Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer


356 reviews

72% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$$$


Mineral oil, polybutene, diethylhexl succinnate, polyethylene, quaternium, dextrin palmitate, honey, simmondsia chinesis (jojoba) seed oil, tocopherol, beeswax, butylene glycol, cholestebedrol, lecithin, talc, triethyhexanoin, methylparaben, fragrance. May contain: iron oxides, mica, titanium dioxide.

on 5/18/2014 6:37:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Oily, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

You might have a little sticker shock when you pay for this item and it comes in the mail in a wee, itty-bitty pot. I thought, "Surely, they sent me a sample size!"

This stuff is PIGMENTED. You totally get what you pay for and then some.

I use this product both as a concealer for Hormonal Pimples of Death (HPOD) and I've recently started using it as a foundation just on the inner parts of my face, where there's more discoloration and redness.

When I use this as a concealer, I take a synthetic brush and just lightly touch the bristles to the product. That is literally all I need--even for a jumbo zit. Press it in with your fingers to warm the product a bit and it is seamless.

Right now, I've been using a bit more (think the size of a pinhead or maybe a bit smaller) and dotting it all around my nose, cheeks (inner) and chin. Then I blend it out with a regular paddle-style foundation brush. This way I can apply a TM or BB cream on the rest of my face so that it looks fresh and not super made up, but I still have coverage where I need it. My allergies are really horrible right now as well, and buffing this around the eyes takes down the redness and discoloration I get from all the pollen.

I purchased this almost two years ago now and I don't know if I'll ever run out of it! Granted, it's not something I use all the time, as I cycle through foundations a lot, but even if you used a bit every day, it would talk a long time to use all of this up.

One caveat because it is so pigmented: make sure you get the right color! I ordered online from Nordstrom and assumed I would be the lightest warm tone because most other foundations aren't pale enough for me. SX-01 is PALE. I wear SX-03 (I'm about an NC10 in Mac--without oxidation :D).

You need to set this with powder if you have oily skin, but it lasts and gives fantastic coverage.

Highly recommended--especially if you have a special event and need something that covers but doesn't have any flashback.

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

on 5/18/2014 1:33:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Normal, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

The thing that has always made me insecure is the darkness under my eyes. For me it's something I always see. I have tried what feels like every single concealer on the market. From spending a little to spending $100 a pop on concealer I have never found a product that made my dark circles disappear. Until this GEM!! For the price it's to die for, a little goes a long way. The sa at Barney's put it on me & I fell in love. I mean to feel perfect in that lighting? That's next to impossible. When I went out in the real world the feeling of perfection didn't go away. Even into the night with that same application I looked flawless. My friends asked me immediately what I was doing different. So I was sold needless to say!! Okay guys remember a little goes a LONG way. I think for those who have issues with this cream it all has to do with application. Remember to apply an eye cream before using this. That makes this (and any other concealer) set and spread easily. Then just use a tiny bit of product. You will amazed on how little you need to feel fully covered. Less is more!!! Once you have mastered the art of applying this you will be in love. You can even use a little with your moisturizer to create your own tinted moisturizer. This is one product that will leave you feeling all around fabulous.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 4/13/2014 9:38:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This is the absolute best concealer on the market! It is very creamy and it has a golden glow to it, giving the look of being lit within. You only need a tiny bit of it, to get the coverage you need. I got a small sample from Neimans two weeks ago and I still have a lot left. Neimans just started carrying Kevyn Aucoin 3 weeks ago. I used to use Bobbi Brown concealer and this one hands down is ten times better and you need a lot less product. It also photographs beautifully. I can't wait to go and spend 42 dollars and buy it as soon as my sample runs out! I have tan coloring, and I use #11, in Mac I think it 35. They have a variety of shades for AA women and all skin colors. The eyeshadows are also gorgeous! I will leave that for another post.

6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

on 3/5/2014 8:51:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I love this product! I was on the fence about buying it because of the reviews. I use a retinol at night and have dry, flaky skin every once in a while from it so through the reviews I was worried about this accentuating those flakes.

But, I love it! I use a small brush and pin point spots and then blend with my beautyblender. I don't think it's cakey at all, and I am a tinted moisturizer/bb cream kind of girl too! This stays on all day on my combo skin and never gets oily or dry. Sometimes I will pat on my favorite face oil (fresh seaberry) around lunch, but it's not necessary.

