The very first day I wore it my co-worker said my skin looked super smooth.
The second day I wore it, she asked, "Ok, WHAT have you been using on your skin?! It looks amazing!" AHHHH!!
SX11 is a great match for my skin tone. To say that you only have to use a small amount is an understatement. It has the consistency of peanut butter. I apply it with my Sigma brush and blend...blend blend blend until I'm bored. The end result is impressive.
I don't mix it with my moisturizer, I just apply my moisturizer first, let that sink in, then apply the SSE. I might try mixing it with my moisturizer at some point. But used alone, it's dreamy.
Edit 10/6/13: Sigh. When I used this during the summer months, my skin looked terrible by the end of the day: cakey, shiny, clogged. Maybe the consistency was too much combined with the hot California sun. Sadness.
And I thought the days of heavy coverage foundations and concealers were over when I hit 30!!!
In my late 20, my combination and dehydrated skin became drier and drier and I couldn't use my beloved EL DW or Maximum Cover any more - the texture was just to heavy and almost sticky and made imperfecions and fine wrinkles paradoxically even more obvious.
So I switched to MACs Face and Body (still my HG) and lighter and luminous foundations, thinking one couldn't have it all.
But I was wrong. Yes, we can have it all! Without looking older than we are! This little pot works as a subtle luminous (!), longlasting, exceedingly pigmented concealer and a foundation. What impressed me the most was that I could even use it under my eyes which is nearly imposible with any heavy concealer no matter what HE brand I used. I could only use liquid textures like Touche eclat or Armani's Mastercorrector which aren't full coverage.
Now onto the SSE: This stuff is pure genius. You can mix it effortlessly with other products, e.g. primer, foundation, moisturizer, spf or cream. What works best for me is this "recipe": I put a grain sized amount on the back of my hand, mix it with Innis mineral shimmering base (similar to strobe cream) and apply it all over my face with a flat fondation brush. It only takes me 3 minutes and the result is full coverage, luminous (!) and very longlasting natural effect that doesn't budge. This stuff is like nothing I have in my huge foundation collection and it was the one thing hat I really should have bought before.
I use nr. 7 for my NC 25 skin with a light yellow and very slight peachy undertone and it is just perfect.
It is also worth mentioning that the SSE was made in Japan which says a lot about this foundation in terms of texture and quality.
Great concealer with excellent coverage like putting a skin colored sticker over blemishes and marks. Could be a great foundation if you're willing to put in the time to make it work. If you mix with a oil based moisturizer, it can become a tinted moisturizer or a sheer foundation. Small and powerful product for traveling!
Update. It came up as 4 lippies in my last review. I mean 5. I like:)
I have only been wearing this for a few days, I hope I don't change my mind (will update if I do), but I am loving this foundation/concealer!
I bought this online, and I think I have a very good match. I wear SX03 and in MAC I am a NW18 when I am "tan", that's how "dark" I will go. (for reference, Bourjois Healthy Mix 51, Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24h 110, Dior Forever 010, Chanel Mat Lumiere 20 Clair). Ladies at counters seem to think I have pink undertones, I think I am neutral with lots of pink and red on my face. I could be wrong, but I would say this shade has "beige" neutral undertones and is one of the best matches I have found, if not the best.
Having said that, I have very oily, sensitive acne prone skin and I am loving this so far.
I can see how it can be tricky to apply. When I got it and swatched it on my jawline and it settled into my pores I almost cried, the pores near my nose are much bigger, there was no way it would work. But it did.
Next day I spread some moisturiser on my face, not rubbing, just spreading a little bit- I could still see it sitting on my skin. Then I took the tinniest bit of KA SSE and doted on my face. Took my sigma f80 and stippled it all over my face. It is pigmented! It covered most of my scars and didn't settle into my pores. I went back and dabbed just a little bit on the areas I thought still needed more coverage.
It is really the most pigmented foundation I think I will ever find, but still looks like skin.
I asked my mother if it looked caked, she said no, that my skin looked good, I didn't have any pimples. Well, I did, actually. The next day I put on Bourjois Healthy Mix and asked my mother what she thought. "Yesterday it looked better, it looked natural" she said. And some of my scars where still visible. It goes to show that SSE looks more natural and covers almost everything at the same time.
