Kevyn Aucoin • Sensual Skin Enhancer Shades • Foundations
|Would buy this product again.||81%|
Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Olive Hair: Black Eyes: Black
Update. It came up as 4 lippies in my last review. I mean 5. I like:)
Age: 19-24 Skin: Oily, Fair 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.
Age: 36-43 Skin: Dry, Olive, Neutral Hair: Blond, Wavy, Coarse Eyes: Brown
** Not Tested On Animals **
Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX08
Skin type: normal to dry but acne prone.
Desperately seeking a new HG foundation since I found out MAC test on animals after being bought out by Estee Lauder. MAC is now sold in China, and Chinese law requires that ALL cosmetics be tested on animals.
For reference, I am MAC NC25 / NC30 - see my notepad for my colour matches to other brands.
I've been dying to try this ever since I saw Goss review it months ago! Chances are this isn't the first review you've read for this product. The overall warning I took from all reviews is how pigmented it is - this caused me to apply it too lightly in trying to avoid the caked-on effect. Then of course I went in the opposite direction & slathered it on waaaay to thick. Goss has been promising forever to post a tutorial on how to apply it but never did, so I had to wing it.
BEFORE: my skin is normal/dry so I prime with Face of Australia tinted moisturiser which contains SPF15+.
CONSISTENCY: uber thick & creamy.
APPLICATION METHOD: I de-pot a small amount & get a wee bit on the pad of my middle finger & dab it all over the area I'm about to work on. Using my Sigma F80 flat top brush, I stipple all over then lightly buff it in. Finished with a scant application of Ben Nye banana powder & during the unforgiving & melty summer weather, a spritz of Skindinavia setting spray. Voila!
ETA: my personal preference is for using a flat top stippler but a damp beauty blender gives an equally gorgeous finish & helps to sheer it out if you apply too much.
COLOUR MATCH? This suits my colouring more so than MAC NC30 which is a tad too tangerine. That being said, SX08 is quite a warm/yellow shade & I think it'll be a tiny bit too dark for my winter skin. To adjust the shade I add a few dabs of a lighter cream foundation which works well. I love that this is so customisable.
OVERALL: I lurrrrrve this foundation! I wear it 4+ times a week & it's by no means quick & easy to slap on but it looks bloody fantastic so who cares? I had to lose a lippy due to the minor breakouts I've been getting along my jawline since using it. The finish & staying power is amazing.
RE-PURCHASE? Hells yeah! This is a product for makeup enthusiasts who don't mind putting the effort in. While I'd like to marry & have the babies of this foundation, I can't quite give it HG status because of the breakouts & pore-clogging nature of it. But still an absolute corker.
ETA: I've tried several other correctors/concealers since buying this & nothing stacks up. Have amended to 5 lippies - HG to the power of infinity.
Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium Eyes: Hazel
Okay, I just received this product brand new in a swap. I got the shade sx02. For shad reference I am nc/nw 07-10, Nars SG Mont Blanc, Graftobian bombshell, or illamasqua skin base 3.5.
I have Acne prone, extremely sensitive, combination, oily skin. I have a lot of topical and internal allergies/ intolerances.
So far I have had no immediate issue with skin reactions or acne using this foundation. (but I will update if that changes)
My Foundation Check List:
Correct shade match ::check
No Sunscreen ::check
Versatile Coverage ::check
Lasting (10+ hours) ::check
Good for Combination skin ::check
No reactions, acne, or topical reaction ::check
Transfer resistant :: Check
Pigmentation :: High (grain of rice amount)
Finish :: demi/semi (depends on skin type)
Application recommendation :: a damp brush
I watched and read different reviews, almost every one mentioned how pigmented this is and how difficult it can be to apply. I would say this is difficult for a beginner or anyone who only wants to apply their foundation with their fingers. The only foundation I apply with my fingers is Nars. I found months ago, that I do not like sponges or beauty blenders of any kind, no matter how hard I try, I get a blotchy result. I prefer a damp brush. I specifically like my sephora 56 foundation brush or my real techniques expert face brush. I am leaning towards the later more lately for foundations and using the 56 for cream blushes. That being said I am used to using a brush. I don't think it takes more time to use it than my fingers, but then again I have found my rhythm with it so I feel like I can apply quickly with out losing quality of application at all. Because of this, I did not find Kevyn Aucoin's SSE to be difficult to apply. It apply seamlessly. Near impossible to be cakey. You would have to be applying it wrong to even reach cakey.
It is highly pigmented. The grain of rice amount is pretty precise for incredible coverage. It is a tiny container, $42 for 18 grams, seems like a lot of money for a little amount. Really, a little goes a long, long way. Even though I have scarring on my face, I prefer a like my skin but better look, so light to medium coverage. This foundation can be used as a concealer straight from the tub, or sheer down to a tint. I achieved a really beautiful finish with the brush. I should also mention that because it takes so little I cannot feel this on my skin. It is emollient but I could see this possibly being more difficult to apply for people with drier skin. I say that because I would imagine that drier skin might suck up the little amount of oil in a grain of rice amount, so drier skin users may want to add a little bit of of lotion to their brush instead of just water.
