Review | Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation

Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation Look and Swatch

I’ve been using KohGenDo Maifanshi Moisture Foundation lately and like it a lot for its light, creamy texture and blendable nature.

A moisturising foundation, it doesn’t offer much by way of oil control but it’s a foundie I especially enjoy when my skin feels parched. During those times, it is good on its own but works even better with a moisturiser. My face has been flaking recently (I believe it’s due to the exfoliation prowess of For Beloved One 20% Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum which I’ve been testing out) and it obscures the flakiness quite efficiently, except for a super patchy-dry area above my chin.

A little does go a long way and while I’d initially thought it to be sheer-to-medium in coverage, it not only evens out my skintone immediately but also builds up adequately to conceal the spider veins I was bestowed with during my last pregnancy. I was surprised by this because its texture feels pretty light. That said, it’s not as weightless as Lancôme Teint Miracle or runny like Giorgio Armani Maestro, two lightweight foundations I love; I’d say it has a lightly-whipped buttercream frosting sort of texture.

It photographs well – my face looks natural and glowy in pictures. It develops a dewy finish after some time and thanks to its long-wearing, minimal-transfer formula, my skin doesn’t look patchy and continues to look fresh, even after blotting. No wonder it’s been used on the film sets of Star Trek and The Avengers, where action is plenty! Do note that the photo above was taken several hours after application – I think I only blotted once in the entire time the foundation was on – and I didn’t blot before snapping the picture, which accounts for the gleaming areas. For the record, I didn’t set it with powder as I was testing its longevity/effect.

The unassuming plastic squeeze tube with a tapered nib is unusual for a Japanese foundation, plus it looks a tad cheap for its premium quality and price. Nevertheless, I’m happy with it because it’s indisputably hygienic. The dressed-down red packaging and black font are reminiscent of retro Asian makeup, so the simplicity bears some charm. The only startling thing is how tiny the tube seems (20 g), which makes me thankful it stretches its wear!

It contains no SPF (somewhat surprising for a Japanese brand), so that’s a drawback for daytime application but a sunscreen or a primer with sun protection easily fixes this.

I’m in between 20 and 30 in Japanese brands and use shade 123, which is just a touch deeper than my skintone. However, this is because I want to pair it with one of their loose powders which I believe will adjust the shade. It’s probably not discernible to most except myself; it shows up quite naturally in daylight and after hours. Happily, the stellar formula maintains the colour integrity – I’ve not noticed any oxidising of the product/deepening of the shade.

My baby is sleeping as I’m typing up this review, so I can’t do swatch comparisons with other foundations but I’ll try to do them when I find the time. If you’re interested in this premium foundation, I urge you to colour-match at the counter. Some of the adjacent shades of this range do seem quite close, so even if you don’t find the exact match, don’t be afraid to play with your powders/bases when pairing them with this product. In fact, many of the reviews I’ve read mention mixing shades from the range. Incidentally, doing this also gives your base makeup more dimension.

Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation Visual

In Singapore, this foundation retails at S$80 and can be found at Takashimaya Level 3.

PS: I know it’s far from this but I can’t help associating the name with sweet potato: fan shi = sweet potato in Cantonese, so Maifanshi could read as ‘my sweet potato’! ;)

Information from the brand:

Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation Visual

Introducing the Paraben Free Moisture Foundation. A 3D Real Skin Foundation, the next generation High Def foundation is here now.

Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation Stock Swatches

Select your matching color out of 12 shades.

  • 000 Pink/Cool (001, 012, 002, 013, 023, 003): Evens skin tone to a healthy natural finish.
  • 100 Ochre/Warm (112, 113, 123): Corrects red undertones or for a warm tint to a healthy natural finish.
  • 300 Dark (301, 302, 303): Evens skin tone to a healthy natural finish.

Kohgendo Maifanshi Golden Ratio

Perfect Golden Ratio Combined with Advanced Technology: 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.

 Kohgendo Maifanshi Pore Camouflage with Flat and Round Powders

Optical Smoothing for Fine Lines and Uneven Skin Surfaces: Two types of powders are created for this foundation. A flat shaped powder that reflects the light erasing all shadows that appear from uneven surfaces of skin and the round shaped powder that covers all tiny pores.

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. The formulation of the encapsulated water and powder by oil from the first application release the powder and water throughout the day. This keeps your skin from drying and keeps your skin looking moist and fresh all day.Auto-filter powder used. Most powders when applied will sit on the skin and give a white veil-look. Our specially made powder when applied fits onto your skin diffusing all sharp lines and unevenness for that ‘optical smoothing’ effect.

Kohgendo Maifanshi Mineral Powders

100% minerals are used in the 4 colors of red, yellow, black and white. Does not hurt the skin after long hours of wear and brings out beautiful and healthy tones from within. We have used two tones of red to find the natural healthy tone that can be captured on film and also with the naked eye.


  • Jacqueline says:

    I am dying to try a KGD foundation but I’m leaning more towards the Aqua Foundation because of my oily skin. What do you think? I love the finish on your face, soft and glowy. Me Loves.

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Jac,

      I’ve read reviews about the Aqua foundie being far too sheer; this one seems to get more positive feedback. I’m actually quite curious about it, nonetheless. The moisture foundie might work with a good primer (or would that be too much work?). Why not try a sample first? I think the brand should be able to provide this. Good luck and I’d love to hear what you think of it!

  • Sara says:

    I, too, was slightly taken aback but how small it looked but I agree that this is certainly a keeper despite of that and a little goes a long way so that certainly helps. This is easily one of my favorites now!

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Sara,

      The small tube = sticker shock but given its long-lasting nature and its versatility, it’s something I’d certainly consider buying when this tube is used up. I love how it can be a my-skin-but-better foundation – working almost like a tinted moisturiser – and build up to heavier coverage. No wonder it’s a favourite with so many people…Hollywood stars too, apparently!

  • Hi Mag,
    Thanks for the review. I’m contemplating whether to get this or the Aqua foundation. I’ve read reviews that Aqua foundation is very sheer. But after reading your review, I am leaning towards the moisture foundation. Your skin looks dewy and flawless.

    • makeupmag says:

      Thank you, Meryl!

      I hope you’ve had a chance to try this foundie; it does photograph very well and I’m enjoying it quite a bit. :)

  • Julilynmashy says:

    I have a problem with foundations. I have oily skin and I perspire a lot and need some recommendations on really great foundations that stay on the whole day. Would appreciate your response..thanks!

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Julilynmashy,

      I would recommend foundation primers, in your case. Some good ones come from Smashbox, EL, MAC. If you’d like a long-wearing foundation, Lancome Mat Miracle doesn’t transfer easily (but it doesn’t seem to control oil production very well on me). Benefit Hello Flawless works well over their Stay Flawless primer too. Do try to request for foundation samples before you buy. Alternatively, you could use foundation compacts vs liquids; those tend to last longer. One of my faves is Lancome Blanc Miracle.

  • 001pegasus says:

    anyone tried the brushes and concealer?

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