Sunday, May 6, 2012

review: koh gen do aqua foundation

finally! i know it is about time i reviewed this foundation as i bought it in early march. after over a month of using this i feel confident in giving my thoughts on it.

koh gen do is not a new brand. the Japanese brand was founded by actress Ai Saotome. at first skincare was the main focus in mind but koh gen do gained quite a following causing expansion to makeup. the brand is quite popular with movie/tv set makeup since it focuses on HD makeup. it seems koh gen do has recently been introduced to the US as it started opening counters within the past few years.

prior to buying this foundation, i was very curious about this brand and product. part of the intense curiosity stemmed from the fact that there are very few reviews on this foundation. and the reviews i did read/hear didnt go into too much detail. all i gathered from what i did research on was that the foundation had great coverage while still retaining an amazing skin-like finish. i had to try it out for myself.


the aqua foundation comes in a frosted glass bottle with a pump. i like the packaging. i personally like glass containers but i know some are cautious of this for traveling reasons. the pump is easy to control so i can dispense as little or as much product as i desire.

i purchased the shade OC-1. my skin tone is light to medium that leans warm (nars fiji, chanel b-20, lancome buff). the shade range is ridiculously small but i hear they are trying to formulate more colors. OC-1 is almost TOO light for me to wear but due to the sheerness it works. plus there is nothing a little bronzer can't fix. i think my perfect color would be in between OC-1 and OC-2.


by the name of the product you can obviously deduct that this foundation is water based, deep-sea water from the Ohotsuku Sea to be exact. it is chocked full of skin loving ingredients like jojoba seed oil, olive squalane, and the ever popular shea butter. i highly recommend reading the description on koh gen do's official website, they have fancy diagrams and very appealing descriptions. being water based, this foundation is very fluid as well as unscented. it is sheer but buildable. i normally use 1.5-2 pumps to cover my entire face. this does have an SPF of 15.

wearing koh gen do aqua foundation alone DSC_6736

the finish is very natural. it does look like your skin but better. it is also pretty dewy on me. dry skinned ladies will love this as your skin will drink it in. if you are like me and have combo-oily skin it may be a bit too dewy for your liking. i personally like to add powder to my t-zone to tone down the shine. coverage is light to a potential medium being as it is buildable. if you have fairly clear skin with some unevenness i would assume you can get away with one pump. i have redness from acne scarring on my cheeks and one layer does not cover it enough. i use my sephora platinum 55 brush to apply but i hear the beauty blender is great for application as well.

closer look

keeping in mind i have combo-oily skin, this lasts all day on me...if the weather isn't humid. once it starts getting humid or hot out i get VERY oily and it starts to break down on me quick. i already know i wont be able to wear this during the summer as it will slide off my face. in the fall/winter it will be no problem, i will just have to blot halfway throughout my day like i normally do.

powder, bronzer, blush added

this is the hard part. this retails for $62 USD which is very pricey. more than most high end foundations. currently you can buy this on koh gen do's official website, barney's, and sephora (where i purchased it).



i like this foundation and will enjoy using it up. it has a very natural skin like finish that i love and it is very comfortable to wear. it is the perfect day time foundation for me as it isnt heavy duty coverage but it does even out my skin and blur my pores out very well. i dont like using this for nights out as the coverage isnt heavy enough and there is a very slight white cast in flash photos. nothing too dramatic like i have seen with estee lauder double wear but it IS slightly evident. i am disappointed that i will not be able to wear this on warmer days but i am happy it lasts in other situations. i would repurchase this but not right away as i want to explore the vast offerings available in the foundation world.

i WOULD recommend this foundation if:

+ you have dry skin and/or fairly clear skin
+ you love light foundations such as mac face & body, makeup forever face & body etc
+ you are curious about koh gen do and want to try out their products
+ you don't mind spending serious cash on a day time foundation

i WOULD NOT recommend this foundation if:

+ you prefer heavier coverage foundations
+ you are on a budget
+ you have a dark complexion (shade range is absurdly small and caters to pale to medium skin tones)

if you have any other questions about anything i failed to mention, just let me know!

in case you were wondering what else i was wearing:

face: KGD aqua foundation in OC-1, maybelline dream smooth powder, cargo medium matte bronzer, rock & republic blush in lust, mac lightscapade

eyes: mac quite natural paint pot, LMdB le cirque kaleidoscope 2nd tier, mac cork, mac feline, prestige my blackest lashes

lips: dior addict extreme in incognito

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