Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer Shades


30 reviews

83% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$$$


Mineral Oil, Polybutene, Diethylhexyl Succinate, Polyethylene, Quaternium-18 Hectorite, Calcium Carbonate, Dextrin Palmitate, Honey, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Beeswax, Butylene Glycol, Cholesterol, Lecithin, Talc, Triethylhexanoin, Methylparaben, Fragrance. May Contain ( /-): Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77491).

on 3/24/2015 4:19:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

(cross-posted under Concealers) I really regret not having purchased this earlier. I was afraid I’d buy the wrong color, and I live far from the nearest KA counter. I only purchased this recently because I found out that 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 I’ve ever tried. I believe success with this product depends on three factors: technique, mixing medium, and color selection.

I consider this an advanced makeup product. Unless you are extremely proficient, you can’t 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.

Here’s how I work it. I remove about a rice-grain’s 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 I’ll 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 in small dots with spatula or fingers, blending the foundation mixture one section at a time. I’ve 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 I’m 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. It’s 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 “primer.” Mixing SSE with a bit of tinted sunscreen works best for me (current favorites are Clinique’s CC Cream, Clinique Super City Block, EL DW Wear All Day Glow BB, Paula’s Choice Resist Super Light Daily Defense, etc.). For my eye area, I mix with Clinique Superdefense Eye Cream SPF 20. I’ve 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, you’ll probably want to mix this with a mattifying primer or sunscreen. I’m 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:
I’m light-complected with neutral, slightly peachy undertones. I’ve 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 don’t 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. has arm swatches of all colors.

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

27 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

on 3/23/2015 5:29:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Kinky, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

At first I was smitten with this product, a highly pigmented cream in one small jar in my make up bag. Can be sheered out as a TM, and built up in areas that need more coverage.

After a few weeks, I found all of my CONS. If you are not a true MUA, and not willing to put the time into working with this product, it won't work for you.

It is not a slap on, blend in, and out the door. It also contains mineral oil, which while a good oil for your skin, does not set into your skin so well, it sort of stays on top of your skin (my problem) and no matter how thin I made this it "melts" and transfers -- and I have dry skin

It needs to be mixed, matched, warmed up, layered, SET WITH powder, etc

I can't emphasise SET WITH POWDER enough, as this is a thick mineral oil based formula, and mineral oil does not go into your skin, it sits ontop of your skin, won't clog your pores, but.............

It DID NOT WEAR well on my skin. I used this invery warm weather 80-90 degrees with sun in Arizona and it transfered and slid all around. Don't even try to put much over it as that too is a mess

Bottom line: Not for me but probably the best tool a MUA could have in their kit

1). I never found a perfect match but was close with SX5 and could sheer and use SX5 on its own. To get a perfect match I would need to mix a few of these together which is OK and not unusual for me

2). Small pot of very concentrated product. I like small, and I like concentrated. So does my make up bag.

3). Very dense. you can nock over this and its not going anywhere

4). Bluring effect. Definately, this does blur out imperfections and can make your skin look flawless if you apply this correctly which is not easy nor fast

5). There are so many things you can do with this product, use as a TM, as a concealer

For true artistry, use one color as a base / blender color, one as a highlighter, one as a contour, one as a bronzer

Mix and match to get your perfect skin tone

True make up artistry all in 4 small tiny pots that pack nicely into your make up bag


Read the other reviews very carefully

You need to use this correctly or it will look aweful

Moisturize or use sunscreen, use only a pin head dab of this product it is so highly concentrated, really warm up the product and mix on the back of your hand and keep it warm

Apply in layers, and build up as you need to

Blend blend blend !

Use a close up mirror to see if you are blended out - if you look close enough you will probably find that you have a bit too much product here and there, even after blending like crazy

I used fingers, beauty blender and brush to apply and found warm fingers to be the best method, followed by a damp warm beauty blender. The brush did not do much for me

It did not wear well on my normal skin. I am in Arizona, and it has been 80 - 90 degrees no humidity. In a few hours or less, it had slide off in areas. If you touch your face or blow your nose it comes off even after you powder

This is an oil based highly pigmented product that stains and is difficult to remove from brushes, your hands, your beauty blender and anything that touches it

You need Dawn diswashing soap (removes oil and this is an oil based product), and it takes time to wash your tools and hands daily

A Great Product for a Make Up Artist

This is true artistry, like a painter mixing and layering.

I am a slap it on and go out the door gal (back to MAC Face & Body)

2). Sit on your skin, transfers, difficult to add blush, etc even after you add powder

3). I live in AZ, and in dry 85 degree weather, this was slippin and sliding everywhere, with or without a primer, with or without powder

4). I did not think it looked good as an all over your face product. Gave me sort of a blurry face (??). Probably best as it is described, a "CONCEALER".

KA was a genius, but he took many of his "how to's" with him when he departed this world, and much of what he did and how he used product will remain a mystery

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

on 1/23/2015 4:22:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This is the perfect full coverage foundation. It is best applied with a foundation brush as it is thick, so a little goes a very long way. It doesn't feel heavy at all. I'm NC42 in MAC and purchased sx11 which was perfect match for me. Love it!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 12/5/2014 9:57:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Oily, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I don't usually do reviews but this stuff is a Must HAVE I love it, cover is amazing excellent staying power doesn't settle in fine lines. Just a WoW foundation much better than the Dior Star I was using, no comparison.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 11/5/2014 9:07:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

This is a great product because:

- It is truly full coverage.
- Very creamy and blendable
- Can be mixed with primers, moisturizers, bb-creams, foundations and concealers.

I own SX01, SX02, SX03, SX08 and SX10.

SX01 is a very fair shade with neutral undertones.
SX02 is also very fair, but it has a strong peach undertone.
SX03 is quite light as well, but has a olive undertone.
SX08 is medium-dark with a golden undertone.
SX10 is a little darker than SX08, but has a neutral undertone.

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

on 7/25/2013 1:19:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

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.

19 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

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.

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

on 6/28/2013 11:58:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Very Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

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!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

on 5/24/2013 8:54:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

Update. It came up as 4 lippies in my last review. I mean 5. I like:)

on 1/27/2013 12:52:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Oily, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Green

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.

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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