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Foundations - Koh Gen Do - Aqua Foundation



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rated 4.6(50 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.6
  • 84% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.4
  • Price: $$$$

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rated 4 of 5 on 1/22/2012 11:11:00 PM More reviews by jaeselle

Age: 36-43 Skin: Dry, Medium, Cool Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Green

I found the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation OC2 at Barneys and i fell in love with the sheer medium coverage of it. Its got a nice yellow undertone and cancels out the ruddiness that my skin pulls. I dont even have to use any translucent powder to set this, it sets itself.

I have gotten many complements on it for a week now. It's not very drying either which is nice. I also like that and it's build-able. Its closest to Chanel Vitalumiere that I have found. I still like the Chanel, im just trying new foundations.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 12/30/2011 2:51:00 AM More reviews by izzybella

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Brown

At first I didn't like this foundation, but it's definitely grown on me. Initially, I found the consistency to be really thin and light in coverage. 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. However, overall the finish is very natural and dewy, and the SPF is nice, althought it will make you look white in photos.



For reference, I wear NC30 in MAC, NARS Punjab, BE 1.2/2.0 light, Shu Uemura 754 and Shiseido Ochre 20.

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rated 5 of 5 on 12/14/2011 10:14:00 PM More reviews by Juno360

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool Hair: Red, Straight, Fine Eyes: Blue

I tried 10 different foundations before this one - some were good, some were very good. This one is perfect.
They don't have a wide color range (though if you buy from them directly there are more than at Sephora) but I am lucky that the PK-1 is the best color match I've ever found.

The coverage is sheer - which suits me - and I only use a single drop, applied with a brush. If I want slightly heavier coverage I use 2 drops and my fingers. It's the only foundation I've ever used where I really don't see the foundation at all, I just look amazingly healthy and finished, but my skin still shows through in a really pretty way,

Am also thrilled that the sunblock is zinc oxide/titanium barrier not a chemical block, which I will not wear.

If you prefer light/sheer coverage I HIGHLY recommend this. I'm pretty much in love with it and have no plans to try another foundation.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 10/21/2011 3:53:00 PM More reviews by Blush88

Age: 36-43 Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Red, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I love Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation!! I use it personally and on my brides or events that I do. It lasts throughout the day and gives your skin a natural glowing look. By far one of the best foundations I ever used...and I've used them all - MAC, Chanel, RCMA, MakeUpForever, etc. A touch goes a long way and covers perfectly. I apply with my hands or a brush and then blend with a sponge.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 10/21/2011 2:38:00 PM More reviews by dbisbano

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Hazel

Just a phenomenal product. Worth every penny. Truly.

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rated 5 of 5 on 5/10/2011 11:23:00 AM More reviews by arodwhat

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

This foundation is now in rotation with my other HG(Chanel Lift Lumiere). I was so lucky to receive this in a swap. I also received a deluxe sample of the KGD foundation illuminator and maifanshi powder in the swap, so I use them in conjunction with one another. So I guess this is kind of reviewing all three products. I start out with a fresh face and apply the illuminator to my cheekbones using my fingers. Still using my fingers, I then apply a thin layer of foundation all over my face and neck. I apply a second layer to areas that are red or broken out. Then I set it all with the powder. It truly gives the most airbrushed HD effect I have ever seen. At the same time, it still looks like my skin. My skin with an inner glow. I can be kind of lazy when it comes to make up and with a 3-step process of applying foundation I would normally not bother, but I love the look it creates so much that I want to apply it every day. My skin looks great both in person and in pictures with all of these products applied. Also, none of them break me out at all and I break out very easily. I use the lightest shade of foundation (PK-1) and although it is might be a smidgen too dark for PPP me, it still looks good. I am cool toned and I think this is pretty neutral so it could be used for any complexion. I have been using this product in the winter and spring so I am hoping that it passes the summer humidity test. If it does, then it will be my sole HG because lift lumiere doesn't do very well in summer for me.