I can't say anything about the staying power yet. I don't expect it to last 10h. Even Estee Lauder Double Wear doesn't last that long on my face. The most I've worn it were 6h and it looked fine.
I am still waiting for my beauty blender to arrive so that I can try using it with SSE, the sigma brush seems to work fine for me anyway.
Will update if anything changes. For now, I couldn't be happier I bit the bullet and finally bought it.
** Not Tested On Animals **
Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX08
Skin type: normal to dry but acne prone.
Desperately seeking a new HG foundation since I found out MAC test on animals after being bought out by Estee Lauder. MAC is now sold in China, and Chinese law requires that ALL cosmetics owned by foreign (non-Chinese) companies be tested on animals.
My skin tone has a warm-neutral-light olive tone. For reference, I am MAC NC25 - see my notepad for my colour matches to other brands.
I've been dying to try this ever since I saw Goss review it months ago! Chances are this isn't the first review you've read for this product. The overall warning I took from all reviews is how pigmented it is - this caused me to apply it too lightly in trying to avoid the caked-on effect. Then of course I went in the opposite direction & slathered it on waaaay to thick. Goss has been promising forever to post a tutorial on how to apply it but never did, so I had to wing it.
BEFORE: my skin is normal/dry so I prime with Face of Australia tinted moisturiser which contains SPF15+.
CONSISTENCY: uber thick & creamy.
APPLICATION METHOD: I de-pot a small amount & get a wee bit on the pad of my middle finger & dab it all over the area I'm about to work on. Using my Sigma F80 flat top brush, I stipple all over then lightly buff it in. Finished with a scant application of Ben Nye banana powder & during the unforgiving & melty summer weather, a spritz of Skindinavia setting spray. Voila!
ETA: my personal preference is for using a flat top stippler but a damp beauty blender gives an equally gorgeous finish & helps to sheer it out if you apply too much.
COLOUR MATCH? This suits my colouring more so than MAC NC30 which is a tad too tangerine. That being said, SX08 is quite a warm/yellow shade & I think it'll be a tiny bit too dark for my winter skin. To adjust the shade I add a few dabs of a lighter cream foundation which works well. I love that this is so customisable.
OVERALL: I lurrrrrve this foundation! I wear it 4+ times a week & it's by no means quick & easy to slap on but it looks bloody fantastic so who cares? I had to lose a lippy due to the minor breakouts I've been getting along my jawline since using it. The finish & staying power is amazing.
RE-PURCHASE? Hells yeah! This is a product for makeup enthusiasts who don't mind putting the effort in. While I'd like to marry & have the babies of this foundation, I can't quite give it HG status because of the breakouts & pore-clogging nature of it. But still an absolute corker.
ETA: I've tried several other correctors/concealers since buying this & nothing stacks up. Have amended to 5 lippies - HG to the power of infinity.
DUPE ALERT! SX08 is a 98% shade match for Mehron's Celebre HD Pro Foundation in Eurasia Japonais. Kevyn Aucoin's SSE is much thicker and more pigmented than Mehron's Eurasia Japonais but the latter is still a full coverage product (and less likely to cause break outs).
Okay, I just received this product brand new in a swap. I got the shade sx02. For shad reference I am nc/nw 07-10, Nars SG Mont Blanc, Graftobian bombshell, or illamasqua skin base 3.5.
I have Acne prone, extremely sensitive, combination, oily skin. I have a lot of topical and internal allergies/ intolerances.
So far I have had no immediate issue with skin reactions or acne using this foundation. (but I will update if that changes)
My Foundation Check List:
Correct shade match ::check
No Sunscreen ::check
Versatile Coverage ::check
Lasting (10+ hours) ::check
Good for Combination skin ::check
No reactions, acne, or topical reaction ::check
Transfer resistant :: Check
Pigmentation :: High (grain of rice amount)
Finish :: demi/semi (depends on skin type)
Application recommendation :: a damp brush
I watched and read different reviews, almost every one mentioned how pigmented this is and how difficult it can be to apply. I would say this is difficult for a beginner or anyone who only wants to apply their foundation with their fingers. The only foundation I apply with my fingers is Nars. I found months ago, that I do not like sponges or beauty blenders of any kind, no matter how hard I try, I get a blotchy result. I prefer a damp brush. I specifically like my sephora 56 foundation brush or my real techniques expert face brush. I am leaning towards the later more lately for foundations and using the 56 for cream blushes. That being said I am used to using a brush. I don't think it takes more time to use it than my fingers, but then again I have found my rhythm with it so I feel like I can apply quickly with out losing quality of application at all. Because of this, I did not find Kevyn Aucoin's SSE to be difficult to apply. It apply seamlessly. Near impossible to be cakey. You would have to be applying it wrong to even reach cakey.
