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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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