Friday, June 10, 2011

Review: Etude House LUCIDarling Fantastic Sponge BB Cake

Etude House has pretty much established itself in the Philippine market, hasn't it? A year or so ago I had to plot special trips to Megamall to see their small shop, but now that shop has been replaced with a bigger one and I just have to make a quick trip to SM North if I feel like browsing. Their products are fairly marked-up from the original Korean prices and the Pink Card membership allows for instant gratification since every P100 spent gets you 2 pesos back which you can use on your next purchase... ok, maybe that last one isn't always a good thing, but it does save you money at some point.

Today's review is on one of the first Etude products I ever bought, at a time when I didn't know any better about my skin type. Ooh, shiny pretty thing, can I have you? How can you not be intrigued with something that looks like this?:
Photo credit:

It either belongs in an ancient temple beside tarnished brass implements, or in outer space. Take your pick.

Description: Soft, spongy textured BB Balm supplies moisturizing makeup coverage with complexion benefits. Promotes LED (Light Emitting Diode) radiance and clarity to skin for flawless expression.

Price & Amount: Php898 per 25 g / 0.88 oz.

The Etude House LUCIDarling Fantastic Sponge BB Cake (what a mouthful) is, in essence, a mousse foundation. It's supposed to have the benefits of a BB cream, but I don't see any of the usual BB cream claims here, not even SPF. This type of foundation is less messy to apply than liquid or powder foundation.
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Box details, with ingredients. I haven't thrown this away, haha.

The product packaging in the picture up top is like so, because it actually houses a brush! It's a flat-top kabuki made of synthetic fiber that's designed especially for the BB cake, but when you do finish the product you can use the brush for other products. It's a good-value buy, but not travel-friendly if you take both BB cake and brush with you.
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I love the little brush, but I give it more time to dry since it's retractable.

The product itself is really more spongy than mousse-y. If you tried pressing down on the product in the pan it feels quite firm and it'll bounce back a bit. The texture doesn't allow you to pick up a lot of product in one go but you will only need a little, since too much will look cakey and unnatural.
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A thick swatch, with flash. This is what it'd look like if you put on too much.

The beige undertone means it could work for both yellow- and pink-undertoned skin, and since you only need a bit it blends itself more easily to one's skintone. Like most Korean foundations, however, this comes in only one shade and runs light. A thin layer will suit NC30-35, but if you plan to build up the coverage using only this I'd say you have to be lighter than that.
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To apply, I lightly press the brush once or twice on the pot and buff it in one area at a time. You'd be amazed at how little product you need and how easily you can overdo that, so it's best to build up as you go. A thin layer will give you medium coverage, which hides a bit of redness and blemish scars. You'll still need concealer for this. The finish is a velvety matte one that feels soft and moisturizing, though I don't recommend not using your moisturizer prior to this. It feels like you're not wearing anything at all, which I like.
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EH BB cake on my face. Also featuring NYX Thalia, Maybelline Unstoppable mascara & gel liner.

The major downside to this product: it accentuates dry areas of the face. In defense of the product, the the mousse-type foundation settles into pores and fine lines because that's how it provides a smooth finish, and I have notoriously dry-combination skin. This kind of foundation is best suited for combi-oily skin. I imagine it'll glide on without any problem and the matte finish will be a dream. Oil control is pretty decent too at around 5 hours, but again my dry skin might have something to do with that. 
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Arrows point to very noticeable flaky areas. My nose :(

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My verdict: would have been good for me on a daily basis, but my skin just can't take it. I love the finish and the oil control, and the shade is actually okay for a Korean product. The brush is very useable as well. I recommend this for ladies with combi-oily skin and no problems with rough, flaky patches like me. These days I use this only when I've moisturized really well the night before in addition to the regular AM skincare routine, and I'm planning to see if Clinique Moisture Surge can help with this.

Have you girls purchased something not good for your skin type? How are you using the product now? Let me know in the comments! :)


  1. interesting. having the brush included in the packaging is brilliant!

  2. I had no idea that our skin can have LED. :-))

  3. Ohhh that's too bad, I couldn't use this because my skin is so dry! Great review hun :)

  4. Voodoo girl, I can't bear to swap this even though it doesn't work that well for me because I like the brush! :)) Unless I get a nice deal, haha.

    Michelle, haha that description is included in all the LUCIDarling products of Etude House, I think it's their selling point :) Lipsticks, lipglosses, eyeshadow etc.

    Vintage, thanks love! I'm trying to work it around my dry skin myself :)

  5. I'm currently using Etude House's BB cream but I want to try that BB cake! :)

  6. Was this limited edition? I can't find it anywhere online

  7. @Smashinbeauty Makeup Blog Hello dear! It's still locally available for me, but it's getting rare since it was an old release. My usual sites are out of stock on this too. :( There's a BB Balm alternative, though, one in lavender packaging with a flat brush.


Always glad to get feedback. Thanks for your comments. :)