Ulta has been running their “21 Days of Beauty” promotion, and Julep’s Cushion Complexion 5-in-1 Skin Perfector is featured as one of their Hot Buys, which is an item that is on promotion for the duration of the event, September 3rd through the 23rd. I am in a beauty group on Facebook and one of the members really loves this product and has spoken highly of it, so I decided to give it a shot and see how it works for my skin.
When you hear the brand name Julep, makeup might not be the first thing that comes to your mind, and that’s understandable. Julep was well-known as being a nail polish brand for the last ten years, and a few years ago added skincare inspired by K-Beauty to their offerings. They made the next leap earlier this year into complexion cosmetics, with a release back that happened on May 1st, officially launched on Ulta.com.
The following blurb from Ulta’s website sums up what this “5-in-1” product is meant to do:
Julep Cushion Complexion 5-in-1 Skin Perfector with Turmeric is a multitasking skin perfector that has a natural, demi-matte finish with buildable medium-to-full coverage that conceals, corrects, illuminates, blurs, and brightens.
It was an impressive release, with there being 18 shades ranging from very fair to deep at launch, but some shades are available as “online only”. The shade I purchased is the lightest available, 100 Alabaster, and is one of the “online only” shades.
Julep’s Cushion Complexion usually retails for $30 USD for 0.16 oz of product.
At the time of this post, it is 40% off making it $18 USD at Ulta, and also here on Amazon–where it is a Prime product so you can get free shipping! I know that Ulta is running this promotion until the last day of 21 Days of Beauty (September 23rd), but I’m not sure how long it will be $18 on Amazon as well.
The packaging features a cushion applicator with a twist-mechanism that you turn in order to push product out of the tip. It reminds me a lot of Maybelline’s Age Rewind Concealer, but the applicator on Julep is smaller. To be quite honest, I am just not a fan of applicators like this because I am the kind of person who faithfully deep-cleans all my used makeup brushes once a week at minimum, and spot cleans in-between those washes.
Julep has made a statement that they are cruelty-free. They are not completely vegan, as some of their products do contain beeswax or carmine. Below is the ingredients list for the Cushion Complexion, to assist those who are trying to avoid certain ingredients.
Ingredients– Water/Eau, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Butylene Glycol, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Dipentaerythrityl Hexa C5-9 Acid Esters, Glycerin, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Diisostearyl Malate, Silica, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Dipentaerythrityl Hexahydroxystearate/Hexastearate/Hexarosinate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium Edta, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Tocopherol. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491/774922/77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163).
Swatch & Application
Swatch below is on bare skin, applied from the applicator and blended out with fingers. Lighting conditions are indirect sunlight, no flash, with camera autocorrecting the white balance. The shade 100 Alabaster is very good for very fair skin with cool undertones.
The lighting conditions in the below before/after photos are slightly different due to when the first photo was taken and when the second was, but use it more as a reference for what kind of coverage it can provide.
- Picture on the left: after completing my skincare. You can see some freckles, some sun spots, pores, some general redness.
- Picture on the right: I applied the Cushion Complexion primarily in the center of my face, blended out with a damp Beauty Blender. I also used Tarte Shape Tape for concealing under my eyes. Afterward, I set with a translucent powder, applied blush, and set with my Skindinavia Makeup Setting Spray.
Here are the things I love about this product:
- The color match is excellent, because it is notoriously hard if you are cool-toned to find a very fair product that isn’t too peachy or yellow out the gate… and almost harder to find one that won’t oxidize to a different color.
- It blends out incredibly well, and looks beautiful on the skin. It really does live up to its claims, as it does blur, correct, brighten, etc. The demi-matte finish is possibly my favorite kind of finish for any complexion product, because your skin will look radiant and healthy and like skin.
- It was comfortable and light-weight, and it didn’t feel like I was wearing anything after applying it.
Here is the thing I didn’t love about this product:
- No staying power on combo-oily skin. As mentioned earlier, I did set with a translucent powder and followed with a setting spray, and it looked amazing. I then went to run errands, which included a stop at Target. As I was passing by a section that had mirrors, I noticed my skin was looking incredibly shiny–it hadn’t even been three hours since application! I took a closer look, and in my t-zone especially (where I struggle the most with oil through the day), I could see it already starting to separate. I did not use any other products that I don’t normally already use and love, and since the Cushion Complexion was the only thing different in my makeup, I had to accept that it just wasn’t the right kind of product for my skin.
Would I recommend it?
Yes… if you have normal to dry skin, you will probably love this product. (Which also makes me incredibly jealous, because it looks so good when applied and the color match I was able to get was so good.)
If you are like me, however, and get oily through the day, you may have the same issues as I did with it breaking down pretty quickly. It’s unfortunate because I do think it is a really beautiful product, but ultimately I had to return it because it did not work for me. C’est la vie.