Review: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation

It’s a cold and blustery night in New York City, so rather than walk Leopold, go to the gym, or be otherwise productive, I thought I’d finally write for my holy grail foundation: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua FoundationFor my dry/sensitive skin, this stuff is simply perfect. Genius.

If you haven’t heard of it before, Koh Gen Do is a Japanese makeup and skin care line that is centered around creating great skin. All of the makeup products are made with skin-care quality ingredients – they are free of parabens, artificial fragrance, petroleum-based mineral oil, and synthetic pigments – perfect for my super sensitive skin. The foundations are completely HD, and create a seamless “real skin” finish. As if it could get any better, Koh Gen Do also does not test on animals. The line can be a little tricky to find, but the distribution channels seem to be expanding. When I first started to use the brand I could only buy it at the flagship Barney’s, and it is now available at select Sephora locations. Whoohoo! Now if only it would come to the UWS location…


I’ve now repurchased the Aqua Foundation (the original first, and now the Maifanshi Aqua) SIX times. SIX. For a foundation, that is unbelievable. I looovvveeee trying new foundations — there is so much hope that goes into the purchase, perhaps this one will give me completely flawless, natural, lit from within, matte, anti aged, glowing, celebrity like skin! No mater how unrealistic, a new foundation can raise your hopes more than any other product, and I am a notorious grass-is-always greener foundation switcher. But not with Koh Gen Do. It’s THAT good. I’ve worn it nearly every day for 2+ years, and I just love it. Every time I put it on I’m impressed by the application, the coverage, the wear, and the feel. It’s seriously great, and these people think so too: TheRaeViewer, TheBeautyProfessor, BeautyStyleList, & TheBeautyLookBook.

Of the Koh Gen Do foundations, the Maifanshi Aqua is my favorite, and by far my most regularly used. Below are my basic thoughts on the product.


  • Light, liquid texture glides on like a dream and melts in immediately, with absolutely no perceptible lines
  • Blends for a naturally flawless finish. A light application provides enough coverage for most days, and a second layer makes it medium/full coverage when I need it.
  • High Definition (HD) formula means the finish looks natural in all lighting, including bright sunlight! No artificial glitter to create the dreaded natural-light-disco-ball face
  • Just enough glow. I don’t know how Koh Gen Do achieves this, as the formula looks totally matte, but I get so many compliments on my skin when I wear it and appear to have nice healthy glow. No shine or glitter!
  • Great wear time. I apply this foundation around 8:00am nearly every morning and still look pretty good on my commute home at 7:00pm. When I have evening events I always touch up my makeup to make everything a little fresher, but i do that regardless of what I’m wearing. When it does wear off, I find this formula wears off evenly and doesn’t result in the horrible patchiness of other products.
  • My shade has nice yellow undertones to counteract my pink cheeks and blend beautifully with my skin tone.
  • Feels like I have nothing on.
  • Once it’s dry, there is hardly any transfer to my clothes, cell phone, hands, etc. It stays put!
  • SPF 15 PA++ keeps my skin youthful and protected without any white flashback in photos.
  • The Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua container is a weighty glass bottle, and feels luxe in the hand.
  • AMAZING for my skin. Leaves me hydrated and comfortable all day, with no irritating ingredients or fragrance.


  • Eh, it’s expensive.
  • It’s hard to find. Trekking to the East Side or Union Square to get my Koh Gen Do fix is annoying. I’m currently running out of everything (foundation, highlighting concealer, cleansing water, foam cleanser, cream cleanser, exfoliant…. the list goes on), but it’s not easy to plan trips around the city to restock. I order nearly everything online (!!) but the joy of browsing the cosmetic section of a luxury store is a hard pleasure to give up for online convenience.

And now, the before and after photos for your careful observation. The photos were all taken in the evening with only artificial light (sorry! bad timing, work, all that), but hopefully you can get a good sense of the look Koh Gen Do Mainfanshi Aqua provides. I’m still making pretty awkward faces, but i think they may be improving. At least I’m hopeful.

No foundation:


Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation in 213:


Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation with Koh Gen Do Moisture Concealer under my eyes and on any spots:


Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation and Moisture Concealer, set with Koh Gen Do Triple Lighting Mineral Powder Foundation in BE1 down my nose, forehead and chin:


Finished makeup!


Additional products used:


Have you tried Koh Gen Do before?? What do you think??
Follow on Bloglovin


One thought on “Review: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation

  1. Hi, Thank you for the Koh Gen Do reviews, your skin looks really natural with it. What are your skin tone, nc25? Mine is a very light yellow nc18, and I used the old formula aqua in BE-1 (which should be 213 in the new) sometime mixed with the moisture in 112 or as concealer. But I’ve heard the new colours in Aqua is different. What would you say the new aqua in 213 is equivalent to?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s