Just a quick mention about the packaging. This is tiny, like an tubbed eyecream. I am not the biggest fan of having to stick my fingers in a container to get product like this and then spread it all over my face, because of bacterial reasons. I have seen this depotted into other containers. I always wash my hands before applying foundation even when I am using a brush. I scooped some out using a tiny painting palette knife I bought for just such uses. I pressed this into the lid, dabbed my finger on the lid and dotting the product on my face, then blended.
It is important to mention and keep in mind that this review is in the Fall. So I will update this if there is any changes once Summer comes around.
I am not sure about this for every day wear, I think the beeswax ingredient may be a little too hard on my skin to wear everyday but on occasion would probably be fine. I should note I have had problems with beeswax as an ingredient on facial skin in the past. It could be other ingredients but I am not sure, still no breakouts but, I can feel that my skin is stressed after wearing this for several days verses other foundations.
Age: 36-43 Skin: Very Oily, Olive Hair: Black Eyes: Black
I actually figured out how to add a review because I love this product so much. I have sx08 n I use Nars Stromboli (sorry, I don't have a Mac reference because they're all too pink for me). This is probably the the most amazing product I own. It's so pigmented that I barely touch it with my brush and it's completely full coverage so it's well worth the price. I've had the same jar for almost a year and barely made a dent in it. I use it at least 5 days a week. I use it as a concealer and I have used it as a foundation but it's a little too full coverage for that. It is dry, so it's perfect for me because I have super oily skin. I'll try to find the blog post I used to find my shade because it's pretty dead on. I found my perfect shade the first time.
Age: Unknown Skin: Other Hair: Other Eyes: Other
EDIT: I upgraded this to a 5 because I now know how to use it - just mix with moisturizer, luminizer or primer and spread it on for a flawless finish every time. Get sheer to full coverage as you need it!. OLD: First, when applied properly it gives a truly flawless but seemingly budgeproof canvas. SX08 seems a very good match for my medium warm complexion. I cannot imagine using this full strength - right now I mix a tiny dab of it with moisturizer and make a TM out of it. But for the cons:
It is dry textured, so even mixed with moisturizer it can be too matte. A natural cream with a little oil in it works best for me so far. Also it sets quickly so you have to work and blend it very fast. A damp sponge blotted over it after seems to smooth things out. But on balance it's a lot of work when I'm used to a fast process in the morning. I'd say the biggest advantage of it over other foundations is the staying power while so lightweight it gives great coverage - so for an evening out, this would be my choice. But if I'd never tried it would I be less happy? No, I don't think so.
Age: 56 & Over Skin: Very Dry, Olive, Cool Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Brown
This is another of those really expensive products that is actually worth it. Fro $45 you get .63 ounces of this uber concentrated foundation/concealer....Going on trip and need to conserve space? Take this as you foundation and concealer...Its a tiny jar.
For foundation use with a primer and slightly damp sponge for a beautiful finish. Ditto for a concealer but I sometimes us a foundation brush. The colors are yellow based. I use the 05 for concealer. The yellow counteracts the blue of dark circles and makes you looks as good as it gets.
I don't usually need to powder on top but a light dusting can be used to set.
Age: 36-43 Skin: Dry, Fair, Cool Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Grey
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.
Age: 19-24 Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium Hair: Brunette Eyes: Green
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.
Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium Hair: Brunette Eyes: Blue
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!
Age: 30-35 Skin: Very Oily, Olive Hair: Black Eyes: Brown
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.
Age: 44-55 Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium Hair: Blond Eyes: Blue
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.
Age: 25-29 Skin: Normal Hair: Brunette Eyes: Brown
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.
Age: 44-55 Skin: Dry, Medium Hair: Other Eyes: Brown
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!
Age: 36-43 Skin: Other Hair: Other Eyes: Other
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.
Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Medium Hair: Brunette, Curly, Fine Eyes: Hazel
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.
Age: Unknown Skin: Normal Hair: Brunette Eyes: Hazel
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!
Age: 25-29 Skin: Normal Hair: Brunette Eyes: Brown
It covers my dark circles well. I only use this as a concealer and not as a foundation. It is too hard to spread because the texture is thick. Its great to cover flaws, spots, acne, etc.
Age: 25-29 Skin: Dry Hair: Brown Eyes: Green
I tried this in my search for a HG foundation. I wanted to like this, I really did. However, it just did not work. I am PPP with dry skin, and the foundation was not moisturizing enough. Dry skin showed through horribly. Made me look about 10 years older. I tried various ways of application, as well and it just never looked good. Also rubbed off in places halfway through work day. I can see how this might work for certain skin types, but it did nothing for my skin. I think Armani is better, but it is not my HG either, still looking...
Age: Unknown Skin: Other Hair: Other Eyes: Other
I'm a Mac C3 and I mix SX06 with SX08 in order to get a perfect match. I find that the yellowness of the product disappears a bit once you start applying on your face. At first I wasn't impressed with KA SSE, but the more and more I use it, the more I love it. I really love it with Smashbox's primer, and sometimes I mix the primer and the SSE in my palm first, and then apply it on primed skin.