FOTD: Las Vegas…Featuring Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator in Beige

Above: The Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Iluminator in Beige…tonally, this calls to mind a delicate champagne rose gold. 
I just returned from a weekend trip to Las Vegas and, despite bringing copious amounts of makeup (I possess significantly less packing restraint when I don’t have to fly), I found myself gravitating towards the same  product options each day that I was away.  This consistency was anchored by my reliance on the newly procured Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator in Beige.  Retailing for $39, a single pump of this veritable liquid light transformed my face into a dewy, radiant canvas that proactively enhanced every other makeup item I chose to apply.  
It is incredibly weightless, delightfully unscented and brimming with the finest, most complex shimmer ever to emanate from an illuminating formula.  The beige tone makes it radiant without being “white” and its liquid texture allows it be seamlessly mixed into foundation or applied over existing makeup with remarkable ease.   Somehow, it makes my skin dewy and fresh without causing oiliness or excessive shine…truly a exceptional formula! 
Official Product Information (courtesy of Koh Gen Do):
  • IL01 (Sheer Beige): Want to add glow without changing the skin tone? Sheer Beige was developed in response to such requests from makeup artists. When applied to skin in those areas that are most exposed to the light, such as the cheeks and forehead, its fine pearly particles add a beautiful glow without altering the tone, giving an elegant subtle glow to the skin. Add it into your foundation for that all over dewy glow without the shine.
No artificial colors, fragrance, petroleum-based mineral oil or paraben.

Kindly scroll on for FOTD images featuring the KGD Aqua Illuminator as well as a full product breakdown and the Bottom Line…
Above: A closeup to demonstrate the glow…taken in front of a window.
Above: Taken outside of the Venetian (where we stayed).
Products Used:
1. Kanebo Sensai Cellular Performance Cream Foundation in #22 Natural Beige (buffed into skin with a damp Beauty Blender).  Reviewed HERE.
2. Koh Gen do Aqua Foundation Illuminator in Beige (one pump…tapped along cheek bones, bridge of nose, brow bone and Cupid’s bow)
3. Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate in Intensity 01 along cheekbones and temples.  Reviewed HERE.
5. Illamasqua Powder Blush in Katie (on apples of cheeks).  Review soon!
6. By Terry Ombre Blackstar shadow in #04 Bronze Moon (on upper lids and under lower lash line).
9. Ardell Natural Duralash Individual Knot Free Lashes (three per eye on outer corners).
10. Surratt Beauty Lipslique in Fee Soie (swatches and review soon…loving this new line!)
11. Koh Gen Do Triple Lightning Powder in BE-1 (to set foundation/touch up throughout the day)

Above: Taken in outdoor shade.

Above: Taken in outdoor mixed light…for reference, the Venetian Sephora is behind me ; ) 
Bottom Line: The Koh Gen Do Beige Foundation Illuminator is utterly entrancing…from the extremely complex rose gold shimmer to the weightless way it melts into the skin, it is one of the most sophisticated highlighters I’ve ever encountered. It’s ability to add subtle, long lasting glow is undeniable and I cannot wait to try this with every foundation I own. Highly recommended! 

**PR sample provided for review, however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  
This post contains affiliate links; my disclosure policy contains additional details on how these work.

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Comments (34)

  • Catherine @ bcrueltyfree Reply

    Wow look at that glow! Your skin looks literally airbrushed! Just stunning.

    November 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Thanks so much, Catherine! This illuminator is incredible!


      –The Beauty Professor

      November 13, 2013 at 1:38 am
  • DEN Reply

    Whoa! It takes a lot to impress me these days, but your makeup is flawless and your skin looks amazing! That second photo could be for a magazine shoot!!

    November 12, 2013 at 5:44 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Oh my goodness, DEN…thank you for the truly kind and generous words.

      Hope your week is going well!


      –The Beauty Professor

      November 13, 2013 at 1:41 am
  • Makeupbypatricia Reply

    Your skin looks ABSOLUTELY amazing!

    November 12, 2013 at 11:46 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello Patricia!

      Many thanks for the sweet compliment…honestly, the makeup I used did all the work ; )


      –The Beauty Professor

      November 13, 2013 at 1:43 am
  • strongestrose Reply

    Flawless!! Just truly stunning! I really love all the Koh Gen Do products I have tried so far, so this seems like a definite must have as well! I am wondering if you have had a chance to take a look at the new version of the Kanebo Sensai Cellular Foundation? I know they recently changed to a US formula, and am concerned that the shades may have been altered. Would love your thoughts whenever you have a chance 🙂 xo

    November 13, 2013 at 3:51 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello Shoshana,

      I am blushing…thank you so much!! In light of our similar skin tone and taste, I think you would love this highlighter! I have been waiting to swatch in person/receive samples of the new KS formula from Kimmie (my specialist at NM) but the testers haven't arrived in store yet (though the actual products are available for sale). As of yesterday, she told me they should be delivered sometime this week so as soon as I can access them, I will swatch and post the shades and report any noticed differences. She assured me that the shades are to remain exactly the same, they just won't have sunscreen now…let's hope such is the case because still I adore this formula!

      xoxo, hope your week is going well and talk soon,

      –The Beauty Professor

      November 13, 2013 at 5:03 am
    • strongestrose Reply

      I'm a weak weak human being. The VIB code for Sephora was still working last night, so I ordered the KGD. It just looks so pretty, and I really prefer subtle highlight.

