Julep Cushion Complexion review

Makeup Reviews, Reviews


I bought this the day it launched which is something I’ve never done before. I’d been so excited about this from when I first saw it teased back in November. I love how Julep used online surveys of what women are looking for in a foundation and what shades women were looking for. As far as I know, no other brand does this and I find it super helpful that Julep does.

I was so impressed with how I was able to pick my perfect foundation shade on my first try using only their resources online. The thing that was so different then the swatches other brands provide was that Julep had women matched to each shade. So instead of looking at a pure swatch and wondering how that would match my skin, I found it much easier to look at a woman and say “I’m darker than her,” or “I’m lighter than her.” This is only available here on the Julep website, not on Ulta.

After I purchased my perfect shade (120 Linen) and used it for a few months, I was sent some PR from julep including a few things from their new complexion collection. That means that I have a fair amount of shades from this line that I wouldn’t have purchased simply because they don’t match my skin. As always, all opinions are my own and for clarification, this post is not sponsored.

First I’m going to talk about the packaging, which is beautiful. Like the rest of the items in the complexion line and the newer products, the packaging is a reflective silver. This gathers fingerprints a ton, but it’s easy to clean, unlike the NARS matte black packaging that’s like a dirt magnet. It’s also pretty slim and perfect for travel. While traveling I either bring this or my RMS un-cover up in 00 (swatches here).

Quick note: the item in the middle of the photo above is the Julep Insta-Filter setting powder.

I also really like this formula! It’s nice and blendable and looks really natural. Unlike the RMS cover-up, this is weightless on my face. I set it with the Julep powder which is the first white powder I’ve ever used and I’ve liked it a lot. I haven’t noticed any flashback in photography.

This has a light smell that isn’t floral or strong. It doesn’t smell like anything specific and I don’t love or hate it. It smells like- well foundation!

The coverage is about light-medium which I love. This covers spots on my face and redness super well, but doesn’t completely cover my freckles, which is good because I love my freckles. I don’t use this under my eyes for two reasons.

a) I have hardly any under eye circles so I don’t use concealer under my eyes

b) whenever I try to put anything under my eyes, it creases so badly. This is no exception.

However if you put an oil under your eyes prior to this, it might not be as bad. I also have under eyes that are usually sensitive to any product, so your experience with this will likely be different.

I really like the applicator on this, however I don’t think it’s better or worse than the typical brush applicator. I worry a bit about bacteria gathering on the sponge, though. I don’t use this sponge to blend because then I’m just applying more product as try to smooth out what I’ve already got on.

This is perfect for travel, for natural makeup, and for quick makeup. When it first launched with a ton of claims about quick use and quick application, I didn’t believe it. I mean I bought it, but I didn’t think those claims were true. I didn’t necessarily notice how long it took me to apply this either in the first month I used it.

Then came one week where I got sick. I had a cold and I just felt awful. Unfortunately, I wasn’t sick enough to stay home but I was in no mood to apply a full face of makeup. I used this and my makeup was done in 5 minutes. I was shocked at how quick it was to apply and this became my quick makeup and travel staple.

Since Julep was so kind as to send me a bunch of shades, I have a ton of swatches to share! They’ve divided their collection into a 4 sets: 100 (5 shades, lightest), 200 (5 shades, light-medium), 300 (3 shades, medium-dark), and 400 (5 shades, darkest). Overall, there are 18 shades, which is great for a complexion line! First up are the lightest shades.

All of my notes about undertones come directly from the Julep website.

200 Alabaster is the palest of the pale shades. Seriously, I’m typically the lightest in most complexion lines, but here this shade is far too light for me. I use this as a highlight occasionally because it’s two shades up from my perfect shade. According to Julep, this shade has a cool undertone.

210 Porcelain is the next shade, also with a cool undertone, however, this one looks pink while swatched on my hand. This one was also too light for me.

120 Linen is the last shade of this set which is my perfect shade. This has a cool-neutral undertone.

This set of shades is a little darker than the first set.

130 Ivory is light shade with a warm-neutral undertone. This looks oddly darker than 120 Linen, and swatches chalky against my skin tone.

140 Buff is a light medium shade with a warm undertone.

200 Nude is the beginning of the light-medium shades. It has a cool undertone.

Now because Julep didn’t send me every shade in their collection, I am missing swatches from a few of the shades as we head into the darker colors. From this set, I’m missing 220 Sand, 240 Camel, and 300 Honey. 

210 Cashmere is a medium shade with a cool undertone.

23o Beige is a lighter medium shade with a warm undertone. I occasionally use this for contouring because going two shades down from my skin tone (140 buff) didn’t do anything.

310 Desert is a deep medium shade with neutral undertone.

Now for the darkest shades! From these, I’m missing swatches of 400 Deep Amber, 420 Nutmeg, 430 Clove and 440 Espresso.

320 Almond is a tan shade with a cool undertone.

410 Nutmeg is a deep shade with a cool undertone.

Overall, I love this line! I’m super impressed with what Julep has come up with here. I was excited about this collection before it’s launch, but a little nervous because Julep makeup can be a little hit or miss. Now I know I’m thrilled with this product and I highly recommend it to everyone!

Ciao bella!






The products discussed in this post were given to me for PR purposes by a company. 

This post contains affiliate links.

Read more about my affiliate link/PR samples policy here


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  • Reply
    August 3, 2017 at 6:40 PM

    Ok now I really need one of these.

    • Reply
      Sloane Bella
      August 4, 2017 at 6:17 PM

      Well now I have a ton of extra shades… 🙂

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