In case you haven’t heard, Urban Decay recently expanded their Naked Skin line and dropped a cushion compact in Singapore. I know what you’re thinking. Urban Decay may be (very) late to the cushion compact trend but hey, at least they are making an effort to meet the needs of their Asian consumers!
According to their website, the Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundations come in 6 shades of their revolutionary formula which provides weightless, buildable coverage with a luminous finish. It keeps the skin hydrated for up to 18 hours and protects with SPF 50+ and PA+++.
At present, this product is only available in Singapore (Whoop! We have been noticed once again! 🙌) and is sold in two parts – case and refill.
Each refill has a shelf life of 12 months but if used religiously everyday, it will definitely run out way before its expiration date.
The case has a lid with a holographic lavender appearance and a built-in mirror for touch-ups on the go. The lid opens with a push of the button located along the curved surface of the case.
Sold separately from the case, each refill includes an applicator puff which is entirely in royal purple to align with the corporate colour scheme of Urban Decay. The ribbon is made of thick and sturdy material which gives the impression that it won’t be easily disengaged from the puff.
For the uninitiated, most cushion compact puffs on the Korean beauty market are anti-bacterial and anti-microbial which lower the risk of transferring bacteria from the face to the compact. These Urban Decay applicator puffs, however, are not antibacterial so it is recommended to be washed at least once a week like your beauty blender.
Within the receptacle lies the foundation-soaked sponge overlaid with a foam-like mesh which, upon further scrutiny, resembles multiple layers of cheesecloth piled onto one another. It has a comparable surface area to that of my Laneige BB cushion, perhaps slightly bigger. As opposed to using just hole sponges (which is very common in Korean cushion compacts), the added netting allows for better measure of control. The downside of it, however, is that it restricts you from flipping the cushion to extend the usage. Do also note that there isn’t any protective seal affixed to the netting (another common feature in Korean cushion compacts) but that should be least of your concerns since the refills all come packed in plastic pouches.
If you’re always on the hunt for better deals on Carousell or eBay, here’s a tip: you will be able to tell at a glance if the Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact has been used before since the clear mesh instantly gets stained with the product once pressure is applied upon it. Determining “newness” would be near-impossible for cushion compacts that utilise only hole sponge as they are usually of the same colour as the product 😉
Ingredients-wise, the Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundation contains skin-nourishing ingredients such as rose centifolia flower extract, which has toning and firming properties, as well as Gentian root extract for its skin-soothing and antioxidant benefits. There is also peppermint extract to help condition the skin.
Most importantly, the product is made in Japan, where quality is never compromised.
Technically speaking, the case may not seem like an absolute necessity if you’re one of those who constantly look for ways to cut back on makeup spending. But for hygiene’s sake, it is always advisable to house the product in an airtight case to reduce the chances of turning it into a breeding ground for microbes. Further, it also prevents your formula from drying out and helps to keep your applicator puff in place.
After all, unless you damage the case (which is quite unlikely given the quality of it), it should be a one-off purchase so you won’t need to replace the entire thing when your product runs out, even if you have gotten a shade tanner or fairer.
To use the cushion compact, slip your index, middle and ring fingers under the ribbon of the applicator puff (not demonstrated in the picture above) before gently pressing one small part of it down into the cushion to pick up the foundation. Swipe the puff across the skin to spread the product and dab to blend. For hard-to-reach areas like inner eye corners and around the nose, fold the puff in half (or simply use the corners) and carefully dab the foundation on. Thereafter, apply concealer and loose powder (for a more matte finish).
As always, testers are available at Sephora (and Urban Decay) for consumers to match the right tone before purchasing. I contemplated between shades 2.75 and 3.25 – neither of which was a perfect match to my skin tone (I swatched all of the shades onto my jawline and realised that 3.5 was too dark even though it looked like it disappeared into my wrist in the swatch earlier) – but finally decided on the lighter one considering that the finished look would turn out darker after all the contouring.
Hydrating and lightweight, the Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundation has an airier and a less creamy texture than the typical liquid foundation (and less watery than the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup) which prevents it from creasing on the delicate skin around the eyes. Comparable to tinted moisturisers, it is buildable to a certain point from a sheer to medium coverage to give a very natural application and a dewy veil. It took an average of two swipes at each area to achieve the “after” fresh and supple look above.
While it does not conceal major blemishes entirely, it is able to neutralise and cover most of the redness and large pores on my skin for a more even and – dare I say – flawless finish. Unlike many Korean cushion foundations I’ve tried (in particular by Etude House and Laneige), this doesn’t leave a cakey or tacky (especially tacky) texture and I could actually skip the setting powder altogether (but I did not due to my oily skin type). On top of that, it is fragrance-free (no harsh chemical smell emitting from the product either) which makes it suitable for sensitive skin.
Of course, this review wouldn’t be complete without a longevity test. Can it withstand the humid weather in Singapore?
Six hours later, I didn’t really notice much of a change in the appearance apart from the fact that my skin looked undoubtedly oilier (which can temporarily be rid of with the Palladio Rice Paper I carry along with me wherever I go but for the purpose of this review, I did not blot my skin throughout the day ☺). Upon closer look, however, the foundation did seem to have disintegrated a bit and some of my pores looked clogged and this would have been amplified if I had not stayed indoors (air-conditioned) most of the time (it was too hot and humid out there). That said, no foundation has remained spotless on my skin for more than an hour so far 😢 #oilyskinwoes
All in all, the application and quality certainly did not disappoint. Moreover, it is convenient and travel-friendly as you don’t have to make space in your luggage for your foundation, moisturiser and whatnot. This does most, if not all, of the job!
But.. is it a worthy buy? Here’s the thing, cushion compacts use up extremely quickly and this will be no exception. No doubt, this a great product. But paying S$59 for something that can probably last for only 4 months, tops, is a bit of a stretch. The same amount of money can fetch you a fairly decent bottle of liquid foundation that can take up to a year to empty, or two cushion compacts from a Korean beauty brand. With the abundant supply of cushion compacts in the Korean beauty market (practically every Korean brand carries their own cushion compact line), you are bound to find something similar to this (and likely with more benefits) at a more economical price.
Having said that, since this is an Urban Decay product we’re talking about, setting a low price-point for it would be out of the question. Perhaps, they can do more to set themselves apart from the Korean brands and offer what they don’t, which is to cater to deeper skin tones and expand their shade range, to make this line seem more worthy of the price tag. Contrary to public perceptions, a sizeable portion of the population in Singapore is dark-skinned so I can’t fathom why this wasn’t done at the get-go 🤔
What are your thoughts about this new product? Let me know your views in the comments below or take a quick poll!
Thanks for reading!
Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundation is now available at all local Urban Decay and Sephora outlets. It is a Singapore-exclusive product (for now) but may be slated for release in the U.S. in 2018.
Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for bite-sized beauty updates!