      Kimmie is the sweetest! I think I snagged the last Natural Beige in the original formula because of her (and you for referring me to her)! I was a little apprehensive to buy it initially, because I didn't want to fall in love with something that was going to change. She said that she was also worried when she heard about the formula change because, in her experience, shades are sometimes lighter when the SPF is removed. She was reassured that the colors would remain the same when she voiced this issue to the company, so I am glad to hear she is still optimistic! Imagine….what if it's even BETTER! 😀 😀

      November 14, 2013 at 5:42 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      I completely related to said weakness ; ) At least you got the KGD with a 20% off discount…I think you will love it!

      Kimmie is wonderful, indeed! I am looking to touch base with her tomorrow to see if the testers are in because I am all sorts of impatient when it comes to foundation I adore ; ) Love your closing thought…if is even better, that will be insane!

      Have a beautiful weekend and talk soon! You're in LA right? If you happen to be near Long Beach on Sunday, do think about swinging by the Patchwork Festival…it's free and has amazing artisan booths. My brother will have a booth there and I'll be helping him and it would be wonderful to meet in person! I'll be posting all the details tomorrow…


      –The Beauty Professor

      November 15, 2013 at 5:06 am
  • Unknown Reply

    WOOOWWW!! You look straight out of a magazine, but only real, they need airbrushed etc this looks truly stunning,I am going to have to look further into the brand.
    Love it
    The lipstick colour is gorgeous as well
    I loove the subtle lashes you are wearing
    this is my favourite look you have done and all your others are stunning to but this is FLAWLESS.

    I hope your week has been treating you kindly

    take care & talk soon
    Julie xox

    November 13, 2013 at 5:27 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello Julie,

      Oh my…thank you so much!! That is so very sweet of you to say. I am completely honored in all ways…truly.

      This week has been rather hectic and I am looking forward to hopefully catching up on some sleep this weekend ; )

      I hope all is well with you…xoxo and talk soon,

      –The Beauty Professor

      November 15, 2013 at 5:09 am
  • Karin Reply

    I think you have stumbled across the perfect combination. Your best look yet. Good thing you have it written down!

    November 13, 2013 at 5:36 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello Karin,

      Many thanks for your kind assessment!

      Have a lovely weekend…xoxo,

      –The Beauty Professor

      November 15, 2013 at 5:49 am
  • Kath TheFabZilla Reply

    So far I've only tried the concealer and blush from Koh Gen Do. I like the dewy finish on you. I have open pores so I stay away from anything that will emphasize them. But you look absolutely gorgeous as always!!!

    November 13, 2013 at 5:40 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hi Kath!

      Thank you ; ) I have a hunch this illuminator would be divine on you. It is the least shiny liquid highlighter I've encountered thus far!


      –The Beauty Professor

      November 15, 2013 at 5:50 am
  • Lynn127 Reply

    WoW!Amazing. I thought I had tried every liquid illuminator out there but I was so wrong. I definitely like the beige ones so u don't get the dreaded ghost look. Josie Maran makes a nice Afghan oil 1 as well but u know me, the glow queen, I will be ordering this. As for what I read on Kanebo & the new formula, I hope colors stay true b/c that still remains my favorite foundation so far. I'm not quite done yet but getting close. That's not bad seeing that Kimmie sent it to me early summer & I use it almost everyday. The same goes for my LMdB peau vierge, another great find thanks to u Rachel. Thanks for the new goodies from Vegas. xoxo

    November 13, 2013 at 5:53 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello Lynn,

      Thank you ever so much! As the glow queen, I think you probably need this in your life ; ) I am waiting to get the samples of the new formula from Kimmie and will post the swatches ASAP…so hoping that everything remains the same because it is definitely my favorite overall as well (I've been reaching for it all week!).

      I hope you have an absolutely wonderful weekend and look forward to chatting soon!


