Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation

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New Foundation

I’m not one to buy foundation on a whim. It’s just not something I buy to try out or God forbid, collect. I diligently research and do my homework on a foundation that fancies me even before I approach the counter to test the shades on my face. I’ve been using up my Lancome Teint Miracle foundation and while I like it enough, I feel like it’s time to try a new one. I’ve recently broken up with my Estee Lauder Double Wear because.. MASK-LIKE. CAKE. Ack. I can’t even. I’ve stumbled upon Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation (old version) through various bloggers who talked about picking this up at Beauty Bar sale for half the price(!!), Mariana being one of them (hi dear!). Second-skin foundation with a beautiful almost-imperceptible glow? Those words shouldn’t be strung together to describe foundation cos… I’ll buy all of them! Ha! kgd3

The Lowdown

Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation is a lightweight but medium coverage foundation made up of natural ingredients such as jojoba seed oil, olive squalane and shea butter. It is absolutely free of mineral oil, for those who don’t enjoy that ingredient as much. The consistency is thin and runny – actually reminds me of a light daytime moisturizer – so it glides smoothly over the skin that you can use your fingers for application. I initially thought it was sheer in coverage but one layer actually evens out everything, covers redness and little blemishes. Dark spots and major redness would need another layer, though. Acne? Must cover up with concealer. Heads up, this foundation is not for those with major or significant flaws. Enlarged pores can still peek through, I can imagine, as skin is still quite visible after application. What I like most is it can NEVER get or look cakey. I know because I tried building it up more and more and it just kept on looking like skin, no matter how much I put on. It really softens and smoothens without looking mask-like. I don’t know what Japanese dragon breath magic is in play here but I’m impressed. There is a slight luminosity that does not at all feel or look greasy. The finish is dewy right after application but after 10 minutes of letting it set becomes satin, semi-matte. kgd4 As for longevity – worn alone, I think this was sliding off by the 6-hour mark. No primer, no setting powder, nada. Of course, worn with primer, setting powder and the works, I was able to wear it for the whole day extending till night time with a slight sheen on my T-zone.

Final Thoughts

I LOVE this because I am a fan of medium, natural-looking finishes that are luminous and satin-like. If you have non-problematic skin and hate wearing foundation, I urge you to give this a try. I’ve been obsessively wearing this everyday and it gives me beautiful, soft-focused skin that’s been getting compliments even if I’m actually breaking out and have dull skin. I would think that those who prefer higher coverage foundation and a more matte finish would not be liking this one as much. However, because this stuff is currently at half price off in Beauty Bar stores all over, you may want to give it a try and see what the dragon’s breath hale I’m talking about! P.S. I’m a MAC NC30ish and my shade is OC-2. I was contemplating on getting OC-1 in case this oxidizes on me, but so far so good. Color match is almost too perfect.

Any Koh Gen Do users out there? Share your experiences, please!

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  1. February 19, 2014 / 6:39 pm

    I totes agree with ELDW being sooo cake like! Anyway nako I totally forgot all about the 50% off sale na, but you just had to post this, Shari! Haha Yikes. So much want!

    What shade did you get, btw?

    • February 19, 2014 / 6:54 pm

      WOOPS! Haha. I got OC-2, Romz! 🙂

      And yes, grabe, yung ELDW, parang birthday everyday kung maka-cake!

  2. February 19, 2014 / 6:40 pm

    This foundation is on the top of my wish list as I’ve seen Rae from Raeviewer raving about it. Unfortunately it is not available where I live..
    You look lovely,Shari! your skin looks flawless but in a natural way 🙂

    • February 20, 2014 / 12:15 pm

      Oooh! Rae also likes this?! I know Jen of Frmheadtotoe reportedly loves this as well! I hope Koh Gen Do becomes available in your country soon love, cos it’s a Japanese brand I’ve come to love when it comes to bases! 🙂 Swatched and played with their stuff on the counter while I was there 🙂
      and thank you for the compliments, I swear its just the foundation 😉

  3. February 19, 2014 / 7:03 pm

    Absolutely beautiful, this sounds like the perfect formula for any day. I totally would love a matte or semi matte finish so I don’t always have to set my foundations with powder! You look so flawless and it looks like fresh flawless skin!

