Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Review

If you follow me on Instagram you are probably sick of hearing me talk about this product! The Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation has been one of the most coveted foundations. The Japanese brand was founded in 1986 by Japanese actress Ai Saotome. Ai began working on a foundation designed to deliver radiant skin on and off screen, as she was tired of using heavy, mask-like makeup bases. She first created the Moisture Foundation in the red tube, which I also own and absolutely adore. Then the Aqua Foundation came along. It is drying alcohol-free and fragrance-free. It comes with a pump and it looks and feels so luxurious. The only con, in my opinion, is the shade range as it is quite limited in undertones and depth. Recently, the Aqua Foundation got a makeover and was also reformulated. I’m going to compare the new formula to the original formula. I am showing shade 123 in both formulas.


The new packaging is plastic, slim, and tall compared to the old glass heavy bottle that was shorter and bulkier in size. The pump also got completely replaced with a smoother, more precise one, that never clogs like the original did.



The new formula gives a light coverage that can be built to a solid medium. The original had a sheer to light coverage which could be built up to a medium with additional layers.


The new formula is a bit less runny, but still extremely lightweight and spreadable just like the original.


The finish is absolutely beautiful in both the old and the new, but quite different. Most think this foundation is dewy. To me, it’s a natural finish, not dewy, not matte. The new formula is less dewy than the original formula but still gives an amazing soft-focus, and that lit from within effect.

Price & Retailers

This retails for $67 and you can get the new formula from Sephora, Violet Grey,  or Koh Gen Do. Dermstore still stocks the old formula, and I hope the bring the new one soon because I love using their subscription service to save 20% on my purchases.