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

Start your review

on 2/24/2011 11:14:00 PM

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

58 of 59 people found this helpful.

on 4/16/2018 9:03:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

Please don't skewer my head on a stake for this review. I LOVE this company! I LOVE their OTHER foundation - the Maifashani Moisture Foundation in the tube in 002. I have combo skin as I am now 52, but it is OILY. The Moisture Foundation DOES NOT make it oily. You can see my "Cadillac Recipe Review" if you wish. It does have silicones in it, but not enough, or the ones to bother me.

DISCLAIMER: This review is 2 STARS because it was ruined for my by silicone ingredients, thus this is specifically written only to catch the attention of the undiagnosed "silicone sufferer" out there. They are considered good ingredients. The HIGH majority of EVERY foundation available will be full of these ingredients, and WILL NOT BE NEARLY AS GOOD AS Koh-Gen-do's Aqua Foundation. So, IF you are going to try a new FOUNDATION (WITH SILICONES) DO TRY THIS KOH GEN DO AQUA FOUNDATION.

Silicones make foundation spread and cover like a bouncy dream. They DO NOT AFFECT EVERYONE ADVERSELY. What happens: A few minutes after a "dream application" of silicate heavy foundations (most of them), it is like you put a plastic grocery store bag over my face and head (is it a toy now?) and I start to sweat UNDER the foundation and producing - well some oily condensation under the now "mask" of the foundation. Very much like your car windows get "sweaty" inside when it is raining and you have to turn the fan on and a/c to see out and cool it down. And then the foundation is not "one" with your skin anymore which is also a problem.

About 5 years ago while at Sephora I decided to try foundations other than Chanel. After trying all YSL foundations and others, the following happened: the smoothest best bouncy coverage - for about two minutes. Then the sweaty underneath the foundation effect as described in the car . Then I wanted to blot, but how do you blot underneath your foundation? Then I had to get it the hell off of my face. -WHY? WHAT was happening? I asked both MUA at Sephora. One knew: silicones. Then the web clued me in more. I found a "haters of silicones" type of site. BOOM! they listed all my problems.

Based on the reviews here most people are overjoyed. However, if you find yourself loving this line and this foundation the first few minutes but cannot account for a bad effect later and blame yourself, don't. You might have skin that does not like the silicone/s. Beauty products will be much more difficult to find because you now have to beauty read labels. They are in everything under so many names it is mindboggling. The good news: there are now products that advertise "silicone-free". I will say that I can use products with some in the mix, just not a majority.

Here are some various forms they come in: from "www.beautyeditor.ca" At end I will leave their opinion that I share.

The easiest way to identify silicones on product labels is to look for words that end in one of these:




see site..

Keep in mind, silicones can lurk in all of the following types of products:(I left all the harcare out due to space- hair touches skin).

Face oils
Face masks
Face mists
Acne treatments
Anti-aging treatments
BB and CC creams
Tinted moisturizers
Setting sprays