    • February 20, 2014 / 12:15 pm

      Yup, I hate wearing foundation but I’ve been using this everyday. I’ve never felt like Im wearing nothing on!

  4. February 19, 2014 / 7:09 pm

    I checked Beauty Bar’s site after reading this post! Hahaha! It’s so beautiful, but since I have uber problematic skin, na-ah. This ain’t for me. 🙁

    • February 20, 2014 / 12:16 pm

      I think this can work for you Emae, but then again you have to try it in counter before plunging! 🙂

  5. Raven Ang
    February 19, 2014 / 7:13 pm

    There goes my want for ELDW. Thanks! 🙂 I looove my CG Foundation. I got mine about last week of December and I’m now halfway through it! I have 2 other backup bottles and another MAC foundation. Bought Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin enhancer. Waiting for it to arrive. I purchased it cuz you loved it! I swear, you are my biggest enabler. You and Carina. Hehe. 🙂

    • February 20, 2014 / 12:18 pm

      Ooooh the SSE!! I love that one to bits cos you can expertly craft your own foundation / concealer formula using it 🙂 have fun playing around with it!

      I sold mine though cos I got darker and it was too light on me already but in planning to get my correct shade soon. What shade did you order pala?

      • Raven Ang
        February 20, 2014 / 4:21 pm

        I was thinkinh SX06 but it seemed so yellow so I ordered SX07. It’s a bit more neutral. Daaang. I would’ve taken yours off from you! 🙁

  6. February 19, 2014 / 7:32 pm

    This looks SO GOOD on you. What a photogenic foundation (and face) 😉

    • February 20, 2014 / 12:18 pm

      Aww thanks love :* Its definitely the foundation. 🙂

  7. February 19, 2014 / 9:14 pm

    Hey Shari, oh yay this looks like a winner! I think I saw it on From Head to Toe, but the thing is I have about the same skin tone as her (NC25), and she has to mix two shades. I’m just not sure I want to invest in 2 bottles of foundation just to get a shade match! Would be great if they could expand the shade selection!

    • February 20, 2014 / 12:21 pm

      The shade range is quite wide but I see why Jenn mixes two shades for her skintone. I was torn between two shades as well and I swear if there had been a middle shade, it wouldve been my preferred shade.

      Theyve come up with a new lineup of this Aqua foundation though so I think they’ve expanded their shade range as well (hopefully!).

  8. February 19, 2014 / 9:17 pm

    I’ve read Mariana’s and Ae’s reviews on them and I’m so wanting to get one. I think it’s going to be phased out of BB and the offer is only while supplies last. The SA told me they have a new foundation rolling in soon. It takes me FOREVA to finish foundation but I am so lemming for this (and Laneige CC cushion) :<

  9. samantha ashley
    February 19, 2014 / 9:30 pm

    Shari! You are too beautiful :* Love the foundation on you! xx

  10. February 19, 2014 / 10:33 pm

    I had my mind set on getting the NARS Sheer Matte Foundation. Oh, Shari. Why do you keep doing this to me :((( Lol anyway, I have loads of blemishes and have acne problems but ironically, I actually prefer these kinds of foundation. I prefer medium coverage for fear of looking like a birthday cake. Although, I still have some heavy coverage foundations lying around for when I want to look really made up or will be spending more than 12 hours outside. I’m hoping that the 50% still stands by March. And if so, I’m again hoping that they’d have my shade (nc40). I’ve read somewhere that Japanese brands seldom make anything that’s darker than nc35 equivalent 🙁

    • February 20, 2014 / 9:29 am

      I think we’re OC3 Victoria. Anyway, shiseido has shades that go really deep. I’m O60 with them and there’s an

      • February 20, 2014 / 10:35 am

        Y U no finish the comment? Haha anyway, according to my research (hello Google), the darkest shade that they got is for nc35. But that’s the new formula. I don’t about the old one which is what’s on sale at Beauty Bar. I’ll probably check it out later. Thanks! 🙂 I haven’t tried any Shiseido products yet. Care to recommend a good product for a newbie? Hihi :p

        • February 20, 2014 / 11:08 am

          Oh, crap. Anyway, to continue, there’s O80 pa which is deeper. Even further deep is the B series. Haven’t owned any shiseido foundation except for the sun stick. But I sampled and wore their perfect foundation (can’t remember specific name) for a whole day and it’s great.

