In the past few months I’ve been testing out new skincare, powders and foundations from Koh Gen Do, Le Metier de Beaute, Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana. Even though I’ve been getting regular use out of Guerlain’s Lingerie de Peau, Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua and Chanel’s discontinued Teint Innocence, I’ve still been on the hunt for new foundations to try. I’ll be writing a review on each item in the upcoming weeks. First up is my experience with Koh Gen Do’s Aqua Foundation in OC-2 ($62) from Barneys New York.
I first read about Koh Gen Do’s Aqua Foundation ($62 for 1.01 fl oz.30 ml) on Into The Gloss earlier this year and noticed it was featured again on her Top Shelf series this past July. When she described it as “foundation heaven” I knew I had to try it. I’ve heard nothing but raves about Koh Gen Do and having fallen in love with their face masks, cleansing water and natural light loose powder, I had the Koh Gen Do foundation on my list of things to check out.
Back in August, I was in LA and stopped by Barneys Beverly Hills. The Koh Gen Do artists recommended that I try the Aqua Foundation for my skin type (normal, fairly clear, slightly oily in the T-zone in warm weather, but overall normal). They swatched OC-1 and OC-2 on my jawline and after seeing them side-by-side I was shocked at the difference. There’s quite a big jump in between shades. OC-1 was definitely too pale, OC-2 looked like it would be too dark but on the skin blended well with my skin. Ideally I would have liked something right in between the two colors and at $62 a bottle I wasn’t really keen on buying both to custom mix my own shade. OC-2 was a pretty good match and with the combination of the Moisture Milk, Aqua Foundation and Natural Finish Powder, my skin never looked so naturally flawless I was sold.
The Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation is a liquid formula and comes with a pump. It’s rather pricey at $62 but the finish is naturally beautiful. It evens out the skin and has a slightly dewy finish but it’s not too dewy like some tinted moisturizers. If you read the details on Koh Gen Do you will learn that they designed this with something they call “the golden ratio” which consists of 45% water, 35% emollients, and 20% powder to balance perfectly with one’s skin. The finish is sheer to medium and slightly transparent so the skin shows through. It’s not a pearly finish foundation but not completely matte either. I would say it’s somewhere in between the texture and finish of Chanel’s Teint Innocence Liquid foundation and Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer.
Here is OC-2 pumped next to Edward Bess Beige, Guerlain Lingerie de Peau 03 and Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B20 and B30. I was initially matched to Chanel B20 but is now clearly too light for me (will have to save for winter). I did not blend these out because I could not photograph them fast enough before the liquids dried and then darkened on my arm. Two things to take into consideration: 1) the inside of my arm is lighter than my face and 2) my skin is weird because so many different colors of foundation work on my skin (as long as it doesn’t have a pinkish base).
Here on the back of my hand (which is closer in color to my face) you can see it blends out to disappear but give a dewy finish. This was the sharpest photograph I could get while still showing the slight sheen. Clearer photos make the hand look like it’s nothing but bare skin.
I’ve been using this foundation for a month and a half now and have overall been pleased with the results. No irritation, no break outs, no streaking or darkening. It lasts all day but I found that it works best when layered of the Macro Vintage Royal Massage Milk (see more on Kohgendocosmetics.com). I received a small sample that lasted me about 1 week of daily morning use. It’s an amazing product and made my skin look and feel like baby’s skin. I haven’t caved to purchase this since I just bought a cream from Le Metier but it is definitely on my watch list for the future.
For use right now I apply over Le Metier’s day cream and then use Cle de Peau’s concealer in Beige on areas that need more coverage. Sometimes I will finish with Koh Gen Do’s powder, other days I will finish with Chanel or D&G’s powder foundations.
My only wish is that the foundation came in more shades. Since it is a sheer formula, the colors are slightly more forgiving if you can’t find an exact match. Since I am a bit more tanned right now OC-2 works well for me, but just barely. If I become even 1/2 a shade lighter I know this will be too dark, yet OC-1 will definitely be too pale. For more information, a list of ingredients and list of shades, I highly recommend you check out Koh Gen Do’s Website. They have detailed diagrams and descriptions of each product (all of which I find extremely informative, useful and non-gimmicky).
Have you tried Koh Gen Do’s foundations? Which formula did you try and what were your thoughts?