I got this in 05. I am a nw20-25 in mac, cool beige in bobbi brown, Deauville in sheer glow, br30 in ysl, light in most bb creams, etc.

Maybe I like it so much because the color is perfect for me. It doesn't make me look made up, orange, washed out.. it just makes me look a little better than I would otherwise.

This is a tiny pot, more like concealer. I thought it was going to be bigger honestly, but a little goes a long way! Other than the size, the other thing I would maybe change is the scent. Sometimes I get a hint of like a paint sort of smell.

I would give this a shot. I hope it works for you!

11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Medium, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

For reference I am a MAC NW22. I use Kevyn Aucoin SSE in SX07, which is pretty much perfect if a tiny bit too dark. My skin is normal to dry and needs good coverage as I have hereditary redness and I'm prone to burst capillaries.

The first thing I want to mention is that it's number one ingredient is mineral oil - we know how cheap that is to make - so the price of this feels completely unjustified. I'm not part of the anti-mineral oil brigade, but I am unimpressed with it.

I don't like this as a concealer as I think it's too cakey. If you do want to use it as a concealer, seriously, use it as a pin-point! Don't smear it and I'd also say use something else under your eyes that's lighter in texture.

As other reviewers have said you need the smallest amount of product to cover your whole face. I LOVE this as a base. I take a half pea-sized amount on a RealTechniques detailer brush and dot it around my whole face. I then spray a beauty blender with MAC Fix+ and gently tap it into the skin. It leaves the most BEAUTIFUL finish. It's glowy in the sense that it's like having an inner glow rather than the synthetic, over-glowy glow that so many foundations give. It really covers my redness and makes my skin look great even when it isn't. For that I would really recommend it. I have used this around 10 times and seriously have probably used 0.2% of the product up - it's going to last you a LONG time.

EDIT 20/04/14: I've taken a lipstick off as over time it's become more apparent that this has a pretty bad staying power. Within hours it's gone patchy and for the price it's not particularly something I want to be powdering and retouching all the time. I don't have this problem with any of my other skin bases so I'm pretty let down by it.

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

on 2/24/2014 10:10:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

What a gem!
I'm a concealer fiend.I'm always on the lookout for concealers, I have to be, because my eye area can get pretty dark due to an erratic sleep routine.Sometimes I can wear MAC Prolongwear over MAC Studio Finish and I'm good to go.HOWEVER, some days not even a trio of concealers are enough for me.I've tried the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer and I was not pleased.It has a nice texture, but the pigmentation doesn't cut it.If I really want a heavy duty concealer I go with Kevyn Aucoin.I first heard about it when I was looking up info on Rihanna's makeup artist.She specified this was an HG product.Say no more, I went and bought it.The hard part is getting the correct shade.I went with SX05.I'm normally an NC30-NC35, but I wear NW25 or NW20 for my undereye area.SX05 was perfect for me.I love the brightening effect it gives.

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 2/14/2014 6:55:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I read all the great reviews and was super excited to try this. I couldn't find it locally so I bought it online. I just about never return online items so when buying this I knew I was making a final commitment. But MUA has never steered me wrong so I was ready to take the risk. I'm NC35 and I got sx11. I was trying to decide between sx09 and 11, and in the end thought if it was a tad too dark I could work with it.

When I received it, I was shocked, shocked at how tiny the container is. I mean, its pretty much the size of a concealer pot and I paid like 50 bucks for it. Equally ridiculous though, I discovered once I started to use it, that this tiny pot is pretty much a life time supply. When you read the other reviews, you will see they all say you need a tiny amount. The size of the head of a pin. Believe it.

Next, sx11 is way too dark. I would say closer to an NC40 or so. So I mix it with a light BB Cream and the color is fine that way. When first applied, my skin looked super smooth. But too perfect to be true, so it a way I would disagree that this looks like skin.

The deal breaker for me - no lasting power at all. Couple of hours at best.