7 Reasons to Avoid Silicones on Your Skin

Michelle VillettMar 27, 2017
1. Silicones trap debris in your pores.
Like plastic wrap, silicones form a barrier on top of your skin. That barrier can lock in moisture, yes, but it can also trap dirt, sweat, bacteria, sebum, dead skin cells and other debris along with it!
2. Silicones can cause acne and congestion.
Prolonged exposure to oil, dead skin and bacteria underneath the semi-occlusive seal of silicones can lead to increased breakouts. If you are acne-prone, I consider silicones among the most important ingredients to avoid—maybe even THE most important. Silicones can also be a culprit in under-the-skin clogs,(Makeup primers are a culprit behind congested skin).
3. Silicones can make your skin dull and dehydrated.
Silicones could also be clogging your pores, but manifesting as dryness and dullness instead of acne. Not only do silicones prevent additional moisture from getting in, but the impacted materials can dehydrate your pores and throw your skin's natural regulatory processes off-balance.Your skin becomes less able to shed dead layers and hydrate itself.
4. Silicones interfere with cell renewal. -Skin renews itself every 28 days, old cells are sloughed off/ new cells make their way up to the surface. Silicones inhibit this process by slowing down the production of new cells and keeping dead cells stuck longer. Impaired cell renewal could decelerate the improvement of conditions such as pigmentation, redness, fine lines and scarring!
5. Silicones deliver nothing beneficial to your skin.—it's simply a short-term smoothing.
6. Silicones block other ingredients from absorbing. - If you are layering products, they are prevented from doing their jobs properly. If you use a silicone-based micellar water or serum, any moisturizers or treatments you put on next could rendering them less effective because they can't penetrate very I even suspect that siliconesimpede absorption of any beneficial ingredients within the same formula!
7. Silicones are difficult to remove.
The most common silicone, dimethicone, is extremely heavy and leaves a coating on the skin unless it is carefully removed. This is often why people see such a difference from nightly double cleansing, because it's properly removing the silicones from your skin—a single pass with a regular face wash simply isn't enough! The same goes for silicone hair conditioners; even if you've rinsed with wate

26 of 50 people found this helpful.

on 5/25/2017 7:55:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I have MAC NC20 skin with matches NARS Deauville, Too Faced Born This Way Vanilla, Bourjois 52 Vanille, and MUFE Ultra HD Y245. My match in this foundation is 213. I also own 012 which I got in a swap, but it's the wrong undertone and shade. 012 would be great for those with NW 10-15 skin.

Oh my god, this foundation is like God's gift to those of us who have dry skin. Needless to say, I love it! When you first apply this foundation, you will first notice just how lovely and refreshing it feels on the skin. It is incredibly hydrating but in a very light manner, and it's one of those products where you can actually feel your skin drinking the moisture up! It provides sheer coverage that is buildable to medium. It has a skin-like, natural finish with just a touch of dewiness that makes your face radiate health and vitality. I also find that this foundation stays intact for the whole day, and it does not break up in little patches like other foundations in this category do. It never emphasizes any skin texture or dry patches, and truly looks like skin. Highly recommended! :)

23 of 23 people found this helpful.

on 1/8/2017 11:21:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Medium, Warm

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I wanted to re-review this foundation after going back and forth with it. I've tried both Aqua and Moisture foundations, and while both are excellent, I have to say that I like this a lot better. I agree that Moisture has more initial coverage, but Aqua is a lot more buildable, and therefore can give overall, more coverage than its Moisture counterpart. This is a light-medium coverage foundation at most, which makes it an excellent base. If you need more coverage for problem spots, that is what concealer is for, really.

My biggest gripe with this foundation is the shade selection. I'm about an NC30 (GA LM 5.75, UD Naked 4.0, EL DW Rattan), and Aqua's closest shade, 123, is the closest to my shade but it's a little off (shade 123 in its Moisture counterpart is PERFECT btw). I'm guessing it's not yellow enough (it is on the pinkish side) so I come out looking slightly pale. Adding a half a pump of shade 143 with a pump of 123 brings me to a more accurate representation of my skin color (shade 143 is about NC35-40 I think, and is quite yellow).

I HATE that I had to buy two different shades to match mine, but seriously, after trying so many different foundations, this brand really, really is a winner for me. It has that popular "skin-like" natural finish, that provides a dewiness that does not look sweaty. My issue with these "your skin but better" foundations is that none of them seem to last more than 4 hours without it breaking up or completely disappearing. I hate touching up. This one lasts all day. ALL DAY. My favorite part is that it does not look like I have anything on, which is a very important criteria for me.

This also seems to work great in the summer. I'm oily during those months, and it seems to hold great with powder and doesn't make my face look like I came from the gym.

In a way, having two shades works out anyway, as I know I will get darker come summer, so I can customize my mix between the two shades.

