5.13.2013

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer.

Before reading reviews on the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer, I really didn't know what the hell it was. It's not really evident in the name, is it? It sounds like it would be a luminizing primer of sorts, but it's definitely not. 

The Sensual Skin Enhancer is an richly concentrated foundation-like product that can be used in many different ways. It comes in 16 different shades ranging from SX01 to SX16, and I have the shade SX05, a great match for my NC20 skin.

The SSE is an ultra-thick cream so densely pigmented that I only need roughly half a pea-sized amount per foundation application. I scoop a bit out of the tub using a cotton swab, plop it down onto the back of my hand, mix it with one of several products discussed later in this post before finally applying it with my Real Techniques Stippling Brush.


In terms of foundation application, here are the products I've mixed the SSE with:
:: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone :: Perfect for adding dewiness and extra glow and luminosity. I once mixed the SSE only with Moonstone (so I had to use just as much product as I would if I had used a moisturizer), and the finish was a bit too glowy for my taste. Possibly a good option for dry or dull skin types though.
:: Embryollise Lait-Crème Concentrè :: Mixing it with a moisturizer creates a tinted moisturizer, essentially. The overall finish will vary. The Embryollise Lait-Crème Concentrè and SSE combination makes the skin look healthy, but not quite dewy.
:: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer :: A silicone-based primer makes the SSE immensely more spreadable. A little bit is all you need since silicone adds quite a bit of slip.The finish is quite satin-like.

I never mix the SSE with the Becca Moonstone exclusively anymore, I sometimes mix it with either the Embryollise or Smashbox primer on its own, but my go-to combination is: SSE + Becca Moonstone + Smashbox primerMoonstone perks up my complexion instantly, but the addition of the Smashbox primer aids in the spreadability so that I don't have to use so much Moonstone that my face looks greasy.

Below is the winning combo pre-mix on the back of my hand (My apologies for the crappy lighting - I had to take the picture early this morning before I applied my makeup for work):

At the end of a 9-hour work day:
Not too shabby, eh?

I have yet to try the SSE applied on its own as foundation because I don't believe I currently own a tool appropriate to apply it. It's extremely thick and I would imagine it would be difficult to spread such a little amount of product across your whole face. Karima from Shameless Fripperies has an excellent video discussing the SSE and how to apply it, and I'm planning on ordering the Beauty Blender soon to use it with the SSE. I'll keep you guys updated if it turns out well.

The SSE also makes an excellent concealer. I haven't tried it under my eyes because that area on me is quite dry and sensitive and I'm afraid it might be a bit cakey, but it's amazing on blemishes. Again, I use a cotton swab to scoop up a tiny amount of the SSE, plop it onto the back of my hand, and use my Sephora Pro Airbrush Concealer Brush #57 to dab into the product and apply it to my face. I apply it using a patting motion to work the pigment into my skin with the brush, and I find that it works great. It covers blemishes flawlessly due to its concentrated pigment, but it also blends with minimal effort. 

The SSE is housed in a tiny tub that would make for the perfect travel companion. It contains 0.63 oz of product (quite a bit less than most foundations that typically contain 1 oz.), but keep in mind you need so little product per application that I truly believe this tub will last me far longer than most/all other foundations. It has a less than appealing floral/powder scent that I tend to associate with makeup more from my grandmother's era, but it dissipates rather quickly after application.

If you're having trouble finding the perfect shade for your skin tone, I'd suggest taking a peek at Beauty Professor's post, where she has nearly every shade swatched.

The Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer is available from Nordstrom for $45.


30 comments:

  1. Interesting! Thanks for the review. I don't have the opportunity to test it on myself, but it's so much fun reading how you make it work :-)

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  2. I've always wanted to try this!! Looks lovely and glowy and perfect on you! I love mixing foundations so this sounds like fun to me haha!

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  3. Thanks for the explanation, I also saw the name and was instantly confused... It looks really nice though and your skin looks flawless. I didn't know this existed, thanks for the post!

    http://labellemusegrecque.blogspot.ca/

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  4. Such a great review! I've been interested in this, but I still wasn't exactly sure what to think of it. It looks amazing on you, and you've really made me think I might just have to try it!

