Review: Isa Knox Micro Foam Cushion Silk Cover #23 Natural Beige

♫ 傅又宣 - 爱.这件事情

As the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to cosmetics, I am all too guilty of being attracted to the packaging first, above all else. If you're a fellow makeup hoarder collector, I'm sure you have the exact same sentiment. (~˘▾˘)~ So when I saw this beauty on Gmarket, I just knew I had to get my hands on it.

Get it I did in my Gmarket haul, and I am happy to report that it is every bit as pretty as in the product photos.

Oops, I think I forgot to formally introduce you to my latest love, the Isa Knox Micro Foam Cushion Silk Cover. There are two shades for this BB cushion, and the one I chose is the darker of the two, #23 Natural Beige. Isa Knox is a skincare brand under LG Cosmetics Korea, and this BB cushion is their latest offering for 2016. I can't read Hangul, so I'm not sure whether it's a limited edition casing, but gosh darn it the cherry blossom design paired with the pastel  hues of Pantone Color(s) of the Year 2016, Rose Quartz and Serenity, is so pretty I could cry. ಥ_ಥ

Without further ado, let's begin the review!

As you can see, the compact has a sort of double-layer design on the front, with a transparent cherry blossom design overlay on top of the base pastel flower pattern. The bottom of the compact looks almost the same as most other BB cushion compacts. Information such as the product name, shade number, expiry date and place of origin is printed on the silver sticker on the bottom. More information is printed on the back of the box, good if you can read Hangul. (⌒_⌒;)

For the slightly more inquisitive, the compact comes in a box that has the same cherry blossom design with holographic accents printed on the exterior, while the interior of the box is a pretty pink shade. It comes with a refill, like most Korean BB cushions.

The compact actually came with the regular Isa Knox puff (navy base), but the seller included 2 of these special cherry blossom puffs (peach base) with my order, so I swapped them when taking these photos. ;) When you flip open the protective plastic flap, there'll be a sticker seal over the cushion part to ensure it doesn't dry up or get contaminated prior to using.

Now for the test! (I used the original puff because I couldn't bear to stain the pretty pink one, lol) The puff feels the same as - or very similar to - my Etude House and Laneige BB cushions, so no complaints there. It works well to pick up a good amount of product and allows for smooth application using a dabbing/tapping motion.

Isa Knox vs Laneige shade comparison
Shade-wise, I can only compare it to my current Laneige Lucky Holiday 2015 BB Cushion. From the swatch, it is fairly noticeable that the Isa Knox is darker, although both have the same shade name (Natural Beige). However, it must be noted that Isa Knox only offers 2 shades (#21 & #23) for this Micro Foam Cushion Silk Cover, while the Laneige cushion had 3 shades to choose from (#13, #21 & #23).

I have to admit, seeing the swatch comparison on my arm did raise a few alarms for me, because it looked much darker compared to the lighter shade that I was used to. However, it seemed okay when blended out on my arm, so next came the real test - application on face!

Before & After close-up comparison (click to enlarge)
Before & After full face comparison (click to enlarge)
Upon initial application, I noticed that it had a slight scent, something I would describe as mildly floral mixed with the (unfortunate) slight chemical smell of the puff. The texture of the BB cream (foundation?) itself is not too thick and not too watery; it was just nice and allowed some time to properly dab and blend out the product. For the application you see in the comparison above, it took me 2-3 rounds with the cushion to achieve that effect and coverage.

Speaking of coverage, I would say this Isa Knox Micro Foam Cushion Silk Cover has medium coverage that can be built up with several layers, but at the risk of looking cakey with each additional layer after the second or third. Even though from the swatch earlier it looked a bit too dark for me, I was glad to find that it still managed to blend out nicely and the final effect was in fact quite natural. The finish is dewy, which is very popular in Korea but not entirely appealing in tropical Malaysia, when 'dewy' means your face looks like an oil slick in less than an hour. Thankfully, I managed to combat this with the Innisfree No-Sebum Blur Powder (review soon!) which kept the oil at bay for the next several hours before requiring another dusting. Oh, and did I mention that it has SPF50+PA+++ as well? :D

The final look with just some blusher, lip colour and (most importantly) setting with oil-control loose powder.

Isa Knox Micro Foam Cushion Silk Cover #23 Natural Beige
✓ Pros: Super pretty casing, reasonable price, includes one refill, medium buildable coverage, sun protection with SPF50+PA+++, texture is just right.
✗ Cons: Dewy finish (not suitable for tropical climate), only available online (if you're buying from Malaysia), slight scent, can look cakey with too many layers applied, only 2 shades available.

Couldn't help taking more pictures than usual of the beautifully designed compact. (๑>◡<๑)

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