How To Achieve The No-Makeup Makeup Look With KohGenDo

Ariane Collins
Ariane is a freelance writer, editor, and multimedia content creator. A creative by nature, she loves finding the beauty in everyday things…and then meticulously arranging them before snapping a photo. Although born and bred on the East Coast, she carries the West Coast in her heart — and in her personal style — from the six years she lived in California. Likes: matcha lattes, snail mail, and a good brow gel Dislikes: being called “ma’am” Favorite reads: Into The Gloss, Garance Doré, Man Repeller [email protected]

When I think of Japanese makeup, fresh, glowing skin always comes to mind as the defining feature. Healthy skin is a highly sought after trait in Asia, and many makeup products and trends aim to imitate and enhance the look of skin that glows from within. In the wintertime, when our skin is constantly being exposed to a stressful combination of cold, biting wind, and drying heaters, it’s especially difficult to achieve the dewy, natural look.

In search for that elusive glow, I spoke with KohGenDo’s CEO, Diane Nakauchi, to learn just how to create an everyday winter makeup look that focuses on eliminating redness from the skin.

Read on to find out how!


KohGenDo believes that healthy skin “is like a clean, beautiful palette.”

How smooth your makeup will appear is determined before you’ve even placed that first dab of foundation, as “hydration is key for a flawless makeup application.” Truly hydrated skin isn’t something you achieve with an occasional skincare treatment or a layer of moisturizer when you’re feeling dry. Healthy skin is achieved through investing time and care into a ritual that works for you.



The typical Asian skincare routine contains many more steps than that of the average American — often incorporating eight or more products per day. Although I personally swear by a longer skincare routine (essence, serum, you name it!), I understand that it isn’t for everyone. Diane provided her recommendations for an abridged version of a Japanese skincare routine, suitable for women in their 20s who aren’t experiencing excessive dryness.

Remove makeup: Use an oil-based cleanser or cleansing water for this step.

Cleanse the skin: Once makeup is fully removed, use a gentle foaming cleanser to remove impurities from the skin.

Use a gentle exfoliator: Use it once or twice a week, after cleansing. Look for a gel or powder chemical exfoliator that will exfoliate your skin gently. Scrubs with granular pieces can cause irritation and weaken the skin, which can contribute to acne and premature signs of aging.

Moisturize: Especially if you don’t use an essence or serum, make sure your moisturizer is providing enough hydration to protect your skin from drying out and being exposed to irritants. If it isn’t it, you may need to trade it in for something else.


The Most Essential Step

When I asked which skincare step should never be skipped, I realized it’s a step that many women neglect without even realizing they’re causing their skin harm.

Japanese women have “traditionally always used the double cleanse method.” Double cleansing involves removing your makeup with a product designed to do so without stripping your skin, such as a cleansing water or oil, and then cleansing a second time with a gel or foaming cleanser. Although you may think that your regular face wash is leaving your skin clean, if you don’t fully remove your makeup prior to cleansing, makeup residue will actually remain on the skin and can cause “enlarged pores and breakouts.” Which, of course, we would all rather avoid in the first place than work to cover up later!


How to Get the Look

I followed KohGenDo’s advice to create this look.

First, I applied the Makeup Color Base in Green to optically correct redness, which is something I struggle with in the winter.

If you’re in need of extra coverage, you can apply the Moisture Concealer prior to your foundation. Concealing prior to applying foundation helps “to minimize products used,” which results in a more natural look. My skin was looking very even that day, so the primer was plenty of coverage for me and I skipped this step.

Next, I dotted the Maifanshi Moisture Foundation in 001 from the center of my face outward, and used a makeup sponge to blend.

Pro tip from Diane:

It’s important to stipple and press your foundation into all angles of pores and lines. This is so any light captured by a specific mineral will deflect and erase the shadows for a smoother appearance.

If your skin tends to get oily throughout the day, apply Pressed Powder to your T-zone, but leave it at that! During the colder months, powdering your cheeks, jaw, or under eye area can cause your makeup to dry out and look cakey as the day goes on.


And that’s it for complexion makeup!

Keeping with the natural theme, I lightly filled in my eyebrows with a gray-brown pencil and set them with a brown brow mascara.

For my eyes, I applied a thin line of brown liquid liner, extending it just beyond the lash line. When I’m creating a natural look, I like to extend my liner straight out, instead of flicking it upward. Then I applied a single coat of mascara to my top lashes.

I completed the look by applying the Maifanshi Lipstick in Light Beige. Using a nude lipstick makes any natural look appear a bit more finished.

Whether you’d like to create a natural makeup look, or something a bit more polished, I recommend following these tips for healthy-looking skin!

Photos by Adam Wamsley.

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