i love this stuff. in theory this isn't the foundation for me - i've never used dept. store or full coverage foundations. but i've always loved kevyn aucoin's work and had heard good things about the line. i got a match within a few minutes of stopping at the neiman marcus counter, and the color has worked out perfectly for me since. at first i had a more difficult time getting the application seamless enough, because i have pretty clear skin and only wear concealer/foundation around my eyes, nose and chin.... so the application has to match the bare skin around it. in the beginning i was using my fingers to blend it into my skin. i found that it's easiest to use a tiny amount (maybe 1/4 rice grain size!) with a dry foundation brush (i like the essence of beauty foundation brush, cvs carries it... it's inexpensive and does a great job). if you just buff it into the skin (freshly moisturized skin), it blends perfectly. this is the first time i've ever used a foundation that made my skin look unbelievably perfect... i think it's a combination of the good formulation combined with the great color match. my match is sx-05... which i believe is a light neutral beige, and the palest of the more commonly used shades. i use it over ddf's matte spf 30 and have had no problems at all. if my skin is looking dry, i'll use another moisturizer in those spots, since the ddf is quite matte, to avoid giving the foundation any flakiness to cling to.
I had been dying to try this for some time- I always admired how Kevyn Aucoin made women look so beautiful. After reading the product reviews on MUA, I was even more curious - I did not know this product had so many uses. My only regret now is waiting so long before trying this great product!!
I am a MMM with yellow undertones and though I generally don't wear foundation, I do sometimes like coverage on the undereye area as well as my cheeks. One problem I kept running into with other products was the way they looked on my cheeks - most foundations seem to settle in and make the pores appear too large. However, the SSE covered my cheeks and they looked great!! I was very happy about this as well as the coverage I achieved under my eyes with little bulk (which causes lines). I love this product and will now consider it one of my "staples."
While I was lucky enough to receive this in a swap, I will not hesitate to spend $42. for it in the future - it is worth every penny for the job it does as well as the fact that it truly takes so little of the product to cover your entire face. I mixed a small amount with a moisturizer and used a brush to spread it over my face -it looked like seamless perfection and stayed on until late at night. I now look forward to trying other products from the K.A. line, hoping I get the same results. I do recommend that anyone considering the Sensual Skin Enhancer read these reviews as well as the instructions on Kevyn Aucoin's internet site.
After so long, I finally have in my hand a precious little rich red pot of wonder. I"m pretty fair - a Px Vanilla, which is very fair with peachy undertones. Since there is no shopping where I live, I spoke by phone with the Kevyn Aucoin rep at a Dalls Neiman Marcus. He matched my Px Vanilla with Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX02. I was surprised - my initial guess would have been an SX03.
When my precious parcel arrived yesterday, I was very excited. We had a dinner engagement, and I had no time to go home to freshen up. After reading the somewhat mixed reivews on this site, nearly all of which stated that the Enhancer can be hard to work with, I was very hesitant to just try the stuff at work, before heading to a social event. But I got brave. And it worked well.
First I dabbed some Nars Makeup Primer over my face with a wedge sponge. Then, following the instructions the MA had given me, I blended a tiny small itty bitty amount of the enhancer with some moisturizer - about 75-80% moisturizer on th eback of my hand. Being an oily girl, I was concerned that I'd end up a grease slick with so much moisturizer, but I forged on. I dabbed the sponge onto the reddish areas on my cheeks, bridge of nose, forehead and chin and started to blend. I was amazed at how much coverage I got with such a tiny amount of product - I'd consider it to be full coverage, actually. I was also amazed at how non greasy it felt, even with the primer and the moisturizer. I was able to cover my undereye area beautifully, too. I made sure to blend well - all over, under the chin, up to hairline, just in case the shade was too light. But it wasn't - a perfect match, really!
Then I applied a fine loose powder - Maven powder in the shade Cosette - very lightly and buffed in with a big fluffy brush. Perfection. I looked better than I had that morning!
And it wore well too - no oily shine or breakthrough, even at 11:30 when I was finally washing up for bed. I never would have thought it possible that I could get 7 hours without shine or dew or glow or whatever. But I did. And my face wasn't masklike matte, either. Just natural, polished and pretty. I can hardly wait to really try this product in my own bathroom, on clean, makeup free skin, with proper foundation brushes and such.
As with any full coverage foundation, you do want your skin to be as smooth and flake-free as possible - so keep drinking lots of water, use a moisturizer as needed, and try an enzyme mask, which really dissolves all those little flakey things.
