Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Koh Gen Do High Definition Makeup Trial Set

I've been intending to review this Koh Gen Do High Definition Makeup Trial Set ($20) for several months.  An e-mail in my inbox this morning announcing Koh Gen Do's end of year make up sale spurred me to write though I haven't used all the products in the trial set.

The tin box contained two .14 oz tubes of Maifanshi Moisture Foundation in colors 013 and 003 (additional colors available upon request); Maifanshi Makeup Color Base in Pearl White; .04 oz. container of Maifanshi Face Powder with a full-size puff; Makeup Color Base in Yellow and Green.

The kit also contained a small packet of cleansing water and three cotton pads.  Koh Gen Do developed the yellow and green color bases and the Maifanshi Makeup Color Base in Pearl White without parabens after creating this trial kit, and included paraben-free samples of those.  

A Japanese actress created Koh Gen Do as a skincare line about 25 years ago. The line has evolved since then - the Maifanshi Moisture Foundation was developed especially for high definition cameras.  It is one of my favorites, right up there with the Dolce and Gabbana Cream Foundation, and Burberry  Luminous Foundation.  Koh Gen Do describes this foundation as a "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. The foundation was tested and created to wear beautifully for 10 hours or more with a perfect ratio of 60% water, 30% highly refined oils and 10% powder."  It does not contain sunscreens but is paraben-free.

I found that this foundation really does give a flawless finish.  Applied first with fingers then smoothed out with a foundation brush, this foundation disappeared into my skin, evening out my complexion and lessening the appearance of my pores.  Applied more  heavily, it worked well in place of a concealer under my eyes.  There were no signs of fading after 10 hours and it caused no irritation or breakouts.  A sheer application is all I need on my most of my face so the .14 oz tube will go a long way, at least 4 applications.

Color 003, included in the kit, is perfect for my NC 45 skin tone.   Maifanshi Moisture Foundation comes a broad range of colors that will suit lighter and darker skin tones.  You can see them here.

The Maifanshi Face Powder was a nice surprise.  I was bit skeptical since it is snow white in the jar, but when applied with either the puff or a powder brush it disappears completely, leaving absolutely no ashiness, or a cakey finish.  This powder takes the Moisture Foundation to an ethereal finish. 

The color bases are supposed to cover discolorations.  I only tried the yellow one and it was too sheer for me.   Besides, the foundation worked so well that they were unnecessary. 

I still haven't opened the Cleansing Spa Water sample or used used the cotton pads included in the kit, since I had already purchased the cleansing water and cleansing water cloths during a Sephora sale.

Cleansing Water 300ml
         Image from Koh Gen Do.

 The cleansing water is excellent, it works as cleansing waters are supposed to, removing virtually all traces of the water-resistant makeup and eye makeup, leaving my face feeling clean with no rinsing required.  White Birch Sap is one of the key ingredients, which Koh Gen Do claims is "harvested only three weeks in early spring, [and] contributes an abundance of minerals and xylitol as it lifts off makeup, oils and residue."  It is oil-free, alcohol-free, and are safe for contact lens wearers.  It is are infused with six essential herbs that are supposed to protect and nurture skin:
  • Rosemary Leaf Extract
  • Sage Leaf Extract
  • Lavender Extract
  • Artemisia Princeps Leaf Extract
  • Perilla Ocymoides Leaf Extract
  • Ginger Root Extract
The Cleansing Spa water is $39 for 10.15 oz. - expensive to use as a daily cleanser to remove a full face of makeup including foundation, blush, and eye makeup. As I explained in this review of Vichy Cleansing Water, I use it primarily in place of toner.

    Cleansing Water Cloth
             Image from Koh Gen Do.

     The wipes, which are soaked with the cleansing water, are among the best I've used.  They are a little stiffer than most, but are thoroughly saturated with product and remove my makeup as well as the oil and milk cleansers I usually use.  They are sold in 3 packages of 10 wipes, which means the very last of your 30 wipes won't be dried out when when you reach the end.  The cleansing water and wipes do contain parabens.  At $39, they are also pricey. 

    Koh Gen Do's makeup sale lasts through January 5, 2012, 12am EST.  I'm not sure if the cleansing water and cloths are included in the sale.  The trial kit is not. 

    I bought my trial kit from the Koh Gen Do site and cleansing products from Sephora.  As far as I know Sephora only carries the line at their New York Meatpacking District store, the Forum Shops in Las Vegas and online.  The line is also available at Barneys.  To be clear, the sale is only on the Koh Gen Do online.  What have your experiences been with this line?  Do you plan to buy anything during the sale?  I'm pretty sure that at 30% off, I won't be able to resist the foundation and powder!


    1. Thank you sooo much for this post and the info on the sale! I have been very curious about the Koh Gen Do line, and I went to Barney's yesterday to check it out. I had intended to purchase a couple things but the SA had no idea what he was talking about and was obviously not a representative of the line. I think we are a similar color match, so I'm wondering if the dark shade you mention will be ok for me.

    2. Did you think the 003 shade had a noticeable pink undertone?

    3. Productdoctor, sorry I’ve taken so long to get back to you - I’ve been without Internet access most of the evening. It’s almost as irritating as not being able to get knowledgeable help from an SA! 003 isn’t noticeably pink, in fact it’s only apparent when swatched next to Chanel PL #60 and Burberry Trench #8, which are also good matches for me. (Sorry I couldn’t take a good enough photo to show that.) While I suspect that 003 may work for you, after the challenges I had finding the right shades of Dolce and Gabbana Cream Foundation and Chanel Perfection Lumiere, I hesitate to say that it would for sure. Can you get some samples to test first? By the way, Koh Gen Do makes a Foundation Color Corrector in two shades, apricot and yellow, that allows one to adjust a foundation’s undertones. If you decide to get samples of foundation, ask for samples of the corrector too. Let me know what you decide to do!



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