Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer

4.1

355 reviews

72% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$$$

INGREDIENTS

Mineral oil, polybutene, diethylhexl succinnate, polyethylene, quaternium, dextrin palmitate, honey, simmondsia chinesis (jojoba) seed oil, tocopherol, beeswax, butylene glycol, cholestebedrol, lecithin, talc, triethyhexanoin, methylparaben, fragrance. May contain: iron oxides, mica, titanium dioxide.


on 3/26/2015 7:11:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Normal, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Having read the other reviews I offer this suggestion: after applying, dab just a bit of your best under eye moisturizer and blend (I use a really nifty sponge I found at Amazon.com). It won't cake. It WILL conceal ... and last all day. I'm 66+ years old and have typical under eye problem. This concealer is THE best product I've found (ever since Revlon discontinued Moon Drops which is still my favorite). If you're olive toned, be sure to purchase a yellowish color for the best correction. I'm using 04. Love, love love it! If you buy from a store like Sephora online and have other makeup goodies to purchase, you'll take the sting out of the purchase price with free shipping and free samples.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.



on 3/24/2015 4:18:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

(cross-posted under Foundations) I really regret not having purchased this earlier. I was afraid Iíd buy the wrong color, and I live far from the nearest KA counter. I only purchased this recently because I found out that camerareadycosmetics.com sells samples for about $5 each. I purchased four samples: SX01, SX02, SX03, and SX05. Given the concentration of the product, you could make one sample last for weeks (no exaggeration) of daily application, so $20 was a bargain for four samples to try alone as well as mix together.

Bottom Line:
Genius product that can be used as foundation, concealer, highlighter, blender/lightener for other products, and probably contour. Very travel-friendly. Time and effort spent on getting this right will pay off. A bargain per use. The full pot is $48 and would last the average person months or years with daily use. Totally makes me feel like a professional makeup artist and makes my skin look better than any other complexion product Iíve ever tried. I believe success with this product depends on three factors: technique, mixing medium, and color selection.

Technique:
I consider this an advanced makeup product. Unless you are extremely proficient, you canít just slap this on and go. Especially starting out, you should make time and be willing to experiment to find the right method. If you are not willing to put in this time and effort, you will likely be disappointed with the results. If I had not read many reviews of this product prior to purchasing it, I would not have known how to use it, and I probably would have just given up.

Hereís how I work it. I remove about a rice-grainís worth of product from the pot with a palette knife (any spatula, orange stick, or Q-tip stem would work). I smear about three quarters of the product on the back of my hand in one spot, and I smear the remaining amount in another spot. I do this because I will be mixing the larger portion with sunscreen or tinted moisturizer to make a foundation, and Iíll mix the smaller amount with a bit of eye sunscreen to make a concealer. I let these warm on the back of my hand for a few minutes. I think this step is key to getting a smooth mixture that is easy to work with. I apply a layer of sunscreen to my face. Then, after I mix in the medium on the back of my hand, I transfer the product to my face again with the spatula, blending the foundation mixture one section at a time. Iíve used both my RT Expert Face brush and my fingers successfully. I just work in a bit for sheer coverage, then add some more and work in, and add layers until I have the coverage I want. I then take the concealer mixture and dot it under my eyes and in the center of my face, and blend with a RT Setting Brush or my fingers. Again, I apply a little bit at a time, building up coverage as I need it. When Iím done, I apply a dusting of Guerlain Meteorites and my skin looks luminous and, on a good day, flawless.