Overall, in my limited experience with this product, I already think it is awesome. It is not a slap and go foundation and so requires a bit more care, but the end results are nothing short of perfection.
I researched this product to death before I bought it & it was everything I'd hoped for. I love it! A Makeup Artist at the Kevyn Aucoin dept. at Neimans told me about the colors: 01-05 are lightest-usually just for highlighting; 11-16 are for very dark skin; 06 & 08 are extremely yellow. That leaves 07 and 09 - their best sellers. My skin is light/medium & I am yellowish (warm) so I am #07. If you're light/medium and pinkish (cool) you'd be #09.
You begin by moisturizing and/or priming your skin, unless your skin is oily. Then you take no more than the equivalent of ONE GRAIN OF RICE worth of the SSE from the jar. Put it on your palm, for warmth. Then take a tiny concealer brush & dab tiny little specs of it where you'd like coverage & start blending it in. It is not difficult at all, and if you need more, add more. If you want to use it as a light foundation all over, just blend your TINY amount of it with your moisturizer & apply it that way. But remember - you will not need more than 1 to 1 1/2 grains of rice worth of this product. TRUST ME. That's where everyone screws up with this potion. They think you have to use more. This is extremely unusual stuff - unlike anything you've ever used before. I agree that it is really unbelievable that such a tiny amount could be enough, but I read it so many places that I decided to try it that way & it is definitely true.
It took me exactly 10 minutes (that's it!) to even out the skin tone all over my face & conceal where I needed to. The result was radiant, FLAWLESS skin that also looks completely natural - not "made up." I have a magazine complexion! I don't know how else to put it. My skin looks airbrushed to perfection.
As for the size of the jar, it would be ridiculous for it to be bigger, because even at this size it will last forever. So when you consider that you can now toss your foundation & all of your multicolored concealers (the pinks, the greens, the apricots...) this is not an expensive product at all.
I am so happy that I bought this product after reading ALL of the reviews on this site and talking to the Makeup Artist at Neimans for additional tips.
*As a union television and Flim artist I can honestly say that this is by far one of the best foundations available and in addition to RCMA has become one of my personal HG's. S.S. works on a very simple principal, no fillers= no low melting temperature, my favorite type. It is perfect for every skin type and the coverage is flawless just like RCMA but creamier but with a matte finish as well. Don't be intimidated by those who are not properly schooled in it's application technique. Anyone who finds this product heavy dense or difficult is impatient and probably needs the speed of airbrushing to be satisfied. It is *simple to apply and in my opinion fingers are not the best option for more than a single section. It is a total oxymoron, it covers completely yet is not heavy in texture unless misapplied. Anyone who finds it heavy or unblendable has clearly misused this product! Directions: For a long lasting, heat resistant, waterproof wear; use only a light gel moisturizer or Shiseido pre-makeup cream under your foundation as using emollients under any foundation break it down. So if you have used heavy moisturizer under this or any long lasting foundation there's your culprit, the two were never meant to dance together. This stuff is indestructible!!! Apply the foundation where you desire the most coverage, and then with a large sponge(Larua Mercier)stipple the foundation in a fast tapping motion to blend over the entire face (lids, lips as well) be careful not to drag or pull the sponge as you would with liquid base this will only leave you uneven.Then blend jaw line and buff slightly. The shades that have been chosen are all warm, yellow-based colors that range in depth, which are the most effective in perfecting all skin tones, and neutralizing red or hyper-pigmentation in the skin. Foundation should never be used to lighten or darken the skin, only correct in specific cases. Use your blusher and bronzers to rebuild warmth where it is desirable to see it, * but only after you have set your base with complimenting loose powder and a puff, never a brush as it leaves texture marks. You�re to take your time here, this is the most valuable step in all of your application; remember you are making a neutral canvas to which all color is to be applied. Having known Kevyn I am so very proud to wear this product and use it on my clients. I will be stocking it in my kit and using it regularly as it is in a word AMAZING! God bless you Kev, you left behind a legacy and will be sadly missed.
I go through stages with this but I think it's very difficult to work with. When I am liking it, it means I can be bothered to devote the time and patience to get the application right for the perfect finish. I end up using it more as concealer - but it still is quite difficult to use and I hate the thought that I am dragging my under eye skin to get this on. You need a primer to use it (I use Laura Mercier) and I use Shu brushes to apply, and my fingers to pat. You only need a tiny amount and I can never see myself ever using all of it up. Packaging is nice and doesn't take up much space. If you are interested in the hype which is what I was, I would recommend trying it out first at the counter but get the MA to put it on you on one side and then you apply on the other side so that you can decide whether you find it easy or not to apply. I think most people will find they cannot.
