May 7, 2015  •  In Asian, Beauty, Korean, Personal, Reviews

Battle of the Long-Lasting, Matte Cushions: Innisfree, Laneige, and IOPE

Earlier this week, I received my IOPE Air Cushion XP Matte Finish in the mail. I had been pretty excited to try this new offering from the IOPE Air Cushion line, since it was the cushion compact that had started it all — selling a unit every 30 seconds in Korea at the height of its popularity — and I had found the original too dewy for my tastes.

The trend in Korea for the past couple of years has been dewy, bordering-on shiny skin. As such, I held off on buying a cushion ‘pact at first because they would only leave my combination/oily skin a greasy mess by the end of the day. So imagine my delight when both Innisfree and Laneige released matte (at least by Korean standards), long-lasting versions of their popular cushions last summer: the Innisfree Long Wear Cushion and the Laneige BB Cushion Pore Control.

And since I already own both, I decided to face them off against my new IOPE Matte Finish!

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As you can see from the photo above, all three cushion compacts are of similar sizes. (And although I haven’t a picture to show you, they’re similar widths too.) However, I have read that while the Laneige and IOPE refills can fit in each others’, as well as in other cushion compact cases made by their parent company AmorePacific, the Innisfree refill can not.

Just based on product packaging alone, I would crown Laneige the winner. The case is sturdy and feels luxurious, and although the IOPE case is just as fancy, I personally prefer the light blue, incased-in-glass look of the Laneige.

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Open the cases and you won’t notice much of a difference either. Each compact comes with the typical blue cushion applicator. (I clean my sponges weekly with the Daiso Detergent for Puff and Sponge. Nothing else gets these sponges this clean for so cheap!) The sponge holder acts double-duty as a snap-on lid for the makeup-soaked cushion.

The texture of the cushions may look different in the photo below, but please be assured that they’re very, very similar. The Laneige cushion looks a bit weird because it was upside-down in my bag, and the texture of the IOPE cushion is what’s typical of a new cushion ‘pact. (In other words, it will look more like the Innisfree cushion with continued use.)

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Please don’t pay attention to the color of the cushions in the picture above, as the swatches below provide a much more accurate representation. (The shades I use are IOPE M21, Laneige No. 21 Natural Beige, and Innisfree No. 21 Natural Beige.) As you can see, the Laneige is the darkest, while the Innisfree has the most yellow undertone.

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Now, let’s get to the face tests! In the picture below, I only have the Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur (which has quickly become my new favorite primer-slash-no-color-makeup-cream), some eyeliner, and lip stain. I had also applied some brow filler, but I won’t count that since it got horribly smeared after running around and sweating all morning. ;-)

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First up is the Innisfree Long Wear Cushion in No. 21 Natural Beige. I’ve only applied it to half my face so you can see what kind of coverage and finish it provides.

(The pictures from now on worsen a bit, as the makeup creates a softening effect that messes with my camera’s auto focus!)

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The Innisfree Long Wear is the most matte and longest-wearing of the three cushions. And while I don’t have a problem with this formulation, I know that some people complain it emphasizes dry spots and flakes!

tl;dr
 • longest-lasting and most matte of the bunch
 • medium coverage
 • best for those with yellow undertones
 • may emphasize dry patches

shades:
 • No. 13 Light Beige
 • No. 21 Natural Beige
 • No. 23 True Beige
 • No. 31 Deep Beige

sun protection:
 • SPF 50+/PA+++

where to get it:
 • Innisfree World — $23 (does not include refill), refills $15
 • Amazon — $19+ (no refill)
 • ibbi — $18.91 (no refill)
 • Jolse — $20.92 (no refill)
 • oo35mm — $29.99 (no refill, ships from the U.S.)
 • W2Beauty — $24.85 (no refill), refills $16.22

Next up is the Laneige BB Cushion Pore Control in No. 21 Natural Beige (again, on only half my face). This cushion is the darkest of the bunch, but it also provides the sheerest coverage. It is certainly more matte and longer-lasting than most other cushion formulas, but it is the dewiest and most moisturizing of the three cushions in this post. I preferred this formula over the Innisfree in the winter months.

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tl;dr
 • dewy, natural finish
 • moisturizing
 • darkest yet sheerest of the bunch
 • needs more frequent touchups

shades:
 • No. 13 True Beige
 • No. 14 Pink Beige
 • No. 21 Natural Beige
 • No. 23 Sand Beige
 • No. 31 Brown Beige

sun protection:
 • SPF 50+/PA+++

where to get it:
 • Amazon — $34+ (includes 1 refill), refills $20
 • ibbi — $35.91 (1 refill)
 • Honest Skin — $38.45 (1 refill)
 • Jolse — $22.88 (1 refill), refills $21.28
 • W2Beauty — $38.10 (1 refill), refills $22.69

And now, for the IOPE Air Cushion XP Matte Finish in M21. I think we have a winner here, folks!

