Ko Gen Do Aqua Foundation SPF 15 PA++ ($62). With lots of help from the counter manager and artists there, I selected OC-1.
OC-1 is described as a natural light ochre. Ochre normally has some light yellow in it. That works nicely on my skin because it minimizes the redness that can often be seen in the mid-section of my face. The shades with pink or peachy undertones were too pink for my skin.
When I place OC-1 in my palm, I see neutral - not yellow. I think the brand representatives did a great job color-matching me. Many artists select foundation shades that are way too dark or too something, focusing on the center of my face, not the jawline. The gals at Barney's were spot-on, even in department store lighting, which is notoriously bad.
Here's how Aqua Foundation is described...
A high-definition, smooth-finish foundation with lasting coverage. Aqua Foundation hides discolorations and covers skin with a fine light-diffusing layer to minimize pores and imperfections for clear, satiny-smooth skin under any lighting. Seawater minerals and white birch sap extracts keep skin hydrated and radiant. The pH-balanced formula, ideal for all skin types, delivers a high density of minerals and nutrients for a healthy, nourished complexion.
I think that description is perfect. Key in on the term "high-definition." I'm sure you know that HD makeup is said to make your skin camera-ready - even in the harshest lights for television. Many so-called HD foundations (or other makeup products) don't live up to their claims. I often think HD is often modern buzz. This one lives up to its marketing. My skin looks fabulous after I apply it - even-toned and nearly flawless. I like the way it covers or blurs my sun spots.
The key to eliminating imperfection is through light diffusion. This unique RGB Strobe Illuminator formula with the advanced powder technology creates light that erases shadows from pores, lines, and uneven surfaces. Erasing these shadows gives the impression of a flawless smooth skin.
Ko Gen Do Aqua Foundation says the radiance provided by this foundation starts with "the purest mineral-rich deep-sea waters of Rausu, Japan, combined with superbly moisturizing white birch sap to keep your skin soft and clear. I'll buy that - even though I'm skeptical of those pure water claims from the coast of Japan. No one ever mentions radiation fallout. Nevertheless, the foundation is one of the best I've used (on par with Armani's Liquid Silk, but not as revolutionary as Armani's new Maestro). It leaves a beautifully natural finish, and it is hydrating. My skin continues to look fresh for about eight hours after application. With the UA and UVB sun protection provided, it meets all my criteria for a great foundation.
I highly recommend Ko Gen Do Aqua Foundation SPF 15 PA++. Try to get color-matched in a store, rather than online. Using the color swatches at Sephora, I could have selected four different shades, not knowing which would be perfect.
You can purchase this lovely foundation at Barneys, Sephora online (and in Meatpacking District of NYC), and at the Ko Gen Do Web site.
Photo courtesy of Sephora