Allow me to profess my love for this brand, first. I LOVE Koh Gen Do—their Aqua Foundation remains one of my favorite foundations of all time. I can find no fault in it. So when I chanced upon this set at the Beauty Bar, I thought it was a great chance to own (at least a small one) the Maifanshi Moisture Foundation and Powder. The tiny color base is just a bonus, really. This might be a lengthy post, as I’ll try to review all three items with product literature but if you really wanna get to know Koh Gen Do, stay with me!
There’s quite a story behind the brand Koh Gen Do. I might have touched on it when I reviewed my Aqua Foundation years ago but just the same: it’s a Japanese brand that started as a small esthetic salon in Azabujuban, Tokyo in the late 1980s. It began with an actress searching for makeup that can protect her skin from dryness and exhaustion due to long hours of shooting movies and TV shows under the glare of stage lights. Her search inspired the creation of Koh Gen Do, makeup that did not contain petroleum-based products, synthetic fragrances and colors but only natural ingredients derived from Japanese and Chinese herbs. In the 90s, their HD Makeup series was released a preparation for HDTV, and to this day remains the company’s leading line.
Koh Gen Do Trial Set, Php1750
The set, like I said, contains three face products, the famous Maifanshi Moisture Foundation in Shade 013 (10g), the Maifanshi Makeup Color Base in Pearl White (3g), and the Maifanshi Face Powder (4g). Although it seems like you’re getting so little, I like the fact that these are easy-to-travel-with sizes, the packaging too. And I don’t really use up so much when I travel, and they don’t advise using a lot actually too.
Mainfanshi Moisture Foundation
Mineral makeup cream foundation that turns into liquid foundation when applied with 60% water encapsulated into the formula to give you the superior coverage of a cream foundation and a smooth, sheer finish like a liquid foundation.
With the advanced technology in Japan and taking 3 times the amount of time normally taken to make a foundation, we have created a foundation that fits perfectly on the skin creating a pore less, smooth impression, yet gentle to the skin.
Mainfanshi Makeup Color Base Pearl White, SPF16 PA++
This base cream contains micronized pearly powders for an optical smoothing and brightening effect of the skin.
It illuminates dull skin while its protective formula guards against harmful UV rays. The yellow-gold tint minimizes pores while the silver-pearl hue reflects light, adding superior-quality luster. Hydrolyzed silk, plus an abundance of other beauty ingredients, give long-lasting wear, even skin tone, plus moisturizing effects. Even in the winter when skin can look dry and dull, the pearl white base will add a natural glow for a well-polished finish. It can be applied before or after makeup to beautifully reflect light.
The Makeup Base, though looks all white and scary, blends to a transparent finish with a slight shimmery effect. I don’t mind that it’s teensy since I only have to use it on strategic areas of my face, but even then, I have yet to see a dramatic difference as I tend to rely more on highlighters if I’m going for this effect.
Directions: Dab a small amount of Color Base lightly onto cheekbones, temples and areas that need brightening. Smooth on neck and décolleté for added elegance. Can also be used on eyelids for an eye-brightening effect.
The Moisture Foundation is slightly thicker/creamier than that of the Aqua Foundation. It has a mousse-y feel and blends easily on the skin. Again, I find that using my fingers to apply and blend gives me more control, specially since this is more of a blend-intensive product. Like how I apply most of my foundations, I concentrate application on the middle of my face where I’m most unevenly pigmented, blending outwards.
Directions: Apply a small amount of foundation lightly on entire face adding more layers for necessary coverage.
Make sure to blend the jawline into the neck well. Too large of an amount applied in each layer will cause the product to gather in creases and will not stabilize the foundation for long hours of wear.
The makeup base looks goes on creamy and blends to a transparent veil with some visible micro glitter (silver and gold, yep!). I’m not a fan of visible flecks of glitter but there aren’t too many so that’s fine. I did not put too much, just on the tops of my cheeks, nose bridge, my lids and forehead. After I while, I applied the Maifanshi Moisture Foundation. The color isn’t an exact match to mine as it’s a touch lighter, but is neutral enough to blend. You can see the primer and foundation applied below—I did not apply anything else on my face yet. The foundation concealed and evened my skin well, it is a bit thick anyway, and I minded to put more where I need it. The foundation sits almost matte and can actually hold nicely on its own.
Maifanshi Face Powder
Ingredients: Talc, Zinc Myristate, Silk Powder, Sodium Hyaluronate, Iron Oxides
A finely milled loose face powder made with a unique silk powder formula, sets the foundation and protects the skin’s natural luminescence with gentle, micro-fine elements that quickly blend with the skin. Contains natural moisture-retaining hyaluronic acid, making it an ideal powder for those with dry skin.
Directions: Apply after foundation. When using for the first time, slowly pull off the seal on the middle lid. Place the middle lid on the powder puff, then turn the container over a few times to mix the powder. Fold puff in half, gently pat together to distribute powder evenly onto puff, then spread onto face. Press lightly on the T-zone, where makeup can easily cake up or crumble.
Seriously, what is SILK POWDER?! This stuff is super fine, silky and disappears on the skin. This powder is maybe 60% of the reason why I bought this set—aside from the totally convenient size (I hate the huge TUBS loose powders usually come in)—I like the feel of purity and sophistication on this one. Even the way they prescribe application feels oh-so-luxe, so Japanese.
The fine powder settles into the skin very lightly,without so much as disturbing it or weighing it down. I perceive a bit of change, in that the white powder brightens and lightens the complexion. But what’s so great is that it sets and keeps the base makeup longer and gives the effect of smoothness to the skin. I actually look fairer than I am, maybe because of the white primer, the light foundation and the white translucent powder. That’s why I had to put a bit more color to my face. Below I’m wearing the powder with a touch of NARS Desire Blush and Snoe Slim Shade Me Sculpting Powder. The powder somehow gets absorbed by the skin oils later on so the effect isn’t so, well, powdery.
As a side note though, I think I prefer the Aqua Foundation more just cause the watery consistency is easier to apply and blend for frequent use. The Maifanshi foundation + powder on the other hand gives a more “finished” look, something that I would like for events and parties. I also love the tube packaging and its small nozzle which dispenses little product—perfect for bringing along! So is the powder in it’s tinier tub.
Overall, I really think that everyone should get to experience Koh Gen Do, and well, a value set like this is the best way to do get acquainted with the brand. Knowing Koh Gen Do (and other Japanese brands) has definitely upped the foundation ante for me. I have raved about it then, I still do so now. Erm, I actually bought my second KGD Aqua Foundation just recently (they were on sale, thanks for the heads up, Mariana!) —that’s how much I believe in the brand! Stay tuned for another KGD review anytime soon. Meanwhile, you can still check the Beauty Bar if the stuff’s still on sale.