Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation

Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation
Aqua FoundationAqua FoundationAqua FoundationLmdB and KGDLmdB and KGD family


118 reviews

72% 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

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on 3/22/2014 6:29:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Hazel

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.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Review of new version. Updated 8 months late, 95% bottle used up.


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.

16 of 16 people found this helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

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.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

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 complaints 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!

10 of 10 people found this helpful.

on 3/3/2014 1:36:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Black, Wavy, Other

Eyes: Black

I got the reformulated version, shade 213, I'm about a NW25.
It's a very natural foundation, but not as "naturally dewy" as my Bobbi Brown skin foundation. I find it not very runny as others have stated. But my skin is dry.
So I make it more dewy by mixing 3:1 ratio of foundation to face oil - I used Argan oil. It produced just the right amount of dewyness and made me look like one of those Korean actress. Maybe it's the oil that does it, but this foundation is great to be mixed with oil.
Overall great natural fdt, for dry skin moisturize heavier before hand.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

on 1/28/2014 5:32:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

OMG one of the best foundation I've ever used. Medium coverage, which I wasn't expect in the first place. Light weight but covers my acne scars very well. The staying power is amazing, comparable to Estée Lauder double wear! I'm Nc20-ish and BE01 matches my skin pretty good - it has some yellow tone in it which I prefer. I bought it from haute look on sale so the price does not bother me a lot. Overall a great foundation

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

For something that claims to be made of dragon tears and promises, it delivers. Everything is perfect except for color scheme (oc2 fits me I'm nc25-30 ATM but I think the new system color 213 would've been ever better), price, and packaging. Seriously? A loose magnetic closure cap with glass body is just asking for trouble. I almost dropped it twice.

First of all this is a medium coverage, not sheer. It's enough to cover everything except for dark spots and major redness in the first coat. Layer another on and you have perfect skin.
I had to use concealer for my acne scars (pigmented not textured.) The finish is like a satin studio fix fluid. It looks like makeup because your skin is hyper-perfect. I do still see some pores and my laugh lines but everything is softened. It's not as if it's a full coverage nor is it any Chanel vitalumiere aqua. The overall look is almost dewy if you don't set it.

Lasting power, however, is what takes the cake. It's not only that it lasts through 8 hours, but it lasts as if you've just applied foundation within the hour. Paired with hourglass no 28 primer, my nose flakes are nowhere to be seen. There's nothing sliding around, or caking in the corner, and nothing has disappeared from the picture. This is what makes it a step above other HE foundations, because many sheerer HE brand foundations may apply beautifully but look plain or boring after a workday. This stays!!

I will report back for any clogged pores or acne reactions within the month, but this is just wow. Some things are worth their price. It's hard to describe. It's like having the best makeup face in the world, not pretending that Im not wearing any.

17 of 17 people found this helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Having spent thousands of dollars on every high end or organic foundation in existence I can say this is the only foundation I can wear on a daily basis. Sheer natural coverage, DOESN'T MAKE ME BREAK OUT, okay lasting power, doesn't give me pimples, some SPF protection, did I mention my skin stays clear wearing this???? I love it. I wish it had a little more lasting power and coverage, but on weekends I just wear some powder over it and have a flawless complexion. Def buy again.

4 of 5 people found this helpful.

on 8/5/2013 1:12:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

Based on my sample of PK1 this is not for me, and this is the lightest and pinkest of the color selection available. I found this color very, very yellow, the formula rather greasy and the coverage far too sheer to be of value to me. Lastly this enhanced my small pores. Clearly on my pale PPP skin tone this looked sickly sallow. Pass.

UPDATE: Bought PK0 and LOVE the color, which being cooler looks custom blended to my complexion. Used with or without primer I have a great outcome. The one negative for me is that although I don't have oily skin I always finish this with a very light dusting of loose mineral powder. The issue I have with this line is that the color difference from tone to tone is great and not at all subtle, but, if a color works for you (and you lean dry)I highly recommend this foundation

7 of 9 people found this helpful.

on 5/2/2013 11:43:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

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.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

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