One of the perks of working at a beauty magazine is that I get to see some of the top industry experts work their magic on models for our photo and video shoots. And you better believe I take notes (mental ones at the very least) on their techniques and the products they use.
That’s why when celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles pulled out a foundation from Japanese makeup brand Koh Gen Do during a shoot, I had to try it myself. Not only did she rave about it, she also claimed to use it regularly herself and on her clients (and if you’ve seen her work, you know it has to be good).
There are a few different formulas to choose from, but I went for Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation with SPF 15 ($62). It’s similar to bb cream since it contains deep sea minerals and white birch spa extract to treat and hydrate skin, but also comes in a medium coverage formula to conceal imperfections throughout the day.
Now, I tend to dislike foundation in general-it feels too retro and theatrical, and I really only want to even out my skin tone on most days. Surprisingly, this formula is light and silky, and it leaves my skin feeling dewy. Plus, it offers the perfect amount of coverage without looking cakey. I don’t even have to use concealer when I wear it (unless I have a sleepless night-then my concealer works overtime).
Here’s the best part-you don’t have to use powder to set this foundation. You can, but it’s not necessary. Most makeup artists say you shouldn’t use much powder anyway, but I always have to if I want to keep shine to a minimum. Not with this. It contains a formula that illuminates the skin and gives it a silky finish that looks good, even in the worst fluorescent lighting.
I highly recommend this foundation. The only issue might be that it comes in nine different shades, but they’re all pretty light to medium-colored. Once they add some darker shades, it will be a great option for just about anyone.
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