Dew York City: Innisfree Water Glow Cushion in No. 23 True Beige Review + Comparison to Hanyul and IOPE

Innisfree Water Glow Cushion ($14 for 15g refill) claims to bestow a radiant glow with natural coverage in addition to SPF50+ and PA+++.

01 Innisfree Water Glow Cushion 23 ReviewThe Innisfree cushions are reputed to run light. That definitely rang true for the Water Glow cushion, which is the only one from Innisfree that I’ve tried. I ordered a refill in No. 23 True Beige, hoping that it would match my winter color, which is a MAC NC15 and typically a 21 in other cushion brands. Indeed, the 23 was a good fit and I’ve been using it interchangeably with my shade 21 cushions this winter.

I did some comparison swatches with the cushions I had handy: the Hanyul Luminant Cushion in No. 2 and the IOPE Air Cushion XP in No. C23.

02 Innisfree Water Glow Hanyul Cushion IOPE XP Cushion Comparison Swatches03 Innisfree Water Glow Hanyul Cushion IOPE XP Cushion Comparison ReviewThe Innisfree is as fair as the Hanyul but has slightly stronger pale peach tones, whereas the Hanyul has more neutral peach tones. The difference when worn is not visible.

The IOPE is noticeably darker than the Innisfree–but just barely, by about half a shade (I wear the IOPE when I’m a little tanner than MAC NC15 but am not quite NC20). The IOPE has yellow undertones and retained the most sheen in the arm swatch.

On the face, however, all three cushions leave a similar satin-dew finish, and the Innisfree lives up to its “water glow” claims. Is the Innisfree much glowier than the other cushions? Ehhh…about the same level, I’d say.

04 Innisfree Water Glow Cushion 23 Review05 Innisfree Water Glow Cushion 23 ReviewAnd here’s a photo taken several hours after application and in the context of other makeup (but no powder):

06 Innisfree Water Glow Cushion No 23 ReviewThe glow and the coverage are still there. (Lighting is warmer because I took this in the setting sun.) Actually, in direct light the glow approaches looking oily, even on my dry skin, and allover glow makes my face look round. Normally, I’d at least powder the edges of my face and the sides of my nose to avoid looking rounder.

The cushion provides noticeably lighter coverage than my other cushions. (This one is my 7th; search the blog or click the “cushions” tag for all my other cushion reviews.) My other cushions easily achieve medium coverage in 2 layers or less. The Innisfree cushion, in comparison, is not buildable beyond light-medium coverage. After 3 layers, sunspots and old acne marks were still more visible than they are under other cushions. However, I’m not docking points since the coverage is supposed to be on the lighter side.

Lasting power is almost on par with my other cushions, especially when powdered (8+ hours), but in general it seems to wear off sooner. I also find the lasting power to be unpredictable: sometimes it makes it through the work day and other times it begins to break up and look dull and patchy after 5 or 6 hours. Since I’m not very oily, I think the patchiness in this case is a sign of it drying my skin out.

Also be aware that the refills do not come with a puff. That’s pretty lame and unlike any other cushion refill I’ve had, but I just use it with the puff from whatever other cushion I have open.

Overall, the Innisfree Water Glow is nearly comparable to my other cushions, but there are some shortcomings. The tradeoff for a cheaper product may be worth it for some; for me, I’m glad I tried this and will gladly continue using it, but I won’t repurchase.

One last thing: you might wonder whether the Innisfree refill fits other cushion cases. The answer is: sort of.

07 Innisfree Refill in Hanyul IOPE CaseThe bottom line is that the Innisfree refill fits well enough in Hanyul, IOPE XP, and AmorePacific cases to be carried around securely. The cases close and the refill won’t fall out when the case is upside down so long as the refill is closed.

The diameter of the refill lid is what makes the refill fit in the case. When the lid is opened during use, the body of the refill is too small to stay in the case and easily falls out if the case is turned upside down. Also, the Innisfree refills are shorter than the Hanyul/IOPE/AmorePacific ones, so the bottom doesn’t sit flush against the case bottom.  If you don’t care about aesthetics, then buying just the Innisfree refill to use in a Hanyul/IOPE/AmorePacific case is perfectly fine.

Pros: Satin-glowy finish. Buildable to light-medium coverage. Refills easily available separately and for cheap.

Cons: Shorter and unpredictable lasting power compared to other cushions. Possibly drying. No Rubycell puff included in the refill. Doesn’t tightly fit in other cushion cases.

14 Replies to “Dew York City: Innisfree Water Glow Cushion in No. 23 True Beige Review + Comparison to Hanyul and IOPE”

  1. Thank you so much for reviewing this! I was on the fence about whether to get this or the intense Ampoule one, but this review convinced me! And thanks for the great shade explanation!

  2. I actually find the finish on your skin after a few hours quite gorgeous! You look very pretty (from what I can see at least :p). I just bought that cushion myself but am still in testing phase 😀

    1. Thanks! I like the glow too and on that particular day, it held up very well. It’s weird, sometimes I really like it and then other times I’m unimpressed. Maybe it’s due to me not moisturizing enough one day or spending extra time in dry a/c, but the performance of my other cushions doesn’t vary as widely as this one.

      Looking forward to your thoughts after you finish testing!

  3. Thanks for the in-depth review! I have the long-wear Innisfree cushion and all their shades do run very light. I use no.23 as well, and I’m fairer than most folks I know 😡 In contrast to the water glow, the long-wear doesn’t break up at all (for me) and is the most long-lasting base I’ve used. In general I think makeup needs to be worn with a moisturiser though, we can’t really skip that 😛

    1. Agreed. I always wear moisturizer and don’t expect makeup to provide moisture. The Water Glow seems very fickle about what skincare I’m wearing though. The Long Wear sounds great for summer!

      1. Oh yes, I’ve heard about folks having issues with the moisturiser and foundation not getting along. What does your Water Glow like/dislike?

      2. Ugh, I haven’t tried to figure it out methodically. I use different combos of moisturizers, face oils, and sunscreens depending on what I feel like. It’s basically the same 8 products, but I switch up which ones I apply and how much I apply. But I do that with my other cushions as well, so I don’t know why the Water Glow is problematic.

  4. Hi! I’ve been using innisfree’s water glow for a few months now and I am almost running out of it. I can’t really decide whether I should purchase a refill or just buy the IOPE cushion. So I am in dire need of your help. Lol. Which one do you prefer?

    1. I prefer IOPE. Longer-lasting, more reliable wear throughout the day, higher coverage (I use a C (cover) shade; have never tried a N (natural) shade). It’s a tough question though since you like the Water Glow enough to repurchase (whereas I did not). The Water Glow is cheaper, too, so I wonder whether you would find the IOPE worth the extra money. And when I’m having a good day with the Water Glow, the finish is glowier/moister/prettier looking than the IOPE.

      FYI, I have a cushion comparison post coming soon that you might find useful!

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