YSL Cushion Foundation Review

I eagerly anticipated trying out the YSL foundation, particularly because I’ve had positive experiences with cushion foundations in the past, appreciating their convenience. As a certified makeup artist, even I have days when I prefer a quick and simple makeup routine, especially in the era of mask-wearing. This product seemed like a valuable addition to my makeup kit.

Among YSL’s various cushion foundations, I’ll be focusing on a specific one in this review: the Le Cushion Encre de Peau Foundation. So, let’s dive into my assessment!

Key Features

Le Cushion Encre de Peau is a light-to-medium foundation that promises a stunning radiant finish. Designed to endure throughout the day, it aims to keep your skin shine-free, no matter how busy your schedule. Additionally, it’s formulated to provide moisture and protect your skin while you wear it. For reference, I selected shade 10.

YSL suggests that it can also serve as a touch-up product for midday application if your existing foundation is wearing thin. Just a few pats with the included sponge applicator should suffice.

Speaking of packaging, it exudes luxury. The top of the compact features YSL’s signature black leather with an elegant gold-embossed YSL logo. Every time I pull out this compact, I feel a touch of sophistication. Moreover, the foundation insert is removable and refillable, eliminating the need to purchase an entirely new case each time. However, it’s worth noting that the refills are exclusively available on the YSL website.

Unfortunately, the foundation offers a rather limited shade range, with only six options available. In my opinion, this range falls short, particularly for those with very light or deep skin tones. YSL could certainly expand its shade selection.


  • The compact boasts luxurious materials and can double as a stylish mirror if you decide to remove the foundation insert.
  • The foundation yields a luminous finish, imparting a beautiful overall glow.
  • It feels remarkably lightweight on the skin.
  • The natural finish ensures your skin won’t appear cakey as the day goes on.


  • The shade range is disappointingly minimal.
  • Procuring refills can be somewhat challenging, potentially resulting in downtime when your product runs out.
  • The included sponge puff may become overly saturated with product and could harbor facial bacteria if stored inside the compact constantly.

Where and What to Buy

As previously mentioned, this cushion foundation offers six different shades, numbered 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 40. Given the limited range, there’s a reduced risk of selecting an incorrect undertone, as each shade tends to lean more towards neutral, making them versatile for various undertones. If you’re torn between two shades, it’s advisable to opt for the lighter one, as it’s easier to add warmth to your complexion with bronzer afterward. Selecting a shade that’s too dark can be challenging to conceal, particularly in direct sunlight.

If you’re considering purchasing this cushion foundation for the first time, I recommend visiting Sephora. They offer excellent shipping and points services. Given that this is a higher-priced foundation, you’ll accumulate substantial points on your Beauty Insider account, a significant bonus. Moreover, I’ve found that Sephora replenishes its stock more promptly than other beauty retailers.

However, if you’ve run out of product in your cushion, the best place to purchase is directly from the YSL website. Whatever you do, resist the urge to repurchase the entire compact, as it can be quite costly each time you run out.

First Impressions & Application

My initial encounter with this product at Sephora left me enchanted by the luxurious feel of the packaging, even the box! While stocking your makeup routine with more affordable products is practical, indulging in something fancier from time to time is a treat. The compact’s enduring quality and built-in mirror contribute to the sense of sophistication. If you have some extra budget to spare, this is a sound investment.

Upon opening the box and unveiling the compact, I was delighted to discover an embossed sponge puff included for application. However, I prefer using brushes for more precise coverage during at-home applications, as I’ve found that sponges tend to saturate quickly and become unhygienic. I recommend keeping the sponge in the compact and only using it for on-the-go touch-ups. Don’t forget to wash the sponge weekly to prevent the spread of bacteria. While it may be tedious, your skin will appreciate the effort.

I applied the foundation with my stippling brush, and I was pleased with the luminosity it imparted to my skin. I used circular motions to blend the product deeply into my skin and followed up with a light setting powder. It’s crucial to use a good primer and setting spray to optimize the product’s longevity.

I didn’t encounter any significant issues after completing my entire routine. The only potential problem I foresaw was with the included sponge. If used in linear motions, it could result in a streaky application.

All-Day Wear

I wore this foundation over several days to assess its performance comprehensively. Thankfully, I didn’t encounter any factors that made me regret my purchase. Here’s a summary of my all-day wear observations:

  • The first time I wore a mask, there was some product transfer. It’s important to note that even some of my other high-coverage and transfer-resistant foundations have experienced this issue. This won’t be as problematic in typical circumstances.
  • I noticed slight product separation in drier areas around the two-hour mark. While it wasn’t as severe as with some of my other foundations, I did a quick re-application with the included sponge. If you face this issue and don’t have your compact on hand, gently pat the area with a tissue to prevent exacerbation.
  • As the day progressed, minor separations continued to occur, but they were easily correctable. This underscores the importance of primer and setting spray, which can delay or prevent these minor issues. Additionally, I used a primer that wasn’t specifically tailored to my skin type, so I might bear partial responsibility for this.
  • By the end of the day, most of my coverage remained intact, with the exception of the tip of my nose due to mask wear. This is a common occurrence and nothing to be concerned about. On days when I stayed home for most of the day, there were no issues.


If you’re unable to procure the Le Cushion Encre de Peau Foundation or want to explore other options, here are some excellent alternatives to consider:

Amore Pacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

This compact foundation offers not only makeup coverage but also significant sun protection with SPF 50. Amore Pacific has spent years perfecting this cushion foundation, which includes a patented foam that holds potent skincare ingredients for consistent application. It comes in five different shades and is designed to wear like a tinted moisturizer, adapting to your skin tone as you wear it. Additionally, it includes an extra refill to ensure you don’t run out unexpectedly.

Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Cushion Compact Foundation

Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Cushion Compact Foundation

Shiseido’s cushion foundation features patented ActiveForce technology, allowing it to adapt to your skin’s specific needs and refresh itself for over 16 hours of wear. It provides a natural finish, avoiding a cakey appearance. While it offers a variety of eight shades with different undertones, it’s worth noting that there are limited options for deeper skin tones, and an expansion of the shade range is needed.

Dior Capture Dreamskin Fresh & Perfect Cushion

This Dior cushion foundation is an excellent choice for those seeking light coverage with added skincare benefits. It’s more of a skin evener than a full-coverage foundation, effectively concealing redness, shine, and visible pores. Dior claims that your skin will become more hydrated and luminous over time, providing long-lasting benefits even after removal. The cushion comes in four different tints and an untinted version focused on evening skincare benefits.

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Cushion Foundation

Lancôme’s Teint Idole Cushion compact is a fantastic option for buildable coverage with added sun protection, boasting SPF 50. While most cushion foundations offer light and luminous coverage, this formula leans towards medium-full coverage with a velvety matte finish. Its unique cushion design, made from an intricate fiber network, minimizes product waste with every application. This foundation is suitable for all skin types, including acne-prone skin. Although there appear to be only five shades available on the website, this may be due to low stock, and a broader range of shades is typically offered.

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