Mixing Medium:
For me, attempting to apply SSE directly from the pot to my face is disastrous. Itís just too thick and dry for me to work with. Plus, I am a sunscreen fanatic and I demand that both my foundation and concealer provide sun protection over and above the layer of sunscreen I use as a makeup ďprimer.Ē Mixing SSE with a bit of tinted sunscreen works best for me (current favorites are Cliniqueís CC Cream, Clinique Super City Block, EL DW Wear All Day Glow BB, Paulaís Choice Resist Super Light Daily Defense, etc.). For my eye area, I mix with Clinique Superdefense Eye Cream SPF 20. Iíve found I can mix with matte- or dewy-finish products with equal ease as long as I warm the SSE on the back of my hand first, blend on my hand with a palette knife, and apply sheerly in layers to build coverage. I have no trouble with the product sinking into fine lines or accentuating any flaws. I just get a fantastic real-skin-but-better look. If you are oily, youíll probably want to mix this with a mattifying primer or sunscreen. Iím combo-to-oily, and I prefer a satin, demi-matte, or slightly dewy finish. I can go 6-12 hours without needing to blot or touch up as long as I don't get overly warm/sweaty. Do experiment with several types of mixing mediums. If you find one that really works for your skin, you will be absolutely stunned at the beauty, longevity, and versatility of this product.

Color Match:
Iím light-complected with neutral, slightly peachy undertones. Iíve stayed out of the sun and have used sunscreen religiously for decades, but my face is still darker than my neck. I cannot match to my neck because I would look like a vampire. But I do want a pretty seamless blend from my lower cheeks onto my neck. My face is currently around NC15/NW10, with some red blotchiness on cheeks and nose. I donít have dark circles, but I have a lot of red around my eyes, and that tends to make me look tired. For reference, I wear: YSL BR20, Nars TM Finland, EL 1N1 or Intensity 1.0, Lancome Clair 20 (NC), Too Faced Snow Glow, IT Cosmetics Fair, Revlon Nearly Naked Vanilla, Maybelline Fit Me Ivory 115, Clinique CC Cream Light, etc. In KA SSE, I ordered samples of SX01, SX02, SX03, and SX05. Camerareadycosmetics.com has arm swatches of all colors.

SX01 Ė (Very) fair, neutral undertones, a true ivory
SX02 Ė (Very) fair, pink-toned, rosy ivory
SX03 Ė Fair/Light, olive/greenish/neutral beige
SX05 Ė Light, neutral beige

Because I am so neutral, I can wear any of the samples if sheered, but I think a mix of 02 and 05 is dead perfect. 03 is just a little greenish/grayish in the pot, but sheers out nicely. 01 is great for lightening up foundations that are a little too dark or pink. 02 is fantastic as a middle-of-the-face highlighter. A 50:50 mixture of 01 and 02 is nearly the exact shade of my neck.

Perfection on me: 02/05 50:50 as foundation with 01 towards neck; 02/05 75:25 as concealer, 02 as highlighter, all mixed with TMs or sunscreens.

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.


on 3/15/2015 6:16:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

This stuff drives me insane.

I read all the blogs, figured how best to apply it but finding the right color....argh!

First I ordered samples from CRC. I threw out half of them because they were SO yellow on my skin (big mistake). I am fair with pink tones in my face but yellow in my neck and chest. If I go too pink I look like an alien, too yellow and I look old and sallow. (I am old...but not so sallow.) As a reference before this experiement I was using Graftobian Prima Donna.

I started with SX05 which a lot of people have said would work for NC20. It's pinky undertone but not too pink looked lovely on me. And the way it sets up where my skin looked like skin was a revelation. I thought it was maybe a bit too light so I went to my local MAC counter, warned them I wasn't going to buy but asked what they thought of the foundation. They said maybe a bit light and matched me to NC20 - NC25 foundation (which would tone down my ruddy complexion and match my neck better).

So next I ordered SX07 (cursing since that was a sample I threw out as too yellow) applied it and I looked like I was wearing a yellow mask (slight exaggeration). I resisted the urge to immediately remove it and 15 minutes later the color had changed. What? I know you regulars know all about this, but I've never had a foundation change so much on me. It became a little lighter (!) and no longer so yellow.

But it still was a little yellow on me. It was OK, but not quite as flattering as the 05. So I mixed them. Getting closer, but now it was a little too light again. Sigh. I should have given up but I loved the finish so much and I'd sunk so much $ in it. So...

I lost my mind. I wanted something that would make it darker but not more yellow. Enter sx09. A little dab into the mix of 05 and 07 and voila. My perfect color...for this month anyway.

