Our VIOLET GREY artist committee knows the ins and outs of foundation. Think: texture, undertone, and coverage. After multiple conversations with artists about which brands deliver best on undertone, our experts always call out Koh Gen Do. So when we learned that the Tokyo-born-and-bred brand was relaunching its wildly popular Maifanshi Aqua Foundation, we knew we needed to test the latest formula and see if it lived up to its predecessor.

The good news? It’s even better. The nourishing foundation, which leaves a dewy finish and delivers sheer to medium coverage, is meant to mimic the quintessential glow after a facial. Infused with jojoba oil, olive squalane, and shea butter to leave skin soft and supple, the Maifanshi Aqua Foundation also contains soft-focus pigments to brighten and reduce the appearance of pores and even out the skin tone. Just think of it as the perfect Instagram filter, bottled. 



“I keep this foundation in my kit. It’s light and hydrating, and the brand makes great shades for skin tones with yellow undertones. It gives light to medium coverage and makes the skin look radiant. It’s also great for people with dry skin.” —Carola Gonzalez, makeup artist

“I love how light and and creamy this formula is. It’s almost like a lotion consistency and it gives the skin a beautiful luminosity.” —Katie Jane Hughes, makeup artist

“The new Aqua Foundation got a face-lift—it has amazing staying power and delivers a glowing finish.” —Monika Blunder, makeup artist


Aftering prepping skin, apply foundation in sheer, buildable layers. Pat the foundation into skin and allow each layer to set before the next.

monika blunder +
koh gen do

When master makeup artist—and longtime Koh Gen Do afficianado—Monika Blunder stopped by VIOLET GREY, we asked to see the new Maifanshi Aqua in action. “It got a facelift,” she says of the revamped formula, “It has a glowing finish and is really buildable.” Blunder’s technique for luminous, barely-there makeup? Starting in the center of the face, apply the foundation—she used shades 113 and 213 on actress Victoria Summer—with your fingers in upward, outward strokes. Then, buff it in with a brush. Voila!