      –The Beauty Professor

      November 15, 2013 at 5:54 am
    • Lynn127 Reply

      I will wait to see what you think after you receive the samples of the new formula before I re-order. This cream foundation makes every other liquid I own seem to be just o.k It's very hard to reach for anything else as the finish is so skin-like. What are your thoughts on the new aqua from Koh gd? I read you will be testing/swatching so I'll wait for that. Was thinking of trying it & wanted to know if it's got some luminosity. Thanks as always for the in-depth reviews & all the time you put into it. So appreciate it. 🙂

      November 18, 2013 at 9:26 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Yes…I hope to receive the samples any day now! I totally know what you mean. There is nothing quite like the KS CP…it is just perfect. I should be receiving a bottle of the new KGD Aqua soon and will be doing a comprehensive write up of it after testing it. I have the original version (which does indeed have luminosity) and have to mix two shades to get a match…also, the coverage in the original is not as good as the KS CP so we'll see how the new formula performs!

      Thanks for being such a loyal reader and friend…xoxo,

      –The Beauty Professor

      November 19, 2013 at 1:59 am
  • MG Reply

    You look absolutely stunning! I was wondering if they dewy look is still "in" for the fall and winter months. I absolutely love it on you, but I'm seeing a lot of matte looks lately. I find them to look a little flat at times, and I like the look of a healthy glow. What do you think? Also, I wanted to ask if you still use the serge lutens teint si fin powder? I'm thinking of getting that, because I need a setting powder (I know it's a powder foundation, but I'm hoping it'll work at a setting powder too) that doesn't make me look overly powdered or overly matte. I was also wondering if the powder has any flashback in flash photography? Thanks!

    November 13, 2013 at 5:54 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello MG,

      Thank you!! I like a moderate version of the dewy look…it feels like we only really have two choices when it comes to fashion magazines: Matte or Dewy. That being said, their favor appears to alternate each season ; ) I prefer a few dewy areas (cheekbones, Cupid's bow), balanced out by a matte T zone year round!

      I do still use the Serge Lutens powder…it is definitely in my rotation as a setting powder. It is so finely milled that you don't get a powdery finish and I haven't noticed any flashback in photography!

      I hope that helps…xoxo,

      –The Beauty Professor

      November 15, 2013 at 6:01 am
  • Cici Reply

    Beautiful! Have you tried the new aqua foundation yet? I'd love to know what you think!

    November 14, 2013 at 12:41 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Thanks, Cici! I have swatched all shades of the new aqua formula (blog post soon!) and am trying my own bottle of it next week. Full write up ASAP ; )


      –The Beauty Professor

      November 15, 2013 at 6:02 am
  • MarciaF (Beauty Info Zone) Reply

    That's the Surratt lipstick I bought. I had to take a guess and I got lucky.
    These pictures are just gorgeous!

    November 14, 2013 at 5:12 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      I love it, Marcia…we are lipstick twins, indeed!! Fee Soie is so lovely…pale but still has color…I've been wearing it nonstop. I also got Gamine which is a bit darker and peachier. I swatched all the Lipslique shades while in Vegas and will be posting them soon…there are definitely some other pinks we both need to add to our collections!

      Thanks for your kind compliment…xoxo,

      –The Beauty Professor

      November 15, 2013 at 6:04 am
  • Kainita Reply

    Hello dearest B.P,

    Gorgeous…were the first words to exit my mouth when I saw your recent LMdB lipstick review! The shades looked utterly stunning and I could really see the quality emanating from from the screen. Sahara looked absolutely divine on you, I will have to give it a try. Thank you so much for doing an updated skincare/foundation routine which I found really helpful particularly as you introduced certain products that I would not have considered otherwise, such as the L'Oreal products.

    I have to say that you look stunning in these pics and very 'glowy' in a healthy 'I totally get 8 hours of sleep' way, that isn't shiny or oily. I will definitely be trying this product so thanks for the review. I FINALLY received my Charlotte Tilbury 3 weeks ago and since then have being trying all the products. I purchased the magic cream, lipstick in Bitch Perfect, Lip gloss in Sleek Stiletto, Bar of Gold highlighter, Dolce Vita eyeshadow quad and 2 brushes. So far I am really enjoying the magic cream which has a slight non-irritating scent. It feels lush and creamy and has not irritated my sensitive skin. Whilst it claims to have spf 15, as these are not stated as active ingredients they cannot be relied upon for proper sun protection, so I have being using it as a night cream.

    The lipstick is hydrating and creamy on the lips without being oily. The Bitch Perfect shade is a lovely pinky nude in a gorgeous and glorious rose gold case. I love the brushes which are deceptively soft on the skin despite looking a little stiff. They apply product evenly and are housed in a beautiful dark brown sculpted packaging. I haven't tried the eyeshadow quad yet or lip gloss yet so will have to let you know how these go!

    I hope that you had a lovely weekend getaway at Las Vegas. I really loved visiting Vegas which was interesting despite the intense smoke that inevitably intruded upon all aspects of days (and nights) out. I also felt right at home with the glamor of gorgeous hotel lobbies filled with divine chandeliers, flowers and other beautiful wares.