Was it worth it? Probably not. But I adore the finish so much I might do it again. I mean in all my years no one has mentioned my complexion and just this week I got two complements. Plus now I probably have enough to last me three years ;-)

This stuff is magic. (Once you figure out the best application method for you, but others have covered that in length.) Just hope your skin tone better matches one of their colors.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.


on 3/10/2015 5:40:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet - it's like a little jar of miracle. So why am I writing the review now? Because yesterday one of my makeup loving buddies was complaining that she had gotten 'suckered' into buying this and she hated it. But she had used WAY TOO MUCH; I could see it caked into her face. If you've been reading the reviews, what I'm saying is not news: people who love this stuff have figured out that you only need the tiniest little amount. Seriously, they say the size of a grain of rice, but I find that I don't even need that much.

I hesitated to buy this originally because I thought "why spend that much on such a finicky product?" But it isn't really finicky - you just have to realize that it isn't 'foundation' in the normal sense. My skin is dry, and I generally don't like full-on coverage and definitely can't pull off matte products on my skin. This stuff is a dream; I put on tiny little dots over well moisturized skin and then work it in, either with fingers (for concealing) or a buffing brush (for full face.) It looks amazing over Burberry Fresh Glow. It holds up all day with minimal touching up with powder. It makes my skin look flawless (or as flawless as it can get) without even really being able to see any makeup on it. If you're on the fence about this, or hesitating because of the price - get it! One jar lasts me a year. Well worth the money.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Listen- no matter what else you read about this product, let me assure you that it is the best undereye/middle-of-face concealer ever produced. If you cannot agree, let us at least concede and place it in the Top 5. The finish is the MOST natural of any makeup I have ever tried in my 22-year-history of wearing makeup. It is not matte, not quite satin, but simply SKIN. it lasts for several hours with no touchups, and though the shade selection is a bit unorthodox, I feel it is more intelligent than many other brands. The quantity and quality are truly worth the cost.

The rub is that:

1) You must hunt, question, and fight to find your true shade. I live nowhere near a Bergdorfs (ha!) so I watched every single video, scrutinized every swatch, read every single word that exists on the internet about this product (I really did, but it costs 45 bucks, ok?). I have a light, neutral complexion that swings a tad medium at varying times of the year. Sx05 is a perfect match. My research paid off.

2) You cannot apply this like everything else in your makeup bag. You must artfully dab tiny bits at a time and build it up. I dislike the method of "sheering it out"- I am not a professional, and my attempts to do so basically made it disappear, though I might try it again in the future with a different mixing medium. Generally, though, if you have skin issues, mixing this with anything at all and applying it to your whole face will cover nothing, really. It will only make you look a bit more even. Also, the use of a brush (which I prefer, actually) did not work that well. I can make good use of a small stipple brush after the initial blending, but fingertips are the gold standard with this. That Super Sucks, because Kevyn's SS Enhancer comes in a jar. This sh*t is expensive. Wash your hands ninety times while applying this.

3) Temperature matters. After my initial dot-dot-dot under the eyes and around and upon the nose, I let it marinate for 30 seconds or so. This is indeed a drag queen trick of the trade called "cooking" I believe, and it counts here. Because it is so viscous and pigmented, let it warm up to you, not the other way around. This product teaches YOU how to apply it, so give it a chance. Think of it as a sweet, empathetic hooker teaching you the language of love. Then dab it in nicely, like you give half of a sh*t. That's part of the point of making ourselves up anyway.

4) Entertain the idea of letting the stigma of some of the ingredients go. I've avoided mineral oil and parabens forever. Because this is in a jar, parabens can only help. Moderation is key. Mineral oil will not turn you into Swamp Thing unless you have an allergy or special skin issue (and your skin issues are almost never as special as you think, trust me). Scale back on sketchy or unfamiliar ingredients that you generally avoid, but don't exclude everything. Relax a little bit and experiment with this. You don't need parabenmineralsulfatesilicone EVERYTHING, but introducing just a little bit might surprise you with its benign efficiency.

