For a long time, I’ve been opposed to cushion foundations, because the thought of putting a dewy foundation on my oily, acne-prone skin horrifies me. Plus, cushions are usually more expensive than regular foundations in the same brand. But when I saw some good-to-stellar reviews of the new Maybelline Dream Cushion on Youtube, I decided to give it a try. Let’s see how it held up against my problematic skin.
The Maybelline Dream Cushion Luminous Liquid Foundation retails for $13 USD and comes with 0.51 fl. oz. (ULTA is selling it for $16 online, so check your local drugstores or buy online at Target or Walmart.) It has the typical cushion packaging: a nice compact with a mirror and sponge applicator. (Not going to lie, the sponge-y pattern found in a cushion compact mildly disturbs me.) The compact is beige-colored, with the front side specifying the exact shade in color and words, i.e. the color of the front packaging indicates the color of the product.
To keep the product fresh, Maybelline recommends closing the compact once you’re done applying.
The sponge applicator is nice, and you can easily apply the product with it. Though I can’t scrub the foundation away from the sponge. You’ll have to live with a foundation-stained applicator until you use the product up.
I bought two shades out of necessity: Porcelain (10) and Classic Ivory (20). Classic Ivory is straight up orange on me. I’m somewhere around an NC 15-20, so I have to do some major concealing-highlighting and powdering to get 20 it to look presentable. Porcelain is a little light and not warm enough for my yellow-toned skin, but it’s better than looking orange. I didn’t pick up Ivory, because the swatches online look very pink. (If you can confirm this, let me know!)
Here are some swatches next to shades I have from my drugstore foundation favorites.
There are 8 shades in this range. Cushion foundations, especially drugstore ones, are notorious for having limited shade ranges, and we are still at the age where most drugstores don’t have testers. Moving forward, I think if Target or CVS can’t have testers in their stores, drugstore brands should at least describe the tone and undertone of their foundation range somewhere visible on the packaging. I rely on descriptions like “light, neutral undertone” when buying foundations online, so it would be helpful.
I’ve been testing this foundation out for the last two weeks, and surprisingly, I adore it. Maybe it’s because of the winter and my skin is drier than normal, but the coverage and finish of this foundation is unreal. It’s easily a medium coverage. The texture is very smooth, like butter or some magical hybrid between a liquid and cream, and the finish leans on the dewier side of natural. When I set this with a powder, it turns matte but not a flat matte.
Unfortunately, because it’s a luminous base product, this foundation doesn’t have the best lasting power. Around the fifth or sixth hour mark, it begins to noticeably break around my nose and chin. It’s hard to capture on camera, but I sharpened the image below to highlight where the foundation was breaking down after lunchtime. If you wear glasses like me, the foundation will rub off almost instantly on the nose bridge.
I also tried the foundation mixed with a matte finish foundation (NYX Total Cover Drops – review coming soon) with my mattifying primer from Paula’s Choice, and it does last longer. At work, the foundation hung in there for nine hours. I had some fading on and around my nose, but nothing major. So you can make the product last, but it comes at the expense of losing that natural glow.
Personally, I can overlook the lasting issue. Because I love the finish, I would reach for it on a lunch or dinner outing, i.e. an event where I’ll be in public for a couple of hours. But wearing this foundation alone to work for a full week made me self-conscious about my face melting off.
If you’re deep in the foundation game like me, you can also purchase this foundation for targeted application. For example, most people like me don’t really get oily on their upper cheeks, so it’s a great place to put on a luminous base that give a nice glow to the skin. It’ll take longer to do your makeup, but you know what they say. Beauty is pain.
I’m impressed with this foundation. It cements my opinion that Maybelline is killing the drugstore base product game. I just wish they would expand their shade selection for not just this product, but also for their other foundations and concealers.
This is a great foundation. It shines in terms of versatility, because all skin types can make this product work. The finish is a natural satin that leans just a tiny bit dewy, but if you set it with powder, it’ll stay matte for a while. The sponge applicator it comes in is good. The critiques I have are the limited shade range and lasting power. On oily skin like mine, it looks good for five hours tops. And if you aren’t one of the five shades of light-to-medium tan, then you are out of luck.