Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer Shades


33 reviews

81% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$$$


Mineral Oil, Polybutene, Diethylhexyl Succinate, Polyethylene, Quaternium-18 Hectorite, Calcium Carbonate, Dextrin Palmitate, Honey, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Beeswax, Butylene Glycol, Cholesterol, Lecithin, Talc, Triethylhexanoin, Methylparaben, Fragrance. May Contain ( /-): Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77491).

on 10/1/2015 8:52:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Dark, Warm

Hair: Black, Kinky, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I bought the Sensual Skin Enhancer after reading about it on NYMagazine's The Cut. It's a versatile, not-quite-foundation product that is essentially a heavy pigment that is then mixed into primer, color corrector or luminizer to create the desired final product.

The product is incredibly thick and 10x as pigmented as a NARS eyeshadow -- it is KEY that you not use too much! I had to start over after seeing myself in the daylight and adjust with my primer til I was using about a finger tip's worth of product. I highly recommend being matched in store! Though Kevyn Aucoin is hard to find in store, the shades are MUCH lighter than they look online. I thought I was an SX 12 and ended up being a 14.

For women of color, I would recommend finding your undertone shade first before choosing a color match. My undertone is very warm, so the bronze (reddish-yellow) base of 14 was a good fit for me. I might mix it with 12, however, as 12 has a very yellow base that is closer to my skin in cooler months.

The product is a hefty $47, but the pot has what I would consider to be 4 HE foundations worth of pigmentation, or maybe 7 DS foundations! The pigment is rich and versatile. If you own a moisturizer or primer, you will mix this to create your foundation. You'll mix your luminizer to get a soft highlight effect and use the pot's color straight or with a bit of corrector for your concealer. It's basically pure "color" that you can play with to get a handful of products out of.

I'm overall satisfied with the Sensual Skin Enhancer as I'm not the type of person to want to own tons of makeup - it's versatility makes doing a full face pretty simple. If you are like me and struggle to find foundation with rich base pigment to match your undertone, this is a must-try product.

on 9/27/2015 12:12:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Just a little quick review:
Im currently around nc/c 30 and 8 was the closest color match. Still a bit too beige and not yellow enough. 7 was too light, 9 too dark.
Only needed the tiniest amount; blends well. However, even setting it w powder or w setting spray, it would break up by the end of the work day. I have oily dehydrated skin and live in hot southern california.

on 9/3/2015 2:24:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Very Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I am a makeup junkie always looking for my HG foundation. I saw this on you tube and decided to order from Sephora as they have a great return policy.

It is not an actual foundation. I believe it is actually meant to be used as a concealer but you tube shows that it used as a foundation.

You tube shows to put very small dots on your face and buff in. I actually put a couple of small dots mixing numbers 1 and 2 on my hand. I am extremely pale. I could use #1 alone but a little bit of 2 warms the color a bit. I then dot it on my face and use fingers to spread.

I have good skin but with red undertones. This makes my skin color even without red. It also makes a great concealer for under eyes.

The key is to use extremely sparingly only where needed so you don't get a mask look (I do this for all foundations). Using a buffing brush didn't work as well for me as well as using my fingers.

The biggest surprise is that it lasted all day.

I have extremely dry skin. I used moisturizer and primer underneath which I do with all foundations. Will definitely buy again if I ever run out. The pots are small but the amount needed is so tiny, it will probably last a minimum of 1 year if not longer.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 3/24/2015 4:19:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

(cross-posted under Concealers) I really regret not having purchased this earlier. I was afraid I’d 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 I’ve 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 can’t 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.

Here’s how I work it. I remove about a rice-grain’s 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 I’ll 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. I’ve 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 I’m 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. It’s 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 “primer.” Mixing SSE with a bit of tinted sunscreen works best for me (current favorites are Clinique’s CC Cream, Clinique Super City Block, EL DW Wear All Day Glow BB, Paula’s Choice Resist Super Light Daily Defense, etc.). For my eye area, I mix with Clinique Superdefense Eye Cream SPF 20. I’ve 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, you’ll probably want to mix this with a mattifying primer or sunscreen. I’m 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:
I’m light-complected with neutral, slightly peachy undertones. I’ve 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 don’t 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 – (Very) fair, neutral undertones, a true ivory
SX02 – (Very) fair, pink-toned, rosy ivory
SX03 – Fair/Light, olive/greenish/neutral beige
SX05 – 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.

33 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

on 3/23/2015 5:29:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Kinky, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

At first I was smitten with this product, a highly pigmented cream in one small jar in my make up bag. Can be sheered out as a TM, and built up in areas that need more coverage.

After a few weeks, I found all of my CONS. If you are not a true MUA, and not willing to put the time into working with this product, it won't work for you.

It is not a slap on, blend in, and out the door. It also contains mineral oil, which while a good oil for your skin, does not set into your skin so well, it sort of stays on top of your skin (my problem) and no matter how thin I made this it "melts" and transfers -- and I have dry skin

It needs to be mixed, matched, warmed up, layered, SET WITH powder, etc

I can't emphasise SET WITH POWDER enough, as this is a thick mineral oil based formula, and mineral oil does not go into your skin, it sits ontop of your skin, won't clog your pores, but.............

It DID NOT WEAR well on my skin. I used this invery warm weather 80-90 degrees with sun in Arizona and it transfered and slid all around. Don't even try to put much over it as that too is a mess

Bottom line: Not for me but probably the best tool a MUA could have in their kit

1). I never found a perfect match but was close with SX5 and could sheer and use SX5 on its own. To get a perfect match I would need to mix a few of these together which is OK and not unusual for me

2). Small pot of very concentrated product. I like small, and I like concentrated. So does my make up bag.

