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Review: K-Beauty Cushion Foundation For Dark Skin
The demand for inclusive beauty products, specifically cushion foundations, has been a topic of discussion within the cosmetics industry. For far too long. As K-Beauty continues to expand globally, individuals with darker skin tones eagerly await glass-skin products that cater to their specific needs. I’m going to review some cushion foundations for my skin tone that I’ve used in the past two years.
Dr.Gio, a brand I discovered through an Asian Boss Youtube documentary about start-ups, caught my attention. Founded by a woman of West African origin, the brand's commitment to inclusivity resonated with me. Having made three purchases from Dr.Gio over the years, I can share my thoughts on their products.
Shipping Times and Supply Issues
While I acknowledge that early pandemic days may have caused delays in shipping from Asia, I experienced extended waiting periods for two out of three orders from Dr.Gio. The anticipation reminded me of the early days of online shopping from Asia in the mid-2000s. Consequently, improving their shipping efficiency would greatly enhance the overall customer experience.
One notable issue I encountered with Dr.Gio's cushion foundation was the presence of a white cast upon application. This drawback diminished the seamless integration of the foundation with my skin tone.
Extensive Shade Range
Dr.Gio deserves commendation for offering a remarkably diverse range of foundation tones for cushions. Their commitment to inclusivity is evident in the variety of shades they provide, catering to a wide spectrum of skin tones.
Although their Instagram is still up it seems that Dr.Gio is now defunct. This is sad but with the supply issues it isn’t surprising…Ultimately, I was hesitant to buy more from them until they improved some of these issues but it is still sad to see them go.
Another brand that caught my attention for its darker cushion foundation options is Em Cosmetics, founded by YouTube Mogul Michelle Phan. Although not exclusively catering to individuals with darker skin tones, Michelle Phan ensured that her Korean-inspired dewy line was inclusive.
Em Cosmetics has become my new favorite smaller makeup brand, surpassing even Glossier, despite not being a cosmetics enthusiast. The brand excels in multiple aspects, including their charming packaging and provision of an extra cushion refill! They’ve also recently released darker skin tones since I last order so I’m eager to buy more from them.
CC Cream: It Cosmetics
Surprisingly, It Cosmetics' CC Cream has emerged as a hit among individuals seeking full coverage and inclusive tones, reminiscent of the dewy, oily look many of us adore. However, it falls short in one key aspect—it lacks the convenience of a cushion format. Although one can create a DIY cushion compact, the absence of an official cushion option dampens the overall experience. Despite this setback, It Cosmetics' CC Cream remains easily accessible, affordable, and ideally suited to my preferences.
The Industry's Opportunity for Inclusion
Korean beauty brands, unfortunately, seem to be missing out on significant opportunities by failing to cater to a broader range of skin tones. Given the success of Rihanna's Fenty Beauty, one would expect more brands to recognize the underserved market of women seeking cosmetics tailored to darker tones.
In some respects, the lack of inclusive tones in Korean beauty brands can be attributed to their primary target market—East Asia—where skin whitening treatments are widely prevalent. As a result, investing in developing darker shades may not be financially viable for companies primarily catering to this demographic. Moreover, introducing darker shades could potentially impact their consumer base. Shades darker than porcelain aren’t exactly sought after in East Asia. Therefore by offering a larger catalog of foundation tones, they could be sabotaging their brand in their main market.
Ultimately I am hopeful that we will see more inclusive cushion foundation tones soon. If you have any suggestions for cushion foundations or brands that do K-beauty inspired products for darker tones please let me know in the comments below.