Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation


58 reviews

77% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.4

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 4.4

Price: $$$$


(BE-1, PK-1, 0C-1, 0C-2): Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Sea Water, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Mica, Glycerin, Phytosteryl / Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Sodium Chloride. Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Acrylates Polytrimethyl Siloxymethacrylate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol. Dimethicone. Phenoxyethanol, Stearic Acid, Aluminum Dimyristate, Silica, Zirconium Dioxide. Talc, Isostearyl Sebacate, Alumina, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Squalane, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Betula Alba Juice, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Glucosyl Hesperidin, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Betula Alba Bark Extract, Kjellmaniella Gyrate Extract, Algae Extract, Alpinia Speciosa Leaf Extract, Iron Oxides

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

My 3-star rating is for the new formulation with the three digit shade numbers; the OLD formulation in BE-1 was my absolute, hands-down, HG favorite foundation, repurchased multiple times, but the new formulation doesn't even compare. It's average at best.

Foundations are my makeup addiction; I buy foundations like most girls I know buy eye shadow (I usually prefer liquids but have also bought cream and powder on occasion, in addition to TMs, BBs and CCs). Any time I see a new foundation I have to try it because my skin tone is hard to match: "fair beige" is the best description I can come up with, but most foundations tend to lean heavily on the pink end of the spectrum for fair gals, although lately I've noticed more yellow options (I know MAC has options for Warm, Cool, Neutral, and various combinations of those, but I've never found a MAC liquid foundation that's worked for me). After I found BE-1, I thought I was set for life... and then of course they reformulated. It was hard to find a new color match so I bought both 002 (fair/pink) and 113 (light/yellow), neither being a perfect BE-1, but 113 being closer. I read that 213 is actually the most "beige" in the line and was supposed to be the closest to BE-1, but that it was darker than BE-1 so I didn't buy it because I really couldn't go any darker! 113 is okay, but it's just not quite right. I'm probably the only person to notice that it isn't perfect, but it's hard to compete with BE-1 ranking so highly in my regard.

However, even outside of the color change, I really dislike the new formulation. BE-1 was lightweight but also highly pigmented, never settled into lines or emphasized my pores, and had just the right amount of moisture without turning my face into a shiny mess halfway through the day (also I wear glasses so even though I don't have oily skin in general, oils always separate on my nose, but it was hardly noticeable when wearing BE-1). The new formulation (in both 002 and 113) is thicker but has less pigmentation, and also feels drier; it's missing that moisturizing feel, and the dryness settles into and accentuates my pores (even when worn over moisturizer). It also separates pretty badly on my nose.

I should note that I still have about 1/4 of a bottle of BE-1, so I was able to compare it to the new formulation without being nostalgic and looking back on the old formula with rose-colored glasses. I wore all 3 shades (BE-1, 002, and 113) on 3 consecutive days and both of the new bottles felt/wore the same as each other so the new formula is consistent, but the new stuff just doesn't hold a candle to my BE-1.

Overall, if you've tried and loved the old formulation, I wouldn't bother with this one - it just doesn't compare. If you've never tried it, I'd say it's not worth the money so again, don't bother (even if you find it half-price on Hautelook, unless you're reeeeeally curious, I'd skip it).

on 3/26/2015 9:08:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Black

yes I would buy this foundation again despite its ridiculous price tag (SGD 80). it's a natural finish, a truly your skin but better texture. I have dry-ish areas of my face, but this foundation does wonders for my skin and is very long lasting as well. my only qualm is the cap of the pump and it's glass, the shade is very very limited.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 2/22/2015 7:45:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Silver, Other, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

Upon email request, Koh Gen Do sent me samples of this foundation based on the color swatches I viewed from on their website. This is a lovely foundation but not for mature, dry skin in the winter. The best color match for me was the 113 but slightly too yellow for my medium, fair skin with cool undertones. This foundation did emphasize several dry patches and pores but I assume was caused by not wearing a good moisturizer under the foundation. Thus, one should definitely prep with good moisturizer. A bit overpriced too!

On the up side. The foundation did stay on the entire day over 8 hours and has a good SPF. The sample powder blush in PK was awesome as well as their cleansing water. Will order those two items for sure.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 2/14/2015 2:54:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

In 2013, I purchased the old formulation of the Maifanshi Aqua Foundation in OC-2 from Sephora. I found this the best for my combination, hormonal acneic skin as it did not break me out, nor make me too oily in the summer. I liked that the finish in natural light was radiant but not oily. However, in flash photography this made me look too white, where my face did not match the color of my body. I assume the white color could be due to the SPF 15/PA++ in the formulation.

