I’ve never really been one for cushions. I see most of the options out there as way too sheer, which just doesn’t cut it for my high-coverage preferences. That’s why I use cushions only for mid-day touch ups because they’re obviously a lot more portable than my bottle of liquid foundation; but even so, I more often find myself using them merely as mirrors to check that everything on my face is in place.
Plus, with a continual stream of cushion launches coming in even now, quite some time after this whole cushion revolution started – personally a little surprised that the trend’s still going strong – it’s hard to find a cushion that stands out, and it feels like they’re all kinda the same.
So to be completely honest, when MAKE UP FOR EVER’s first foray into cushions, the UV Bright Cushion, landed on my desk, I almost immediately forgot about it (the nondescript plain white packaging did not help at all). But after a few days, it happened to catch my eye, and I decided to give it a chance, since I am after all a longtime fan of MUFE’s base products (the HD liquid foundation was my first holy grail makeup item) – and the brand was nice enough to engrave my name on the case. How can you resist using a cushion with your name on it?
By Tami Lai
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: As I said, there’s really nothing special about the packaging – just a plain white case with the brand logo printed in black front and centre. I feel like a lot of the times, the packaging of a cushion compact has to stand out to get people to sit up and pay attention, since it’s hard to make what’s on the inside that exciting.
Still, I open it up. On the inside, the pores of the cushion seem relatively big, and the formula looks more moist than normal. This is usually a sign that it’s more high coverage, which is a promising thing for me.
PROS: MUFE sent the UV Bright Cushion together with a flat-top brush, which I found interesting – brands don’t often give the option of applying the cushion with a brush. I like the idea of that however, as brushes usually are more efficient at application as compared to puff applicators, plus it gives me the option of keeping the puff cleaner for longer.
The Buffer Brush #154S, which the brand recommends applying the UV Bright Cushion with.
Upon application, indeed the UV Bright Cushion gives very high coverage. This is in no way a BB cushion; it’s a full on cushion foundation (which is what the press release states). It goes on quite evenly, and by the end of the day, the coverage’s still decent. The brand says this is thanks to the silicon-coated pigments, which are well-protected from the forces of heat and humidity. Well, the weather the past few days for sure put that claim to the test, and the UV Bright formula did well enough… most of the time. But I’ll get into that.
CONS: In the press release, MUFE recommends applying the foundation with the brush using a “press and spread” technique for light to medium coverage, and with the puff using a dabbing technique for medium to full coverage. I tried both methods, and found that it was quite the reverse for me: I ended up with way too much product on my face the first time I tried to apply it with a brush, and coupled with the intense morning heat, by the time I completed the 10-minute walk from my home to the MRT station, a bit of sweat on my forehead had caused the foundation near my hairline to melt off, turning some hairs white. Not a pretty sight to start the workday with at all. But with the puff, the amount of foundation that went onto my face was a whole lot more manageable.
Top: The UV Bright Cushion applied with the flat-top brush. Bottom: The UV Bright Cushion applied with the puff applicator.
I’m aware that the makeup-melting episode was caused by the fact that there was too much product on my face, plain and simple. It’s just that if you want “light to medium coverage”, applying this with a brush is not the way to go for sure.
VERDICT: The day after that minor makeup meltdown, I gave the cushion a second chance with the puff applicator, and that turned out a lot better. I found that the formula was easier to control that way, since the puff picks up less product with each tap.
All in all, I can see myself using the UV Bright Cushion regularly though, and it won’t be going the way of the countless other cushions that I use once and toss aside, for the sole reason that the coverage they provide just isn’t sufficient for me. It also stays on my face for most of the day, with barely any need for touchups. Hopefully this does well enough to motivate the brand to expand the shade offerings beyond the current 5 options, which span “Yellow Alabaster” to “Warm Ivory”; their liquid foundations have a great variety, and it’d be quite a shame if the shades for this cushion seem so limited in comparison.
MAKE UP FOR EVER UV Bright Cushion, $64 for a compact and 2 refills; $32 for a single refill. Available at Sephora. makeupforever.com/sg