ADDICTION by Ayako Cheek Polish Review and Swatches

“It’s not a nail polish, it’s a blush.”

Ayako is one of my favorite makeup Creative Directors. She has lived over 20 years in New York, working with celebrities and makeup artists like Francois Nars (another favorite of mine). I love it how Ayako thinks outside the box, creating high quality product to highlight one’s individual style. She is cool, edgy and awfully chic - not afraid of colors or texture variations. Today I’m writing about on of my favorite products from ADDICTION: the Cheek Polishes!

ADDICTION by Ayako Cheek Polishes | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

ADDICTION by Ayako Cheek Polishes

ADDICTION’s Cheek polishes come in a nail polish -like bottle with a similar brush applicator. There are two available textures: non-pearl matte colors and with pearls of silver or/and gold. The cheek polishes retail 12ml for 3024 yen (including tax). As I’m typing this there are 8 permanent shades (including two highlighters) and seasonal limited edition colors.

How To Wear ADDICTION Cheek Polishes

Using a liquid blush is relatively easy. You shake the bottle with cap closed, then adjust the amount of color on the brush (similarly as you adjust the amount of nail polish). You could use the back of your hand as a palette and apply with a brush or a sponge, but I find it easiest to add about ~3 dots of the color on my cheeks and blending with my fingers. I use my middle finger to spread the color, then my index finger to blend. The Cheek Polishes set relatively quickly. If I feel there’s too much product or harsh edges I do a couple dabs with my Beauty Blender or Shaquda foundation brush.

ADDICTION by Ayako Cheek Polishes | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
ADDICTION by Ayako Cheek Polishes | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Using the Addiction Cheek Polishes

ADDICTION is one of my favorite makeup brands, I feel Ayako can do no wrong (except reformulating my favorite foundation *grudge*). I think last year she reformulated the brand’s powder blushes and created 30 permanent shades with sensible color categories, but unfortunately her Cheek Polish range remained untouched. They have discontinued some older individual shades, which makes the range in my eyes a bit incomplete looking.. as I’m typing this there are only 6 blushers and 2 highlighters available. I wish they’d tweak and expand the current range. Meanwhile, they do bring out Limited Edition shades every now and then. I haven’t tried the highlighter shades (13 Reflection and 13 Moon Dance), but 12 Emotional has very little base color and is mostly very sheer with loads of golden glitter.

What I love about this formula is how weightless it feels on the skin. I personally like to wear a decent amount of makeup every day, but I don’t want to look or feel as if I’ve piled on a ton. The ADDICTION Cheek Polishes look and feel seamless on the skin with no tacky or greasy residue. I rarely blend makeup with my fingers, but with liquid blush and highlighter I make an exception. I’ve noticed that blush - especially cream blush - doesn’t last well on my cheeks, but with ADDICTION Cheek Polishes I can get at least 5 hour of decent wear-time without touching up or setting with a powder.

I actually like the packaging, but perhaps the caps should be a different color so they wouldn’t be confused with ADDICTION’s nail polishes? The mini bottle 09 Sensually was a gift with purchase and I don’t think I can even go through this small size during one life-time. You only need a couple dots or two small swipes of color per each cheek from the applicator. I wouldn’t mind if they reduced the product size and price ~1000 yen. Luckily the product seems to last well; I’ve had my 04 Revenge shade for a few years, but hasn’t gone bad or separated.


04 Revenge - Matte bright red with a slight yellow undertone; “sunburn red”.

09 Sensually - Soft matte muted pink rose. (My favorite!)

12 Emotional - Sheer orange coral with gold pearl (with NARS Orgasm vibes)

ADDICTION by Ayako Cheek Polishes | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Final Thoughts

While I’m in love with this product type, I do think there is some improvement in the shade range. 04 Revenge used to look a bit too much like sunburn on my face, but I’ve learned to pair it with my other makeup. I do regret getting 12 Emotional a little as it’s very shimmery with little base color - I’d prefer it to be more coral, like in the bottle. I wonder if it would suit better a deeper skin tone than mine? In order to get some use out of it I like to layer this Cheek Polish with other blushers, apply generously and skip the highlighter. Overall, I love the Cheek Polishes but I definitely prefer the matte shades. If you love easy-to-apply, quick and natural blush, these are worth checking out! xx

ADDICTION by Ayako Skincare Foundation Review (Old VS New)

ADDICTION by Ayako is one of my favorite Japanese brands - modern, edgy and chic. I was both stoked and horrified that they revamped one of my favorite foundations ever: ADDICTION the Skincare Foundation. As soon as I was about to finish my old bottle I ordered a new one to compare. Let's talk thoroughly about the new ADDICTION foundation and how the shade and finish compares to the old one!