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  5. This looks like a great multiuse product! I have been suffering bad breakouts lately and this sounds like it could be great as a base & concealer like you described. It's hard when your concealer ends up a shade or two lighter than your foundation (always my dilemma in summer! ugh) so this would eliminate that nicely! x I recently got the LM secret camo concealer and I like it so far. Maybe I'll check this out in the future :)

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  6. This thing sounds amazing! I've heard of it but never took the time to investigate. I'm into mixing things all the time now so it sounds doubly appealing. I can't believe how flawless you look at the end of a long day. :)

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  7. I bought this in New York, haven't used it yet due to similar confusion!! I must try it! Great review Tiffany as always x

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  8. Great review! This product seams so versatile, definitely interested in trying it out :)

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  9. I love the finish I get from blending SSE and By Terry Sheer Expert (you're right about the Becca SSP being a bit glowy) but I'm going to have to pick up some Smashbox Photo Finish Primer and start mixing! x

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  10. Hey Tiffany, thanks for the review! I like how you shared the details of your experiment. It really does help! I have never tried a foundation in pot, and I am a little intimidated by the texture. Still, I know people rave about this product and I'm intrigued!

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  11. I have heard so many great things about this foundation. It is on my wishlist to try, I know I will love it. x

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  12. Thanks for the great review! Great to know that you kinda need to mix it woth something else, it looks so natural on you though! Mixing it with something like Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector sounds like a dream!

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  13. This is interesting. It looks really good on you. Thanks for the review.

    O Blog da Susy
    O Blog da Susy no Facebook

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  14. Interesting product! I love multi use products, as they're very convenient. Thanks for the review!

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  15. I agree with everything! Using Becca + this is too glowy for my oily skin. The best is usually moisturizer, Becca and this. You are making me want to get a primer! I have never tried any but I bet it would help with my oil control...

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  16. Been wanting to get this for sometime but couldn't figure out how to use it, this post is soo helpful. thank you :) x

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  17. Hi dear! I mix my SSE with face oils. Just one drop will do. It makes it easier to blend, plus you get skincare benefits when wearing your foundation. Hope that helps! x

    makeupandskincarespot.blogspot.com

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  18. I've gone back and forth about trying this so many times. I'll see a review and decide I absolutely MUST buy it, then I'll read something negative and be unsure. I also haven't seen it in stores at all so picking a shade is kind of difficult. I'm about NC20-25 too so I'd probably be right around 05 too. Heading to check out Beauty Professor's swatch post :)

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  19. No problem! I see where you're coming from though - it definitely takes a bit of experimentation to really find a combination that works for you. Let me know what you think it you end up trying it out with a primer!

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  20. Great tip, Patricia! Thank you :)

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  21. Hi Catherine, I know what you mean. I read some contradicting reviews as well, and I also don't have a KA counter near me so I just took a chance ordered online with the intention of returning it if I didn't like it. Luckily I didn't have to do that because I love it, but it can be really frustrating when you can't see a product in real life before purchasing. Hope Beauty Professor's swatches help, but I definitely think you'd be SX05 too :)

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  22. An SA applied this on me as a foundation and she only used a grain of rice size for my entire face...and it STILL looked like cakey clown face. I'm tempted to get it though to use it mainly as a concealer since it seems like it would last ages!! Looks like you have a great combo though...if I ever get it I'll have to remember your technique :-)

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  23. that skin enhancer looks awesome! i love natural looking makeup. Thanks for sharing :)

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    http://yourbeautyfixreviews.blogspot.com/

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  24. I wish I could swatch every Kevyn Aucoin product! They look fabulous!

    I have read people who use the SSE mixing it with a light foundation and the Beauty Blender or using the SSE just as a concealer and then a light foundation. It's a very versatile product and there are infinite ways of using it, so interesting!

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  25. Absolutely obsessed with the SSE. It is literally one of the best products out there. No wonder everything and everyone that Kevyn touched were gourgeous!!! Great review. Love it.

    xx- Jamie @ Makeuplifelove

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  26. Awww, seriously?? :( What did she blend it with? Anything? The finish and consistency is really more dependent on what you mix it with, I think. That's a bummer though. But yes, it's a fantastic concealer!

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  27. That's one of the things I love most about it! I love that the possibilities are endless :) I keep going back and forth about whether or not I should get the Beauty Blender...I still haven't decided! Mixing it with a light foundation sounds like a great way to add more coverage though! Love it.

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  28. Thanks, Jamie! So glad to hear you love it too :) I can't wait to try out more from KA!

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  29. No she applied it straight without mixing it. I'm sure if she had mixed it with just about anything I would have liked the finish MUCH better!! Ha ha! I will definitely keep your post in mind :-)

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