This review is for the old formulation. I first heard of this brand when I was reading an interview on Glee's makeup artist. It was said that this was the foundation brand they used on the show. I've always admired the Glee stars' makeup on TV because I thought their complexion looked so natural and glowing.
Because of the new formulation, the older ones were being sold for around half off so I took it as a chance to try this foundation out. I'm around NC20 and I use this in shade OC-1. The texture is a bit on the watery side with a thin coverage. The pores on my nose aren't really covered completely. Its strength is not really on its coverage. What I love about is how natural it looks on. It looks just like your skin because its finish looks so seamless. When I started using my other foundations again, I feel like they are a wee bit cakey compared to this. It also feels so light on, like you have no foundation on your face.
I am 43 years old and have found that as I age a lot of the foundations are making me look older by setting into lines and looking cakey...not this one, it is the best i have tried. I only purchase high end foundations and have tried about 20 different kinds over the past year. A very helpful nordstrom sales associate hooked me up with a ton of generous samples...however none of them were that wonderful. Then I read about koh gen do online and through various you tube videos and thought it might be a good line to try. If you contact their customer at koh gen do and let them know your brand and shade that currently matches you, they will send you samples for free. I contacted via email. Good luck and feel free to ask me any questions.
It's definitely not heavy coverage, but it has a lovely natural looking finish. It feels like you're not wearing anything at all, and I was told that it's mineral based so it will not oxidize or break you out. I can't give this the full 5 rating because the color selection is very limited and I'm currently mixing OC 1 and OC 2 to get a somewhat close match. Also, I still find it difficult to build coverage, as repeatedly patting my face is time consuming in the morning when I'm in a hurry to get ready for work.
So incredibly happy with this foundation, it doesn't give me pimples after use it stays on ALL DAY , doesn't make my face oily and has the perfect shade for my skin tone!
I love this foundation very light and goes on smooth makes my skin look flawless.
This is the best foundation I have ever used (the Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation is just as good). The Aqua Foundation has a little less coverage.
The ingredients are natural, it is wonderful for sensitive skin and the finish is dewy with build-able coverage. It makes my face look prettier. I heard Koh Gen Do foundations are extensively used in movies and TV shows.
i can not express enough how much this foundation has captured my heart. FINALLY a foundation that does not break me out. it makes my skin look flawless even with a breakout. its sooo expensive but i think its worth every penny. it last all day and it gives me so much confidence. it does have micro shimmer in it but it is not detectable on the skin. not one bit.
Review of new version. Updated 8 months late, 95% bottle used up.
I LOVE THIS FOUNDATION DURING THE DRY WINTER MONTHS.
I have oily-combinationskin prone to hormonal acne. I also have very sensitive skin that is very red, especially across the center of my face. I have Asian, very fair skin, about NC15-20. I am super self conscious about my pores, redness, and uneven skin texture. This foundation makes all my problems disappear.
Whether I wear sunscreen underneath or not, this foundation absorbs instantly and becomes one with my skin. It does not accentuate dry patches or exacerbate oiliness. I have no idea why, but with this foundation, I can get away without powdering on non-humid days, which has never happened to me before. HOWEVER, I don't like this foundation during the rainy spring months or humid summer. I feel like it just fades and slips off my face leaving absolutely no coverage.
I use my hands to dot/smear the product over my face, and using my fingers, blend randomly in circular motions as if it were a moisturizer, especially in areas where I want to fill in pores. I then take a damp Beauty Blender and dab on top to pick up excess foundation and even out any streaks.
I'm left with perfectly even skin that looks like skin, and not makeup! The finish is not satin, not matte. I would describe it as skin-like, if that's a thing. It's almost dewy, but not quite. It just makes your skin look better.
I wear the shade 213. It's very yellow, no beige. It covers my redness perfectly, and is not too dark at all, which was my initial fear. Because it covers redness so well, my boyfriend commented, "Why is your face so white today?" when I wore it without blush! Those are great words to hear for someone who's been ashamed of rosacea for the longest time.
For my cystic hormonal acne, it doesn't cover up the purple bumps. I use concealer for that.
It lasts pretty much all day, 8-10 hours. Obviously, by the end, my oiliness will have ruined it, but it's kind of expected. I just love how lightweight this feels, yet how much coverage it has. Definite recommend for any skin type, even for oily if you live in a non-humid climate.
