Review: IOPE Air Cushion XP Foundation C23

IOPE air cushion foundation xp c23 review korean makeup cosmetic skincare joelle chan asian artist calgary canada

In my last post, I mentioned that my tube of Missha BB cream has lasted me almost 2 years, and as much as I love it, I’m looking for the next greatest thing to replace it when (if ever) I finish it.  Cue in the next amazing Korean foundation import: the Air Cushion foundation.  Formulated with 30% mineral water, it promises moisturize the skin, which is insanely important to me.  On top of that, it has an SPF 50, vitamins B5, P and E derivatives, and will not darken as you wear it throughout the day.

I read a thousand reviews and decided to try out IOPE’s Air Cushion XP, because they’re the pioneers of the air cushion and it remains the best-selling in the category.  They come in tones of N for natural finish, C for more coverage, and S for shimmery.  I chose C23, their darkest shade.

IOPE air cushion foundation xp c23 review korean makeup cosmetic skincare joelle chan asian artist calgary canada

Foundation compact with a packaged refill, both 15g

It comes as a lightweight compact, though a little bulky as it contains a sponge (cushion) with a watery and highly pigmented foundation, as well as a separate place for the applicator.  The applicator is quite thin, it reminds me of one that comes with pressed powder.  This one I bought also comes with a refill, which is great for the $40 I spend on it.  Sounds pretty awesome right?  So how was it?

My first impression when I applying it for the first time was, ‘Holy cow, it smells!’

It is VERY fragrant.  And this is coming from a person who likes perfume and scented products.  Maybe it’s because after the birth of bebe over a year ago, I cut down on the smelly products as to not overwhelm him, so I’m not used to the intensity of this fragrance.  But good gracious, my sinuses started to sting.  Having said that though, the smell does dissipate very quickly after application, I just have to survive the first minute or so.

IOPE air cushion xp foundation review korean makeup skincare cosmetic joelle chan artist calgary canada

The difference in shades on the left; product dispensation with the cushion on the right

Also, I was unfortunately surprised that this shade was WAY TOO LIGHT for me.  I’ve stared at pictures of shade swatches but now I know I’m way darker.  And this is winter where I’m at my palest.  I read a post after I received it that most Korean foundation shades are numbered the same.  I don’t know how true that is, but I wish I read that before I bought this: I’m a 27 in my Missha M Perfect Cover BB cream – that’s substantially darker than this C23.  The higher the number, the darker the shade. For further reference, I’m a NC35 in MAC.

I was also surprised how much I have to work this product in.  I was really hoping I could apply the bulk of it with the applicator and then use my fingers to blend it out…yeeeah, no.  The watery consistency doesn’t allow me to do that (might be different if I lived in a very humid climate).  It really just wants to sit on my skin and not move.  Instead, I use the applicator and pat pat pat patpatpatpatpatpatpatpatpatpatpatpatpatpatpat it in.  One must work rather quickly because once it set, it’s hard to blend it out.

In conclusion, I don’t love it.  I can say my expectations were a little high after the success of BB cream in my routine.  However, it does give great coverage and has a nice sheen to it.  But because the shade is too light, I use it as a highlighter when I have a bit more time: on top of my cheekbones, my chin, and the bridge of my nose.  I have no idea how I’m going to use this stuff up, but I most likely won’t be purchasing again if they ever release it in my shade.  Too much work for this mom!