Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Applying the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer with a Beauty Blender

 The "Three Ways I Use KA SSE" series is, without a doubt, the most popular set of posts on this blog. If I'm seeing a spike in blog traffic, it's usually because somebody pinned the first tutorial to Pinterest (hey, thanks!) or mentioned it on a forum (thanks again!). 

Of course, things change as time goes on, and the Kevyn Aucoin product line is no different. The KA primer mentioned in the full coverage post is no longer in production; it's been replaced by two different "developers," one for oily skin and one for dry skin. I've neither tried nor owned these products, and to be honest, I don't know if I ever will. So in order to keep this blog up-to-date and useful, I've decided to post another application method: getting sheer-to-medium coverage with a Beauty Blender.

The Beauty Blender is not my favorite tool, but it's a popular one, and it works well for this "tutorial."

You can use just the Beauty Blender and KA SSE to great effect, but because I have a dryer skin type, I like the finished product to glow a bit, and I prefer that it spread well during application. Hence, I use a small dab of MAC Strobe Cream--a lightweight, luminous moisturizer--alongside my base product. You may certainly skip this step, or replace Strobe Cream with the primer/moisturizer of your choice.

I start by saturating my Beauty Blender with water, squeezing all of the excess out with a towel. The sponge should be soft and very slightly damp, not soggy. Then I put a dab of KA SSE on the back of my hand--no more than half a pea in size--followed by a pea-sized dab of Strobe Cream. You may notice that I kind of "smear" the KA SSE across my hand. That makes it easier to evenly distribute product on the sponge. (You may also notice an eyelash in the KA SSE...sorry.)

I dab the bottom (the round part) of my BB in to the Strobe Cream, then dab it in to the KA SSE. I go straight to my face, using a dabbing motion to apply and blend out the product. These images demonstrate the process pretty well: on the left, I've just dabbed some of the mixture on to my cheek (see the glowy "halo" at the top of the BB?), and on the right, I've blended the product across my cheek. I like to work in sections because it gives me plenty of time to spread out the product, and it lets me see if I'm getting the effect and coverage I want.

When I'm done applying a layer of this product, I look over my face and see where I need more coverage. Then I dip the pointed tip of the Beauty Blender in to a bit more KA SSE (no Strobe Cream this time) and dab it over those spots.

Here's the before and after, complete with me making stupid faces. As you can (hopefully) see, the MAC Strobe Cream/KA SSE mixture gives me glowy, light coverage on the majority of my face. Where I needed a bit more coverage (my nose, my chin, a few spots, and my undereyes), I just dabbed on more KA SSE. The effect is quite natural. I like to add a dusting of powder (visible in the first image in this post), but outside of summer, it's not entirely necessary on my dry skin.

Oh, and in case it's not clear: I use the lightest shade, Sx01, when I apply product to my entire face. It's a perfect match for my neck, which is roughly N5 in MAC terms.

I hope this post helped! The Sensual Skin Enhancer is one of my all-time favorite products, so I always encourage readers to experiment with their application methods. :)


  1. Thank you for the tutorial! I've been meaning to try strobe cream with my SSE for awhile now, but wasn't sure if they'd mix well. For the first and last photos, do you remember what lipcolor you were wearing?

    1. It's Armani Rouge Ecstasy #302. Not my favorite lipstick, alas, so I'll most likely be selling/swapping it.