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

Haulidayin in Taipei and Hong Kong

It was a blast shopping in Taipei and Hong Kong! Sure, it may seem as though the same things are sold there as in Singapore, but… not really no. Prices are wildly different, I must say.

Combined haul between me and my mum! I’m actually surprised that my biggest haul product this time was… sheet masks :O

Products opened up! I actually purchased 4 more boxes of the usual MBD masks for friends but… that was before I remembered to take a picture. Also LoveMore masks for my mum.


1. Sheet Masks

Sheet masks have their own post because of how special these masks are there! I purchased them from a few brands: 1. L’Herboflore, 2. My Beauty Diary, 3. Lovemore, 4. FaceQ, 5. SexyLook. I forgot to include the Lovemore masks in the haul pic!

Here is the link to the general sheet masks (on the way!) post, and to my L’Herboflore experience.


2. Cosmetics

Maybe I haven’t looked closely enough, but I really haven’t seen brands like Banila Co in Singapore. I was about to buy Banila Co’s CC Cream on RRS, but then I saw it in Bonjour HK!

Banila Co: Whitening Moisturizing Color Control Base, i.e. it Radiant CC Cream (SPF 30 PA++)

This was purchased on sale from Bonjour HK, for 98HKD – which is about $17SGD, versus 22,000krw (~$28SGD). It was actually the cheapest I could find around Mongkok – I visited at least 5 of each (Bonjour, Colormix, and Sasa) and I found that Bonjour had the best prices more or less!

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!


Banila Co: Prime Primer

The Classic and Hydrating primers were 96 and 104 HKD (~SGD$17) respectively. One is for my mother, one is for me – she hasn’t decided which one she likes more. The former is very much like a standard silicone primer – translucent, pore-covering, while the latter is more like an emulsion.

After trying on both products over the past couple of weeks, I’d say that for someone who doesn’t like the feeling of heavy products on her face, I prefer using the Classic one over my pore-y zone (nose, inner cheeks) only, due to its heavy silicone content. On the other hand, the hydrating one can easily be spread all over my face without any icky feeling, and holds my makeup in place throughout long days.

Note: These are quite heavily scented, as compared to the CC cream. While the initial application annoys my nose for a while, the scent eventually fades, which is fine if you ask me.

First impression: ★★★★☆


 Bite Beauty: Mix N’ Mingle Lip Minis (Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo)

Not exactly a part of my trip, but Judith got this for me in Sephora USA 🙂 It’s a beautiful Fig/Date combo, albeit really tiny.

First impression: 4half


3. Skincare

Kanebo Media UV Protect Milk (SPF50+, PA+++) and Biore UV Bright Face Milk (SPF50+, PA++++)

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These were purchased in Taipei and Hong Kong respectively. The latter was around $8SGD in Bonjour HK, while it retails for ~$15.70 in Watsons Singapore.


DHC Eyelash Tonic

To be honest, these were just backup purchases for me! I noticed that 3 months of religious usage left me with 50% of the tonic – so this should be one year’s supply. Prices varied from 310 – 379NT (~$15SGD), while my previous purchase from TesterKorea was about 14,000krw (~$20SGD) – and it retails for $27.50 in Watsons Singapore.

This is a HG product for me, and will be reviewed in due time 🙂


4. Samples

Laneige: Perfect Renew Trial Kit

This gift set was purchased for my grandma, so I’m not too sure how it actually is! However, she said it wasn’t quite suitable for her sensitive skin – so I would recommend AGAINST it for people with sensitive skin.


Iope Gift Sets

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I purchased two Iope gift sets for my mum – the Plant Stem Cell Skin Perfection Special Gift Set, and the Moistgen Skin Hydration Special Gift Set! Here’s what’s inside:


Banila Co: The Best Collection

Perfect for me to try everything out! I love this entire set – the deluxe-sample-sized products are great for me to bring along in my makeup pouch, especially considering how much I love the CC Cream. This set came with an extra gift, the Lip Therapy Lip Treatment Stick. Surprisingly, I love it – it moisturizes my lips like butter, and it tastes yummy!


Edit: I ended up dumping all the pictures in this post!

P.S. I just tried pairing my Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion with my Clio Kill Black Brush Liner.
O M G why have I never done this before!!! Previously I’d always have issues with smearing eyeliner due to my oily lids, and I just felt this twinge of disappointment about how my eyeliner wasn’t /pitch/ black – but now, with my HG duo, I have the smoothest, blackest, most long-lasting eyeliner :’)