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?

  • 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.

  • Liz

    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. ^^;;

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

  • 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.

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Yu

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

  • @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.

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

  • Anonymous

    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…