Everyone is losing their hats because Chanel have released a foundation for men, in Korea, and soon expanding to the West. Really? I mean Koreans have had foundations dedicated to men, or more preferred in the region BB creams, for years now. IOPE, Laneige, Missha, The Face Shop, and many others have makeup products for men. I don’t get the excitement about Chanel, maybe because it’s a Western brand? Though, it’s not the first one to do it. Lab Series have a BB cream in their line, and Erborian (a French-Korean brand) also carry a BB cream for men. I have tried the latter, and it is just too orange for me. I am not as excited as many people appear to be about Chanel’s recent release. There are only four shades of the foundation. If they intend to bring it to the West, that’s odd. I mean four shades are nothing. In Korea, maybe they suit the demographics there, but, e.g. in France, that’s shameful. I reckon plenty of men that would want to buy this product, in France, but will they find their shade? I doubt it. The same goes for many other countries. Hopefully, the Western release will see more shades in the line.
Anyway, today let me introduce you to IOPE Men Air Cushion. This is the second version of the product; IOPE reformulated the Men Air Cushion as many others last year. As I have just bashed Chanel for having released only four shades of the foundation, IOPE offer this cushion only in two. However, this product is intended solely for the Korean market. I assume these two shades would cover most of the male population there, especially, as Koreans tend to opt for brighter foundation shades, due to the local beauty trends (that have died out in the West). Of course, you can also use any other foundation if you can’t find your match.
The cushion itself is lovely, feels like a second skin. It’s really unrecognisable, makes your skin look more luminous and even. Of course, there are just two shades, so not everyone will be as lucky. Like with many Korean colour cosmetics, it doesn’t feel like a mask at all. The cushion has a mild and pleasant fragrance, not one of those suffocating male scents. It dissipates within seconds upon application. The coverage is light, but you can build it up – two layers are sufficient for me. Anything else that needs extra attention, I directly cover with a concealer. If you want something with full-coverage, then this is not the best product. It works marvellously to enhance the skin and even out the skin tone, but it won’t cover bright-red acne spots or those dark acne marks – it’s just too thin (You can see in the photo that my vein is visible). Though, your skin will appear more even and overall better looking, also if you skip your concealer. I am sure it will be fine for an average cushion user, great for all skin types. It goes without saying, someone with dry skin needs a hydrating base (like this cream), and someone with oily skin may need powder on top. You can also use blotting sheets when required and then retouch (if needed). To minimise transferring of the product onto your clothes, use powder or a setting spray (I would use both). Please apply it below your chin, drag the colour a bit below your face where your neck starts, so you don’t have an awkward-looking line in case the cushion is too fair. And if the colour difference is still striking, just apply some bronzer on your neck to match your face.
When it comes to durability, it’s pretty good. I must admit it holds pretty well on my face. It doesn’t crease, and it lasts for a long time. To make it last, I need to use powder, especially in my T-zone, as my sebum production is always high. I use blotting papers throughout the day, and it doesn’t transfer excessively, only sometimes I need to reapply the cushion.
I also like cushions because they provide an additional level of sun protection. Besides the high SPF in the cushions, the iron oxides which are added as pigment help to protect the skin from the damage caused by the visible sunlight, it’s responsible for sunspots. Moreover, cushions make it easier to reapply sunscreen, and I don’t mean by applying the foundation. I like using the puff that comes with them to reapply my sunscreen. I just put some sunscreen on the back of my hand, take it with the puff and pat it onto my face. Convenient and keeps my hands clean. Of course, it has to be a runny sunscreen; milk or essence type. Yes, I am aware that you can’t apply the recommended amount of sunscreen in this way, especially if you have the foundation on your face. Nonetheless, better this than nothing, and I am convinced that it gives more protection than applying a powder product with SPF. One more thing, I do not consider cushions as a source of sun protection, I would be fine with using a cushion without an SPF, too.
Here are swatches in natural lighting (as much as there was). As you can see, straight from the packaging the foundation appears orangey, then as I blend it changes to more pinkish colour. It’s not yellow as IOPE show in their swatches.
It’s the bright shade of the product, but it’s a bit darker than my natural colour. I would say it has a pinkish, orangey, and slightly yellowish base (Yes, I am terrible at describing colours), which is excellent for my skin tone, and it has a bit of bronzing-like effect on my skin (You can see in the photo). It’s because it’s a bit on the orange/pink side; the colour doesn’t resemble IOPE’s swatches, at all. Though it looks natural on my face and it gives me a sun-kissed look.
Lastly, why you may want to pick this product is the packaging. It’s simple, black box that will match any outfit. I cannot imagine walking around with a mermaid or bunnies in my hand – it’s not for me.
I like this cushion because it enhances my skin within seconds. It helps me to step up the game when my face is not looking the best, and I don’t want everyone to know it. It looks flawless and doesn’t catch the attention of others.
Ingredients: Purified water, cyclopentasiloxane, zinc oxide, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, cyclohexasiloxane, titanium dioxide, butylene glycol dicaprylate/dicaprate, PEG-10 dimethicone, propanediol, dimethicone, titanium dioxide (CI 77891), niacinamide, lauryl PEG-9 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone, acrylates/ethylhexyl acrylate/dimethicone methacrylate copolymer, licorice extract, glyceryl caprylate, broussonetia kazinoki root extract, dimethicone/PEG-10/15 crosspolymer, disodium EDTA, disteardimonium hectorite, lipase, horse chestnut seed extract, mannitol, methyl methacylate crosspolymer, gossypium herbaceum extract, butylene glycol, vinyl dimethicone/methicone silsesquioxane crosspolymer, sodium methyl stearoyl taurate, sodium chloride, stearic acid, silica, adenosine, aluminum hydroxide, ammonium glycyrrhizate, ethylhexylglycerin, ethanol, gingko biloba extract, ferric oxide, zinc gluconate, caffeine, caprylyl glycol, chitosan, trimethylsiloxysilicate, triethoxycaprylylsilane, polysilicone-11, hydrogenated lecithin, fragrance, hydrated ferric oxide, ferric ferrous oxide (iope.com)
This cushion retails for about €35 from Yesstyle.com [aff], and it comes with a refill (two in total). You can also purchase refills separately. I have no idea if you can fit other foundation refills in this case and vice versa.
While you’re here, I want to ask all of you a favour. I am petitioning for a ban on sunbeds in the EU; the Petitions Committee approved my petition last Friday, and it’s now available to supporters. I would love it if you could support my petition on the EU’s petitions website – here. Unfortunately, you have to register on the EU’s petitions website – I know it’s a dealbreaker for many people, so it’s ok if you don’t want to. Also, you don’t have to be an EU citizen/resident to register. If you have any questions regarding my petition or the registration process, please do not hesitate to ask; you can contact me via email, Instagram, and Weibo. I really appreciate any help you can provide.