A great foundation, both literally and figuratively, is essential for any makeup look, regardless of complexity or skill. If the texture or tone isn’t right, it can really put a damper on your day.
It’s not uncommon to find a foundation you love and stick to it forever, but there’s no harm in trying a new look every once in a while. One of the most coveted “looks” is the skin of Koreans. Clear, even tone with a near glass-like sheen — this look is making its way to the land of the brave and home of the free.
There are a ton of things to consider when selecting the perfect foundation for you. The first thing is the type of finish you want. Do you want a satin, dewy, natural, or a matte-finish?
Then you need to consider the texture. Foundations can come in liquids, powders, sticks, and beyond. Additional considerations can vary, but you definitely want to make sure you have your perfect look.
If you’re on the hunt for a new foundation or looking to emulate perfectly poreless Korean skin, take a read through this list of the best Korean foundations for a flawless complexion.
Best Korean Foundations Reviewed
1. Touch In Sol Advanced Real Moisture Liquid Foundation
Touch in Sol is a K-beauty brand we’ve talked about before, and here they are again. They’ve got one of the best liquid foundations on the market.
Coming in 5 different shades, this formula offers buildable coverage in a lightweight, hydrating liquid. Because it’s buildable, you can forego the concealer and confidently cover any blemishes or discolorations.
As K-Beauty is known for its gorgeous complexions, SPF is an absolute must-have. No need to worry with Touch in Sol, who has added 30 SPF to their long-lasting (up to 8 hours!) foundation.
Additionally, it has great moisture-retention making it perfectly suitable for people with dry skin. Best applied with a sponge, start with a light application, and work your way to your desired coverage.
2. Etude House Double Lasting Foundation
Concerned about finding a shade fit for you but still want the beauty look of the East? Well, look no further! Etude has one of the highest shade ranges on this list at twelve different options.
With light UV protection and full coverage, you’re guaranteed a flawless application with just one layer.
Clinically tested to last 24-hours, select your shade, layer it up if you want, and feel free to stay out all. Night. Long. You’ll have a matte finish lasting throughout your night without having to reapply.
Oh, and feel free to ditch the concealer and color corrector for an even lighter feel. Party all night long with your best face forward.
3. Amorepacific Color Control Cushion Compact
This cushion foundation comes as loaded as its name. Providing a superb combination of skincare and coverage, you can’t go wrong with this one. Available in five different shades, it provides buildable coverage to die for. For any nature lovers out there, this foundation is cruelty-, paraben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free.
The skincare part? It’s infused with a variety of Asian botanicals to create a perfectly hydrated feel for your skin. The foundation is long-lasting and breathable, you’ll practically forget it’s even on. If you happen to forget and wipe some away by mistake, it’s easy to reapply with just a couple of swipes.
4. Missha M Magic Cushion
Missha is another well-known Korean brand. Their cushion foundation comes in a sleek white compact and boosts moisture retention and a long-lasting finish.
Available in one of four shades, one of their secrets is in the sponge. Not only are two dabs in the product enough to cover your entire face, but the sponge won’t get icky and hard after multiple uses. That’s a great bonus that makes this product long-lasting both on your face and in the compact.
Loaded with bamboo water and baobab tree extract, it will soothe irritation and fight inflammation. You’ll love this foundation if a dewy look is your goal.
Despite being a powder foundation, there is still plenty of coverage to even out discoloration, lighten up dark circles, and cover up any unsightly acne. This is a powerhouse foundation great for all skin types, and you definitely don’t want to pass it up.
5. Moonshot Sheer Skin Foundation
This cushion foundation has a gorgeous natural, sheer finish to it for the perfect #nomakeup look. Your skin is going to look like you truly woke up like this.
Feeling and looking like you have nothing on your skin, Moonshot’s foundation provides a smooth coverage without any fear of powder clumping up together.
Because it is so long-lasting, feel free to use this cushion foundation on its own or as a setting powder for a fuller coverage look.
The cherry on top of this Korean cushion? It is infused with Aqualicia, an active ingredient that helps trap water and increase the hydration and moisture of the skin. A foundation that looks good and keeps skin hydrated? Yes, please!
6. Troiareuke A+ Cushion Foundation
Here’s a cushion foundation from skincare giant Troiareuke. If taking care of your skin is a priority for you, then you’ll definitely love the calming aspect of this foundation.
This foundation does double duty in reducing the appearance of redness, acne, and rashes. Not only will it cover but also soothe those types of skin problems.
Definitely providing more light coverage, the focus of this A+ foundation is on skincare more than anything else. Boasting SPF 50, start off your day with a dewy, airbrushed appearance while your skin is reaping the benefits.
In addition to sun protection, Troiarueke has the added benefits of anti-wrinkle and skin brightening for a truly youthful look.
7. Age 20’s Signature Cushion Foundation
A popular product throughout Asia, this 3-in-1 cushion foundation not only provides great color correcting and foundation coverage but also gives a big dose of intense hydration.
The sleek, luxurious looking compact makes it a cute accessory to keep in your purse for a quick touch up throughout the day! Providing excellent coverage, it does a double-duty by first filling in your pores for a seamless base but also covers acne, blemishes, and other icky skin imperfections.
It comes in three shades but also provides SPF 50 to ensure you stay that shade! Oh, and don’t worry about running out because a refill is included. Easy to use, perfect for all-day wear, and a natural finish what more could a girl ask for?
