Tested on animals:Yes
Though more cosmetics companies are coming out with cushion compact foundations, AmorePacific was among the first to embrace the trend. Its Color Control Cushion Compact SPF 50+ has a large following and we can see why, as there are a lot of things to love about it! Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks that keep it out of striking range for our top tier of products (details on that in just a moment).
Like other cushion foundations, AmorePacific's version features a mirrored compact with two covers: The main lid that closes over product and a second, hinged plastic cover that holds the applicator sponge and keeps the liquid foundation-steeped cushion from drying out.
Color Control Cushion Compact SPF 50+ is a lightweight fluid that initially goes on quite sheer, but can be built up to provide medium coverage of minor discolorations and imperfections. It looks remarkably natural and slightly dewy without appearing greasy. This dewy finish makes it best for those with normal to dry skin, including the breakout-prone.
As far as wear time goes, this does the job and does it well—it lasts through an entire workday without emphasizing pores, lines, or dry spots, and doesn't crease or fade. As advertised, it also provides broad-spectrum sun protection with a formula that includes the mineral sunscreen actives titanium dioxide and zinc oxide along with ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate. So why doesn't it earn higher marks?
The reason is apparent as soon as you open the compact, as it has a very strong, perfume-like fragrance. Though fragrance is actually listed toward the end of the ingredient list, it's still quite potent, to the point that it lingers for several hours after initial application. In an unusual twist, we found that the smell migrates onto clothing and hair, which is something to consider especially if you have sensitive skin, plan to apply this around the eyes, or are sensitive to smells. Even if sensitive skin isn't your concern, a lingering fragrance like this poses a risk of irritation, which we explain in the More Info section below.
This also contains alcohol that, while not a high amount, could be potentially drying and irritating to those with drier skin, especially given this foundation's lack of richer emollient ingredients.
Were it not for those two caveats, AmorePacific's Color Control Cushion Compact SPF 50+ would easily earn our top rating! As it stands though, it's not an option we can recommend with the same level of enthusiasm you may have heard about. For those that do fall into that category, see our list of Best Foundations.
- Provides reliable broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Natural-looking, slightly dewy finish.
- Has a strong fragrance that lingers rather than dissipates.
- The amount of alcohol is potentially iffy for those with dry skin, especially given this foundation's lack of emollients.
Irritation from High Amounts of Fragrance: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way for all skin types to go for all skin types (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003).
The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).