Koh Gen Do Foundation: Moisture or Aqua?

Koh Gen Do Foundations

How do you choose which Koh Gen Do foundation is best for for you? We have a simple guide to help you decide. But first, here’s a little background on this beloved cult-beauty brand.

Koh Gen Do is Japan’s luxury professional makeup and skincare brand, founded in 1986 by actress Ai Saotome. According to the brand, after experiencing signs of stressed skin from spending long days in front of the camera, she sought to create a line of products to nurture the skin’s radiance and vitality. Using advanced Japanese beauty technology along with plant-based ingredients, she succeeded in creating skincare products that are both gentle and luxurious.

The same principles applied to Koh Gen Do’s prestige line of color cosmetics, which includes two exceptional foundations. Both contain the brand’s signature ingredient T3 Oil, is a proprietary blend of Jojoba Oil, Olive Squalane and Shea Butter. This ingredient helps the skin feel softer and is responsible for the beautiful finish each foundation provides.


Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation $99
Moisture Foundation

The original formula is Moisture Foundation, a cult favorite among professional makeup artists for its creamy lightweight texture, buildable coverage, and long wear. A little goes a long way with this concentrated formula. For a minimal effect, just spot and blend with fingers only where coverage is needed. Or you can use a damp sponge to blend the foundation over the entire face for a light wash of coverage. Then, if you need to, build the coverage by tapping a tiny bit of product just where you need it. If you prefer medium to full coverage, a brush works nicely. My personal go-to is a flat kabuki style brush to place the product, and then stipple and blend. Pro-tip: follow up with a damp sponge and gently press the foundation into the skin for the most natural finish.


Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation $96
Aqua Foundation $96

 Aqua Foundation is a lightweight liquid makeup that delivers a “post-facial glow”– a fancy term for the radiance you have immediately after a facial (and who doesn’t want that?). Reformulated with the brand’s newest ingredient technology, Gloss Film Powder, it provides light diffusion and brightening in addition to resisting sweat and oil. The shade range also expanded to be more inclusive by adding the deeper shades 301, 302, and 303—a move highly anticipated by makeup artists and beauty enthusiasts alike.

This liquid formula feels delightfully weightless on the skin and provides sheer to medium coverage. Fingers or sponge are the easiest way to apply it, but brushes work nicely too. Just be sure to choose a brush that’s not too dense, or you could end up using more product than you need and defeat the purpose. Pro-tip: if you do want to build to medium coverage, allow it to set between layers before going over it gently with more product.


So, how do you choose which foundation is best for you when they are both so great? The best way is always to try the foundation if you can. There really is no replacement for touching or feeling makeup, especially on the face (sorry beauty apps!). However, if that is just not possible, here are some tips to help you decide:

Is Moisture Foundation for You?
  • You prefer a foundation that covers and perfects the complexion with a natural finish and moisturizing benefits.
  • You prefer working with a cream that you can sheer out instead of a liquid that you must build up.
  • You’re on the go (makeup artist, actor, mover and shaker) and prefer travel-friendly, tube packaging.
Is Aqua Foundation for You?
  • You prefer a foundation that perfects the complexion and imparts a subtle glow for a silky, dewy finish.
  • You prefer working with a liquid for sheerest possible coverage and then layering to build it up as you need.
  • You apply your makeup at home, or you’re a makeup artist with a large pro kit to accommodate multiple bottles.

No matter which one you choose, you’ll get lots of compliments on your gorgeous and healthy-looking skin!

Love pro-tips? Then you’ll enjoy How to Clean Makeup Brushes Like a Pro.

Product availability and prices subject to change. For most up-to-date information, please visit alconemakeup.com.

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