1. Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation SPF 15/PA ++, 1.0 oz for $62.00
I first heard about Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation from super blog INTOTHEGLOSS (here, here and here). This was the go to foundation for blog founder, Emily Weiss, and I think she still wears it as she hasn’t posted an update on whether or not she has changed her preferred foundation, although possible. [Update: Yup, she did. Apparently, it is all about Giorgio Armani’s Maestro Foundation talked about here. Too bad. Armani foundations runs pink-beige or orange-beige on me.] Since I am a foundation nut, I knew I would eventually try this out to see if there was a skintone match.
First, some more information about the brand. Koh Gen Do was created by actress Ai Saotome, using traditional asian botanicals, to create an eco-friendly makeup line that could withstand high definition cameras by providing a natural, satiny smooth coverage minimizing skin imperfections, as well as enriching the skin with minerals and nutrients for a fresh, glowing complexion. For those who care, this is a foundation that is created without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic fragrances and dyes, GMO’s and triclosan.
The shade range for this foundation is very limited. It is very noticeable pink/peach shades and beige/orange shades. There are basically three skintone ranges: PINK (PK), OCHRE (OC), and BEIGE (BE) – although BEIGE only has one shade. I only received samples of the BEIGE and OCHRE shades. It was very obvious to me just by eyeballing it that OC – 1 was too light and OC – 3 would be too dark. I wasn’t sure about OC – 2 or BE – 1. These shades don’t really match my skintone. Granted, I COULD make them work. I have dealt with worse. But the current explosion of new foundations with more diverse undertones and skintones ranges means that I no longer have to settle for JUST OK foundation matches. It’s too bad, though.
Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation has an incredible texture. It offers a sheer to medium buildable satin coverage that is incredibly malleable. What the hell does that mean? Many foundations “set” and become a little dry – this offers a moist coverage. I was still able to blend the foundation without it dragging on my skin, a solid 10 minutes after application. It is great news for dry skintypes who hate a tight feeling to their foundations.
OC – 1 through OC – 3 have orange undertones from the lightest to a slightly deep medium. I am not sure why it says that OC is meant for yellow undertones. The OC shades are warmer, but there is a beigey orangeyness that reflects skin that tans with a orangey undertone. I think OC – 3 would match MAC NC 35 tones, while OC – 2 would match MAC NC 25-30. OC – 1 would match MAC NC 15-20. BE – 1, which is meant to reduce red undertones in skin, is a deeper yellow-beige shade than the “yellow” undertoned OC – 1. I think if they made a BE – 2, it would be a better skintone if you are more yellow than orange or peach.
Here are the swatches:
Update: After a comment regarding usage of this foundation on oily skin, I decided to try it out. I tried this on for 7+ hours and it is a very elegant, bare feeling foundation that provides a satin finish to the skin and medium coverage. I tried OC-2, which was unbelieveable orange on me, but my face did not become an oil slick, and the coverage only became more dewy as time passed. The foundation did not migrate or disintegrate. However, this is the winter and I basically sat around with it on. If you can find a foundation match, go for it
Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Sea Water, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Mica, Glycerin, Phytosteryl / Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Sodium Chloride. Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Acrylates Polytrimethyl Siloxymethacrylate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol. Dimethicone. Phenoxyethanol, Stearic Acid, Aluminum Dimyristate, Silica, Zirconium Dioxide. Talc, Isostearyl Sebacate, Alumina, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Squalane, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Betula Alba Juice, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Glucosyl Hesperidin, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Betula Alba Bark Extract, Kjellmaniella Gyrate Extract, Algae Extract, Alpinia Speciosa Leaf Extract, Iron Oxides.
Origins Plantscription: Light-Warm; By Terry: Honey Beige; Lancôme: Buff 7 Warm; Koh Gen Doh: OC1 & OC2