Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer


367 reviews

72% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$$


Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Polybutene, Diethylhexyl Succinate, Polyethylene, Quaternium 18 Hectorite, Calcium Carbonate, Dextrin Palmitate, Honey, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Beeswax (Apis Mellifera), Butylene Glycol, Cholesterol, Lecithin, Talc, Triethylhexanoin, Methylparaben, Fragrance (parfum), May Contain ( /-): Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

on 4/8/2015 1:13:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Oily, Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

This is, hands down, the best full coverage foundation I have ever tried. Unlike most foundations where you have to work to build it, you have to work SSE down the coverage scale, from heavy to medium. The key is buff like a crazy person, almost like you are waxing your dream car to the perfect finish. Once you are done buffing it in your skin will look amazing. Touchable, smooth, not cakey, like perfect baby skin. Because it take so much work I don't use it everyday all over, I do use for spot concealing everyday though. I take a tiny eyeliner brush a dot (I mean super small dot) over my spot and then buff (brush) or press (beauty blender) it into my skin. It is pricey, meh, but I think a whole jar may last at least a year or two? I may have to toss it before I use it up just because it gets too old even if I use it everyday.

on 4/4/2015 3:57:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I don't know if I can find the words to describe just how LITTLE you need of this product. I have a great deal of redness on my chin from old and new acne scarring along with redness around my nose and the corners of my eyes. At 62 I break out often but the good news is I have few wrinkles and basically my skin is not too dry and just a bit oily on my nose and chin. I use this as a concealer and apply it to a well moisturized face. I put a dot, maybe a bit bigger than a pinhead on a concealer brush and paint it on with small strokes on the areas I want to cover. I let it warm up on my skin for a bit and the buff it in with a foundation brush. I do not like the feel of a face full of foundation so I then just lightly dust my face with a fine milled powder, and then give it a quick spritz with a a rose water mist. Now here's the best tip... You can buy generous samples of this stuff on the CRC ( camera ready cosmetics) website. The samples will last forever!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

on 3/31/2015 2:51:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Black, Other, Medium

Eyes: Blue

It really is a skin enhancer, but not in a good way, it enhanced every little flaw in my skin. I didn't want it as a concealer, but as a light foundation or to blend it with a moisturiser and use it as a tinted moisturiser. I just wanted a bit more of a polished look and used it very sparingly but still it settled in som enlarged pores on my cheeks, it didn't matter how much I buffed away. I also had a little bit of dryness on my nose and it enhanced that as well. I tried it as a concealer, but I have a concealer that I am very happy with and this was much worse than my Hourglass concealer as well, so now it just sits in a drawer. Also, the price is very high for the amount you get and the packaging is a bit unhygenic, although if you use a spatula it should be fine.

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 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 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.

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 in small dots with spatula or fingers, 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. 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.

19 out of 19 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.

6 out of 6 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.

6 out of 6 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."

66 out of 70 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.

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