It is highly pigmented. The grain of rice amount is pretty precise for incredible coverage. It is a tiny container, $42 for 18 grams, seems like a lot of money for a little amount. Really, a little goes a long, long way. Even though I have scarring on my face, I prefer a like my skin but better look, so light to medium coverage. This foundation can be used as a concealer straight from the tub, or sheer down to a tint. I achieved a really beautiful finish with the brush. I should also mention that because it takes so little I cannot feel this on my skin. It is emollient but I could see this possibly being more difficult to apply for people with drier skin. I say that because I would imagine that drier skin might suck up the little amount of oil in a grain of rice amount, so drier skin users may want to add a little bit of of lotion to their brush instead of just water.
Just a quick mention about the packaging. This is tiny, like an tubbed eyecream. I am not the biggest fan of having to stick my fingers in a container to get product like this and then spread it all over my face, because of bacterial reasons. I have seen this depotted into other containers. I always wash my hands before applying foundation even when I am using a brush. I scooped some out using a tiny painting palette knife I bought for just such uses. I pressed this into the lid, dabbed my finger on the lid and dotting the product on my face, then blended.
It is important to mention and keep in mind that this review is in the Fall. So I will update this if there is any changes once Summer comes around.
I am not sure about this for every day wear, I think the beeswax ingredient may be a little too hard on my skin to wear everyday but on occasion would probably be fine. I should note I have had problems with beeswax as an ingredient on facial skin in the past. It could be other ingredients but I am not sure, still no breakouts but, I can feel that my skin is stressed after wearing this for several days verses other foundations.
I actually figured out how to add a review because I love this product so much. I have sx08 n I use Nars Stromboli (sorry, I don't have a Mac reference because they're all too pink for me). This is probably the the most amazing product I own. It's so pigmented that I barely touch it with my brush and it's completely full coverage so it's well worth the price. I've had the same jar for almost a year and barely made a dent in it. I use it at least 5 days a week. I use it as a concealer and I have used it as a foundation but it's a little too full coverage for that. It is dry, so it's perfect for me because I have super oily skin. I'll try to find the blog post I used to find my shade because it's pretty dead on. I found my perfect shade the first time.
EDIT: I upgraded this to a 5 because I now know how to use it - just mix with moisturizer, luminizer or primer and spread it on for a flawless finish every time. Get sheer to full coverage as you need it!. OLD: First, when applied properly it gives a truly flawless but seemingly budgeproof canvas. SX08 seems a very good match for my medium warm complexion. I cannot imagine using this full strength - right now I mix a tiny dab of it with moisturizer and make a TM out of it. But for the cons:
It is dry textured, so even mixed with moisturizer it can be too matte. A natural cream with a little oil in it works best for me so far. Also it sets quickly so you have to work and blend it very fast. A damp sponge blotted over it after seems to smooth things out. But on balance it's a lot of work when I'm used to a fast process in the morning. I'd say the biggest advantage of it over other foundations is the staying power while so lightweight it gives great coverage - so for an evening out, this would be my choice. But if I'd never tried it would I be less happy? No, I don't think so.
This is another of those really expensive products that is actually worth it. Fro $45 you get .63 ounces of this uber concentrated foundation/concealer....Going on trip and need to conserve space? Take this as you foundation and concealer...Its a tiny jar.
For foundation use with a primer and slightly damp sponge for a beautiful finish. Ditto for a concealer but I sometimes us a foundation brush. The colors are yellow based. I use the 05 for concealer. The yellow counteracts the blue of dark circles and makes you looks as good as it gets.
I don't usually need to powder on top but a light dusting can be used to set.