Sunday, February 21, 2016

YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau - Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation

Luxe cushion foundation fans in Singapore can rejoice - YSL has launched their new cushion foundation Le Cushion Encre de Peau yesterday in Singapore, and will follow with launches in other markets globally.

[UPDATE] Made an error on my mobile app and accidentally deleted this post - so I had to redo the entire thing; apologize if the content is not 100% the same - I can't memorize what I wrote but my opinion stays the same!

You know my take on cushion foundations in general: I tend to like them more when they come in bottles and tubes (i.e. I don't love the format at all LOL) because I never touch up liquid foundation on top of existing makeup so I don't need a compact. There is also the hygiene factor, value for money and the fact that most of them cannot "set" fully on the skin since they are designed to remain fluid for months in an exposed sponge pad. Might be alright in cooler drier climates, but usually a disaster in humid tropical weather.

They do give a beautiful look if you like a lot of sheen but many of us feel compelled to set them with powder for lasting power anyway. And even then they don't tend to last as well as most regular foundations. 

So needless to say - I was excited when YSL launched its new Le Cushion Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Foundation, which promises semi-matte all-day flawless coverage. Finally a cushion for slightly oilier skins or more hot and humid weather? Yes please. 

Le Cushion Encre de Peau retails at SG$88 for the case and a single sponge, and subsequent refills can be purchased at $58. 


The packaging is a beauty. Glossy lacquered black and gold to match YSL's glamorous aesthetic, and with a little weight so it doesn't feel cheap and flimsy. You can say it doesn't matter but when you pay this much for a cushion foundation that you presumably will bring out for use, you should expect it to look good.

Inside you get a standard sponge pad filled with foundation, and a black and beige applicator puff which is quite soft and easy to work with. (If you've tried many of the traditional or cheaper cushion ranges, the puffs tend to come extremely stiff and rubbery.)


YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau is available in 6 neutral tones in Singapore (B10 to 60), which is great compared to most other cushions. However this only seems to cater only up to around NC42 or so when I swatched the darkest shade here.

We can only cross our fingers that this is only the case for Asia and that they will add more shades soon. I also need a BD (beige dore) which is golden toned but I am not holding out for yellow toned shades anytime soon as most Western brands don't bother to launch a full range of shades for foundations that are not part of their "core lines".

Do bear in mind that the shades do oxidize. I am MAC NC25 and tend to be between 20 and 30 in YSL shades (BD 15 for Le Teint Encre de Peau which runs a bit deeper) so don't just go with your standard color without testing it on your face first. I went with a B30 the evening I first tried this, and by the time I got home later that night it was looking a little dark.


Le Cushion has pretty good medium-ish coverage. In fact similar to the original Le Teint Encre de Peau foundation. Enough for light discolorations but not for full coverage of larger blemishes.

Of course using a puff will never give you maximum coverage compared to fingers. As with all cushions I will use the puff for a first layer all over and then use my fingers to pat on more product where I want coverage.


While it is definitely not as shiny and tacky as other cushions I can't say this really looks and stays demi-matte on the skin for long. Also, the more you pat on the dewier and less matte it gets.

It will take on whatever skin texture you have beneath. So if you use a matte primer it will look more matte. If you use a thick lotion it will be dewy. There just aren't the absorbent fillers like talc, clay, silica etc, needed to absorb moisture and change the texture of your skin significantly and keep it matte for hours. I tested it againt the original Le Teint Encre de Peau Fusion Ink foundation in the squared bottle, which I also patted on using the same puff on one side of my face. It was noticeably more matte than the cushion.

With the cushion I find within about 20-30mins this goes to a dewier finish for me. Which I personally don't mind. But if you expect the shine free wear as stated on the box you might be disappointed. 

Lasting Power:

Here's the thing - it doesn't stay demi-matte but it lasts pretty well for me. 

I was sweating up a storm both days I wore this and while it got shinier, the foundation did stay looking even and fresh underneath. No streaking, caking or congealing around pores for me. When I sweat the beads of water don't "lift off" my foundation, and I can gently press the moisture away without messing up my base.

The formula contains acrylate copolymers (the stuff found in setting sprays, sealing liquids and some long wear foundations) - which explains its ability to adhere to the skin and remain flexible without looking or being powdery. 


This isn't a god-send for oily skinned folks, especially if you have a lot of contoured blemishes to hide. You would need a lot of powder to matte down the shine and hide skin texture, so I find cushions in general are a waste of time for these skin types.
I find this better for combination to slightly dry skins. There are emollients and the formula is not 100% oil free, which makes it surprisingly comfortable even on my slightly dry skin, but if you cannot have ANY oil in your products, then this won't be for you.

The other thing is not a huge deal but I would obviously wear a separate sunblock; SPF23 PA++ isn't really sufficient unless you have dark skin, which ironically - this line doesn't yet cater to. 

All in all though, this IS the least dewy cushion I've tried so far and YSL wins lots of points for at least trying to cater to a different market and focusing on a formula that is more lasting. For me lasting power (how long it stays looking even and fresh on the skin) is more important than how long it can stay matte. I can blot the shine away; I can't fix patchy cakey makeup without removing it.

When I am in the mood for something that is a it more semi-matte I am just personally more inclined to stick with the original Le Teint Encre de Peau because you get the same lightweight feel with a bit more of a true semi-matte finish.

You always get more product in tubes and bottles than in cushions – let’s not pretend – and with just one refill per pack, this makes YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau one of the higher-priced cushions on the market. But it’s definitely not “just another cushion” in the sense that there is enough differentiation from the others to be worth a look if you happen to be a luxe cushion fan.


  1. Hi Candice! Would you pick this over Dior's Bloom if looking for a product to use in the tropics which has little shine, more coverage, longer-lasting and still hydrating?

  2. Hi. I was told that they do not come with refills, when I got mine at Tangs. Where do you get your refills from?

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