ADDICTION by Ayako Skincare Foundation Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

ADDICTION The Skincare Foundation

This foundation is advertised as made from beauty serum, with 10 types of beauty essences (not listed on the English website) to care for the skin while giving a beautiful finish without the need for primer or powder. The finish is promised to be fresh, natural and hydrated. I'd say the coverage is buildable, but light to light-medium. Unscented. Available in 15 shades, which unfortunately cater mostly just towards light-medium Asian skin. Contains SPF25 PA++ Price 4,500¥ (+tax) for 30ml.

Using ADDICTION The Skincare Foundation

The original foundation was hands down my favorite foundation alongside with Rouge Bunny Rouge's Milk Aquarelle, and I reached for it regularly. I'd say the 30ml bottle of the original foundation lasted me a couple of years (without going bad!) as I needed such a tiny amount. The consistency of the new foundation is similar: very runny, almost watery and serum-like. As the nozzle is fairly small, I've always poured a couple of stripes of foundation on my cheeks and forehead before blending with a goat hair brush, such as Koyudo fu-pa or the Tom Ford Cream foundation brush. I think buffing motions and circular blending work excellent with The Skincare Foundation to blend the product seamlessly. I never blend my foundation with fingers, but I think it'd be possible in this case. The Skincare Foundation is slightly hydrating, but I think this will suit most skin types - expect maybe super oily ones.

ADDICTION by Ayako Skincare Foundation Swatch | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
ADDICTION by Ayako Skincare Foundation Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Swatches and Coverage

01 Wafers (old formula) - slightly cool vanilla
001 Porcelain (new formula) - pale, white-based porcelain

I'm wearing one layer of foundation with no other makeup in the image above. The coverage is sheer to light, but buildable. It may be difficult to notice but one layer has evened out my skin tone and covered my under eye darkness a little bit.

ADDICTION by Ayako Skincare Foundation Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
ADDICTION by Ayako Skincare Foundation Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Differences between the old and new ADDICTION the Skincare Foundation

The original foundation came in a white packaging, the updated version has a beige tint to it. One of the differences between the two are the sunscreen, shade range and how the product sits on the skin. First of all, the original has SPF30 PA+++ and the new version "only" SPF25 PA++. I don't rely on the sunscreen of my makeup, but I know it might interest some of you. Secondly is the shade range: now, I can only speak of my shade as unfortunatelly I can't recall the deeper shade range. I've chosen the lightest shade for my skin tone (NW13-NC15) and 01 Wafers was quite a good match. I'm more neutral than pink, but 01 Wafer's undertone was nicely brightening while 001 Porcelain leans more white. I haven't seen the new foundation display in person, but my personal shopper was kind enough to swatch the two lightest shades and ask from the counter which shade was closest to the old 01 Wafers. According to the ADDICTION SA 002 Porcelain Rose is the closest to 01 Wafers, but in the end I chose to go for the more neutral 001 Porcelain. If you have stronger pink undertones or perhaps dullness you want to brighten, pinker shades might work well for you. Like with most Japanese foundation, the shade range is unfortunately very limited for medium to deeper skin tones.

I was so looking forward to the new formula and less pinky/ashy shade, but unfortunately I'm not getting the same feel of joy as with the old foundation. We're going down to the nitty gritty, but I feel the new formula doesn't sit as well on the skin. The old formula looked seamless, skin-like and almost undetectable and while the new ADDICTION Skincare Foundation performs well, it's not quite the same. On close inspection I feel the new foundation can be detected on my skin, it gathers to the nooks and crannies around my nose as well as dry patches. The lasting power of the new foundation is good (+6-7h), but it doesn't stay as well in place before the formula starts to break. If you've ever felt foundation 'lifting' when touched (like with many cushion foundations), I think there's a slightly similar effect.

ADDICTION by Ayako Skincare Foundation Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Overall thoughts

I do enjoy the new version of the foundation, especially the more neutral palest shade, but I was expecting the near perfection. Sadly, I feel little bit let down as the new product is not quite on par with the old. This is me being very nitty gritty, but I wish it meld better with my skin. During checkups the foundation didn't change color, get patchy or gather to all of my fine lines, but I wish I didn't have to give any thought to longevity or blending around my nose. It's by no means a bad foundation, so I will continue using the product and see if season change or different application methods will have any effect.  If you can find a good shade match and love Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude or sheer to light foundations in general, you might enjoy this.

More Japanese foundation reviews: THREE Cosmetics Angelic Synthesis Foundation

What's your favorite light cover foundation? Have you tested anything from ADDICTION?