Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator

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Today’s Thoughts

Today’s review will be for Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator.  But before we get there, today’s random thoughts.

The kitten, Petunia, is doing very well.  It is looking increasingly like she will be joining our family.

As per usual, I had a million different thoughts going through my head for this post while I was in the shower.  They have subsequently flown from my brain.  But if you’re reading this, thank you for being here! I got my first two comments today and I’m stoked.

Oh, there’s a thought now.  I saw a BuzzFeed post today entitled, “32 Tweets That Would Have Made No Sense 20 Years Ago.”  Now, not to split hairs here, but…zero Tweets would have made sense 20 years ago because there were no Tweets.  As I remember it, there was barely the Internet.

At that time, I remember barely having a grasp on email.  In college, we were assigned an email on the VAX system, which I would describe if I had any idea what it was.  But it basically looked like an HTML document.  There were no graphics.  Just words.

So if someone had said to me, “Hey, you can communicate with people, but you can only use 140 characters and spaces count,” I probably would have ignored that avenue of communication.  Funny now that that form of communication is a cultural regularity.

But those were simpler times.  I remember having to go to the library and research when writing a paper. Now, I have heard, if kids cite books as sources in their papers, they get points deducted because it’s outdated information.  I cannot even wrap my brain around this.

In college, we used to spend hours in the library.  Mostly we were screwing around, but still, it was a social experience.  In an increasingly technologically advanced world, we’re losing those smaller social joys.  And I’m not blind to the irony of this post, being that a) I’m sitting in my home writing it, not in an office; and that b) I never sit in an office.  I work from home.  I’ve chosen the most isolated route.

Even so, there’s an entire generation coming up in the world that doesn’t remember what life was like before computers, before everything was at our fingertips, and there was never a need to leave the house.  Or express yourself in sentences longer than 140 characters.  I can’t help but think that they’re missing out.

Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator Pin


Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator

But, um, back to the lecture at hand ;).  I found the Koh Gen Do brand while working on a movie called “Band-Aid” with Zoe Lister-Jones, where I worked as her assistant.  She sent me to pick up some foundation by this company from a place called Frends Beauty Supply.  To me, this name sounds like a place where you would find all of the most off-brand stuff ever, but it’s actually an amazing store.

Later that night I Googled Koh Gen Do and found a bunch of their products, and the Aqua Foundation Illuminator caught my eye.  The idea is that you mix this in with your foundation to give your skin a kind of “glow,” much like might see on any red carpet starlet who is described as “dewy.”

First Impressions

The Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator comes in three colors: white, beige, and soft pink.  Initially, I went into the store intending to purchase the white, but after chatting with the salesgirl I decided to go with beige.  She pointed out that the Illuminator can be used with or without foundation, and being half Italian I figured slathering white shimmer on my face might look a little unnatural.


The texture of the Illuminator is light and slippery, pretty much as you’d expect.  I use the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator in two ways.  First, I mix it in with my foundation and a little bit of moisturizer for a fuller coverage effect.  It adds a nice glow to my face and the combo feels like BB cream. Second, I’ll put the Illuminator straight onto my face after applying concealer under my eyes.  I do this if I want a lighter look (like I’m not wearing foundation).

My preference is the second application.  I have gotten some really nice compliments about my skin while wearing the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator, which is nice because I don’t have great skin.  I still break out all the time, as though I’m stuck in some sort of puberty limbo, and wrinkles are now joining the party.  So I take any praise I can get.

Here are some comparisons of me without any makeup, with the Koh Gen Do Illuminator, and with a full face of makeup.  Disclaimer: My mom told me my photos distort my face, so my face looks weird.  Apparently I don’t know how to take a selfie with an iPhone.  Not surprising, since based on this post I’m 105.

Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator Side by Side
Left, Bare Face; Middle, Illuminator Only; Right, Full Makeup

So as you can see from the middle photo, the Koh Gen Do Illuminator gives my face a nice sheen.  For the full makeup, I put a layer of loose powder on top, but the Illuminator quickly comes through.  Especially since I’m half Italian so I tend to “glow” anyways. (Translation: I have very oily skin).

Cost and Where to Buy

Koh Gen Do is not a drugstore brand, so it’s a little expensive.  I bought my Illuminator, as I said, at a beauty supply store for around $40.  You can get the Koh Gen Do Aqua Facial Illuminator at Sephora for $39, or at LovelySkin.com for a 20% discount at $31.20.  You might be able to find it at a local beauty supply store, but I would call and check to make sure they carry the products first.

Final Thoughts

I would give the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator a 9.5 out of 10.  I love this stuff.  The only reason I’m not giving 10/10 is the price is a little on the high side.  However, I have had my bottle for a while and I still have a lot left.  Granted, I don’t put on makeup every day, but I still think you can stretch a good few months from one bottle.

Did you try Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator?  Tell me what you think! Leave me a comment or message me here.

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