Two shades at about $60 each seems steep, but I stopped looking for foundation because I've found what I'm looking for, not to mention two bottles will last me a long, long time. I just wish I found this stuff sooner - it would've saved me a lot of money!

20 of 20 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

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.

20 of 23 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.

on 4/10/2014 11:14:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

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.

16 of 16 people found this helpful.

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.

on 1/13/2018 1:50:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I have dry, sensitive skin, and this is one of my favorite foundations... in a more cool climate (Scandinavia). I have also tried it in California, and it doesn't really work very well - slides around on me and doesn't last as long as in a cooler climate. I apply this with my hands, as it kinda self-levels and thus applies evenly this way. A beauty blender would suck up the thin-ish product, and I just don't like brushes, and I'm not sure the gel texture of this would apply well with a brush. One bottle lasts me about 7 months when I use one pump of this per application

There are several things I really like in this foundation: the shade 213 suits my NC20 (Pro Longwear as reference), neutral yellow/olive skin very well - better than most other foundations. It is totally perfume free, alcohol free and doesn't upset my sensitive skin at all, nor did it clog my pores (16 h/day wear test for over 12 months). It is very good at hiding dry spots and flaking areas. Heavy concealer that can otherwise make drier spots look drier goes very well over this foundation. The reason is the gel-cream type of consistency - it almost creates a semi transparent layer that evens out all kinds of surface issues. It makes my skin look like skin because of its coverage and texture, and powders apply well on top. On top of all of this, in the climate I usually live in, this lasts all day long on me, and doesn't break up on me or look strange as it slightly disappears during the day. I like this foundation so much that it was what I wore on my wedding day (cool and very rainy), and aside from me not applying enough blush, my skin looks very good in the photos. This is till now the only foundation that I've soon used up two bottles off, and will purchase again.

However, there will be people that won't appreciate this foundation as much, and I understand that too. First off: one of the reason I wanted this foundation is because of the light coverage - I had good skin that mostly needed light coverage and some minor concealing. The foundation can be built to light-medium, but no more, IMO. Second, if you have combination or oily skin, this is no going to stick well - it kind sits slightly strangely on oily skin and doesn't last far as long. If there is high moisture in the air, this doesn't hold up well on my skin, which makes this unsuitable for me in warm, humid environments (which is not my usual environment). When it's warm and humid, this foundation almost doesn't "bond" to my skin, but just sits on top of it, with a barrier of moisture in between. The last thing is the price: this foundation is pricey! Personally, I've tried many foundations and not found anything like it, but it' possible to achieve a similar finish, color and texture by mixing... which I don't like to take time to do.

Personally, I love this, but it isn't a foundation that will suit everyone or work in every climate, so I'd recommend to think about the pros and cons of it and read reviews before you buy, unless you have money to waste. Maybe buy a sample of this from camerareadycosmetics, if you can

If anyone is interested bout the packaging: pretty, but annoying. When there's about 1/5 left of the foundation, this begins to get hard to get out, and the opening when you unscrew the lid is really small, and it's hard to get the product from the sides out, which is wasteful. I have to pick the product out with a q-tip... definitely not something I think should be required with a luxury foundation...

15 of 17 people found this helpful.

on 12/11/2015 1:59:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

This was on my wish list for months and I finally bought it during Sephora's sale at a discount. I had to order online because the store no longer carried testers. I bought the shade 002, which is too pink, and I have to correct for it. A neutral pale beige or a lovely pale olive would have been better. The depth is right. It's not too light. It's not too dark. But it's too pink. For reference, perfect color matches for me are Deauville in NARS Sheer Glow, Sand in Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation, and Y225, formerly 117 Marble in Make Up Forever HD liquid foundation. In Armani's Luminous Silk I am a 3 or a 4 depending upon how much I've been in the sun. In Le Metier de Beaute's similar liquid foundation, Classic Flawless Finish, I can wear Shade 1 (the lightest yellow-based shade) or Shade 4 (a cooler but more neutral beige). But 002 in Koh Gen Do is so pink that it looks ridiculous on me.

