L’Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion Review
As you may recall, a couple months ago I got all excited to try my very first cushion foundation – and it was an underwhelming experience. I tried out the Laneige BB Cushion, but the color, texture and finish were so not ideal. I was gearing up to go on another quest for foundation when L’Oreal kindly sent along their new True Match Lumi Cushion for me to try out.
Now, if you’ve been reading here for a while you might have noticed that my foundation choices normally skew toward the higher end. I mentioned it in my review of the Laneige cushion too, but I rarely buy drugstore foundations. Returns are usually a hassle (especially if you catch an employee who isn’t aware of their return policy) and the lack of testers makes it hard to find a good color match. So yeah, I might not have picked up the Lumi Cushion on my own but I’d be nuts to turn down the chance to test a couple shades without driving across town multiple times (#firstworldproblems). After trying it I’m starting to rethink my too-lazy-for-Walgreens shopping policy.
The compact for this cushion is what I’ve decided is pretty much the standard. The sponge sits in the base and is covered by a little door that holds the included sponge. Then of course there’s a mirrored lid that closes over everything else. The materials used for this cushion are lighter-weight than the Laneige compact so it feels a little bit cheaper, but there are some a couple departments where it wins. For one, the inner cover closes a lot more firmly – you can feel it snap into place. Also the bottom of the sponge is nude-colored so it doesn’t look nearly as disgusting as the blue Laneige one. The flat sponge still isn’t my favorite way to apply though; not really the poor sponge’s fault, I just think that type of applicator is awkward to hold and use. It’s handy if you want to take your foundation along for touch ups though. Normally I use my Real Techniques blending sponge instead.
One other thing about the packaging that I think is important – I’ve seen a bunch of reviews on the Lumi Cushion that say it runs out really fast. I too noticed after a few weeks that I wasn’t picking up quite as much product, so I decided to investigate. I pulled the sponge out with a pair of tweezers and, as I suspected, a lot of product had settled in the bottom of it. I flipped it over and good as new! So what I’m saying is, don’t throw it out as soon as it starts to run low.
Always the tough part of picking a foundation. I received three shades – N3.5, N5.5 and C5. And I learned something important: while the letter code indicates the undertone (C=cool, N=Neutral, W=Warm), the numbers don’t seem to correspond to similar color depths. Out of those N5.5 matched me the best, but C5 was quite a bit darker. N5.5 pulls a little warm on me but it’s a fairly good match. I think C4 might be better but again – the trials and tribulations of finding a color match without testers. Supposedly there are some elusive displays that have transparent stickers to help you pick your color – Budget Beauty Blog has pictures – but apparently all the stores around here have much more faith in their shoppers’ guesstimating abilities. The L’Oreal website does have a color tool that should at least get you in the ballpark though.
The other thing that’s a bit disappointing, color-wise, is the sort of limited range. There are twelve shades in all, four in each undertone. That’s definitely better than some foundation lines, but I get the distinct feeling that people on the far ends of the spectrum could be left out.
This is the part that’s got me wondering if I need to go try all the L’Oreal foundations. As soon as I put it on the first time I was really impressed with the texture – it feels weightless on my skin and doesn’t look makeup-y (that’s a technical term, btw). I wasn’t immediately sure about the finish, though. It goes on looking pretty shiny but dries down to just ‘dewy’. Personally I’m not a huge fan of the dewy look on myself, so I set it with translucent powder, which leaves it looking more like a satin finish. The sponge that comes with it can skip over fine lines & pores, but when I use my RT sponge it covers them perfectly.
Speaking over coverage – this is pretty firmly in the light-coverage range. It’s great at evening out my skin tone, but if I have any blemishes those still peek through, but that’s what concealer is for. It can be built up some, but only to a certain point. I’m not saying that as a criticism, just a warning that if you’re trying to replace your Kat Von D Lock-It with this, it’s not going to work.
The wear throughout the day was impressive. Usually dewy foundations go one of two ways on me. A) They melt off the oily areas and pool in lines & pores everywhere else or B) my skin soaks up all the water and leaves a patchy, powdery mess. Shockingly, this does neither. If I don’t set it with powder it gets a little shiny later in the day, but I’ve had no issues whatsoever with it migrating or breaking down. The picture above? Taken after around 13 hours of wear.
In Short: I’m impressed. And by that I mean it’s good stuff, not just good-for-the-price stuff.