Product Reviews

IOPE Air Cushion XP Foundation Review and Swatches

May 12, 2014

During a recent trip to my local Korean market, I picked up IOPE Air Cushion XP Foundation. Taunted as the best-selling foundation in Korea (1 sold every 30 seconds), it was the original air cushion foundation that sparked off the craze a few years ago. New to cushion foundations? Read on to find out how they work and why they are so great!

IOPE Air Cushion XP Compact Foundation review

IOPE Air Cushion XP Foundation Review

Just like BB creams, air cushion foundations contain a chock-full of good stuff for your skin. The IOPE Air Cushion XP Foundation is formulated with:

• SPF 50+ to protect against harmful UV rays
• Over 30% of mineral water to moisturize
• Siberia Peptide 6 Selection (Bergonia cordifolia, Potentilla palustris, Siberian fir tree, Siberian birch tree, Inonotus obliquus and Plant Peptide) to restore elasticity and tighten
• Pore Elastomer to control oil and minimize the appearance of pores
• Vitamins B5, E derivatives and P for a healthy glow

On the outside, the Air Cushion Foundation looked just like your ordinary cream and powder compact foundations. But what REALLY set it apart from anything else, was the piece of sponge (or “cushion”) stored in the lower compartment that was soaked in a super runny foundation. To apply, you press a super non-porous puff applicator that came with the foundation into the cushion then pat directly onto skin.

Application was super easy and nothing like anything I have ever seen before! It took me less than a minute to get my whole face done and the puff applicator worked so perfectly in getting the product on evenly, leaving behind a streakless, no-makeup finish. The foundation also applied with a slightly cooling sensation and felt very thin. Yet, the coverage was surprisingly good and buildable. One single dab managed to cover up half of my dark circles and freckles, smooth out pores and make my skin look healthy and dewy. I do have to add concealer if I wanted my flaws wiped out completely but for every day, this was MORE than perfect!

The wear was also phenomenal. The foundation managed to stay on my dehydrated combo skin with zero fading or oxidization for 10 hours straight and I hardly had to touch up at all.

My only complaints? The scent and color range. Like most Korean skincare and makeup products, the Air Cushion XP Foundation came with a pretty strong scent, which could be a turn off for some. The various formulas and colorings, though a nice thought, were also limited and ran on the lighter side:

The N Series is available in 3 shades (Natural N21 Ice Vanilla, Natural N23 Ice Beige and Natural N31 Warm Beige) for natural, healthy and moisturized skin.
The S Series is available in 1 shade (Shimmer 22 Ice Shimmer Beige) and contains coral powder for a beautiful glow.
The C Series is available in 2 shades (Cover 21 Cover Vanilla and Cover 23 Cover Beige) and offers higher coverage for flawless skin.

For my NC30 skin, I use the darkest shade, C23 Cover Beige. Although the color looked slightly orange in the compact, it applied more neutral and lighter so try to swatch it against your skin before you purchase.

Bottom line, IOPE Air Cushion XP Foundation totally lived up to its hype and I am definitely a fan! I loved the innovative application, great coverage and dewy, skin-like finish. Can’t wait to try more air cushion foundations!

IOPE Air Cushion XP Compact Foundation
IOPE Air Cushion XP Foundation in C23 Cover Beige

IOPE Air Cushion XP Foundation in C23 Cover Beige

IOPE Air Cushion XP Foundation in C23 Cover Beige swatches
Wearing IOPE Air Cushion XP Foundation in C23 Cover Beige

Wearing IOPE Air Cushion XP Foundation in C23. Lovessss!

Disclosure: This review contains product that was purchased by us. It may also contain an affiliate link, which gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. Please see our Disclosure for more information on our posting policy.

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  • Reply Jeannie May 13, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    Looks amazing on you! I still prefer Laneige cushion better. IOPE also makes shade #31, which might suit you better! But it’s usually only found in stores.

    • Reply Phyllis Li May 14, 2014 at 9:25 am

      Hi Jeannie,

      Thanks for letting me know. I looked but couldn’t find the #31 =( Btw, how does the Laneige compare to the IOPE? Did you get the Korean or US version? I saw it at the store but the sales kept telling me to get the IOPE instead. I also noticed the shades are different (I saw 3 at Target but the ones at the Amore Pacific store came in similar colorings like the IOPE)… guess I will have to go back for one now 🙂

      • Reply Jeannie May 16, 2014 at 8:05 am

        I have them both. Laneige smells better to me and has a more natural finish, where IOPE has slightly higher coverage. It’s really hard to decide which to use daily because they’re so similar. I think Laneige shades seem to run a weeeee bit warmer (#23 in Laneige swatches yellower than IOPE #23). I use Korean versions in both. They’re both super popular! If you liked it, you should definitely look into trying both!

        • Reply Phyllis Li May 16, 2014 at 10:18 am

          Oooooo now you got me REALLY wanting the Laneige!! *lol* Ever since I got the IOPE, I have not touched any other foundation!

  • Reply leah June 21, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Thanks for the review! I really liked this foundation in the beginning, but throughout the day, I noticed it turned sorta gray… I think it’s for the whitening effect the Asian makeup trend is going for… I think I will stick with my MissHA BB Cream…I’m a little disappointed..

  • Reply Tiffany July 29, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Hi Phyllis,

    I am like you and use MAC NC30. However, I am more of a yellow tone and I was wondering if the IOPE C23 had pink undertones? This looks to fit you so well but I’m worried it’ll be too pink/orange. Do you notice anything compared to the Lenaige?

    Thanks in advance,


    • Reply Phyllis Li July 30, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      Hi Tiffany,

      I wouldn’t say the IOPE C23 is pink-based. It is more on the neutral side and definitely lighter than the Laneige #23 Sand Beige. If you are more yellow, I would go for C33 for the IOPE.

    • Reply Vivian August 15, 2015 at 8:27 pm

      Excuse me, but I’d like to comment on this. I did a lot of research beforehand, including reading this review, and purchased C23 thinking that it wouldn’t have a pink undertone. Wrong. I have a very clear yellow undertone. I disagree with Phyllis here. This shade DOES contain pink, and it turned my skin orange. If you have a distinct yellow undertone, even if you are NC20-25 like me, stay away from this shade.

  • Reply cathy October 13, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    what lipstick are you wearing in the last photo?

  • Reply Thao December 11, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Hi Phyllis,
    I love this product. But i don’t know exactly the undertone of Iope C23. My undertone is warm tone. So, i am looking for the yellow tone. Can you tells me about the shade of the product? Thank you so much

  • Reply Thao December 11, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Hi Phyllis,
    I love this product. But i don’t know exactly the undertone of Iope C23. My undertone is warm tone. So, i am looking for the yellow tone. Can you tells me about it? Thank you so much

    • Reply Phyllis December 11, 2014 at 8:43 pm

      Hi Thao,

      Please see my response to Tiffany’s comment above.

  • Reply Sanjona June 23, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Hey do we have to mix wid water to apply???

    • Reply Phyllis June 24, 2015 at 11:09 pm

      No you don’t (the product itself is pretty runny). All you have to do is press the sponge into the cushion then dab directly onto skin.

  • Reply Bárbara July 3, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    I’ve used Misha-M Perfect cover BB cream in number 23, what color do you think that fits me in IOPE?

  • Reply Bárbara July 3, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    i’ve used Misha-M Perfect cover BB cream in the color 23, what color do you think that suits me in IOPE?

  • Reply Tina September 9, 2015 at 5:25 am

    Would C23 be too dark for an MAC NC25 skin? trying to decide between C21 or C23! Thank you

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