Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Lipstick – Barneys New York

April 20, 2011
Barneys New York is always nice to browse every now and then to check out brands that are hard-to-find such as Lipstick Queen, By Terry, Serge Lutens and Eve Lom to name a few. This weekend I made a new discovery: Koh Gen Do, a Japanese brand that had its beginnings from a salon in Tokyo. I was surprised to learn 2011 marks their 25th anniversary. According to their company website, it appears they have had IMATS exhibits since 2008 and launched at Barneys Beverly Hills and Madison Avenue in 2010 – but I had never heard about this brand before.

I was drawn by their clean simple display and once I saw the Asian name, I stopped to ask if they had a makeup brush line (I found out not yet). I decided to start small with two of their Maifanshi Lipsticks in Pink Beige BE01 and Pink Rose PK01 (supposed to be their best sellers), but soon found out the prices weren’t so “small.” These come in a small sleek black tube retail for $39 each (0.12 oz. / 3.5 g) and contain no artificial colors, fragrance, petroleum-based mineral oil or paraben. I could not detect any scent. These have a sheer smooth soft glossy finish but the pigment on the lips is just incredible.

These feel amazing on the lips (think along the lines of Dior’s Serum de Rouge). I don’t think my lips have ever felt better. Compared to a few other sheer glossy lipsticks, the Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Lipsticks have:
  • less slip than Chanel Rouge Coco Shines
  • more shine than MAC’s discontinued slimshines
  • softer texture than the new Dior Addicts
Size comparisons:

They make the lips just glow and are moisturizing yet lightweight. The packaging recommends that you do not twist up the tube too high to avoid breakage. These swatched sheer on the hand but applied flawlessly on the lips for a natural tint. There is not really any shimmer in these but if you look at the tubes closely you can see a slight hint of shimmery sheen.

Sheen, not shimmer:

Pink Beige BE01 is a sheer soft peachy beige:

Pink Rose PK01 is a lovely soft rose:

Overall these were extremely pricey but the texture just can’t be beat. However, the high price points will most likely prevent me from exploring this more in the near future. I didn’t find the colors super unique, but they do look flawless on the lips and require no extra tweaking (always a plus). Have you tried this brand before?

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  • The foundation in this line is superb. I've never been able to wear it myself, but I use and provide it for clients often. It's pricey but lasts a long time.

  • I think I've heard of this line before, but have yet to explore it. Both colors look gorgeous on you! So natural. I think I will have to investigate Pink Beige for myself.. πŸ™‚

    Thank you for the review!

  • I love their Cleansing Spa water/wipes. I've haven't tried too much of their color make up since the colors weren't that unique to me.

  • I've heard of this line before, I believe their foundation and skincare/sheet masks are good.

  • Never heard of this brand before. Thanks for sharing! The Pink Rose color looks great on you!

  • Jess

    I know that their foundation is considered top notch, often used for actors and actresses under HD lenses. When I went to Barneys to take a look at the selection, I was surprised to find it so limited! They only have one concealer palette, and a couple foundation colors which I think are meant to be mixed together. But at their exorbitant price… why won't they come out with a more complete line??

  • Oh man, but those look incredible on your lips! Wish I could try them in person somewhere as I'm always on the lookout for lipsticks that feel and look amazing. =)

  • interesting comparisons. I have definitely seen this brand around! both shades look great on you!

  • The Pink Rose is gorgeous. These remind me a bit of the Suqqu Blend lipsticks (also lovely, also pricey!)

  • milktea

    I've seen their concealer raved about on "In the Gloss". It's got a cute little trough for mixing the 2 shades provided with a little spatula. πŸ™‚

  • Carollu

    I love and use the foundation in this line, both the Moisture Foundation (in a tube, more coverage) and the Aqua (in a bottle which you need to shake, similar finish to the new Chanel Aqua). The company will send you generous samples to try and that's how I determined my shades. I tried the lipgloss and found it way too sticky for my liking! I thought the foundation was reasonably priced, but $39 for a lipstick….yikes!

  • LuckyRedLisa

    Gorgeous! Thanks for another great review. I stumbled on this line on the Barney's website last year. As I couldn't see anything in person, I only ordered the loose powder, which is glorious!!

  • These are gorgeous! Yikes at the price tag though.

  • that pink rose is gorgeous!

  • Pink Beige & Pink Rose are such beautiful names for these lipsticks. One of the best parts of buying a makeup product is the name!

  • CJB

    The Moisture Foundation is incredible. Medium coverage and a slight dewy finish. Just beautiful. The masks are given rave reviews by many…I hope to try them soon.

  • Anonymous

    I recently discovered this brand myself and tried their foundation. Best foundation I've tried out there. You should definitely try the aqua foundation, powder, and blush color. You won't regret it.

    Only unfortunate is that the aqua foundation is limited in colors, but there's a color corrector you can use to change the color of the foundation for darker tone skin.

  • Anonymous

    I recently tried them out and I have to say, I love them! I was a professionally trained make-up artist and have a very discerning mind about the quality of make-up. I'm using their Illuminator, Triple Lighting Foundation in BE-1 (applied with a big brush versus sponge, blush in Coral Rouge, and lipstick in Fresh Pink (PK 04). What I love about this line of make-up is that it gives me the cleanest, freshest look and coverage I've ever had. I look better at the end of the day than when I started (most make up would have faded by now). Instead, it has melted into my skin, I look youthful, glowing, fresh, and even.

    I also tried the cleansing water and cloths, which I think are a real miracle! A must have especially for the winter as it saves you one face washing (dry skin).

    Thank you for showing the lipstick colours, I'm now eager to try another out. BTW, they are not that pricey, I recently bought a Tom Ford lipstick for $45 which has a velvety luxurious texture too!

  • Koh Gen Do is having a 30% off sale on their lipsticks. I remembered that you love these, so I hope it's appropriate to post this here. : )