    Thanks again for thoughtful reviews, I really appreciate your rich descriptions of each product and the care that goes into trialling and reviewing each item.

    Sending a big hug, Karen xo

    November 14, 2013 at 10:02 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello dear Karen!

      Thank you so much for the ever encouraging feedback! I can attest to the efficacy of the KGD highlighter because I definitely wasn't getting anywhere near 8 hours of sleep while in Las Vegas ; )

      How exciting that your Charlotte Tilbury products have arrived! I have had my eye on her Bitch Perfect (despise the name, but the shade looks so lovely) lipstick for months. Do you recommend?! I think I may have to place an order.

      We had a wonderful time in Vegas, thank you! My husband was there to see some of his clients (he works in oil) and I met him there for the weekend. It is an otherworldly place to visit…the opulence, insane hours and constant visual stimuli can definitely be overwhelming, but there's no place like it in the world (at least that I've visited!). And yes, the smoke in Vegas is utterly exhausting…my allergies always go crazy!

      Such a joy to hear from you…I hope your weekend is absolutely lovely and look forward to chatting soon.


      –The Beauty Professor

      November 15, 2013 at 6:42 am
    • Kainita Reply

      Hello dear B.P,

      Wow it's great to hear that you had such an enthralling and luxurious time taking in all the sights and sounds! I have wonderful memories of Vegas and my travels in the US generally which I am so thankful to have being able to do. I too despise the name of the lipstick, however I can definitely recommend the product and do not think that you will be disappointed. This is the only shade that I possess (at this time) and is a pinky nude with a cream matte texture, which is non drying. It is not as creamy as the Tom Ford lippies however still exhibits sufficient pigmentation. I also must say that the packaging is gorgeous and feels luxurious!

      Wishing you a fabulous week and of course all the very best with the festival this weekend, I am sure that your brother's bags will be a hit!

      Sincerely, Karen
      PS: I can't believe that it is nearly Christmas- ahhhhhh!

      November 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello Karen,

      Thank you! Good to know that the shade and performance of the Charlotte Tilbury lipstick transcends the name itself…based on your enchanting description, I think I will be having to place an order to Selfridges ASAP!

      My brother's show went really well today, thank you…lot's of traffic and deliriously happy customers! I just got some makeup bags from his latest designs and am loving their genius design…will feature them on the blog very soon ; )

      Have a gorgeous week and talk soon…I, too, cannot believe that Christmas is nearly a month away…scary and exciting all at once!


      –The Beauty Professor

      November 18, 2013 at 6:48 am
  • Unknown Reply

    Absolutely stunning look! Does anyone know how the Ko Gen Do compares to Remede Soft Focusing Lotion or the Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Face Base? I used to use the soft focusing all the time, but lately I feel it drying out my skin. Plus it is less effective now that aging has given me a more uneven skin tone. Suggestions?

    November 18, 2013 at 3:53 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello Kirsten,

      Thank you ever so much! I haven't tried the Remede version but I will say that the KGD is similar in texture to the Burberry Fresh Glow, however, the beige shade makes it less "white" than the Burberry, which is preferable for light-medium, medium and dark complexions (NC 25+). I absolutely adore the KGD version and highly recommend it!


      –The Beauty Professor

      November 19, 2013 at 2:01 am
  • Anonymous Reply

    Hi Beauty Goddess ;),
    I have been watching lately your blog and I think you are doing a fantastic job!!!!
    As ALL the rest of the women have mentioned (lol) you look absolutely FAB with this KOH GEN DO aqua foundation illuminator!!!!! And that is not a compliment!
    I would like to ask for your opinion, since I am sure you are the right person. I am thinking to purchase a couple of illuminators that do that dew fresh look that cathes the light, look great and have strong staying power even while flying! Oh also not have orangey or yellowy undertones. I prefer rosy-tanned undertones. At the time I use By Terry CC Serum and Rose de Rose Aqua blush for highlighting. But I would like to try something new that is of excellent quality as well!
    So I was between Tom Ford Fire Lust, Rouge Bunny Rouge Illuminators and Becca highlighters but now seeing this…I am confused, what do you think Beauty Goddess?
    Kisses and keep it up :),


    August 12, 2014 at 5:56 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello Alina!

      Thanks for your lovely and encouraging words!

      With regards to your question, I wholeheartedly suggest the Koh Gen Do Aqua Illuminator in Beige…it has that rose gold tone you prefer and looks amazing on the skin. If you are already using and loving the By Terry CC Serum (which I have and use and also adore), then consider the KGD a "step up" in the highlighting department. The results are a bit more pronounced in the best possible way! I would pick this above your other choices as I have swatched all of them and prefer the KGD the most…you won't regret it (plus, it is at a great price point!) ; )

      xoxo and hope that helps,

      –The Beauty Professor

      August 14, 2014 at 8:59 pm

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