In closing, I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said, "Sensual Skin Enhancer is proof that Kevyn Aucoin loves us and wants us to be happy."

45 out of 47 people found this review helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

The coverage is nice but the texture could be a little bit dry for combo skins. Highly pigmented so the price is actually acceptable. I've been using this every day since like 9 months ago but still got 1/2 or 1/3 left. I have blemished skin and I normally require more coverage than average people.
I find it best applied with damp beauty blender, and if you feel it's too dry you can mix it with 1 or 2 drops of facial oil or something. It can last a long time but you better use a good moisturizer. This foundation contains mineral oil but for some reasons doesn't break me out, I guess it's because it's too dry.
And about the shades, I am Asian but I have very fair skin with blemishs. I got SX03, it gets yellow if I put too much on my face but a thin layer of it would be nice. I would like to try SX02 or SX01 next time.
I am still looking for my HG but this is on my repurchasing list.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.


on 1/16/2015 12:38:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I'm in love with this product. It's got full coverage, you only need a tiny amount and it is so densely pigmented that you can cover almost anything on your face. I wear an NC30 (but could be between an NC25-NC30 in a heartbeat) and this is hands down the best concealer/foundation I have ever owned or used. Period.


on 1/9/2015 9:40:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

This is one of those products where I really think you have to know what you are doing and know how to use it and be willing to learn to work it or else you're going to hate it. That said, it's hard for me to imagine anyone not liking it once they understand how to make it work for them.

I wear NC15 in Mac, 4 or 4.5 in Armani Luminous Silk, Fairly Medium in Bare Minerals, etc, and I bought this in SX 03 and it matches perfectly. It comes in an incredibly tiny jar, it's almost cream eyeshadow size but deeper. That surprised me at first but now for convenience I love it, and you will NEVER run out of product.

I've found a few ways to wear this. As a sheerer, all-over foundation to even out my skin, I take a concealer brush and nick out just a teeny bit, maybe a grain of rice at the most, and then I mix it with one pump of moisturizer with my fingers and pat it around my skin, then using a damp beauty blender to blend it all in.

For full coverage, I take the same 1/2 or so grain of rice amount and just pat directly on my face and blend it out with an Urban Decay Optical Blurring Brush.

However the way I use it most is as an concealer. I have terribly acne, but what i do with this is after priming I use the concealer brush and just pat it on the surface of the SSE, barely touching it, and that little amount of product covers up all of my horrible acne spots and hyperpigmentation. I tap the concealer brush over each spot, and then I go back with a Shiseido Foundation Brush (flat top, stiff short bristles) and buff over each spot in a circular motion. I've found this makes my skin look well enough that a lot of the time I don't even put on foundation after this.

Basically, between the portable size, the minuscule amount needed, and the insane amount of natural-looking coverage I get from this, I think I'll be rebuying it for the rest of my life and I really do encourage anyone who just isn't getting results from a traditional concealer for their acne to try this product.

ALL THAT SAID...I have a very tiny faded black tattoo on my finger (ex's initials, SIGH)...this does not cover it 100%. Better than most, but I can still see it.

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.


on 9/29/2014 5:05:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

One word... obsessed! my makeup artist used this product on me for my wedding and my skin looked amazing! I mean all night! so when I got back from my honeymoon I went right to Bloomingdales to purchase my makeup artist gave me a sample sx09 is my color and yes it is a yellowish undertone but the trick is u must moisture first but don't use a heavy moisturizer as that is why it causes it to crease that's what I was told so I used very little and used my concealer brush and just blend it as much as possible and then i use a setting powder but just a little and it looks great all day even after a 10 hour day at work! so make sure you use very little and work it as much as possible.... but to me it's the best concealer for heavy coverage since I have dark circles under my eyes!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.


on 9/20/2014 2:39:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Warm

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

This is a very over-hyped product. It may be a wet concealer, but don't let that fool you. This concealer dries almost instantly and is very difficult to blend. I'm a concealer junkie, so I know I thing or two about concealers and this just doesn't cut it. On the other hand, I'm glad I'll be getting my money back for this product as it was very expensive.




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