Tuesday, October 7, 2014

REVIEW: Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Fluid Foundation

I make very little money, so I try to plan my beauty budget accordingly. When I found out that the newest Kevyn Aucoin base product, the Sensual Skin Fluid Foundation, was going to be released this fall, I made sure to save my pennies and prepare. $65 for something that promises to be pale enough for me out of the bottle, and it's coming from one of my favorite brands? WORTH IT.

Except...not really.

The Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Fluid Foundation costs $65, which isn't entirely stunning for a high-end foundation. What is surprising is the size of the bottle: you only get 0.68 ounces of foundation, not the standard 1oz. I didn't realize that when I ordered, but I definitely noticed how little I was getting when I opened the box.

image from Style.com

I ordered the lightest shade, SF02, which is similar in depth and undertone to the Sensual Skin Enhancer in Sx02. The shade range is a bit disappointing for this particular base: they run from pale to dark, but there are very few shades available, and the undertones appear to be predominantly yellow. A few of the numbers have been passed over (SF10-12 are missing, for example), so perhaps they'll advance the range at a later date.

The product is packaged in a glass bottle. The foundation is dispensed via a dropper attached to the lid; the push button on top allows you to suck up the foundation, then pump out as many drops as you deem necessary. On the one hand, it's great that you can see how much product you're using, and the dropper is very intuitive and easy to control. (Opaque, crappy packaging was one of my major gripes with another KA foundation, Liquid Airbrush.) On the other hand, it's glass and I'm clumsy. While the bottle seems sturdy, I would personally be terrified of dropping and smashing it.

The actual foundation is incredibly thin and runny--you can see it in action in my first impressions video--and has a very sweet, kind of disgusting smell reminiscent of cheap caramel. It feels light to the touch and has a lot of slip; not surprising, given how silicone heavy the formulation is.

15 minutes after application. Flash on the left, natural light on the right.

I applied the foundation with a damp Beauty Blender, as recommended by several bloggers and Makeup Alley users. I immediately noticed several things:

  • This product feels utterly weightless. It's in no way, shape, or form a heavy product, even if you layer it.
  • It's very easy to blend, and a little goes a long while. I used, in total, 10 drops: 7 drops to put a thin layer on my face, then 3 more drops to add a second layer to the parts of my face that need more coverage.
  • The coverage is sheer, buildable to medium, and the finish is satin or matte depending on your skin type. I still needed concealer on my spots and scars.
  • This puppy REALLY clings  to any texture or dry patches.  
Macro shot of my chin shortly after application.

 That last part? That's what killed it for me. I have pretty good skin with hardly any texture, but the Sensual Skin Fluid managed to find rough patches I didn't even know it existed. I'm serious: the only other foundation I can remember doing this was Givenchy Photo'Perfexion, and it was a much heavier formula. (Chantecaille Future Skin caught on my forehead's clogged pores a bit, but softened up after a while, and worked well on my normal and oily areas.) Adding a second layer took the coverage up from light to nearly medium, but it also enhanced the overall dry look of this foundation.

After 4 hours of wear (left) and 6 hours of wear (right).

While the foundation did get slightly "glowier" throughout the day, the terrible texture on my skin never disappeared. My chin became slightly shiny after 6 hours, but it still looked dry and flaky at the same time. I also noticed that the foundation melted off of my nose and settled in to my pores, which makes it difficult for me to see this as a product for oily-skinned people. That being said, several Makeup Alley users have mentioned that they have oily skin and love this stuff. Priming and powdering would probably help in that scenario. But if you have any dryness or texture? Don't bother, friends.

 My chin after 6 hours of wear. Just disgusting.

As it stands, I am utterly underwhelmed by the Sensual Skin Fluid. And it's a shame, because Kevyn Aucoin is one of the few brands that makes out-of-the-bottle pale shades. What bumps my rating up from a 2 to a 3 is the ingenuity of the dropper; it'll be hard to waste product with such an easy-to-control design.

PS: 100 bonus points to Beautylish.com for incredible customer service, fast shipping, and an all-around pleasurable experience!

3 out of 5.


  1. I find the unfriendliness to textured skin to be the most disappointing thing about all of these similarly designed weightless foundations. DISLIKE DISLIKE. On the other hand, you have beautiful skin to begin with, so I say return the foundation and get a nice spot concealer instead. :)

    1. YES, it's so common with these types of foundations! Beautylish was totally awesome and said I could return it. :) Not sure if they're considering it a return or an exchange, but regardless, they have good customer service.

  2. I agree with Liz....why so many serum foundations that only cater combo to oily skin?? I hear great things about the Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation, but again, it may only be good for oilier skin types. Le sigh.

    1. I think it has a lot to do with the specific ingredients that make them "weightless" and thin: a ton of alcohol denat and plenty of silicone. Not always the best fit for normal to dry skin. :( I've been curious about the Perricone, but I hear conflicting stories, and yeah, it's another formulation that probably won't work for me.

  3. How disappointing. I'd been curious about this foundation.

    1. Yeah, I had very high hopes. :( Kevyn Aucoin is overall an impressive line, but none of their foundations work for me.