          Sad naman if the new koh gen do won’t go darker than nc35. I read a review of an nc 40-42 girl who bought oc-3 (old formula) and it didn’t look light on her.

          • February 20, 2014 / 3:31 pm

            I swatched the OC3 kanina sa Beauty Bar. It’s a good match sa kamay ko, but I don’t know how it’s going to blend on my face. I think I can just take my chances and risk it, haha. Will purchase it at the end of the month, that is kung meron pa hahaha

          • February 20, 2014 / 3:41 pm

            Was just at a beauty bar earlier. Haha cool

          • February 20, 2014 / 4:49 pm

            Oh you girls! We are all bad for each other’s bank accounts. Ha ha.

          • February 20, 2014 / 5:28 pm

            Haha, I know!! Anyway, Rae and I might meet up by the end of March. Wanna come? Hehe 🙂

          • February 20, 2014 / 7:28 pm

            Naku, ubusan ba ng pera to? Haha. Noooo.

          • February 20, 2014 / 8:45 pm

            Hahaha no! Kain tayo fast food para mura. Tas tambay. Milk tea or starbucks 🙂 Di na sumagot si Shari hahaha

          • February 20, 2014 / 9:07 pm

            Milk Tea!!! Hey! I’m G for this. Let’s make it haps!

          • February 22, 2014 / 5:00 am

            Shari is a go. Tama tambay lang. 😛

    • February 20, 2014 / 12:26 pm

      OC-3 would fit NC40, V. I think. And gurrrl, it’s 50% off till supplies last cos they’re bringing in the newly reformulated Aqua foundation na. 🙂

      • February 20, 2014 / 3:30 pm

        I swatched OC3 like 15 minutes ago sa Beauty Bar here at Eastwood. It’s a good match (well at least at the back of my hand) haha. I might get it. But most likely by the end of February. Sana meron pa by then huhuhu

        PS. I saw that the new formula already arrived, hehe. Wala lang 🙂

        • February 20, 2014 / 4:48 pm

          Sana match rin sa skin mo, V! wait you didn’t try it on your skin ba to make sure and to see if it’s the kind of coverage you like? 🙂

          • February 20, 2014 / 5:26 pm

            Sa kamay ko lang, be. It actually covered my veins so I’m okay with the coverage. I’m not particular with coverage naman. As long as the foundation doesn’t make me look like a greaseball, it’s fine by me. 🙂 I like it actually. It neutralizes my incredibly yellow skin tone. Me likes! Sana may stock ba sa end of Feb. I don’t want to break my ban e hahaha

    • February 20, 2014 / 4:49 pm

      Thanks Cindy!

  11. February 19, 2014 / 11:40 pm

    it’s on Sale!?! Really!!!! So checking it out NOW! Been wanting to try this foundie ever since I read good reviews about it. I am a fan of light-medium coverage foundies since I don’t have too much to cover up anyway. I hope OC-2 isn’t too light on me. I’m MAC NC35 kase. and I just checked the beautybar site, OC-3 isn’t included in the sale. huhuhu.

    Random Beauty by Hollie

    • February 20, 2014 / 12:33 pm

      Hollie! The OC-3 in Beauty Bar is on sale too! 🙂 baka online di nagrreflect.

      • February 20, 2014 / 10:22 pm

        weeee cge cge i’ll check it sa beauty bar here in Cebu. Thanks ms. Shari ^_^

  12. February 20, 2014 / 6:05 am

    You look beautiful!
    Love the soft satiny glow of this foundation. I assume the glow is more of a subtle one compared to the Shu Face Architexture Illuminating foundation.
    I’m awfully tempted! 😉

    • February 20, 2014 / 4:50 pm

      Aw thanks, Lena! 🙂 True, the satiny glow is subtle and doesn’t come off super dewy, as compared to the Shu Face Architect (I’ve tried that on in counter and it was too dewy for my combination skin).