This texture is great for oily skin but I'm combination. It helps to use a damp sponge rather than a dry sponge. Sometimes I buff it on with a synthetic kabuki brush. It blends seamlessly but is a bit drying. Don't buy this if you have dry skin; the Moisture Foundation is designed for you while this is for the acne prone wanting oil control. One day my skin looked parched from wearing this foundation. I realized that mixing a small dab of Becca's liquid highlighter in Moonstone with the foundation corrected for the dry finish and also shifted the color slightly more yellow, making me look brighter and healthier. This discovery made the foundation much more wearable for me.

I wish I'd had this during the hot, humid summer months when I was complaining about needing to blot and saying I needed something truly matte. At that time I still had a bit of NARS Sheer Glow left and I loved the finish but kept powdering my T-zone. Now in drier weather I long for Sheer Glow, which is my perfect winter foundation. Koh Gen Do Aqua is nicely matte for summer, not as appropriate for me in winter. On the plus side, no breakouts from this.

If you happen to have a bottle of Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation and you're not using it because the finish is too matte or you are afraid it's emphasizing dryness, a primer such as Smashbox Photo Finish may really smooth it out for you and you'll at least finish your bottle. Either that or a lightweight moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid may make it more wearable for you. Feel free to try my liquid highlighter trick, too. It alters the color of the foundation but in my case that was a good thing.

Because of the strong pink undertone, I won't buy this particular shade in this formula again, but it does not feel heavy on the skin and doesn't cake. It is a light, almost weightless feel, and provides medium coverage. The finish is nice. I appreciate the sunscreen, which is suitable for sensitive skin, and the foundation is fragrance free. I'd buy again if I had a better shade match, and use it for the heat of summer when my skin is more oily and demands a demi-matte foundation like this.

UPDATE December 2016:

I tried another shade, 213, which has a yellow/olive undertone, which is supposed to be around NC20 in MAC. The tone is better for me, and when I first blend it in, it's a great match, but within a few short minutes, the foundation oxidizes much darker. If only it stayed the color it looks when freshly applied. So I am back to having to mix this with other things.


The formula is very nice, but the shade range is limited. They only have two or three decent flesh tones and if you're not a dead ringer for those you are out of luck. If 213 didn't oxidize so much darker, it would match me, but I have to lighten it with another product. 002 made my skin look very ruddy, as if I had a sunburn. I finally gave away 002 because it was so unflattering. Koh Gen Do should add some light shades that aren't so pink for people who are fair yet need a neutral-to-golden undertone and they should also add darker shades for women of color.

$62 a bottle.


- Titanium Dioxide
- Zinc oxide

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Diphenysiloxy Phenyltrimethicone, Titanium Dioxide, Zincoxide, Mica, Hdi, Trimethyol Hexyl-Lactone Crosspolymer, Isononylisononanoate, Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Diglycerin, Sorbitan Sesqullsostarate, Phytosteryl ,Octyldodecyllauroyl Glutamate, Glycerin, Squalane, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Sea Salt, Acrylate, Polytrimethul Siloxymethacrylate Copolymer, Sodium Chloride, Silica, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil) Seed Oil, Nylon-12, Talc, Zirconium Dioxide, Tocopherol, Lauroyl Lysine, Polymethysilsesquioxane, Isostearyl Sevacate, Zinc Myristate, Aluminum Dimyristate, Alumina, Butyrospermum Parkll (Shea Butter), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Disodium Stearoyl, Glutamate, Flucosyl Herperidin, Magnesium Ascorbyl Hesperidin, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Glycrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Betula Alba Bark Extract, Kjellmaniella Gyrate Extract, Alpha-Glucan, Algae Extract, Alpinia Speciosa Leaf Extract, Glucosyl Ceramide, Hydrolyzd Conchiolin Protein, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8.

13 of 13 people found this helpful.

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