8. Self Beauty Moisturizing Glow Cushion Foundation
A holographic compact makes this glow really show! Coming in 8 lighter shades, with just a few swipes you’ll have a flawless, full, dewy look. The glowing finish isn’t superficial though, you really will get intense hydration with the added hyaluronic acid.
This is all done without that greasy feel or looking like an oil slick.
In addition to blurring your blemishes, there are seven botanicals added to really soothe and calm any sensitivity. While your skin is calm and covered, you’re also getting the added sun protection with SPF 50.
This will visibly decrease the chances of skin damage. The best application is to start with light coverage and build your way up. Also, a little can go a long way with this cushioned foundation!
9. IOPE Air Cushion Foundation
Another skincare brand coming out with a foundation, this cushion foundation utilizes technology that helps to evenly blend the foundation into your skin, providing intense coverage and color payoff.
Clinically shown to improve the appearance of the skin, this cushion foundation covers blemishes, freckles, pores, and crows’ feet with ease.
With trademarked ingredients like Air Prism Water and Bio Water, the glowy, dewy finish is a result of the deep, intense hydration this cushion provides.
The sponge was created in such a way to allow perfect, even application with each swipe. This also increases the moisture throughout your skin. It’s easy to apply and perfect for any reapplication, a few dabs into the cushion will provide you with a beautiful, sheer complexion.
10. Hera Black Cushion Foundation
Named after the Queen of all Greek Goddesses, Hera’s luxurious cushion foundation comes in 6 shades and provides great sun protection with SPF 34. This liquid cushion foundation provides a light feeling, comfortable application that will last throughout even the worst of days.
With a gorgeous matte finish, you’ll love the non-sticky feel of this full coverage foundation. Basically, you will get the look of a powder on liquid without having to double up on coverage.
For the best application of this foundation, there’s a bit of a trick: start applying from the center of your face and work your way out. Work with the natural contours of your face for the best product payoff.
Feel free to use it with your fave concealer, but that’s definitely not needed because of the full coverage finish of this heavenly foundation.
11. The Face Shop Ink Lasting Foundation
With a familiar texture, this liquid foundation by The Face Shop is a slim fit. Meaning it gives a lightweight feel without compromising on coverage.
There is a great combination of skin-brightening pigments with blue pigments to counteract any and all redness while simultaneously providing a gorgeous glow. If you’re worried about your foundation settling into any fine lines or wrinkles, this is basically age-proof; it’s well formulated to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Your skin will get ever-lasting moisture while wearing the foundation because of the polymer film that’s infused. Bonus? Your skin will really thank you for protecting it against the sun with the addition of SPF 30!
Coming in two colors, apply after primer with your choice of brush or sponge, and layer it up as you see fit! A fresh-faced day awaits.
12. Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening SPF50 Plus
Looking to brighten up your complexion? This is a great product for you. It offers full coverage to cover all the imperfections such as dark spots, acne scars, fine lines, etc. while also adding a luminous glow to your skin.
The formula is packed with magnolia extracts that prevent elasticity loss and calm your complexion. It also reduces redness. If you want great coverage, then you can’t go wrong with this product.
Upon application, it may feel a bit sticky but it dries out really quickly.
The highlight of this cushion foundation? It utilizes a special watercolor method to cover dark spots and wrinkles effectively. The staying power is also great. You can expect flawless makeup that lasts for up to 12 hours.
About Cushion Foundations
After taking a look at the best Korean foundations, you’ve probably noticed one minor thing. Most of these foundations are liquids but come in a cushion.
A pretty foreign concept to those of us familiar with Western makeup and beauty brands — the cushion foundation provides a different kind of application. With compact foundations, the liquid foundation is absorbed into the soft, billowy cushion. Application isn’t with your fingers or brushes, but with the provided sponge which was formulated to work best with the compact provided.
Gently pressing down into the cushion, you’ll get a little *burst* of liquid, but not too much. Generally, it’s enough to provide you with enough coverage for your face.
Easily buildable, these types of foundations are known for their soft, dewy finishes. Although, as you’ve seen, there are more matte and full-coverage options out there.
Are cushion foundations better than others? Well, that depends. If you’re looking for a super easy, quick application with a light feel and more natural look, then yes, this will probably be a better match for you.
If a heavier, matte look is more your jam then you may need to do a bit deeper digging to find a cushion that suits you. Either way, cushions are just one type of Korean foundation, so regardless of what finish you’re looking for there is still a K-beauty foundation for you.
Soft, sheer to medium coverage finishes are all the rage in South Korea and most of South East Asia. However, they’re not the only ones.
Whether you’re looking to emulate the glassy-skinned complexion that K-beauty has popularized, or looking for a more heavy-duty, full coverage look, there is a great Korean foundation option for you.
The only caveat? The skin tone range isn’t the greatest simply because the target audience is the Koreans.
Pick your desired finish (matte or dewy?), level of coverage (barely-there sheer to full), and any other desired additions (SPF, hydration, anti-aging), and sooner than you know it you’ll have yourself a new Korean foundation.
Don’t be intimidated by the cushion applicator, they have benefits unlike any other. Step a little outside of your comfort zone, you won’t regret it.
If you’re looking for a new holy grail foundation, or want to change up your look then you’ve hit the jackpot with this list. Why not try one of the best Korean foundations? You’ve got nothing to lose, but a gorgeous complexion, skin protection, and intense hydration to gain!
Sheryll is a lifestyle editor with over 7 years of experience in beauty. She is obsessed with Korean skincare, and she mostly covers the Beauty and Skincare space at Skin Seas.