  13. February 20, 2014 / 9:25 am

    I think I’m OC-3,but I’m a pass on this one. I have 5 foundations to finish not counting the powder ones. I don’t get me for buying when I don’t even use foundation everyday.

    • February 20, 2014 / 4:51 pm

      5 foundations?! Girl, chill. Hehe! I do see the appeal of having lots to choose from though. I used to have only ELDW and Lancome Teint Miracle lang and kinda got bored using Teint Miracle lang parati.

      • February 20, 2014 / 7:27 pm

        Oh, it wasn’t because of that. It’s just hard to find a very yellow foundation with a greenish tinge. My fault was, I was too shy to ask for samples in the past, or to have my face made over so I can see the foundation in natural light. I feel like I’m being bullied by the SAs to buy something. I kept on buying til I found the one (although I’m not an everyday foundation wearer).

        But now that I can kind of tell which one will match me, I already have everything I need.

  14. February 20, 2014 / 10:52 am

    I love this foundation too! You’re right, actually trying to make it cake is impossible, haha. I have combination skin so this suits me best too since it rarely makes those dry patches on my skin obvious.

    The shade I received (“013”) is thankfully something I can pull off since it does sort of match my NC25 skin, but it’s got a pink undertone whereas I need one with yellow. If I’m not mistaken, “013” has an equivalent in the shade range but for those with yellow undertones. I need that one asap!

    • February 20, 2014 / 4:53 pm

      Oh yes, Ari, get the yellow undertone one for you while they’re still available. I think OC-1 would be good for you (but I’m not 100% sure ha cos youre so light, darling! hehe). And I agree, it doesnt cling on to dry patches which I do have in some areas of my face too. Super like this a lot!

  15. Toni Elarmo
    February 20, 2014 / 4:54 pm

    I think I’m an OC1 but it was out of stock in Beauty Bar Trinoma along with OC2, so I almost walked away devastated. Good thing the SA tested the BE1 on me! I’m NC30-ish as well, and it’s a match! Didn’t buy it yet, though, but after reading this, I definitely have to pick it up! 🙂

  16. February 20, 2014 / 6:20 pm

    This is my first time to bump into this product. This is quite promising. You persuaded me to get it for myself! Hahaha Though I’m not a liquid foundation kinda girl. I just recently bought my first which is the Revlon Colorstay. 🙂

  17. February 21, 2014 / 3:53 pm

    this is my favorite foundation!!! yay so glad you like it 🙂 it wears forever on me, though i’ve never tried in humid climates or anything. i want to get the new formula and compare!

  18. February 21, 2014 / 9:02 pm

    STUNNER! DAYUM! Hahaha Seriously though. 50%? So how much did ya get it for? Di ko sure OC-2, still looks a bit beige-pink to me. 🙁 I need one with yellow-green undertones.

  19. February 22, 2014 / 1:50 pm

    Think it will look good on someone with oily skin? I’m a fan of foundations that looks like second-skin but better. This seems like a good deal especially if Beauty Bar is selling it at a half-price.

  20. February 22, 2014 / 9:36 pm

    I am more of a BB Cream type of girl, but this foundation looks great on you.

  21. February 24, 2014 / 12:56 pm

    Wow! This foundation looks amazing on you Shari! Very flawless! I wanted to get this one as i’ve read many many beauty bloggers talk about this particular foundation but unfortunately don’t think i can get it in the UK 🙁 shame!

  22. marianabantug
    February 25, 2014 / 9:22 am

    It looks great on youuu! 😀 KGD really broke my heart though– the reformulation doesn’t have an OC-3 equivalent! Huhu.

  23. DandelionWhiskers
    February 25, 2014 / 4:26 pm

    I looooove this too! 🙂 It looks really natural on me–and glowy (in just the right way)! Looks pretteh on you 🙂

  24. Amanda Blake
    June 7, 2015 / 7:00 pm

    Hi misty mom,

  25. Janice Christine Alvarez
    August 5, 2015 / 3:47 pm

    which number did you use on your skin? Do you have very light skin or the natural filipina look?

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