Wednesday, May 6, 2015

REVIEW: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation

This post may be giving some of you a feeling of deja vu. That's because I tested this foundation a while back, liked the formula but hated the oxidization, and promptly wrote it off. "Life is too short," I told myself, "to walk around looking like I have Pepto-Bismal on my face."

Well, things have changed. I've aged, and in the process, my skin has gotten dryer and more dehydrated. Products that once performed beautifully on me now look odd on my face; things I used to hate sometimes work well for me. And because I've been desperately searching for a pale enough, neutral enough, and forgiving-on-dry-skin enough foundation for the past year and a half or so, I figured it was time to give the KGD another try.

The packaging for this product is just plain utilitarian. The squeeze tube and tiny nozzle make it easy to dispense just the right amount of product with no mess. I'm incredibly irritated by the sticker they slap on the back, though. I know this is kind of snobby and elitist, but at $62 a tube, you can't afford to give me English-language packaging without a sloppy sticker on the back? *grumble grumble first world problems*

 Daylight on top, flash on the bottom. From left to right: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly, Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation in 001, Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in Sx01, NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Siberia.

As far as the shade goes: yeah, it's still too pink for me. These swatches show four products that are roughly the same depth, and the KGD swatch is definitely the only outright pink one. But luckily, it no longer oxidizes on my face, so it doesn't get darker and pinker. If you aren't squinting at me, then you can't really notice the undertone difference in real life.

I think.

I hope.

The shade range irritates the snot out of me on general principle. I know that Asian brands, as a general rule, have very tiny shade ranges. But I think when you start marketing to, and selling through, a western marketplace, you should adapt accordingly. There are no shades for dark-skinned people in this line; in fact, I'd say if you're NC/NW30 or over, you're out of luck. Also, only 3 of the 8 shades have yellow undertones, and none of them are neutral. This is a product that's geared towards pink-toned people.

The actual formula is as I remember it: a liquid, but a very thick and creamy one. This doesn't glide across my face like MAC Face & Body; I have to take a few minutes to work it in to my skin in sections. That's not to say that it feels heavy or bad, but it's not as liquidy as the standard foundation. I can't imagine using a brush to apply this stuff--I always use my fingers and let the warmth of my skin blend the product.

There's some disagreement as to whether or not this foundation is medium coverage. Personally, I find it to be a light coverage product that's slightly buildable, but only slightly.

The above images show what I look like before applying the KGD foundation and after applying a thin layer. As you can see, I have relatively decent skin, but I do break out on my chin. Also, I was unusually uneven and sallow on this particular day. The KGD evened out my skintone and softened my blemishes, but did not completely cover them. The finish is between dewy and satin, and it looks quite natural.

The before and after images, however, don't demonstrate how decent this product really looks on the skin. Some foundations look great immediately after you apply them, some look meh, and some look like garbage until they've been sitting on your face for a good 15 minutes. KGD Maifanshi moisture is in that last category: it looks weird and blotchy and hideous when I first apply it, but after about 15 minutes (as seen above), it looks much more even. Again, I think this is a product that really relies on body heat to keep it smooth.

Also, can you see here that this product is too pink for me? Kinda? Ah, well, such is life.

I didn't powder or prime my face at all, because I usually try to test foundations on their lonesome at least once. I'm a dry-skinned person, so that's usually not a problem, but...eek, that 5 hour mark. Bear in mind that my nose is the one truly oily part of my face, so I kind of expected that, but the shine on my chin and my forehead--while not too extreme--is unusual for me. I was aching to blot, but I resisted.

The header image for this post gives you a much better idea of how this product works if you powder and primer where necessary. In that image, I powdered my nose, and dusted a teeeeeeny amount of powder on my chin and the center of my forehead as well. Notice how much better I look! I still had to blot my nose once or twice throughout the day, but I expected that.

What's truly fantastic about this foundation, however, is that it is one of the only base products on the market that looks great on dry and/or dehydrated skin. Almost everything else I've tried makes my face look flat, or emphasizes dry patches, unless I douse myself with highlighter, setting spray, and MAC Strobe Cream. The KGD isn't like that: it can actually get a bit too dewy if you don't blot it. That's atrocious for a normal-to-oily skinned person, but if you're dry like me, it's a Godsend.

RATING: 4 out of 5.


  1. Have you seen the cover fx foundation drops that have just been released? It claims to not only be a awesome foundation but a drop or two can change a foundation that previously didn't fit because of color to one that does. What are your thoughts?

    1. I'm holding out on the CoverFX drops until they release the new shades--the forthcoming N0 shade will probably be my best match. They're slated for release in the Fall. If I get my hands on them, then I'll keep everybody posted! :)

  2. *cries* I can see that it's too pink for you even though it appears that you've blended down your neck? Other than that, I've heard nothing but good things about it for dry skin...and I really wish KGD has an olive equivalent for this particular product. WHY!!!!!? *collapses onto knees and curses the wind*


      I'm going to keep it around for when my skin is at its driest and I wear a lot of turtlenecks, but uuuugh, to have this in a yellower shade!!!