Check out beauty blogs, fashion magazines, or even the makeup aisle these days and you'll likely see some mention of cushion foundations. What are they? Essentially, cushion foundations are liquid foundations steeped onto an attached sponge that's housed in a compact. It's a potentially less messy way to use liquid foundation, and can be applied with whatever tool you prefer—i.e. a sponge, brush or your fingers.
Though the trend offers an interesting new take on traditional liquid foundations, many of the formulas we've seen include ingredients that are less-than-ideal for your skin—typically heavy on the fragrances or other potential irritants. Not so with L'Oreal's True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation, which bypasses ingredient missteps for a product that exceeds expectations.
True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation comes in a round, somewhat thick, mirrored compact. There are two covers: The main cap that closes over the product, and a second, hinged plastic cover that holds the applicator sponge and keeps the cushion foundation from drying out.
To apply the foundation, you simply press the included washable sponge or the application tool of your choice (we found it worked well with fingers and brushes, too) to "dispense" product. The texture is a remarkably lightweight fluid that glides across skin with ease. In fact, for the first few passes you might not think you're getting much coverage at all because it looks incredibly skin-like!
Though this initially goes on sheer, you can build it up to medium coverage if desired. It does a superb job covering minor discolorations and imperfections without settling into lines, emphasizing pores, or highlighting dry spots. The finish is slightly dewy, yet fresh and attractive. We should mention that its emollient finish means this is not the optimum choice for those with combination to oily skin. This foundation is ideal for normal to dry skin, even if it's also prone to breakouts.
True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation holds up well without fading or creasing. It's one of the more comfortable foundations we've tried—so comfortable, in fact, that we almost forgot we were wearing it!
L'Oreal offers this fragrance-free foundation in about a dozen shades designed for fair to deep complexions. The options look natural on their intended skin tones, though selecting a shade may be a little tricky due to the fact you can't try this in store.. That's because there are options for three different "undertones": warm, cool, and neutral—so even if you have fair skin, there's likely more than one color option for you, but one might not look as good as the other depending on your undertone. To L'Oreal's credit, their classification of undertones is generally accurate, as the neutral shades are neutral, while cool tends toward pink and warm towards yellow and gold.
If you've been thinking about getting hip to the cushion foundation trend, L'Oreal's True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation is among the best offerings, drugstore or department store. Because of its remarkable texture, wear, and finish (and the fact that it leaves out irritants and fragrance), we can't recommend it highly enough—especially if you have normal to dry skin!
Note: This foundation is very similar to Lacome's Miracle Cushion Liquid Cushion foundation in that it provides lightweight, blendable, and natural-looking coverage for normal to dry skin in a good range of shades. (This makes sense as L'Oreal is Lancome's parent company.) The main difference, aside from price, is that Lancome's version contains some fragrance, making this a better option for those with sensitive skin.
L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance
Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.
Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.
L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minor—if there are any at all.
L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.
The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreal’s makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.
Unfortunately, despite the brands’ enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstore—imagine the results if their skin care followed suit.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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