3). Very dense. you can nock over this and its not going anywhere

4). Bluring effect. Definately, this does blur out imperfections and can make your skin look flawless if you apply this correctly which is not easy nor fast

5). There are so many things you can do with this product, use as a TM, as a concealer

For true artistry, use one color as a base / blender color, one as a highlighter, one as a contour, one as a bronzer

Mix and match to get your perfect skin tone

True make up artistry all in 4 small tiny pots that pack nicely into your make up bag


Read the other reviews very carefully

You need to use this correctly or it will look aweful

Moisturize or use sunscreen, use only a pin head dab of this product it is so highly concentrated, really warm up the product and mix on the back of your hand and keep it warm

Apply in layers, and build up as you need to

Blend blend blend !

Use a close up mirror to see if you are blended out - if you look close enough you will probably find that you have a bit too much product here and there, even after blending like crazy

I used fingers, beauty blender and brush to apply and found warm fingers to be the best method, followed by a damp warm beauty blender. The brush did not do much for me

It did not wear well on my normal skin. I am in Arizona, and it has been 80 - 90 degrees no humidity. In a few hours or less, it had slide off in areas. If you touch your face or blow your nose it comes off even after you powder

This is an oil based highly pigmented product that stains and is difficult to remove from brushes, your hands, your beauty blender and anything that touches it

You need Dawn diswashing soap (removes oil and this is an oil based product), and it takes time to wash your tools and hands daily

A Great Product for a Make Up Artist

This is true artistry, like a painter mixing and layering.

I am a slap it on and go out the door gal (back to MAC Face & Body)

2). Sit on your skin, transfers, difficult to add blush, etc even after you add powder

3). I live in AZ, and in dry 85 degree weather, this was slippin and sliding everywhere, with or without a primer, with or without powder

4). I did not think it looked good as an all over your face product. Gave me sort of a blurry face (??). Probably best as it is described, a "CONCEALER".

KA was a genius, but he took many of his "how to's" with him when he departed this world, and much of what he did and how he used product will remain a mystery

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

on 1/23/2015 4:22:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This is the perfect full coverage foundation. It is best applied with a foundation brush as it is thick, so a little goes a very long way. It doesn't feel heavy at all. I'm NC42 in MAC and purchased sx11 which was perfect match for me. Love it!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 12/5/2014 9:57:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Oily, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I don't usually do reviews but this stuff is a Must HAVE I love it, cover is amazing excellent staying power doesn't settle in fine lines. Just a WoW foundation much better than the Dior Star I was using, no comparison.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 11/5/2014 9:07:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

This is a great product because:

- It is truly full coverage.
- Very creamy and blendable
- Can be mixed with primers, moisturizers, bb-creams, foundations and concealers.

I own SX01, SX02, SX03, SX08 and SX10.

SX01 is a very fair shade with neutral undertones.
SX02 is also very fair, but it has a strong peach undertone.
SX03 is quite light as well, but has a olive undertone.
SX08 is medium-dark with a golden undertone.
SX10 is a little darker than SX08, but has a neutral undertone.

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

on 7/25/2013 1:19:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

The very first day I wore it my co-worker said my skin looked super smooth.
The second day I wore it, she asked, "Ok, WHAT have you been using on your skin?! It looks amazing!" AHHHH!!

SX11 is a great match for my skin tone. To say that you only have to use a small amount is an understatement. It has the consistency of peanut butter. I apply it with my Sigma brush and blend...blend blend blend until I'm bored. The end result is impressive.

I don't mix it with my moisturizer, I just apply my moisturizer first, let that sink in, then apply the SSE. I might try mixing it with my moisturizer at some point. But used alone, it's dreamy.

Edit 10/6/13: Sigh. When I used this during the summer months, my skin looked terrible by the end of the day: cakey, shiny, clogged. Maybe the consistency was too much combined with the hot California sun. Sadness.

20 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

And I thought the days of heavy coverage foundations and concealers were over when I hit 30!!!
In my late 20, my combination and dehydrated skin became drier and drier and I couldn't use my beloved EL DW or Maximum Cover any more - the texture was just to heavy and almost sticky and made imperfecions and fine wrinkles paradoxically even more obvious.
So I switched to MACs Face and Body (still my HG) and lighter and luminous foundations, thinking one couldn't have it all.
But I was wrong. Yes, we can have it all! Without looking older than we are! This little pot works as a subtle luminous (!), longlasting, exceedingly pigmented concealer and a foundation. What impressed me the most was that I could even use it under my eyes which is nearly imposible with any heavy concealer no matter what HE brand I used. I could only use liquid textures like Touche eclat or Armani's Mastercorrector which aren't full coverage.
Now onto the SSE: This stuff is pure genius. You can mix it effortlessly with other products, e.g. primer, foundation, moisturizer, spf or cream. What works best for me is this "recipe": I put a grain sized amount on the back of my hand, mix it with Innis mineral shimmering base (similar to strobe cream) and apply it all over my face with a flat fondation brush. It only takes me 3 minutes and the result is full coverage, luminous (!) and very longlasting natural effect that doesn't budge. This stuff is like nothing I have in my huge foundation collection and it was the one thing hat I really should have bought before.
I use nr. 7 for my NC 25 skin with a light yellow and very slight peachy undertone and it is just perfect.
It is also worth mentioning that the SSE was made in Japan which says a lot about this foundation in terms of texture and quality.

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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