I cannot believe I haven't reviewed this before. I'm NW10-15, and I have KA's SSE in three shades -- SX02, SX01 and SX06. Let me explain why I have those shades first. SX02 I bought. It is the best shade for my total face. It works well for fair women with cool/pink undertones. SX01 I got in a swap, and I have used it all over my face, but it does not work as well as SX02. I prefer it as a concealer or used in combo with other foundations. SX06 a fabulous MUAer included as an extra (and it was an almost unused pot of it). I never thought SX06 would work for me because it's dark, but, to be honest, there isn't a dramatic difference in the shades of all three. SX06 is darker and more yellow, but not THAT darker. I have not used it all over my face, however. I have used it under my eyes to brighten up (because of the yellow) and provide coverage under my foundation and powder. That works for me. So I can use all three shades, but if I only had one, it would be SX02, hands down.
The best way this works for me is with my dampened Beauty Blender sponge. I tried applying it with my fingers and a brush, and those techniques produce bad results. It looks heavy and not good. I can't get it to look good with my fingers or a brush. BUT with the dampened Beauty Bleander, lightly applied all over my face, it is FABULOUS. It is one of my top five foundations, and I am a foundation junkie. It gives a softened look, kind of airbrushed. It's not too heavy, even though the product itself is VERY pigmented and opaque. Like others have said, the pot is small. But you need such a tiny amount of product to get the desired effect that one pot will last you forever. This is probably THE most pigmented foundation product in my stash. It's really an ingenious product. And using it makes me sad that Kevyn Aucoin died so young. He was very talented, and his line reflects that talent. I highly recommend this product and will continue to keep it in my foundation line up.
Maybe I was expecting too much out of this.
I've been searching for a great undereye concealer all my life because of the dark hereditary circles I have. This wouldn't be so difficult if they were just dark. However, there are also deep hollows beneath my eyes, which causes lots of fine lines when I smile ( not crow's feet, actually underneath my eyes). Because of this, the texture of a concealer is incredibly important to me.
This product had excellent coverage and stayed well throughout the day. The only problem is the texture seems to accentuate the fine lines and makes the skin look dry. Truly, this is the problem with all undereye concealers. If it has a lighter texture, then it doesn't cover very well. If it covers well, the texture is unsatisfactory. It's a no-win situation, and I think I ask the impossible of a concealer. With this in mind, I would like to point out that this truly covers with the smallest amount, and the pot is huge. If you just use it as a spot concealer and/or dark circle concealer, it would last forever, so while the initial expense is a lot ($45), you would not have to buy again for a long time, maybe a year or even longer.
I have very dark under-eye circles, and some age sots on my cheeks. This almost completely erases them. I have never used another product that conceals this well. It took a couple of tries to get it just right... must use primer, and moisturizer or it tends to dry you out / look cakey. With the right touch though my skin looks almost fawless. I only wish I would have discovered this years ago!
Update: The foundation is settling on my pores and lines. Plus my skin looks super oily within just a few hours. I tried different application techniques, nothing works. I will not repurchase.
This product is amazing. But be prepared to work. It took me several days to figure out how to apply the foundation. Like other reviews you can not just apply. I mix it with a light moisturizer. I mix two colors SX11 and SX12 with a foundation brush and then use the beauty blender sponge (spritzed with rose water). Top off with a setting powder. It took a couple of tries to find the right fix so I'm not too sure if it would work for everyone. I have oily skin, but this does not break me out.
i got the sx09 this past week at Sephora. I have been looking for a heavy duty concealer to cover some broken capillaries and sunspots, that has some staying power. So far I love it.
You only need a tiny bit and you can warm in your hand first, and/or add some moisturizer to thin it a bit. You will need to blend carefully with a sponge. I feel nearly flawless in it, just add a bit of my regular make up over, and a touch of minera veil powder. It just feels great having a smooth flawless looking skin, and a great start to the rest of your makeup.
