Product Review: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Face Powder

Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Face Powder, 12g, US$42.00
Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Face Powder, 12g, US$42.00

A good, translucent, non drying loose powder that doesn’t make you look chalky is very hard to find. Over the years I had tried many – from Cornsilk to Shiseido – and while many of them claim to not dry your skin out, they do. When I saw Koh Gen Do at, I knew this had potential. I bought this online (Sephora’s retail stores don’t carry this except in NYC so far) and it arrived last week after a 2-week wait.

As I had previously introduced, Koh Gen Do is one of the few Japanese beauty brands that does not test its ingredients or finished products on animals. I had used its foundation years ago without knowing anything about this brand at the time while I was vacationing in Tokyo; but I had never tried their powders. To give you some information about my skin – I have dry, dehydrated (lacking both oil and moisture) and at times sensitive skin; I turned 36 last month and I have fine lines on my forehead. I don’t wear foundations – I mainly use a loose powder so my powder blush can adhere better and give my face a more polished look.

Koh Gen Do's Maifanshi Face Powder is truly translucent; it goes on clear without any white cast or color.

That’s the trick – because I have dry and dehydrated skin, with the wrong kind of loose powder, it can look chalky and cakey. Case in point – the Shiseido Integrate Loose Powder I reviewed before – it was too pink and it dries out my skin. I have used MUFE’s HD Microfinish Powder, which is 100% silica and claims not to dry out your skin, but it dries my skin so badly that my face looks taut and chalky, and it gets itchy from the dryness to a point that I wanted to just wash it all off. The color of the powder is another thing too – most of the ‘translucent’ powders are either not truly translucent and leave a beigey finish that may not suit your skin shade, or they go on white so you end up looking like a geisha. So the quest for an HG loose powder became almost an impossible one!

Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Face Powder In A Jar, 0.42 oz/12g, US$42.00. Picture credit:
Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Face Powder In A Jar, 0.42 oz/12g, US$42.00. Picture credit:

Back to Koh Gen Do. This Maifanshi Face Powder (marketed as “Face Powder In A Jar” at contains no artificial colors, fragrance, petroleum based mineral oil or paraben. The paraben part is particularly attractive, since many loose powders are loaded with not one but at least three types of parabens! The ingredient list is simple but good – TALC, ZINC MYRISTATE, SILK POWDER, SODIUM HYALURONATE, IRON OXIDES. No unnecessary fillers, but all essential, good stuff. The powder itself is super super fine. I am not surprised that this is made for cinema, because it shows very well on camera without any trace at all.

The color of this powder looks white but it truly goes on colorless with no pigment whatsoever. It won’t change your skin color or the color or your foundation. It sets your makeup and doesn’t feel or look dry. On my dry and dehydrated skin, my lines aren’t accentuated. It literally felt like I buffed on silk powder when I use this with my kabuki brush. There is a very luxurious velour puff included with the jar of powder, but I highly recommend using a kabuki brush, tap off the excess, and gently buff it onto your skin for the most natural, non-cakey finish.

Here I am, wearing Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Face Powder. I did not wear any foundation underneath. I am naturally two-toned – my face is always a little more pink than my white neck. Anyway, this is how the face powder looked on me, it doesn’t have any color but makes your skin look silky smooth. I was also wearing DuWop’s Private Red lipstick in this picture which I will be reviewing separately.

The only problem I can foresee is if you have very oily skin, you cannot rely on this powder to control sebum. But my personal opinion is that you don’t usually rely on a loose powder to control oil anyway – it is meant for setting the makeup. If you have oily skin, make sure your foundation and primer have oil-control because this face powder won’t do that for you.

All in all, I am truly happy with Koh Gen Do’s face powder. You only need a little bit at a time so a 12g jar will last you a very long time. The most important thing is that it is cruelty free!

Available at (ships to US and Canada) or (ships to US only).

2 comments on Product Review: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Face Powder

  1. nami
    October 8, 2011 at 3:53 am (5 years ago)

    hi..r u wearing any highlighter…i just love the glow on your face..

    • Joseibi
      October 11, 2011 at 4:21 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks, hun! 🙂 I only wore a highlighter along the bridge of my nose. I had the translucent powder over Origins A Perfect World moisturizer with SPF25, which makes my skin glow 🙂


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