The Hera Age Reverse Cushion! Whoo! When I first discovered cushions compacts, this one always stood out to me for looking super luxurious with the most elegant packaging, so I desperately wanted to try it. The high end price tag always held me back though and so I continually bought more affordable alternatives. But after trying so many other cushions my eyes couldn’t help but start wandering back towards this, so I finally caved and bought it last summer.
Hera is a high-end South Korean brand sold in department stores and you might recognise their products if you’re a fan of K-dramas as they’re frequently featured alongside their spokes model, actress Jun Ji-Hyun.
Hera has 4 different types of cushions (they recently revamped the packaging at the end of 2016), depending on the type of coverage and finish you prefer. They come in 3 shades – 13, 21 and 23.
- Hera UV Mist Cushion – available in 2 versions: Nude (more sheer) or Cover (higher coverage).
- Hera UV Mist Cushion Ultra Moisture
- Hera UV Mist Cushion Long Stay Matt
- Hera Age Reverse Cushion – available in 2 versions: Natural or Cover
I opted for the Age Reverse Cushion in shade C23 Beige Cover because cushions are all generally low-medium coverage anyway so I’ll take that extra bit of coverage whenever they offer the choice. I got a bit darker over the summer too so while 23 isn’t much darker than 21, it does have a more yellow undertone so it doesn’t brighten your complexion as much as the pink-based C21 does. It is also still a decent colour match now I’m using it in winter.
This retails for KRW60,000 which is approximately £42/$52 but comes with another 15g refill inside the box. (You can get it for cheaper on IBBI here, which usually has it on sale.) This is the most expensive of all the Hera cushions because it targets the ‘older woman’ with its anti-ageing properties and superior ingredients.
- Anti-ageing benefits – contains glycol protein water extracted from birch buds which deeply moisturises, and a wine extract Sepivinol which has powerful antioxidants to prevent ageing.
- Clearer skin – a special colour technology has been utilised with blue and pink pigments added to give a brighter colour complexion and improve dullness and vitality.
- Improved skin texture – Omni veil technology which fills in, smoothens and boosts the firmness of skin texture. It also gives long-lasting pore/wrinkle cover and is a smooth non-sticky formula. It also contains phosphatide coating powder that absorbs well into skin to moisturise from within.
- UV protection with SPF38/PA+++
This all sounds impressive and I’m usually not so fussed with the skincare aspect of cushions, because after all, it’s a makeup product and I have a good morning skincare routine so it’s not something I rely on in my cushions. It is appreciated however, that effort has actually gone into making it more beneficial for the skin compared to the average makeup product. Especially considering the price you pay for it. I really like the fact that wine extract has been added although I’m curious as to why this has a lower SPF38 compared to the SPF50 you usually see.
This certainly looks the most luxurious compared to the rest of the Hera cushions thanks to the deep royal purple. I love it. It is very shiny and reflective so its a major fingerprint smudge magnet, but you also can see your reflection in it which I guess is a plus? I really like the sharp cut edges of the compact case as opposed to the rounded domed shape that the old Hera cushions sported, because it feels more compact when holding it and just looks more slick.
The only thing I don’t like is the latch button to open and close it. The lid doesn’t feel sturdy enough to me and has a little wobble to it which feels loose enough that I always feel like its going to accidentally open up. The button itself only needs the lightest touch for it to pop open the lid.
This has a nice solid medium coverage and gives your skin a smooth finish upon application. It covers up my redness well and evens dark pigmentation scars from old spots. It doesn’t look the most natural though, and depending how you apply it, it does look like you’re wearing makeup.
I like the puff that is used to apply which is a new patented design called the Air Cell Pro Puff which is meant to reduce the amount of product that gets absorbed into it and provides a ‘better content delivery’ to the face when you pat it on. It feels squishy and thicker than regular ones, with a velvet texture that feels and performs a lot like the Pony Effect cushion dough puff – which is my absolute favourite for cushion application.
What I’m less keen on, is how dewy the finish is. I expected it to be a moisturising dewy cushion when I purchased it, but it still surprised me how ‘wet’ the formula is. The first time I applied it, I was slightly more heavy-handed (as you do when you get a bit excited trying a new cushion for the first time), and it just looked like I had a very oily, shiny face. I like natural dewy foundations but this is a bit too much. I’ve been wearing this on and off for the past few months and I always have to set my t-zone with powder. (To note, my skin is currently normal, but slightly on the dry/dehydrated side although no visible dry patches or flakiness).
For review purposes this past week, I’ve worn it everyday with no powder to give a more accurate review of the cushion itself. I find that my skincare routine is very dependent on how dewy this cushion can look and definitely go for a more minimalistic routine when I’m wearing this. This also works best when you apply a light, thin layer as I find the dewyness more tolerable; if you try to layer this for extra coverage, you just get more shiny.
Before & after: does well to cover redness and even out/smoothen the skin
Left: Taken in lower natural light so you can see how dewy this cushion is even with 1 very thin layer applied.
Right: With the rest of my makeup applied with a bit of powder. Looks better and makes skin appear softer and more airbrushed.
What I found most uncomfortable with the Age Reverse cushion however, is how it sits on my skin. It feels and looks on the heavier side for a cushion foundation (where I’ve come to expect a light, natural finish that blends in with my skin), but if you’re familiar with the Clio Kill Cover cushions, this almost feels like those, except Clio has much higher coverage to warrent the heavier texture. This feels like it never fully sets on my face either, so it has a sticky, tacky finish which transfers if you touch it and gets more uncomfortable as the day progresses, especially when it starts mixing with my skin’s natural oils. If you’re out on a windy day, it will get annoying how often hair gets stuck to your face.
It provides about 5/6 hours of good wear before the formula starts breaking down and gets oily around my nose area. The cushion begins bunching up around the sides of my nose and it moves about in between my eyebrows. It also gets patchy on my chin area which is normal for a lot of cushions at the moment because it’s winter and that is the most dry/dehydrated area of my face. This is especially disappointing for this cushion though, considering how dewy it is; you’d naturally expect it to be more moisturising than a more matte finish, but this still emphasises dehydrated skin. All the moisture seems to get sucked into my skin leaving dry patches and lots of little visible bumps after about 7/8 hours wear time.
If this was a less expensive cushion I’d probably be more satisfied with it; it has good coverage and still looks decent after 12 hours, if a little dry. It isn’t even super awful or the worst cushion I’ve met (it’s not like a Missha cushion where I couldn’t stand it and gave it away to my mum), but because I had higher expectations for being a luxury brand that also makes a lot of claims, this came as a bigger disappointment. It’s a cushion that I’m fine with wearing on a daily basis to work but not at all what I’d rely on if I’m going somewhere special for the day. And I was so hoping it’d be for the latter. It’s strange because while I’d still wear this (and have a refill to get through), I wouldn’t repurchase or even really recommend it. Oily skin people won’t like the high shine and tacky feeling (although you could powder your entire face), and there are far better and more moisturising options for people with dry skin. You basically need normal skin for this to look its best. If you want to try Hera, their UV Mist Cushion Ultra Moisture is much much better.