The IOPE Matte Finish is, for me, the perfect mix between the Innisfree Long Wear and the Laneige Pore Control. It provides the light-medium, long-lasting coverage of the Innisfree with the beautiful finish of the Laneige.

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And while it is “matte” by Korean standards, the end result is a slightly dewy skin with a soft glow. Like the Innisfree, my t-zone needs to be blotted after 5-6 hours, but that is expected of practically all face makeup.

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The only downside to the IOPE Air Cushion XP Matte Finish is that because it was only released just last month, not too many stores carry it yet. As a result, the price averages the highest of the three cushion compacts discussed in this post. The good news is that this is very likely a temporary problem; prices are bound to decrease as suppliers increase, and I can only foresee this product growing in popularity as Europe and North America continues to embrace the cushion compact trend.

tl;dr
 • natural, satin finish
 • light-medium coverage
 • long-lasting
 • limited shade availability
 • priciest of the bunch, still only available through Korean retailers

shades:
 • M13
 • M21
 • M23

sun protection:
 • SPF 50+/PA+++

where to get it:
 • ibbi — $39.72 (includes 1 refill)
 • Shop at Korea — $45.50 (includes 1 refill), refills $22.50
 • eBay — starting at $34.50, refills starting at $18.99
 • UPDATE: the IOPE Air Cushion XP Matte Finish is now available on Amazon Prime! Get shade M21 and M23 for $38.60

Along with the Matte Finish, IOPE also released an Intensive Cover version of the Air Cushion XP. And since IOPE still remains one of the best-selling cushion ‘pacts in Asia, I can only surmise that the Intensive Cover is just as amazing as the Matte Finish!

Questions? Comments? Please let me know below!

8 Responses to “Battle of the Long-Lasting, Matte Cushions: Innisfree, Laneige, and IOPE”

  1. m:

    Thanks for the review. Before this, the only matte cushion I was aware of was the Laneige one. You can get it at Target but they only offer shades in Light, Medium, and Dark. I’m glad I didn’t purchase it because now I think the Innisfree one is a better choice for me except I’m not sure what shade is right for me. How do you know what shade is right for you when you’re buying a new product online?

    • The good news is that most cushions provide a sheer enough coverage, and/or will blend with your skintone after settling in. So you have some leeway for shades that do not exactly match!

      Additionally, most Korean cushions and BB creams stick with the (going from lightest to darkest) 13, 21, 23 formula when naming their shades. So even if you’re encountering a new product, you can Google swatches of other products from the same company and the color should be a close match.

      Personally I have light-medium skin — NC25 on the universally accepted MAC shading system — and 21 in Korean cosmetics almost always is a great match for me. But if you are 30 or above on the MAC shade system, I would go with the 23 or higher, and if below 20 on the MAC, choose the 13 in Korean cosmetics!

      HTH!

      • m:

        Thanks for the info! I think I’m a tiny bit darker than you but I try to be as pale as possible so I think 21 will suit me. Thanks again for the review. I can’t wait to try this. =)

  2. Juliette Kim:

    I really love all these makeup posts, Jenny!! You rock. :) Do you wear loose powder over this or nothing at all? What’s your routine for the summer for skincare and makeup?

    • If I want a dewy look, I leave it alone. But if I want to set it, I use the Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder.

      I know I’ve talked about the La Mer Powder here before (and I still think it’s the best setting/finishing powder I’ve ever tried bc nothing else can provide that candlelit, angelic glow), but the Innisfree powder also has oil control, which I really need in these warmer months. Not to mention, it’s so cheap (the Innisfree website sells it for $7, and if you sign up for an account they give you a code for free express shipping from Korea) and it also comes with a compact version which I keep in my purse for additional oil control during the day.

      As for a summer routine, after my morning skincare stuff, I put on SPF 50 sunscreen (the Asian ones are much lighter and usually provide better coverage), then Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur, then foundation/BB cream/cushion compact depending on my mood. If I know I’m going out that day I’ll spray some Urban Decay De-Slick, and set with the Innisfree powder.

      But no matter if I use foundation, BB cream, or the cushion compact in the morning, I will periodically touch up during the day while reapplying sun protection with Palladio Rice Paper and a cushion compact (which has SPF 50).

      Hope that helps! I’m actually going to do another “everyday makeup routine” post in the near future since my last one was written 2 years ago.

  3. Sunny:

    I might have to try one of these matte cushions. I’ve been using the Banila Co. CC radiant cushion, but I probably won’t repurchase because it makes my nose look huge and oily. I don’t think the dewy look is good for me. xP

  4. Kimberley:

    I know this is late, but do the IOPE or Laneige emphasize dry patches at all? I don’t live in humid weather, but I still want it to last without being compeltely matte. I have combo skin with dry patches (sometimes even flakiness) on the nose, with a slightly oily t zone. Thanks :))

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