Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Foundation review and swatch

I have a really hard time finding concealers that work for me.  Either they’re too pink, too yellow or just not pale enough.  Or the color is right but the texture is off — too drying or cakey-looking for my dry skin.  OR all that is fine but they’re not pigmented enough.  I’d much rather work with something *super* pigmented and have to sheer it out than add layer upon layer of product and run the risk of things looking thick and gross.

While my skin is ok I do have some areas that need serious concealing.  I get hormonal/cystic acne and so I have acne scars that show up as purple-red areas.  The areas where I get acne consistently are just purple all the time now (while Avalon Organics Vitamin C serum is helping, it does take a while, plus I have new acne scars every month).  Plus I have some natural and hereditary discoloration around my eyes that, if not concealed, makes me look tired and sometimes ill.

After asking around and looking through the blogosphere, a friend recommended Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer (henceforth abbreviated to SSE).  I’ve heard a lot about this line of products and about this one in particular.  I decided to order from because if the color didn’t work I could easily exchange it due to their “100% Color Guarantee” program.  I was really surprised and a little saddened that no local stores carry his line, despite the fact that he was born and raised near the area where I live.   In any case, I decided to try the lightest shade — SX01 — in the hope that it would be a decent color match for me.

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer

My friend warned me that while the jar is TINY (and it is!) the product is so pigmented that you only need the tiniest amount.  Since I was planning on using this for concealing, not as an all-over foundation, the small size didn’t worry me too much.

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer

I was initially worried the color might be a little too yellow for me, but once blended, it really matched beautifully and seemed to help counteract any redness in my skin.

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer

When using this on my face, I use a Real Techniques Deluxe crease brush, which comes in their Starter Kit.   I barely touch the brush to the product, then I swirl the brush in the cap of the SSE to emulsify it a little bit.  One tiny dab is enough to conceal the area around my skin and around my eyes.  The brush works perfectly to apply and then blend out the product.  If I have other areas to conceal, like a pimple then another tiny tiny dab will more than take care of them.  The Sensual Skin Enhancer is very creamy and almost-but-not-quite dewy — and it will crease and feel a bit tacky on the skin unless you set it with powder. (I use Bare Essentials Mineral Veil for that.)  Once set with a powder, it lasts all day on my dry skin and doesn’t wear off.

Another thing that’s great about SSE is that you can layer it to get even more coverage.  Adding several layers doesn’t seem to make it cake up or look gross — it always just looks like skin.  This stuff is crazy pigmented and I think one layer will help hide many imperfections.  In the pictures below I’ve used ONE thin layer and I think it has made a huge difference.  These were taken before I added any powder so you can see the true texture of this product:

Above -- acne scars and redness around my mouth/chin
Below -- one thin layer of Sensual Skin Enhancer SX01

(I didn’t bother covering up the freckle near my lip, btw because it’s not something that bothers me or that I think of as an imperfection.)

Above -- hereditary discoloration at the outer corner of my eye
Below -- one thin layer of Sensual Skin Enhancer SX01

All in all, I am extremely pleased!  While the price is a bit dear ($45 for 0.63 oz), it’s quality stuff — richly pigmented, easy to use and has a beautiful skin-like finish.  If you’re on the lookout for the perfect concealer, you might want to give this one a try.

It’s funny but this is my first Kevyn Aucoin purchase and I feel good about supporting his brand as I’m such a HUGE fan of his.  He has been a true inspiration to me over the years and I count myself as so incredibly lucky and fortunate to have met him once at a book signing in his home town of Lafayette, Louisiana.   But that may be a tale for another post if anyone cares to read it.

RIP Kevyn ❤


18 responses to “Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Foundation review and swatch

  1. So glad you are liking it Daena! I’ve had mine for over 5 years and I still haven’t reached the bottom yet. That’s how little you really need! It’s my Holy Grail concealer.

  2. I just wish it wasn’t fragranced. That’s why I stopped using it. It covers so beautifully so it was a shame.

    • I’m usually really sensitive to fragrance but I found this one didn’t bother me. On me, the scent fades very quickly (generally by the time I’m finished blending things in). It might bother me more if I used it as a full face foundation though!

  3. I’ve been wanting to try it ever since I saw y’all talking about it. I think you’ve just convinced me 😉 and I’d love to hear the story about meeting Kevyn – that must have been so exciting!


  4. Pingback: Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Foundation review and swatch … - kevyn-aucoin

  5. Hi! I was wondering how fair you are.. I’m below MAC’s N15 (Idk by how much though, but their 15s and the lighted shade in their MatchMaster line is noticeably darker and makes me orangey) Would this product match my skin?

    • Hi Amy! I haven’t used MAC foundations so I’m not sure where I fall in their system but I will say I am very often more pale than the fairest foundations in makeup lines across the board. My skin tone is neutral leaning to cool and most foundations are way too orange on me. I’d say if you want to try it, buy from a seller that has a good exchange/return policy in case it isn’t a match for you!

      Thanks for reading!

  6. I picked up this foundation in SX06 last night, it looked so good on my skin when the MUA put it on. I can’t wait to use it. Thanks for the review:)

  7. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis.

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  8. I’m glad this worked for you. I’ve been looking at reviews and am definitely planning on purchasing this one. The only struggle I’m having right now is what shade I should choose. Eek!

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