Koh Gen Do Foundation & Concealer

Koh Gen Do
Koh Gen Do

Paris pharmacies are a well-known treasure trove of elusive cosmetics, coveted by globetrotting makeup artists. But look closely at any face-painter’s kit and you’re bound to find something from Japan: teensy-weensy Q-tips, perfectly packaged blotting papers, or, in this case, a duo of complexion-perfecting products by Koh Gen Do.

New York-based Daniel Martin turned me on to this range…and I’m not alone. His friend and client Lauren Santo Domingo is also a recent convert: “I was looking for an all-natural foundation and concealer in light of my pregnancy—the things one reads on the internet can be so alarming! I discovered the foundation and concealer through Daniel and couldn’t be more thrilled that something so good can be so good for you. I dab it on with a Trish McEvoy foundation brush and it looks fresh and dewy but provides great coverage.”

That “dewy, fresh” coverage is made possible by Aqua Foundation’s “golden ratio” of 45% water, 35% emollients, and 20% powder. The mineral formula is based on deep-sea water from Rausu, Japan, and infused with White Birch Sap extracts to keep skin hydrated. I’ve always avoided foundation because, for lack of better words, it’s just too much. Too cake-y, too drying, too shimmery (“glow” can go very wrong)…even an overpowering eau de SPF is a deal-breaker. This foundation is just right. I’ve been smoothing a tiny amount over skin drenched in Tammy Fender’s Neroli and Orange Antioxidant Crème and it gives the perfect—barely perceptible—amount of enhancement.

And you certainly don’t need a beauty school degree to reap the benefits of “Moisture Concealer for Professional”. The compact includes two creamy, Jojoba and Shea Butter enhanced shades, plus a miniature, retractable brush for finger-free application. There’s even a built-in trough for blending the colors together. Perhaps the best news is that you don’t need to hop on a plane (although a trip to Tokyo would be nice…), Koh Gen Do is sold stateside at Barney’s.