Trendspotting: Cushion Compacts

Reinforcing the still-sweeping influence of Korean beauty, expect a boom in cushion compacts this year. In 2008, Seoul-based AmorePacific was the trailblazer, inventing the product category with the launch of Iope Air Cushion; more than 20 million have flown off shelves since.

The innovation’s in the packaging: the cushion is a sponge-y foam insert saturated with a BB-like liquid, tucked into a spill-proof case. Press the sponge onto the cushion to pick up the liquid, then tap onto skin (as if stamping it). The selling point: it’s foundation for foundation-phobes, delivering sheer to medium coverage that feels like nothing.

Now, new contenders abound in department stores and drugstores. Watch for the trend to cross into other product categories as well. Following last year’s launch of Miracle Cushion, this season Lancôme has brought the same compact format to four colour-correcting primers, while both TheFaceShop and Lise Watier are releasing cushion blushes for spring.