Like the miracle mop, the Real Housewives, FitBits and cronuts, the ‘cushion compact’ is a novel idea that’s about to enter public consciousness (and your handbag) in a big way.

Prepare to have everything you thought you knew about liquid foundation turned on its head.

What is it? Hailing from South Korea, cushion foundations are essentially sponges saturated in fluid BB/CC cream or foundation housed in a portable compact and applied with a soft cushion.

The idea is that they’re more practical to carry around than your favourite tube of liquid coverage, and way more convenient to touch-up in the middle of the day without using your fingers. The stamping motion used to apply it also helps achieve the perfect finish.

Another point of difference is the formula itself. Compact cushions are all about keeping the skin hydrated, so what you’ll find inside the pack is a fluid that’s weightless and water-fresh to wear, unlike traditional powder puffs that can feel heavy and cake or crack after a few hours.

Considering how popular Korea’s alphabet creams (BB, CC and yes, even DD) have become in the west, the cushion compact seems a shoo-in for success on the Australian beauty market. And with several powerhouse beauty brands launching their own incarnation of the product in 2016, we’re giving it 12 months to become a makeup staple.

Here are some early contenders well worth looking into…

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Dr. Jart+ BB Bounce Beauty Balm SPF 30+

If you don’t know Dr. Jart, get acquainted. The dermatologist-developed skincare brand introduced BB creams to the U.S. market in 2011.  Their BB-formula cushion compact was one of the first to be sold in the west and as you’d expect, it tackles more than just great coverage; it also works on correcting skin tone, blemishes and dehydration – and brightens skin during wear.

Buy here.

Lancôme Miracle Cushion

Lancôme Miracle Cushion launched in Australia last year and word on the streets (this street, specifically) is that it’s excellent. The hydrating formula is available in nine shades, which is more than most cushion compacts offer and the refreshing foundation formula sits very well on skin. (Remember, dab – don’t drag.) It also contains anti-ageing and brightening agents, so expect skincare benefits with your coverage.

Buy here.

Touch In Sol CC Moisture Veil Cushion Compact SPF 50+

Keen to try the trend authentically? Look to Korean beauty brand, Touch In Sol. Like most Asian beauty products, it’s big on SPF. This CC cushion compact covers broad spectrum UVA and UVB with SPF50+ mineral protection. Note: it leaves a faint white tint that’s typical of sunscreens. The protective formulation used here is a tad denser and contains natural botanicals that help correct skin tone during wear.

Buy here.

L’Oréal Paris Nude Magique Cushion

Get your Priceline Sister Club Membership card ready because when this nugget lands on shelves February 1st, you’re going to want to stock up.  We’re really impressed with this lower price point offering, and would say it’s formulation is comparable to some of the more expensive compact cushions on the market. The lightweight formula gives surprisingly good coverage, so we’re giving it two thumbs up.

Available February 1st.

What’s your first impression of the cushion compact trend?

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