To rectify this, I mixed my existing OC-2 with the Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation in #123 in the winters and in the summer with the Moisture Foundation shade #301 to deepen the color from a tan. In addition, I made sure not to use a brightening primer or HD powder and I also used a bit of Aqua Illuminator in IL01 to deflect that white cast in photos.

I know this foundation has since been reformulated but curious to follow up if other users have had problems with the white cast?

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 12/18/2014 10:36:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation in one word is amazing. I have hormonal acne which can get very aggravated and angry, and I also suffer from allergies which can leave my skin very dry. This foundation is my saviour. Even when my skin is very bad underneath I still get compliments on how great my skin looks- it really does give a natural glow. It looks like skin, is extremely moisturising, long lasting, makes redness disappear, looks amazing in photos and even better than any of these benefits at the end of the day when I take the makeup off my skin doesn't feel worse for wear. It really is that gentle.

I have purchased nearly the whole Goh Ken Do range, and I recommend it as an important investment in their skin to anyone who has similar skin issues to me.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 11/29/2014 12:41:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

For reference, I have dehydrated-normal acne-prone skin that is prone to flaking. I have been looking for a foundation that would work with my skin type and gave samples of this a shot.

I tried applying this foundation various ways (fingers, brush, stippling, beautyblender) and over various products (bare skin, moisturizer, sunscreen) to no avail. No matter what, in less than 30 minutes it emphasizes every flake on my face and has dried into some horrible reptilian finish. I have never seen my face look as dry as with this. It might look okay over a primer heavy with silicones but that is not part of my normal routine, and for the price I do not think another product should be necessary.

I was not impressed with this foundation at all and would not recommend purchasing without trying it beforehand.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 11/23/2014 5:16:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

One of the best foundations I have ever tried: beautiful coverage, blends beautifully, the color (012) illuminates my face in a natural way. The SPF is also a great benefit, not to mention that the ingredient list contains so many natural products. Good, hygienic packaging. I wear it everyday when I go to work and it is light enough for my skin so that I don`t break out or have any spots in the morning. The only downside to it is that I cannot use it in the winter, as it is a little too drying in cold weather.

Update: I just realized that while the product in one of these pics looks the same as the one I am using (the reddish hue bottle), the Japanese version of this foundation that I was writing about is a little different than the American one. For one thing, in Japan this has SPF 24 PA++, while in US it is only SPF 15. Also was surprised that many reviewers complained that the American version is so sheer. The Japanese version provides pretty good coverage in my opinion.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 9/11/2014 3:38:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Nothing spectacular... I guess it all depends on what kind of coverage you like. If you like a sheer coverage with a nice finish this is ok. I have to have a medium at best.. Just what I prefer.. Spending this amount of money on something sheer seems pointless to me. Might as well get a good tinted moisturizer. The IT Cosmetics CC cream delivers a prettier finish with a whole lot more coverage..

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

on 7/10/2014 1:37:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I bought this from Japan a few years ago and I use it for work. I'm a flight attendant and work 11 hour shifts and this product works great! I think I paid about $57, which is a little more than what I would normally pay for foundation. But in my opinion, it is worth it! I read somewhere that this product line was created for actors/actresses who wear makeup all day. That's why it really does work great for every day wear or for long lasting wear like I do for work. It prevents my face from getting shiny and oily like other foundations would do if I wore it for 11 hours. It feels light (not thick or oily at all!) and it blends really smoothly. I had a Koh Gen Do sponge that came with it but I had to eventually throw it out. The sponge is fantastic too! It doesn't absorb all of the liquid makeup like a lot of sponges do. So now since I don't have their sponge, I just use my finger tips to apply and then blend with a generic sponge.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 6/22/2014 11:52:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Warm

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

So first off, I think this is a great product - it really is. It goes on very smooth and doesn't settle into any lines or anything, which is great. I got color 113 and it was a little yellow for my pink skin, but blended well. The only reason I can't wear it anymore is because my skin is extremely sensitive and it made me break out everywhere, so I really just can't keep putting it on. I have a face full of little bumps after using it for only a week. If your skin is oily you're going to want to use a primer or setting powder of some sort, as I found near the end of the work day it started to cake and "slide off".

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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