Makeup · Uncategorized

Review: Tosowoong Perfect Vitalizing Cover Essence Cushion

I’m not a makeup guru. I am, in fact, not even particularly good at makeup (eyeshadow, I’m looking at you here) so when I find a product that makes it look as though I am good at makeup, I tend to hoard and rebuy it slavishly. Skincare is my thing. Skincare with plants are my thing, because in my professional life, I have a B.A. and an M.A. in Archaeology, concentrated solidly in Paleoethnobotany. Studying the history of the interactions between plants and people has always been my passion, and that history includes not just food, crops, clothing, oral histories, myths, legends, and medicine but also skincare! And…


…okay, and makeup.


I suspect you know where I’m going with this, but let’s save the best for last, shall we?


I was asked to review the Tosowoong Vitalizing Perfect Cover Cushion by As I said, I don’t primarily review makeup, so this was a fun experience for me. I resolved to put the cushion through everything I would normally experience, had I bought it for myself; rain, 100 degree days (it’s July here), humidity, late nights, mixing it with other products, and so on. Would I come out feeling satisfied? I really wasn’t sure.  



The case of the cushion, while closed.


First, a bit about this cushion. You can see above that the case is very…let’s say, no-nonsense. It is not the cushion for cushion collectors. But then, that is something I appreciate about Tosowoong; their products are very straightforward. They don’t favor packaging and design over utility. Still, this case could be a bit prettier (think of all the lovely gorgeous tones in their mask sheets!), and I found that the pure white meant that I had a tendency to get makeup smudges on it. These always wiped right off, but still. If I could, I would probably purchase another case that fit this cushion somewhere down the line.



Inside the case of the cushion. 

When you open the product up, the inside is all white, with a puff, a puff holder/product sealer piece, and this lovely pink and beige spiral (This is the N22 version; I believe the N21 version is more of a white/beige and has a neutral coloring). That spiral isn’t just for show; one of the main selling points of this cushion is that it contains 55% Rose Essence, which mixes with the makeup as you pat it on your skin. It also claims to brighten your skin, reduce wrinkles, and protect you from the sun with SPF 50+/PA+++ protection.



I’ve surrounded the cushion with dried rose hips, because I am A Nerd.

From the start, I loved the idea of a cushion which mixes skincare and foundation in an unusual way. The Rose family, Rosaceae, has about 2,900 members, and includes many edible fruits such as apples, strawberries, pears and plums, as well as many flowering ornamentals—the genus itself takes it name from the ancient flowering ornamental we all know as the Rose plant



I swear I am not copying and pasting this from my paleoethnobotany thesis.

This cushion contains Rose damascena essence (English name: Damask Rose) which is the rose most commonly harvested for making rose oil, rose water, and for its edible petals. Rose Oil (from which Rose Essence is distilled) has been used to treat acne, depression, balance hormones, relieve anxiety, reduce rosacea, and naturally raise the libido (Every wonder why people cover beds and fill baths with Rose petals? Now you know!)



I want to crack a joke but actually this just looks awesome.

I won’t go into all of the active compounds here, but just to name a few–Rosa damascena extract contains Citronellyl Acetate, Methyl Eugenol, (a powerful antibiotic and antimicrobial), Citral, Nerol, and Phenyl Acetaldehyde (also found in chocolate!). It also contains all the compounds you saw above–Niacinamide for whitening, Adenosine and Aloe for soothing, Shea butter for moisturizing,  I’ll turn off the lecture mode now, but just know this — Roses contain great stuff, and this cushion contains great stuff. Fin.


Rose Essence from the Cushion.


Moving on to the good stuff–Does this cushion even work? How does it hold up?–I’ve prepared far too many pictures for you. Why? Because this became my go-to cushion within two weeks of receiving it, and I’m wearing it in every single photo from the past month. But first, swatches!


BB Cream from the Cushion.


 This matches my normally N23-ish skin so perfectly it’s rather amazing.



It may be a bit dark for me in the winter, but the pink undertones help quite a lot.


Even though this is marketed as a light, dewy cushion which provides soft coverage, I first decided to see if I could make it into a full coverage cushion through…erm, willpower, I suppose. And many layers of patting my face.



I’m also wearing Agapan Painting Rouge in No.4 (Wood) here. All in all, this is…not my look. Whoops.

The result? As you can see above, it’s very possible to get full coverage from simply using this cushion alone. The skintone was a dead-on match for me, and it even dusted down nicely with a quick layer of translucent matte powder. But oh my gosh, this felt so heavy on my face. I almost never wear full-coverage makeup, and it was almost 100 degrees that day. I think I lasted 4 hours.



Much happier after wiping it all off, and then wearing a sheer dewy layer.

This is what the cushion looks like with a simple, dewy layer–and honestly, this is what it was made to do. I love the way this looks; it cleans up any red spots or imperfections, but makes my skin look so natural that most people can’t tell I’m wearing makeup.

Some more examples:




I’m wearing the cushion in both of these. Sometimes I’ve mixed it with a base of light bb cream, sometimes I’m wearing concealer over the cushion, but in all of these photos, the cushion is the main star. At this point, I had started carrying it around in my purse simply because every time I put it on my face, I felt better about how I looked. It really did make my skin glow!
And finally, some comparison shots.


Totally clean face, no makeup. 


Just the cushion.


Cushion and concealer under my eyes.

Full face makeup, including light eye makeup and lip gloss.

So is this is the cushion for you? That really depends what I’ve said above. This cushion definitely held up to its promises–it brightened my skin, protected me from sun damage, and gave wonderful sheer, dewy coverage. It also perked up heavier foundations when I applied the cushion over the top, giving me that ~glow~. However, as with most Korean cushions, this isn’t available in any skin tone darker than N23, which quite frankly sucks. I hope that Tosowoong extends their color range soon, so they can make their skincare available to everyone who wants to purchase it. I would also say that if a) you like your makeup to be matte, b) you like very full coverage or c) you love to use your cushion cover as an accessory, then maybe this isn’t the right choice.


But if you like the minimalist design, want to nourish and protect your skin against sun damage, you’re between N21 and N23 and you want a sheer, dewy look for everyday wear? Then I highly recommend this cushion, both as a scientist and as a regular old human. It’s earned a permanent place in my purse, and I hope it will earn one in yours as well.



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