I just had to write about this product! I think this is the best concealer that I've used to date! I've been selling and doing makeup for nearly 20 years. I'm a die-hard Cle de Peau concealer user, but a recent trip to the Kevyn Aucoin counter has made me a convert! WOW! THIS STUFF ROCKS! I could not believe the coverage! I have very reddish purple circles under my eyes that are getting worse with age, but this stuff covers them completely! I bought the concealer brush that they have which is the best one to use with this product since the pigment is so dense. It's self-setting in 5 minutes and it even stays on through a trip to the gym. I also tried thinning it out with a bit of eye cream for a sheerer effect which worked well. I mix shade 11 and 14 together at the moment since I'm tan, but the 11 should take me though the fall-winter months. The price is less than the Cle de peau, and I can imagine I won't need to replace it for at least 2 years, I can just imagine how long it will take me to finish it. The $42.00 price tag is reasonable since the product is ultra concentrated. Give it a try! UPDATE, 09/19/05....I was a bit unhappy with the appearance of this product after a few hours...it began to magnify the texture of the skin under my eyes. I took a bit of Prescriptives Magic Cream Potion and mixed it with the enhancer. Voila! This was what I wanted to achieve! The Magic stuff makes the Enhancer light-reflective and is looks fantastic, it hides both the darkness and blurs the fine lines under my eyes after hours of wear. Try this mixture if you're feeling that the Enhancer is too flat and dry looking.
This is one of the best foundations I've tried (I just wish I'd bought it sooner). It really is as fabulous as they say, and I'm not one to care about hype and what's "popular". This is a top-quality product and although it cost $42, the TINIEST little dab will cover your entire face, so it will last ages and is well worth the money. This is not a lightweight, sheer sort of foundation; this is more "professional" and something you'd see more on models on shoots. Thus, you will get that model-y, "flawless" look. The coverage is medium to full, depending on amount used. I needed a foundation that would cover the acne marks I had on my chin, and this is great (it works as a good concealer too). Because it's a cream foundation, it has a slightly dewy finish. Shade SX 10 fits my neutral beige skintone almost perfectly, without the usual peach (I'm picky about shades). This would be perfect for evening, but can also be used during the day if applied very, very lightly, or mixed with a bit of moisturizer. Very oily/very acne-prone skintypes might have a hard time with its somewhat thick cream consistency, but I have combination/somewhat acne-prone skin, and have absolutely no problem with it (but would avoid it on sweltering summer days). PS. I personally dig the scent and the look of the jar as well.
I couldn't have said it any better than the review posted just before me by 2Westies. However, I really do feel that I have found my HG of foundations. When right, this foundation is by far the most amazing, flawless product I have ever used.
One real timesaver that I have have had TERRIFIC success with is to mix this product with La Prairie Rose Illusion Line Filler (a fabulous primer in its own right by the way and well worth the $$$$). You need only just the tiniest amounts of both products. This mixture goes on smoothly and flawlessly. Ladies, I would highly recommend getting a sample of the LP primer and trying this yourselves.
In short, I love this foundation. The color (SX 05) is the most perfect shade of foundation I have ever encountered. I have also been very happy with the performance of this product as a concealer.
I am loving all of the Kevin Aucoin products that I have recently acquired, including his two books Face Forward, and Making Faces. I marvel at his talent and the genuinely beautiful soul that shines through in his writing.
There's a steep learning curve with this product, and it's probably not going to be for everyone. Plenty has already been written regarding price, colors, texture, etc. but I'd like to share a few observations after using it for a year.
#1) In my experience, this is a fabulous product to use in moderation as a concealer on good-skin days; that is when my face is clear, well hydrated, and has a smooth texture. Whenever I'm experiencing slightly irritated or dry skin, enlarged pores or have the slightest puffiness due to water retention, SSE is The Worst thing I can use. It simply magnifies every flaw.
#2) My fingers are way too porous to use them to apply anything effectively, especially something as thick as this, so I have found that my Armani blender/foundation brush (short dense, natural bristles) gives the best, most even coverage. A taklon or nylon brush seems to leave behind a lot of streaks that are difficult to blend out.
#3) Sometimes I mix SSE with LM foundation primer to thin it out, which works really well.
Bottom line, this is not a quick and easy makeup to be slapped on in a hurry. It takes a lot of time and "massaging" to achieve perfect results. But on the right day, when I've got the time to fuss, it gives me the most beautiful, flawless skin possible.