Sali Loves: Sensual Skin Enhancer

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The product that’s an indispensable part of Sali’s kit.


We need to talk about Kevyn. Because the late, great (to be honest, that word doesn’t even begin to cover it) make-up artist created a product that practically no one shouts about, despite it being completely indispensable to so many. Before I go on, I should say that Sensual Skin Enhancer was originally released as a foundation, which makes me giggle because anyone who’s familiar with Aucoin’s work (and if you’re not, I highly recommend his wonderful books and the inspiring exhibition of his work currently at Space NK in Hans Crescent) will know that this man really liked to pile on the slap. He was definitely of the inch-thick foundation to achieve the natural look camp, but his masterful application always made it look so wonderfully real-looking and right. When the thick, paste-like Sensual Skin Enhancer is applied neat by us mere mortals, it’s a actually full coverage concealer. You can dab tiny amounts (expect a pot to last a year) on any spot, blemish, hyperpigmentation – even most scars – and watch any unevenness disappear. Dabbed under the eyes over moisturised skin, it covers like no other, all the while remaining smooth and resolutely refusing to cake. Whether worn alone or mixed with a moisturiser or primer for an all-over base, it has the most gorgeous, dewy finish that is sweat-proof and water-resistant (it’s particularly great if you’re experiencing hot flashes). The colours are cleverly conceived and clearly reflect Aucoin’s desperate desire at the time for accessible yellow make-up bases (as recently as the early nineties, these were mostly – with the notable exception of Prescriptives – only available from specialist shops). I wear SX05, but often mix two or more of the 16 shades to perfectly colour match anyone’s face, from pale to dark. This product is so unique and useful that it hasn’t left my kit since 2002, when I arrived in New York and headed straight to Bergdorf Goodman to buy it. Truly, this is a beauty classic and despite huge advances in technology since Aucoin’s tragic death, wisely remains untouched by his successors at the brand. There is a nod to the future via the fantastic Sensual Skin Fluid Foundation, a brand new liquid version that doesn’t need diluting, but for me, the thick formula remains Queen.


Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer, £38, Space NK

New Sensual Skin Fluid, £52, Space NK


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