After being pleasantly surprised by the L’Oreal Paris Nude Magique which I tried last year, I’ve been a lot more open to trying other Western brand cushions despite the less-value-for-money price tag (that doesn’t come with an extra refill). Despite my view that Korean brands still produce slightly superior cushions, there are aspects of Western cushion formulas that I really enjoy too.
One that I initially tried to resist was the YSL Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation. It first launched early 2016 as an Asia exclusive and I’m glad I didn’t immediately jump on it because the price was just painful. It finally launched here in late 2016 for £38.50, and while still super expensive for what you’re getting, it’s much more reasonable than in Asia (for a high-end luxury brand, that is). Coupled with the fact that everyone who’s reviewed it seems to love this, curiosity eventually got the best of me.
(Note: I still don’t think this has been released in the USA, but I believe they have a USA-first exclusive release of the new 2017 spring ‘YSL Touche Éclait Cushion Foundation’,
which will be coming soon to the UK/Europe which has just been launched in the UK/Europe).
YSL Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation | SPF23/PA++
Shade B30 | Price £38.50 | 14g of product (No refill included)
This cushion claims:
- Shine-free flawless coverage all day – provides a matte, light-diffusing finish with a powdery effect
- Ultra-fresh smooth texture that melts into skin which feels weightless and comfortable
- Protects, perfects and hydrates the complexion – enriched with Tamanu oil which hydrates and boosts luminosity
- Perfect on the go for easy touch-ups – applicator specially designed to apply just the right amount of product
This comes in 6 shades ranging from B10-B60. I went for B30 because I heard B20 runs very light even for people who use No.21 in Korean foundations and B40 would just be too dark for my pale skin. Nevertheless I don’t think B30 is an accurate match for me because despite YSL claiming these all have neutral undertones; this has a very strong pink undertone. It looks very off tonally compared to my neck/chest when I first apply but after a few hours it gradually colour matches to my skin tone better (although it doesn’t noticeably oxidise and become darker).
This comes in standard YSL black and gold packaging which looks really classy. However this case feels quite chunky and big in comparison to the 2nd/3rd generation cushions I’ve now become accustomed to with Korean brands. The logo on the top is embedded rather than embossed on the lid so you don’t have to worry about it scratching off; this is a high quality cushion afterall.
This isn’t sold together with an extra refill, but you can buy them separately (for slightly cheaper) and pop out the old one when you’re finished with it. The downside is that you probably need to buy the expensive cushion case first because the refills aren’t compatible with any other Western/Korean brand cases I’ve tried it in. (They haven’t even made it compatible with their own Touche Éclait cushion because that refill is square.)
Inside it has the standard mirror on the lid, a tray holding the air puff applicator, and the cushion underneath to protect it from drying out. As YSL is owned by L’Oreal, you’ll immediately notice that it has the similar cushion with the large pores. If you’re more familiar with Korean cushions, this is definitely inferior because it doesn’t preserve the liquid foundation as well and evaporates quicker over time meaning you get less use out of the product. This cushion is very saturated at the top during the first few uses (so you only need to push down very lightly), but after that you notice it quickly becomes harder to get product out. Coupled with the fact it only contains 14g of product, and no extra refill, this won’t last longer than 1-2 months if used on a daily basis.
Applicator puff is thinner than the standard Amore Pacific air puffs but still decent for application
To apply, use the puff to pick up product and pat and dab it over your face to blend. One thing you notice immediately is that it does have a fragrance. To me it smells a bit like watermelon and cucumber and I’m really not a fan of the scent and how strong it is. The formula however, upon first application is wonderful. Very lightweight and thin texture; doesn’t feel like you have heavy makeup sitting on/clogging your skin. It blends into your skin very naturally and smoothly with the applicator puff and doesn’t leave streaky edges. With one light layer it looks very skin like. It sets quickly and doesn’t feel sticky.
The first few times I used it, I definitely didn’t think it had a matte finish; it has a satin, semi-matte finish but luminous on the high points of your face. On the few occassions I applied an hour or so after skincare (rather than immediately after), the cushion definitely looked more matte and higher coverage. Generally though, this provides a medium/natural coverage rather than high/full, even if you try to layer it. It will even out your complexion and cover redness but you would still need an extra concealer for darker spots/pigmentation.
Before & after: I have quite a bit of redness on my cheek area due to little capillaries close to the surface of my skin and this covers over it smoothly and naturally but the 3 dark pigmentation spots near my chin needed 2-3 layers over that area. It’s not fully covered and you can definitely see them up close, but I’m generally happy with the natural coverage and I personally don’t need it to be fully concealed.
Despite the inaccurate colour match to my skin, the finish is beautiful for the first couple hours and feels comfortable. However, on my normal-dehydrated skin this gets oily quickly and the coverage fades slightly and moves around, mostly on my t-zone (although it fades naturally and doesn’t crack or get patchy). The upside is that this cushion is hydrating and doesn’t emphasise dry patches, but due to the inclusion of tamanu oil, this isn’t a long-lasting cushion and you will probably want to touch up or use an oil blotting sheet during the day. There is definitely a lot of oiliness that comes from this cushion rather than my skin because I used my trusty Pony Effect Everlasting cushion on alternate days in the same week as this, and I was getting barely any oil build up compared to the YSL cushion.
So what it comes down to – is the cushion foundation actually worth the price? If you’re into luxury brands then probably yes you will want this. If you want value for money, and a product that is better than decent, probably no. In my opinion, it was nice to try and if you haven’t had much experience with cushion foundations it may be worth getting because its nice and light, looks natural, has medium coverage, doesn’t leave a sticky finish and of course, its YSL! This is also better for people with dry-normal skin types but not so much for oily skin because of its lack of oil control. Personally, it’s not worth it for me because I do have better ones (longer-lasting, finer pigments, better coverage, accurate shade match etc), that I tend to gravitate towards over this one. Not to mention they are better value in the long-term if I want to repurchase and they typically contain 15g of product and come with an additional refill. I don’t think I would repurchase another refill unless it was on sale and overall my thoughts are that its a good cushion – not awful, not amazing, but just middle of the pack average.