Koh Gen Do is a Japanese makeup brand specializing in HD makeup. I currently have the Aqua Foundation in OC-1, which is a pretty good match for my Mac NC20 skin tone. I would say that the coverage this foundation gives is buildable, with the initial pump being a sheer-to-light coverage foundation (buildable to medium coverage). The finish is beautiful--a slight luminosity emanates from the skin. The foundation is dispensed through a pump, which is very convenient and avoids unsanitary contamination.
I initially purchased PK-1 because this seemed to be the more popular choice (compared to OC-1)--even for fair, warm-skinned gals. However, I found PK-1 not as effective at covering the redness I battle with around my nose--PK-1 was returned in favor of OC-1. That being said, do not expect this foundation to cover significant flaws. If you're looking for a truly flawless face, you will either need to pair this foundation with concealer or skip this foundation all together. Or, you may prefer the heavier coverage of the Maifanshi Moisture Foundation. I actually prefer a relatively natural-looking face, so the Aqua Foundation is just right for me.
This is awesome. I will always repurchase. I've been using this foundation for about a year and a half and I always come back to it. I am always looking for "the" perfect foundation and get sometimes get bored and try new foundations, but I keep coming back to this. I love it because it is SO hard to find a foundation with 1. "good" ingredients, 2. unfragranced, 3. good coverage, 4. doesn't feel heavy, feels like your skin can "breathe," 5. gives a luminous/airbrushed finish without sparkles or glitter-, 6. never looks cakey, doesn't oxidize-- and this foundation does ALL of these things. At least on my normal/dry skin it does. And major score for me, it has sun protection that is a 100% physical sunscreen. I don't like using chemical sunscreens and so many products have it, even high end like Chanel. Which is so frustrating. But KGD gets it right and I love it. It is expensive but for what you get I think it's really worth it. There are many similarly priced foundation (or higher) that don't perform as well, are smelly and have less than impressive ingredients. Packaging is my favorite kind (pump dispenser, hygienic yay), my only wish is that the bottle was plastic and not glass. The frosted glass bottle is beautiful but not practical for traveling, not to mention worries about it shattering if I drop it. This foundation is difficult to find in stores for in-person swatching, but you can get a trial kit from the company's website, and I have heard their customer service will help you pick a shade by phone. I think others have said this already but the "OC" colors are "ochre" ie yellow based shades, the "PK" shades are pink based, and BE is beige so an equal balance of yellow and pink. Really really lovely foundation. If you are in NYC, I've seen this at the Sephora in the meatpacking district (and union square too I think), as well as Barneys.
This is a beautiful, luxurious foundation in every sense. The frosted glass bottle is gorgeous, and so is the product inside. I hesitate giving it '5 stars' only because I think you do need to begin with relatively flawless skin in order to have it work for you and be satisfied (i.e. feel like you're getting your money's worth). I fall into that category, so I'm very pleased with this foundation. It gives sheer, light, natural-looking coverage; it's completely undetectable on the skin.This will make you look like you have a perfect glowly complexion and not look like your wearing makeup.
This foundation is similar to a tinted moisturizer, which makes me like it more than most. In fact, based on its claims, I think that's what it is. It's runny as many have said, but that helps make it more spreadable/blendable. One pump is plenty. The finish is believable. My one complaint is the range of shades. I have OC-3, which would be pretty ashy on me if I had a tan. The price is a bit obscene, but I can't say I'm not happy with it. Good foundation is hard to find!
I love this product. I have combination skin and visible pores. I don't like to wear much makeup. This foundation gives me just the right amount of coverage and looks incredibly natural. Better-than-my-skin skin! I use PK-0. Definitely recommend.
I was so excited to get this foundation! I read many positive reviews so I guess I did have some high expectations.
The foundation come in a frosty glass with a pump. Yay for no bacteria in my makeup! The instructions say 2-4 pumps depending on the kind of coverage you're looking for. I started off with one. The consistency is a bit thin and runny. It applies so well onto the skin though. It almost melds in with your skin tone. Coverage with one pump is light to medium. The finish appears satiny and glow, not matte at all. Skin just looks luminous, natural and healthy. It feels great too. It has held up for me for about 5-6 hours which is fine. I got OC-3. I'm about an nc30-35, probably leaning towards the 35 more with slight yellow tones.
Will definitely repurchase again.
I wore this for a week straight on a trip and I was constantly being complimented on my skin.
I LOVE this foundation. Love it, love it, love it. The finish is luminous but mattifying, and applies beautifully alone and on top of a primer. Lasts all day and doesn't break me out.
That being said, it's pricey and color-matching is difficult. I'm a brunette NW20/MUFE 117/UD 2.0 and PK-2 is a pretty close match to my skin.
I love how this looks, and I love the pump bottle. I would say this is my HG, but I'm too product-ADD to commit.