11 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

....I have found the one! and I am not an easy girl to please ;)

I have gone through hundreds of dollars worth of foundations and concealers, from high-end to drugstore. cream, liquid, compact, powder, mineral, stick. You name it, I have tried it. Two things are very important to me when choosing a HG foundation. 1. that it looks just like skin, 2. that it does not break me out, 3. great coverage, and 4. lasts. Simple? I think not! every foundation I have tried fails in one of those departments. I am allergic or sensitive to quite practically everything, even most mineral makeup breaks me out! The number one problem for my skin though, is silicones (which happens to be in almost everything!).
This foundation is in my top two (j.lynne mineral foundation being the other). it fits every single one of my criteria. And to top it off? due to the pigmentation of this product, I have been on the same jar for over a year and am not even half-way through yet. I also use it as a concealer and it outperforms everything else in that department as well.
Now, it does have a slight learning curve. I have tried stippling brushes, sponges, beauty blenders, foundation brushes, mixing it with moisturizer...everything. For me, I have found that the best way for my skin is to layer (oil based) moisturizers and sunscreen (sunflower oil, Vaseline creamy formula, and ulta brand sunscreen) prior, let those sink in, warm a dab at a time of the foundation on the back of my hand with my fingers and apply directly to my face in a pressing motion. I then let it sink in a few minutes while doing the rest of my makeup, blend with my fingers and then reapply/conceal where needed. I then set with powder on a puff in a pressing rolling motion where needed and voila! MAGIC!

Some people complain about the packaging, but due to the thickness of this product...I cant really see it being packaged differently. If you happen to be particularly concerned with hygiene, go buy some cheap plastic orange sticks and swab them with alcohol afterword or something! America!

It does not feel heavy on my skin, it looks like skin yet covers any and every imperfection beautifully, does not break me out, and lasts well through my sometimes fourteen hour shifts without budging or smearing.
I am an NW 20-25 and shade 05 matches my neck (yep, that's what I match for) perfectly. It is a tad bit yellow but have had no issues with it and it actually aids in cancelling out some of the redness.

12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

on 2/5/2014 7:56:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Very Dry, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

I really wanted to love the SSE, but at this point I just can't...

I should note however, that I was so pleased to be able to find a shade (SX01) that matches my skin PERFECTLY (it can be difficult to find a shade that works for my particular kind of neutral pale), and over all, I think the packaging is good.
Despite the hefty price tag, you don't need to use much product at all, so I think ultimately it's quite cost effective because considering how little you need, there is TONS of product in the small pot.

Now, the unfortunate part:
I wanted a concealer that would specifically cover blemishes - bonus if it worked under eyes as well, but not strictly necessary. This formula is extremely thick and tacky to the touch, so I assumed it would be pretty good at doing what it says and CONCEALING blemishes. Sadly, it highlighted them more than anything else.
It took me SO much effort to blend, despite trying multiple forms of application. I've put it on a bare face, on a moisturised face, over primer, mixed with primer, over foundation, under foundation, applied with my hands, a brush, a sponge, stippling, wiping, dabbing, etc. and despite ALL of this, I can't for the life of me get it to blend decently - it always looks like its quite obviously sitting on my skin. Under the eyes, it failed to conceal darkness even slightly and settled into fine lines like a magnet, on blemishes, it took several layers to mask discolouration and even then, caked and peeled off. After application it looked decent (if you can say that) for about half an hour before It clung to all dry patches on my face, highlighting them something fierce!

I don't know if it's my dry skin that doesn't agreed with the SSE, if it doesn't work in conjunction with another product I use and I just haven't figured out which one yet, or if it's the climate I live in, but I just cannot, for love nor money, get the SSE to work for me. I'm so disappointed! I will keep it, and give it another chance when I move eventually (going from a humid climate back to a bone dry one), and see if I can't get it to cooperate, but at this point, I don't use it and I would definitely not repurchase.

9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

on 1/25/2014 12:57:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I recently bought this product on sale at Nordstrom rack I had been looking for a foundation that was pigmented enough to last through my day of work. Since I live in South Florida there are days when makeup melts off of your face just from walking or driving around in the heat. I read the reviews here and on amazon and decided to try it. Well it's an amazing product if you learn how to apply it properly. I usually mix it with Clinique sunblock 50 SPF. It gives a very natural finish which depends I suppose on the primer or moisturizer you use.
The price is in the high side but you only use a small amount

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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