Review old formula (5 stars):
This is my favourite foundation! The reason I love this is because of the natural result, your skin looks like skin with this on. It's very watery and the coverage is sheer but you can build it up to a medium. It has no scent, hate scents in my face so I'm so happy about this! My skin doesn't breakout by this and it's very mild on my sensitive skin. I have scaly eczema and looks dry with makeup on, but this doesn't accentuate the flakes. It feels light and is very easy to use. The finish is satin, start out dewy but dries down.The wear time is medium, could be better. My skin tone is NC15-20 (think it's a NC18) - I have the shade BE-1 which is a tiny bit too dark and beige for me, but I like the very light yellow tone it has. I bought it over the internet (they don't sell this brand in my country) so I don't know if another colour would be better, maybe the OC-1. The packaging is in nice matte glass with a great pump that's easy get the amount you need out.
There is a new formula now, which I'm looking forward to try. If someone know which shade or maybe two shades I could mix to fit a fair yellow NC18, I would be thankful! My skin is close to the By Terry Sheer Expert 3 cream beige.
Update 18/4-14; NEW formula (3 stars);
I now give this 3 stars instead of the 5 stars for the old formula, sadly. It's still a nice mild scent free foundation. BUT it's not as traceless and natural as before. The coverage is now higher (medium to above) and it has a thicker consistency. It's gives more of a matte finish and it accentuate my dry areas. But the staying power is better now. There is some sparkles in it. I think if you don't have problems with dry skin/eczema like me, this could be beautiful and perfect! I have the 213 which is the new BE-1, it's a touch darker than the old. 213 is about a nc23 I would say, I mix a bit of the Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation in 001 to get a nc18-20.
Recent edit on Oct 3, 2014: This until today is still my holy grail daily foundation, simply because nothing else compares to its HD finish and the color match for me. I do have two complains though. One is that towards the end of the day, the foundation does melt on my face, so if I'm expecting a super long day I won't wear this (My HG long-lasting foundation is the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24 hour, but I prefer Koh Gen Do's natural finish most of the time). The second complaint is that I noticed that it sometimes my acne can get worse if I don't set the foundation well with powder. I think it's because there is skin moisturizing ingredients present in the formula. Those are good to keep your skin hydrated, but it could worsen my acne to some extend. It's nothing major, and you can compensate for this by using a good oil-absorbing setting powder. Overall this foundation is still ranked as the number one out of the NUMEROUS foundations that I've tried.
Color: I am a NC20. I have it in the color 213 (on Sephora's website, it says it's a new shade) and it's pretty much a perfect match for me. I would compare the color to shade 764 of Shu Uemura's face architect smooth fit fluid foundation. In fact, I think there are many aspects that these two foundations are comparable on (as you will see). The color 213 is a good, yellow-based color, but not too overly yellow that it makes you look sick when you wear multiple layers of the foundation.
Consistency: This foundation is very fluid. It's more fluid, and thinner than Shu Uemura's face architect smooth fit fluid foundation. It is very easy to blend. What's superior about this foundation is that it doesn't contain alcohol like the Shu Uemura foundation does.
Coverage: I would describe the coverage as a solid medium coverage. If you are just looking to cover some redness on your face and even out your skin tone overall, this foundation definitely does the job well. Of course application method matters. I apply it with Real Technique's buffing brush (mostly with a dabbing motion), and it's able to cover most of the imperfections on my face, including 80% of the dark acne scars on my chin (I just need to dab a little concealer over them if I want a completely perfect complexion).
Finish: Again, I'm comparing this foundation with the Shu Uemura one on the finish. This foundation has more of a subtle dewy finish. It's a finish that reminds me of how real skin should look like (I guess that's the whole point of being a high-definition foundation). When the foundation sets, you can't quite detect it on your face like you do with the Shu Uemura foundation, which is a big plus for me.
Staying power: I'm currently living in a place where it's super cold in winter. My oily combination skin has been suffering from the extreme weather. As a result, my T zone is oily, but my cheeks are extremely dry, sometimes to the point of flaking. Luckily, this foundation does not accentuate the dry patches on my cheeks, and surprisingly, it seems to stay well on the oily parts of my face as well! When I wear this foundation, I get the feeling that it melts into my skin--I rarely get this melting feeling from foundations. Most foundations stay on top of my skin. I feel like they either never set on the dry areas of my face, or become patchy on the oily parts of my skin.
Packaging: This foundation comes in a clear glass bottle with a pump. The pump is easy to use. In general I'm happy with the packaging except that it's not so travel-friendly.
Overall, this is definitely one of the best foundation I've tried so far. And I promise you, I've tried many many foundations from high end brands to drug store ones. Even if the price tag isn't lovely, I'm happy with this purchase so far. I would strongly encourage people who can afford it to try it out. I see it being a HG daily foundation for lots of skin types if you can find a shade that works for you. Well done Goh gen do!