Learning about Koh Gen Do with Glossy Box and Sephora

(The Koh Gen Do end cap at Sephora in Times Square, New York City!)

Friday night I went to Sephora in Times Square, NYC, for an event held by Glossy Box and Koh Gen Do.

Until recently, you could only find the brand at Barney’s New York (select locations began carrying the line in 2010), but now there’s a limited selection at Sephora, and Glossy Box has incorporated the brand into its monthly subscription boxes!

To celebrate the brand’s fall launch, Glossy Box hosted a get together in style with sparkling wine and these adorbs mini cupcakes that had their logo on top:

Being in phase one of the South Beach Diet, I’m very proud to say I passed by both yummy food and drink!

Anyway, first thing I noticed at the event was the makeup station! Artists were busy at work, using Koh Gen Do products on attendees, and explaining why they were special.

And here’s the lovely Amanda from Broke and Chic after her makeup consultation – her skin looks gorgeous (well, let’s be real, she just looks gorgeous all around!!):

I decided to go ahead and get my makeup done, and my makeup artist, Azra, consulted with me that she wanted to keep my eyes and lipstick but clean and redo the rest of my face. I went to the event wearing Maybelline Mega Plush Mascara, NYX Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in Shocking Pink, Maybelline BB Cream, Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten in Fair, and MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Skin Finish in Star Wonder.

Sometimes I am nervous about new face makeup, because I have rosacea, but I was excited to see what Koh Gen Do could do!

Azra started out by using Cleansing Spa Water on Pure Cotton pads:

These cotton pads were very gentle and soft, and the Spa Water felt cooling and refreshing. The cotton pads also pull apart and you can use them to make masks!

Azra then moisturized my face with the product on the right – Oriental Plants Essence II:

It was a serum product, and Azra explained that the Oriental Plants skincare line includes 36 plant extracts.

As she worked, she also told me a little bit about the line. Koh Gen Do is a popular brand with makeup artists in the entertainment industry. I did a little more research on the company website and found that the brand launched in 1987 in Japan, born from the idea a Japanese actress had after her skin suffered from hours of performing with cosmetics on her face. She wanted products that were gentle and actually did something to help her skin.

After the serum, Azra applied another moisturizer, the Milky Lotion on the left in the pic above. After moisturizing, Azra moved on to color-correcting, because of my rosacea.

Of the three color correcting primers above, Azra chose the second from the left, the green Makeup Color Base.

Next, Azra applied Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation as a concealer:

This foundation felt light and comfortable. I’m not sure what color she used, but I found one in my Glossy Box sample box – 002 – that worked for me. (Step by step photos coming later in post!)

 After applying this, focusing on my T-Zone and chin, she applied Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation:


 (Sorry about the mini picture there!)

After applying the foundation, she used a rounded triangular sponge that she soaked with Oriental Plants Skin Lotion to bond the makeup and set it on my face:

Azra finished up my look using Koh Gen Do Face Powder to give me a mattified look vs. the “dewy” look I walked in with:

That’s a shot of the sample pot I received of this product. Here’s Azra applying it to me:


What I liked – and also what put me a bit out of my comfort zone because I’m not used to it – was that my face looked super natural. You could still see my rosy cheeks, but I didn’t look rosy all over! When I look at that picture above, it looks like I’m not wearing any makeup other than lipstick and mascara! That’s amazing.

I tried to recreate the look at home, because I’m always skeptical that the products won’t look as good when I do them, hahaha! We received lovely items to sample from the event:

So I started as close to what Azra did, but I changed it up a bit.

I cleansed my face with the Spa Water:

Then I used the Makeup Color Base in green:

followed by the Maifanshi Moisture Foundation in 002 (I used this as my foundation, instead of using Aqua Foundation with it):

I always add some foundation to my lips, because I find it can help fight feathering. Hence the weird upper lip look in the photo above!

I followed this with a dusting of Koh Gen Do Natural Lighting Powder, which is similar to my using Balance-n-Brighten over my BB Creams (my most common way of doing my foundation these days) in giving me a glow/dewy look:

It kinda finished everything up for me. Then I added my MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Star Wonder, and NYX Cosmetics Glam Aqua Luxe Lipstick in Holistic:

Here’s swatches of the Maifanshi Moisture Foundation:

Here’s swatches of my Aqua Foundation samples, which includes the Illuminator, WT-00:

Finally, swatches of the Color Corrector primers:

I didn’t blend these in, except for the illuminating primer on the right. As I was on Twitter with pics and info about the event Friday night, a reader inquired about the Yellow primer. FYI, you can use that one for more olive-toned ruddy skin to tone down redness, and hide blemishes.

Final thoughts

I loved the quality and the types of products offered by Koh Gen Do. I enjoyed everything I’ve tried!

At the end of the day, though, the barrier I see is that the prices are very steep – $62 for foundation and $126 for the moisturizing serum, for example. Personally, if I had to pick a splurge from this brand, I would get a 10.15 fl oz. bottle of the Cleansing Spa Water ($39) and a 60-pack of the Pure Cotton pads ($12) to remove my makeup at night. I confessed to Azra that I’m not great about taking my makeup off at night, and this would be a quick, easy way to get that done. It would also allow me to follow up with much-needed night time moisture for my thirsty skin!


One final note. I am not a cruelty-free blog, but I have learned a lot about this from other bloggers, and I know many of you do favor brands that are cruelty-free. I always look now to see if a brand fits the bill. Koh Gen Do is cruelty-free, and the brand also does not use chemicals that it can’t verify are safe. Instead of animal testing, the brand practices the In Vitro safety testing method, which it said is an acceptable and scientifically-proven method of testing cosmetic products.

So thanks for staying with me this long, if you have! This was one long post but I hope it was as informative for you as the night with Ken Gen Do, Glossy Box and Sephora was for me!

What do you think of this brand? See anything that piques your interest? What do you think about the cost of these products – does that make a difference for you when you are shopping for skincare and foundation? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

Disclaimer: I received a box of Koh Gen Do samples from Glossy Box and the PR/Manufacturer for review. Please visit my Disclosure tab for more information on how BeautyJudy.com keeps it real!