So, so many cushions! Honestly, I can’t believe that it was only a few months ago that I never really used BB cushions. I mean, I knew what they were and I did own one, but I had always preferred bottle formulas – most likely because I am a creature of habit. I did jump onto the cushion bandwagon with IOPE and Clio though and, before I knew it, I absolutely couldn’t stop. I think that I am now slowly approaching thirty cushion compacts (not including refills) so you can see that I’m rather picky with what I do and don’t like now.
This pact (though not technically a cushion, I will count it as one) is actually the first LUNA product that I had tried over a year ago – that was when it first came out, I think, and I saw the special stand at Watsons in Sinchon. Since I wasn’t a big user for compacts, I hadn’t bought it then but I regretted it so badly. I spent an entire year thinking about the amazing dewiness of the finish and the perfect coverage that I had swatched, so it is understandable that I didn’t even care how much it cost. Once I stepped foot into the Watsons, I grabbed the compact – no questions, no hesitations.
I did find an exclusive Halloween edition though, which was sold only at Watsons called the Lucky Horror Show, so I knew that I wanted that design. Aside from the cushion, I also grabbed their liquid concealer and concealer palette (which I will review at a later date) but I do think that I’m obsessed with their brand. Read on for my review!
So LUNA is a brand headed by the make up artist to know – Cho Sung Ah, who has been working in the Korean entertainment and fashion industry for over twenty five years. You most likely know her main brand Chosungah22 which is more well known outside of Korea and also stocks in Sephora. They are definitely not a roadshop brand and are a bit more expensive, but are still quite affordable – plus, the quality of her products speak for themselves. Aside from Chosungah22 and LUNA, she has also launched a third brand – 16Brand, which I also dipped my toes into in Korea. Reviews for that will come later though.
The main thing to keep in mind about her products is that, generally, her main focus is on making Korean beauty products accessible, easy to use and fun. This is something that she’s carried out to all of her lines. I also love her focus on skin, with a quote from an Allure interview: “…my main goal was to maintain the quality of the skin’s texture—making sure the skin looks good—and that has definitely carried on to my products. Almost all of our products, even if they’re color cosmetics, have a moisturizing effect so you’re getting skin-care benefits no matter what. I’m 47, and I’m always focusing on hydration. I never, ever let my skin get dry, and that is key.” It is something that I also believe in myself and this idea is also very firmly carried through in this Essence Water Pact.
The design of this compact is really fun. LUNA’s line usually has a very minimalist and modern aesthetic, so I was quite surprised to see how cute their Halloween collaboration was. The original design is quite professional looking so it’s still really pretty, but I wanted something special. This collaboration comes in a set box and contains two cushion cases and an extra refill (there are two in total – one is already inside the case), so I guess that you can either use two at the same time or switch them around when ever you get bored.
The above is the case that I’m using at the moment. I really love the colour of it because most of my cases are either black, white or a light pink (not sure why that’s the case) – it stands out when I stack everything together. It does look a little bit childish though so, while I think it’s fine to use yourself, if you are a professional make up artist (like my friend is) the original packaging is probably better to bring onto jobs. Looks aside, this case is really sturdy and clicks together well too. I don’t worry about the cream drying out and the high quality printing means that the design isn’t scratched off in my bag or any travels either.
The sponge included is black, which aesthetically fits in with the rest of the case. It feels a little bit different to the usual sponges but functions the same really. I haven’t noticed anything exceptionally different about it. It applies evenly and quickly, is a pretty standard size and works well. I like black and purple as a colour, so I like it overall. This whole case is just really pretty. The mirror is a good size too, much like the IOPE.
My main issue with the design though is that it’s the type of case that doesn’t have an open back. This is probably more secure but makes it more difficult to change the refill. I wanted to take the refill out to put into the other case, but I was worried that I would break it (and, therefore, cry eternally) so it took me a while to get the guts to do it. It worked, of course, with no breakage, but I still prefer the poppable, open back.
As you can see above, the product is sort of a cream cake form with a pretty marbled effect – the white is the water essence, I assume, and if you really break down the formula, you can actually see the water droplets in the cream too (my friend showed me this on her one). The formula is really smooth and creamy, so it’s easy to apply and blend. It’s super hydrating so it was really good for me during winter. For the summer season, I just set this with powder and I feel like I have a flawless finish.
I have the product is a shade 21, which matches me really well. The brightening property isn’t too strong, as the colour is quite natural, and it does have a dewy glow – glow, not greasy. Your skin feels comfortable and hydrated underneath this base product, but I still use a bit of my aloe vera gel underneath to seal it all in. I’m also told that this has anti-aging properties too!
The pact has a medium to high coverage and is really buildable. You can see in the below swatches that my black eyeliner mark basically disappeared – to be honest, it shocked even me. I think I put on around three thin layers there and all you can see if a little speck (if you squint). The product doesn’t look cakey at all either, so I was super happy for it’s coverage. It isn’t very lightweight, so it isn’t going to feel like nothing on your skin, but it’s still very decent. It blurs pores without the need for a primer, so your skin will look amazing.
Honestly, I have been using this compact so much and I think it’s on my list of top make up products for 2016 (I’m thinking about writing this post for the new year so…) The finish is great, the formula is great, the packaging is great and the lasting power is pretty good too! When I wear this throughout my work day (around 12 hours in total), I find that the make up only starts to fade out from around afternoon. However, it wears always naturally rather than caking and settling into dry areas. The creamy formula also means that it’s easy to touch up when needed.
Here’s to the verdict:
WHAT IS IT?
A water essence cream compact
- Super pretty and cute packaging
- Sturdy case, good for travelling
- Good sizes mirror and sponge
- Hydrating formula
- Has skincare properties
- Doesn’t cake and fades naturally
- Medium to high coverage, very buildable
- Brightening and Anti-Aging properties
- Blurs pores
- Natural dewy finish that can be set with powder
- Not too expensive
- Case is a bit hard to change
- Isn’t very well suited for oily skin (because of the cream formula)
- Can be a bit hard to find online
WOULD I REPURCHASE?
Absolutely! This one is on my list of best cushions ever (technically a compact, but what ever) and I will absolutely continue to use it. I would recommend this to almost everyone that I know too though those with oily skin may want to try the normal version instead of the essence. I’ll probably buy their next collaboration case too, or maybe just get the original… not sure!
Since trying this cushion, I’ve been using some other LUNA and 16Brand products too and I quite like them! I think I will also branch out into Chosungah22 (which is a bit more expensive).
WHERE TO GET IT FROM
I got mine from the Watsons in Sinchon and I’m not even sure where to buy it online. A quick google says that TesterKorea, StyleStory, and YesStyle all carry it, though the first two seem to have the best prices. If you are in Korea, I definitely recommend stocking up while you’re there but once I tried this, I never wanted to be without it!