If you're anything like me, after the excesses of the holiday season comes the budgetary crackdown; that's why I like to kick off January by focusing on drugstore beauty products. Let's start with the new L'Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion Compact, which promises to deliver a premium cushion compact experience at the drugstore level. Exciting news for beauty lovers!
In case you missed my previous post about cushion compacts, here's a quick rundown of what you need to know. Cushion compacts feature a product-drenched, sponge-like "cushion" and an applicator puff. To apply your foundation, you tap the puff gently against the cushion and then tap and blend the foundation on your face. Ease of application and being able to tote liquid foundation sans spills have made cushion compacts a runaway success in Korea, their country of origin. I previously tried one from Laneige and adored it (still do!), so I was really eager to see how L'Oreal's version would stack up.
I really dig the feminine vibe of the rose gold, pink, and white packaging, which is in line with L'Oreal's other Lumi products. There's a mirror inside and a separate compartment for the applicator puff. The compartment also snaps shut to prevent the cushion from drying out between uses.
The foundation itself offers build-able coverage from sheer (one tap of the cushion with the applicator puff) to medium (3 taps) with a luminous finish. 8 shades are available, and I found that the shade I was sent for review—W2 Light Ivory—suited my complexion, although it did have a tendency to emphasize dry patches. Unlike Korean cushion compacts in which the BB cream usually boasts additional hydration, skincare, or SPF benefits, this is a straightforward—yet impressive in its own way—foundation formula.
At roughly $20 a pop, the L'Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion Compact retails for about half the price of the Laneige one, and although the product contained in the cushion is great, I can definitely see the price difference reflected in the packaging. The plastic casing of the L'Oreal compact feels lighter, more hollow. While Laneige's applicator puff is anti-microbial and non-absorbent so it won't soak up precious product, L'Oreal's conventional applicator puff just drinks it all up.
There's also a difference in the product-soaked cushions. Laneige's consistently dispenses the same amount of product with the same tapping pressure and never too much. By contrast, L'Oreal's cushion positively oozes way too much at the lightest touch. If you've never tried a Korean cushion compact before you probably won't notice these nuances, but I have and I couldn't help comparing the two in my mind.
Bottom line? The L'Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion Compact is a fun, affordable foray into cushion compacts if you've never tried one and are curious, or if you're already a devotee of L'Oreal True Match foundation and looking for a user-friendly, spill-proof way to apply it daily. However, the packaging details don't measure up to those of a premium Korean cushion compact.
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