The Cushy Cushion Compact Guide

Hey there everyone! Today’s post is about cushion compacts. They are known for their convenience and their natural-looking, but flawless coverage. A small amount of makeup is picked up by a sponge, from a sponge, and then lightly dabbed onto the face, building coverage through layers. They are quick, easy, and have instantly gratifying results. If there isn’t one tucked into your beauty pouch, there really should be. Nothing can beat the ease of a cushion compacts when it comes to touch-up jobs!

The cushion compact originated in Korea quite some time ago, but has made its way to the US and other places around the globe only a few years back. Generally, unless you are using a DIY cushion compact, the shades from Korean brands can be quite limited (basically stark white, and slightly less stark white, and maybe a beige-y white). DIY cushions are a wonderful because you can add your own favorite foundation (or primer, blush, etc).

The cases are rather cute too. Many brands have limited edition designs or a large selection of patterns you can choose from. There are many elegant options as well, so even featuring jewels! They’re a lot like phone cases come to think of it. In the world of cushion compact design, there’s definitely something for everyone.

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my first cushion compact

However, these guys can be their own little Armageddon of cleanliness. Cushion compacts require regular monitoring; all they are are two sponges marinating away in a dark, somewhat damp and warm environment. Their level of safety and cleanliness is rather questionable, but their ease of use and amazingly natural results keep me using them.

So the biggest rule of keeping a compact clean is to not mix products in them. Use only one foundation, bb cream, or whatever; don’t mix two foundations to get a certain shade or add some sunscreen in with a primer or something. And yes, I know, this totally takes over 70% of the fun out of them, but it’s so important not to do it no matter how tempting it may be. The products all have their own formulations with their own unique preservative formulas and mixing them together could cause cancellations of preservatives, leading to rampant microorganism growth. Which is 100% not fun. At all…

Now that a petri dish isn’t brewing in the compact, to actually keep them clean is pretty simple. If you simply buy a compact, then throw it away (or recycle it) once the original formula is gone, don’t worry about this. If you are a DIY-er like me who refuses to chuck them and reuses compacts to make my own, here are my tips:

Use small amounts of product instead of filling the compact all the way up. I put in enough foundation to last about a week in the compact, then between each refill, once all the product is gone, I thoroughly clean the sponge and compact with a cleaning solution. This way things are kept a bit cleaner than using product coming from a sponge with a whole month’s or more worth of gunk. The more often you do this, the more familiar you’ll be with how much product you actually use on your face on a daily basis as well.

I throw away the application sponges and replace them with new ones every 4-6 cleanings (basically every month/month and a half). Generally, I’ve found that when the little strap on the back of the sponge begins to come apart, it’s a good sign that it’s time to replace it. I clean them until the back is white as new-no trace of foundation. While I don’t throw out the cushion part of the compact (unless, like a beauty blender, it’s just reached that time), I clean it just like the application sponges. I make sure to get all traces of product out until it is stark white. If done regularly, this doesn’t take too long, but of course, the more product the cushion is still saturated with, it may take a few rinses or even a soaking in solution to get everything out.

Giving the case a good wipe down with a little make-up remover, and then a soap and water rinse (or rubbing alcohol works too) keeps bacteria at bay too. Be sure to let all the parts of the compact dry completely in a well-ventilated area once you’ve finished.

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How it should look…I always use Daiso to clean

These tips will help your cushion compact not only stay confidently clean, but will also keep it looking brand new!

Have you ever tried a cushion compact? How do you deal with yours?

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