It does seem like it will last a long time. I am usually avoiding parabens, and there are some here, but I put a good moisturizer down first and hope that will impede my absorbing them. Otherwise love this product, and his sculpting powder looked good too, a perfect neutral brown.
Postscript: I ended up having to return this, because after wearing it in full light realized didnt match my skin exactly, and it is so heavy it shows. I wanted to keep it because it covers like crazy, but just couldnt.
Some color comparisons for SSE05
From KA's site: SX 05 is a light shade with beige undertones.
To give you an idea, I wear or have tried the following in other lines:
1) Lancome Teint Idole Ultra in Buff 2 (w) -- this is probably the closest match to my skin, and looks identical to SSE05 in sunlight. So if you're considering buying SSE05 sight-unseen, see if you can get a sample of this for an idea of the color.
2) Smashbox HD foundation in Light (L1) -- this goes on my skin and matches beautifully, but I find it darkens a little after a few minutes... so this is more of a summer foundation, looks a teeny bit darker in the packaging, but maybe about a full shade darker than SSE05 b/c of the oxidizing
3) NARS Firming Foundation in Deauville -- compared to SSE05 in sunlight, looks a bit "brighter"... like there's less beige in it. But the tones/depth of color seem pretty matched otherwise, and I can wear the NARS just as well as the more beigey Lancome and SSE.
After lemming this product quite awhile I finally got my hands on it. I found it very difficult to chose the correct shade by looking on the Kevyn Aucoin website so they really need to make that process simpler - however the MUA was willing to look at my emailed photo and make a suggestion. In MAC I wear NC37 or C40 and in the SSE I wear SX11 and it is an excellent shade for this MMM.
I find the product to be very good for my dry skin and though the size is extremely small a very little goes a long way! I mix just a little with the KA primer and dot on my face then pat into my skin. I cannot feel it on my face and like most reviewers I too think it feels just like my skin.
I am very happy with this product and think it may be my HG!
I bought the SSES in No 12 which was too dark and yellow for my skin tone (PX Warm Vellum, Chantecaille Shea/Wheat, Bobbi Brown Honey) It is very ochre and darkish yellow. Other than the wrong shade, the texture is lovely and covered up my acne scars perfectly.
Applying this takes some practice. Its very thick and you only need a little.
Very nice result though. Very very natural, but with great coverage and looks good throughout the day.
Use a little bit, as instructed, mixed with a touch of moisturizer and this is the world's most perfect foundation/concealer. I get compliments on my skin multiple times a day wearing this. No kidding!
I can get light coverage for good days, heavier for days I need it, and EXCELLENT undereye coverage. I'm PPP and use SX1, FYI.
This doesn't smudge-off the way other foundations and primers do (a pet peeve). NEVER cakey, only streaky with cruddy application technique.
My newest trick? I mix it with a bit of shimmer (I use Smashbox Artificial Light Luminizing Lotion- Luminous Pearl) instead of mositurizer and get a great glow.
~Use a light hand! I wouldn't apply this directly all over the face unless I were going on a stage. :) This is why I mix! I put a tiny bit of Sensual Skin Enhancer in my palm and a small amount of whatever I'm mixing it with next to it. I dab a bit of the Sensual Skin Enhancer under my eyes and on the inside of my eyes along my nose, then mix the stuff in my palm and apply where it's needed on my face.
~Use your fingers to apply, a la Kevyn. You waste less product and get a smoother, more controlled application.
~Work fairly quickly. You have some time, but if you haven't blended well you'll note that the streaks or blotches you've left behind stay put as well as the nicely blended parts do. Hours later you'll still be looking at the same mistakes. Oops!
~I started using a primer recently, and that's when this product really started to excel even more (which I didn't think possible!).
I see folks are concerned about the small amount of product for the money. Let me tell you: if you use this properly (meaning: with a light-to-moderate hand) you'll not run out for a long time. Totally worth it!