The Difference Between Foundation, Cushions, BB Cream & CC Cream

1 comment by Rebecca Kim

Hi Beauties 🥰

There are so many things to consider when choosing the right base makeup - shade, coverage, finish and more. On one hand, we’re lucky to have so many options for us on the market that help our skin to look its best. On the other hand, the choices can get overwhelming when you’re on the search for the perfect one for you. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering, “Is a cushion a foundation or a BB cream?” Or “BB Creams and CC Creams sound so similar… aren’t they basically the same thing?”, then keep reading to find out more about the different characteristics and benefits of each one!


Starting with the base that gives the lightest coverage for the ultimate MSBB (My Skin But Better) look, try CC cream! The letters stand for “colour correction” or “complexion control”, so the CC cream’s main focus is to cover and neutralise redness or dullness. Because of this, many also have tone-up effects for a brighter complexion. Korean CC creams generally provide slightly less coverage than BB creams and are also thinner in texture. This makes them perfect for days when you want to go makeup-free, but also want something that still makes you look fresh and awake. They usually also give more moisture than BB creams!

The TonyMoly Luminous Pure Aura CC Cream leaves your skin looking healthy and radiant✨ It comes out as a white cream, but transforms into a beige tone when blended out.


BB creams fall right in between foundations and tinted sunscreens/moisturisers when it comes to coverage and finish. They stand for “blemish balm” or “beauty balm”, as they also contain skincare. While the type of skincare included varies from brand to brand, it’s usually along the lines of antioxidants. They are generally light to medium coverage, so you’ll need a concealer for those darker spots or scars. With that being said, they are still buildable and great for evening out the skin tone. Because of the moisturising benefits, BB creams will also have a slightly dewy finish.  

The Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream offers medium coverage with anti-aging and skin conditioning ingredients that improve skin elasticity and prevent dryness.


While there are foundations that can provide light and sheer coverage, there are also formulas with the ability to provide full coverage to suit your needs. Because of this, they can be a thicker consistency compared to BB or CC creams. Traditional foundations are most commonly found in bottles with pumps and tend to come with larger shade ranges (although some brands are now starting to develop their BB creams to have more options, too). The range of finishes available - dewy, matte, semi-matte, velvet and more - also make them the most versatile of the bunch!

The Etude House Double Lasting Foundation rose to fame for being a long-lasting 24-hour foundation that looks great all day. It gives full coverage with a matte finish but is still breathable. It’s also on the affordable end and has been named as a popular dupe for some high-end foundations!


Cushions are named as such for the way they are packaged differently. Other than that, they are essentially foundations or BB/CC creams (depending on the type of cushion that you choose) soaked in an absorbent sponge inside a compact case. The antibacterial puff that is usually included inside cushions makes the application very fast and easy. This makes it great for when you are getting ready in a rush (no surprises there on why it’s my favourite type 😊) and it’s great to carry around for touch-ups. 

The CLIO Kill Cover Founwear All New Cushion is a high coverage foundation cushion that is resistant against smudging, even under masks! If you’re a foundation lover, the Kill Cover line by CLIO is definitely worth trying at least once.

So, the final verdict is that if you’re after very long-lasting, full coverage you might want to look more towards foundations. If you’re after a daily natural look with some skincare benefits, BB or CC creams will be a good starting point for you. For easy application or touch-ups, a BB, CC or foundation cushion will become your new best friend. Most of these products, especially in K-beauty, contain SPF these days but it is still recommended to apply a separate sunscreen beforehand - especially in the harsh NZ sun 🌞 I hope this helped to give some more clarity on the different types of base makeup out there!

Until next time, thanks for reading! 💜

1 comment

  • Alisha

    Nice to read all information..Thanks

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