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 5/9/2011 5:06:00 PM More reviews by kisa

Age: 30-35 Skin: Other, Fair, Neutral Hair: Other, Other, Medium Eyes: Green

I just love this foundation. I am a long-time acne sufferer and have scars to prove it. Also, I have a whole stash of foundation that did not work (change color, makes face more shiny, not enough coverage, heavy fragrance, just generally unpleasant, itchy and irritatating on the skin). This one is just wonderful. Great coverage, unscented, easy to work with, has this amazing liquid texture that just feels so good going on my skin. No itchiness, no feeling like I am wearing a mask and need to wash my face, no shiny patches, no color changes. I do wish they made it in even lighter color (I am using the lightest right now, but feel like it has a little bit of yellow to it), but I use a little lighter powder and it all kind of works out. It will be the best in summer, though. And of course - the final effect looks amazing, like my skin, but much much better. I will be buying it again and again.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 2 of 5 top reviewer on 4/11/2011 9:27:00 AM More reviews by sdg13

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I fortunately purchased the makeup sampler of this to try before buying it in store and I'm sorry to say I did not like it. I tried it with and without the correcting primers that they make and found in both cases that it tended to settle into fine lines which is something I definitely don't need. It seems like there are more colors available for skin matching and there is an SPF in at least the primers.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 3/4/2011 2:06:00 PM More reviews by Hayne

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Cool Hair: Blond, Curly, Medium Eyes: Green

This is really a super foundation. Light-to-medium coverage with layering. I found the best way with this foundation is a sponge. I pat it into my skin and then pat their powder with a puff into my skin. It is very natural looking. This is a HD foundation. I wear it in OC-1 They are super generous with their samples at Barney's NY. Their products are super gentle on the skin and no artificial ingredients. They have some nice skin care products that I have liked also.

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 2/24/2011 11:14:00 PM More reviews by golightly

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

I actually wrote 10 reviews just so I could review this Koh Gen Do foundation. When I was back in the States I visited Barneys, which resulted in a bounty of products that I'm completely in love with.


The aqua foundation comes in a solid, weighty glass pump bottle with a cap and you have to shake it to get an equal distribution of pigment. One pump disperses enough for the entire face. The texture is a quite slippery and thin fluid, but creamy when applied to the face. Coverage is light-medium, enough to even out skin and minimize sun spots, but not covering everything entirely. I like foundations that are light on the skin (such as Chantecaille Future Skin) and this fits the bill. It's also pretty moisturizing, which is important for the super-dry city I'm living in now. This does not have a great shade range, with only four shades, but doesn't change color while wearing either, which is a problem I had with the Armani foundation. I'm OC1 in this (Chantecaille Future skin in camomile, Laura Mercier TM in nude, Armani LSF in 5). I can see it lasting for a while, since it doesn't require a lot to get the evening-out effect that I'm looking for. It's not a lot of foundation for the price -- $55 for 1 fl oz. There's also sunblock in the formulation, SPF 15 or PA++. I use Skinceuticals sheer physical block underneath, so it doesn't really matter for me.


The reason I felt so compelled to write about this product is that the effect of this foundation is astounding. I've tried Chanel Teint Innocence (mask like, bad color match), Armani Face Fabric (looked flat and not great coverage); Armani LSF (turned orange and felt weirdly silicone-y); Chantecaille Future Skin (in rotation, but requires a pretty good skin day and better for summer/more humid environments); Laura Mercier tm (good for luminosity but maybe a little too luminous, and a bit heavy on the skin). With this foundation, I get the perfect balance of texture, weightlessness, and coverage for me. And the plus is that my skin looks just like my skin -- that is if my skin was luminous, had smaller pores and a wonderful glowing, satiny quality. It's this inwardly glowing effect that makes me feel like I have the skin of a model, and I definitely do not -- having grown up in California, with pretty bad breakouts, I now have lots of sunspots and enlarged pores, plus definite loss of glow, or "bloom," as Jane Austen would say. With this foundation, I get this wonderfully translucent effect, brightening, skin I didn't even have as a teenager. I really, really like it. I hope this relationship works out.


Update 3/7/2011: I was wearing this at a lunch out, and someone said that I, of a group of 16 people, had the best skin. I've never had a compliment on my skin before....


INGREDIENTS (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

48 out of 48 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No