Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Natural Lighting Powder

Koh Gen Do’s Maifanshi Natural Lighting Powder ($42 for 0.42 oz/12 g) comes in one shade: a light beige with a finely milled pearl finish. It’s not exactly a translucent powder but the finish is sheer and the color disappears once applied very much like a translucent powder. The pearl particles give a soft glowy look to the skin and while the shimmer is visible, it’s not over the top. The finish is not quite as glowy as Chanel’s Poudre Douce – Soft Pressed Powder, but the concept is similar. I would say this powder is most similar to Armani’s Microfil Loose Powder with the shimmer particles being the same size. This is a beautiful setting powder but the sheerness means that it won’t necessarily even out the skin, but rather set your foundation and add a subtle glow.

The Koh Gen Go powder comes with a puff but I prefer to apply with a loose fluffy brush over a creamy foundation. In the past few months, I’ve tried this with a number of foundations and tinted moisturizers and it works with  other brands including Chanel, Guerlain, Laura Mercier. I like that it doesn’t alter the color of your foundation but rather sets it. I’ve used Laura Mercier’s Translucent Powder for years and while I love it, I find sometimes it can look a bit chalky on my skin when I am very tanned.

Here is the Aqua foundation and Powder photographed together for a size comparison. I like that the container is large enough to easily fit a large fluffy powder brush in the top.

I’ve compared the Koh Gen Do powder to a few others. The color is different from others that I own but still sheer enough to work on a wide range of skintones due to the sheerness. Below is Laura Mercier’s Translucent, Armani Micro-fil #2, Chanel’s Naturel 30 Translucent 2.

Here it’s heavily swatched on my arm although they disappear when applied with a brush or puff on the face.

Overall the Koh Gen Do is a lovely loose powder. I personally prefer something with a bit more coverage when it comes to powders and I tend to prefer the pressed kind. I will even set my liquid foundations with powder foundations even though most might find it to be a bit of an overkill. I like my liquid foundations sheer to medium and my powders to be a bit heavier. To date, I think the Chanel and Armani are my two favorite loose powders still, but the limited shade selection make them difficult for many. I think the Koh Gen Do is more universally flattering for a wider range of skintones and adds a pretty glow. Will I ever repurchase? At this time I’m not sure, the tub is so large it seems like it will take quite a while for me to use up. I go through compact powders and powder foundations at least 5 times faster than I do for loose powders.

Have you tried Koh Gen Do’s powders? What are your thoughts? Any favorites?


  1. September 27, 2011 / 12:50 pm

    The Chanel Loose Powder is next on my list to try! I am looking for a nice setting powder to use with my Armani Luminous Silk.

  2. Liz
    September 27, 2011 / 5:16 pm

    Do all these powders contain talc? Have you tried Cle de Peau's loose powder? I've heard some raves but haven't made the jump to $115 powder. ^^;;

  3. September 27, 2011 / 6:47 pm

    I just can't stand loose powders. They're too messy especially for a clumsy person like myself >.<

  4. September 27, 2011 / 6:59 pm

    i'm SO glad to see you reviewing more of the KGD line. i'm so hesitant to buy it sight unseen from barneys.com. I am toying between the aqua foundation and their moisture found. which i hear is heavier. But what i'm really interested in is their 2 primer products; the aqua foundation illuminator and the makeup base in 'pearl white' . i'm very curious as to whether either of these primers are really pearl-y. if you have any experience with them please share.

  5. Anonymous
    September 27, 2011 / 7:14 pm

    I splurged on La Mer's loose powder and it has lasted me at least three years. It's pretty nice, but wouldn't mind hearing about other people's Holy Grail powders.

  6. September 27, 2011 / 8:45 pm

    Thank for doing this comparison. I was wondering how the Natural Lighting powder compares to Chanel Poudre Universelle: I think the KGD is a bit too sparkly for my taste (Poudre Universelle is just right). That clears it up for me, so thank you. : ) I prefer powders with more coverage, like you, but I really like how the original Maifanshi loose powder, the invisible setting powder, makes your pores look invisible.

  7. September 28, 2011 / 1:02 am

    I'm glad you are doing more in depth reviews of the KGD line since I saw some of their products up on Sephora and was hesitant to buy sight unseen and with the high price point.

  8. September 28, 2011 / 8:12 am

    I opted for Koh Gen Do's other powder – the white one that is translucent and without sparkles. I absolutely love it! 🙂

  9. September 28, 2011 / 11:24 am

    @Lissasioux and @Jody – Barneys has lots of pre-packaged samples of the Koh Gen Do liquid products that they can send you to try. Love your blogs Sabrina and Lissasioux! I have to check out this powder, although I don't love sparkles.

  10. September 28, 2011 / 12:17 pm

    Great post! Will you (or have you) done a comparison of pressed powders?

  11. Anonymous
    September 30, 2011 / 7:37 pm

    You should try the triple lighting pressed powder, Its amazing, skin looks flawless and natural, I think one of the best things about this line, is its good for you! no bad stuff, like parabens, fragrance, mineral oil…