February 17th, 2015
Is it just me or does funky packaging and alien-sounding names capture your attention? When I first posted a peek at the new Too Cool for School Dinoplatz UFO Multibox on Instagram, I immediately received lots of interest and questions about it. I’ve always been a fan of Too Cool For School not simply for their fun packaging, but also because I believe the brand produces innovative products whose quality far surpasses their (very accessible) price points. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to their latest all-in-one BB cushion!
It seems the Western world is suddenly abuzz with cushion fever, and Lisa Eldridge’s recent foray into Korean beauty has fueled some of that excitement (in particular, she specifically mentioned this TCFS UFO in this video). For those who have not been quite as exposed to Asian / Korean beauty trends, BB cushions are these liquid foundations housed in a saturated “cushion” and are usually encased in a portable case handy for application on the go. It has proven so popular that all sorts of cushion stuff have started to pop up, from cushion blushes to cushion concealers, etc.
Too Cool For School is a niche Korean beauty brand originally launched by TODACOSA (the Sephora equivalent of Korea) targeting trendy youths and young adults, and has been known to be manufactured by Cosmax (the largest cosmetics ODM in Korea). For a quick rundown on some of the fun stuff TCFS offers, pop over to my earlier introductory post. There is some talk circulating on the Internet that a new BB cushion being marketed by a certain French luxury brand is actually manufactured by Cosmax, and alleged that Cosmax produces “low-quality” products for “drugstore” brands. Let me just state upfront that is pure nonsense, as Cosmax’s ODM clients include L’Oreal, LVMH, P&G, etc (read here); and has been known to have manufactured products for Amore Pacific, Shu Uemura, L’oreal, The Face Shop, Etude House, etc (read here). And if Amore Pacific is to be regarded as the “higher standard”, I can attest to the fact that not all the BB cushions from brands under the Amore Pacific group (Sulwhasoo, Laneige, Etude House; Innisfree; etc) are of the same quality. So, as the old adage goes, don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.
Too Cool For School Dinoplatz UFO Multibox (“TCFS UFO”) comes with a generous 12gm of product which features a BB cushion foundation on the top. As is customary with most BB cushions, there is a swing lid over the cushion to prevent the product from drying out. A thin sponge lies on top of the lid and it is meant for application of the BB foundation. About 2 years ago, the entire industry (by which I meant Korea) switched to these “rubberized” sponges as they have better anti-bacterial properties, which is important when used with a liquid product. Personally, I don’t care for these sponges at all as they tug and squeak when I try to glide them across my skin. They really are meant to be used for patting… but we all know patience is not one of my virtues. So I dip in with my makeup brush, or my own Dior Backstage Blender!
Every BB cushion in the market seems to feature a different type of “cushion”… some come with a pretty circular design, others have chosen to encase the entire cushion and dispense a tiny squirt when you press on it. TCFS has chosen a more porous-looking cushion for this UFO, and it works well for the product as it is rather watery and I reckon a denser cushion would dispense too much of the BB foundation when you press into it. If regular foundations can come in jars and pumps, why wouldn’t cushions come in different forms too?
The BB foundation feels quite watery and tends to sheer out if you swipe this across your skin. However, the coverage is decent at about a light medium (in the foundation-sense, not typical BB which tends to fall on the light end of the spectrum), so even when sheered out it still provides some measure of coverage. I also loved that this dries down quickly, so it is easy to build up coverage without causing any streaks. TCFS UFO gives a soft semi-matte finish which on my dry skin looks healthy and does not require powder blotting. However for those with oily skin, you may want to finish off with a very light powder to matte things down whilst keeping the glow.
The photo above shows how TCFS UFO looks like on my face – on the right is my skin prepped with Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer, and on the left is with a thin layer of TCFS UFO BB cushion foundation. You can see how much brighter my skin looks, and it effectively covers up any uneven skin tone including most of the redness around my nose.
As is typical with Korean BBs, TCFS UFO is available in only 2 shades – #21 Pola and #23 Janna. The one I have is #21 Pola, which is just a bit too light for my NC15-20 skin. It does oxidize slightly after awhile but not a whole lot. Shade #23 Janna is darker and more yellow-based, so it will probably not work on me either.
But what good is a portable foundation product if you also need to carry a bunch of other base products to complete the look? To address this, TCFS UFO features a swivel-out palette on the bottom of the case, which contains a pore balm, concealer and a cream lip & cheek tint…brilliant! The pore balm is meant to go on specific areas before foundation, in particular the cheeks to hide pores and under the eye area to soften fine lines. The concealer has excellent coverage and a small dab of this is sufficient to cover up my pimple scars and dark circles. However, this did crease on my dry undereye area as the day progressed, so it is important to moisturize properly beforehand. I loved the coral pink shade of cream blush, it goes on smoothly on my cheeks, sets properly and do not slide around as the day progresses. I’ve not tried it on the lips as I don’t like mixing my face and lip products, so I can’t really attest to how well it performs there.
And this is the finished look featuring TCFS UFO BB cushion foundation as base all over my face, concealer and cream blush:
Those who are looking for skincare benefits in their makeup would be happy to know that TCFS UFO contains hydrolyzed collagen from Tremella Fuciformis Mushroom which increases moisture retention in skin, reduces wrinkles and smooths fine lines. It also contains Camu-Camu extract, which is rich in vitamin C, and has brightening properties. Macadamia seed oil is a great emollient and keeps my dry skin well moisturized throughout the day. Mastic gum provides pore control and has other anti-bacterial properties as well. Really quite an impressive list of ingredients, sufficient to dispel the myth that Cosmax manufactures”low-quality” products.
TCFS UFO also comes with SPF50+/PA+++, which contrary to skeptics, is not merely there for vanity, but the US FDA has established standards for testing the effectiveness of sunscreen products and regulations for labeling [read more here]. However, as with all sunscreens, in order to achieve the stated level of protection, it is assumed you apply at least 2mm thick of product all around. Obviously nobody wears that much foundation, but I don’t expect any of us wear that much of anything on our faces. Hence the higher the SPF number the better, or layer up with other products containing SPF, moisturizers and separate sunscreens included (however beware of ingredients that degrade each other – I explain it more here).
Fundamentally, I did enjoy Too Cool For School Dinoplatz UFO Multibox as the BB cushion foundation gave me a nice semi-matte finish and lasted me all day. The swivel-palette below contains a handy selection of pore balm, concealer and cheek & lip tint which makes this a true all-in-one travel palette! TCFS UFO retails for SGD68, and it can be found at 4 outlets throughout Singapore. For the full details, please head over to their Facebook page. If you are living overseas without easy access to a TCFS counter, it is available online here.
This post features a product that was kindly sent to me by Too Cool For School Singapore for my consideration. I am not affiliated with Cosmax or TODACOSA. All views expressed above are my own honest, unbiased opinions, and are not influenced in any way. All links provided are unaffiliated, but merely there for your convenience.