 foundation brush in Watsons, I really wanted to get one (but somehow I never did). I decided to get the original, Japanese drugstore version off Carousell… and w o w is basically all I can say!??! This brush is the best applicator for liquid foundations I’ve tried (at the moment); it gives me this polished, natural finish that I’ve never been able to obtain, even with Rubycell puffs, the BeautyBlender, and the Zoeva Silk Finish brush. This… brush is absolutely golden, and I will likely be reviewing this separately one day.


Let me know if you’d like to find out more about any of my April Favourites! 🙂