This is one of my favorite foundations! It has light-meduim coverage and gives a slightly dewy (but not overly) finish. I like to use a buffing brush (Real Techniques Buffing Brush) or a stippling brush (Mac 187) with two pumps of it. It looks like I have just gotten a facial afterwards. I hate heavy, cakey foundations and this one is definitely not that. Having acne/clog prone and combo-oily skin, I have difficulty finding a foundation that doesn't emphasize the unevenness and bumps but the KGD Aqua foundation makes my skin look a lot more smooth, even though I still need a bit of concealer afterwards. I wear shade PK-0 and am about NW10-15. This cost $62 from Sephora.com.
Skin type: Acne-prone; sensitive; dehydrated skin that gets *really* oily throughout the day.
Shade: OC-2 (medium skin w/ yellow undertone)
I bought this foundation because I read so many glowing reviews on various makeup blogs. I thought the price ($62) was borderline absurd for a light-coverage foundation but caved because wearing a heavy foundation everyday was starting to become a problem since it made my skin feel heavy and caked up.
Yes, the packaging is gorgeous. The bottle is a heavy glass with a frosted finish that makes it look/feel expensive and luxurious. The pump is functional and like all others, hygienic -- I must warn though: it can dispense too much put too much pressure on it, which is quite easy since the foundation is so runny.
Speaking of runny; the texture is like a slightly thicker version of water color paint. This foundation is definitely most liquid-y compared to my other foundations/BB creams (Lancome's Teint Idole 24h, Missha's Real Complete/Perfect Cover, and Revlon's Colorstay). Thankfully, it does blend very well.
Coverage-wise, this tends to run on the light-medium side. It's not completely sheer, but it doesn't cover enough to make your face completely flawless. It does get rid of most of my redness pretty well, even though it doesn't cover my red scars from previous breakouts at all.
So I have mixed effects from this foundation. When I'm in school in the east coast, I can NOT wear this foundation. In literally 2 hours, it completely disappears on my face. Even during the winter (when I bought this foundation), it did not last beyond a couple of hours, when topped with powder and a skin-finishing mist (skindinavia). However, now that I'm back in the west coast and it's really dry, I wear this foundation daily because it's the only one that my skin can breathe in. In fact, this foundation lasts about 4 hours on my skin here with a skin-finishing mist. Even when I'm out in the intense sunlight for 2+ hours for volunteer work, this foundation still manages to look natural and is actually still on my face (LOL). I think the humidity + natural skin oil on my face dissolves this foundation like no other, so take these words with a grain of salt all those who live in humid areas with oily skin!
One thing that I really like about this foundation is that unlike other foundations, it does not make my face patchy at the end of the day! Because I have dehydrated skin, foundations tend to grab a hold on to those annoying flaky pieces of skin and intensify their gross-ness by the end of the day. This holds especially true because most foundations that I own are very mattifying. In addition, it does not break me out. Thank goodness Koh Gen Do was wise enough to leave out heavy fragrances from this product!
So is this foundation worth the money? If you don't battle hormonal zits that pop up once a month and leave red scars all over your skin, then this foundation will definitely work for you. Especially, if you're looking for a lighter-feeling splurge item. However, to be completely honest here, most companies are starting to come out with great light foundations now and I suggest trying those first before buying this one. I still think $62 is *A LOT* to spend on one foundation.
I do have to admit that this foundation looks pretty flawless, upon application. However, if you sweat just a little, your face may end up looking more like a horror show. This must be a water based foundie, that's the only thing I can come up with for it not lasting when water or sweat gets introduced. Shu Uemura's Face Architect is similar, in that it fades fast, is water based, and has similar coverage/texture.
I did, and do like this foundation, and that's why I tried 4 or 5 colors before settling on one. I'm light-med, with yellow/warm undertones. PK-1 maybe the most neutral of the line, besides BE-1. PK-1 was very close to my level, but the tone was a bit off, making me look grey and sickly. PK-2 isn't much darker than PK-1, but it's much more pink. OC-1 is light yellow, but not as light as PK-1. The yellow in OC-1 isn't as yellow as say Shu Uemura's foundations. OC-2 is warm to almost brown and is a huge step from OC-1, especially in comparison to PK-1 & PK-2. I ened up with loving OC-1.
In summary, I really like this foundation, but it's not conducive to heat, exertion, warmth, or any sweating. This is even after I tried different setting/matte powders. It made no difference. I may retry it at a latter time with a drawer find (Mac Prep+Prime 50SPF). At the moment, I'm in sunny California and it's still summer. I'm heading to South/Central America, where I know this will be a hot mess, pun not intended.
Negatives: Wearbility, Access to the product for a proper color match, the pump gets messy fast.
Pros: Gorgeous and easy application/look. I did end up finding a color match. This is a Asian brand, so yellow toned girls rejoice. Covers well (even light acne, concealer for the rest) and is buildable, without looking cakey or greasy.
It's being drawered for now, with the expectation that winter will be the best fit for me and this foundation. continued >>