Sunday, September 28, 2014

Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Fluid Foundation: My Thoughts + Swatches of Every Shade

kevyn aucoin sensual skin fluid foundation swatches
Above: The Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Fluid Foundation has arrived.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Neiman Marcus Project Beauty event (discussed HERE).  Although I exercised significant restraint in my purchases, I couldn't resist procuring yet another new foundation debut, this time, from the iconic Kevyn Aucoin line.  The Sensual Skin Fluid Foundation (available at Neiman Marcus, Space NK,  Barney's NY and Cult Beauty) is the first fresh KA base product since the Sensual Skin Balm (reviewed HERE) was released nearly two years ago.  With a liquid texture and medium coverage and natural finish, this foundation is fantastic for daily use.  Special thanks to Kevyn Aucoin makeup artist Patricia Le for helping me to make the subsequent swatches possible! 

Kindly scroll on for additional details, swatches of every shade, images of the foundation in action as well as the Bottom Line...

kevyn aucoin sensual skin fluid foundation swatches
Above: The Sensual Skin Enhancer Fluid Foundation comes in a frosted glass bottle.
Official details, courtesy of Neiman Marcus:

Luxurious, ultra-lightweight fluid foundation that provides luminous coverage, "no makeup" feel, glides on to provide smooth, luminous looking skin with buildable coverage.

Serum formula features potent anti-aging ingredients including Pigmento Perfetto, a powerful marine-based algae extract known to fight the production of Progerin, a protein that accelerates aging by encouraging loss of firmness and elasticity.
  • Buildable coverage, from light to medium/full.
  • Long wear coverage wears for 6-8 hours.
  • Oil free, water free, powder free paraben free and nano ingredient free.
  • Dermatologist tested.

How to Use:

Always start with a freshly moisturized and primed skin. We suggest using Kevyn Aucoin The Primed Skin Developer for a flawless canvas.

Start by dropping a small amount of product onto your fingertips or the Kevyn Aucoin The Foundation Brush and apply starting at your nose blending outwards to your hairline. 

kevyn aucoin sensual skin fluid foundation swatches
Above: The pump top brings the foundation into the glass wand for easy application.
My Thoughts:

I have tried so many foundations this fall that it is almost overwhelming, even for one who endlessly adores the chance to experience.  Consequently, I will do my best to describe the major tenets of this formula as well as what distinguishes it from other foundations I've recently reviewed.

This formula is very fluid in texture and one might be tempted to compare it to the Giorgio Armani Maestro foundation (reviewed HERE), however, the packaging (with a decanting wand) and watery texture are where the similarities stop.  The Sensual Skin Fluid provides much more coverage than the extremely sheer Maestro and has a more matte finish initially.   I find that 5-6 drops are all that is necessary to create a medium coverage effect; after priming, I buff said drops into the skin with a Beauty Blender.  The result is wonderful...an even, matte canvas with a natural matte finish that looks better (taking on the slightest glow) over the course of wear.  

The Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Fluid:
The formula, which is essentially unscented, doesn't irritate my very sensitive skin and I get 6-7 hours of wear before feeling the need to touch up with powder.  I haven't used it long enough to be able to speak to any cumulative skincare benefits but am please with how my skin looks and feels over the duration of wear.  By and large, this is a grand option for one seeking natural-looking medium coverage with decent lasting power!

kevyn aucoin sensual skin fluid foundation swatches
Above: The glass decanting wand decants the foundation easily and precisly...only a 5-6 drops are necessary for medium coverage.
Above: The full ingredients list...relatively short but decidedly 'cone  heavy.
kevyn aucoin sensual skin fluid foundation swatches
Above: All eight shades, prior to swatching.
With regards to the eight shades, there are two great options for very fair skin (SF 02 and SF 03), three practically identical options for light-medium skin (SF 05, SF 06 and SF 07), two options for medium-dark skin (SF 08 and SF 09) and one choice for deep skin (SF 13).  In light of how inclusive Kevyn Aucoin has been with his original Sensual Skin Enhancer range, I was a touch surprised by the limited nature of both cool and rosy undertones and deep shade options. 

Shade Descriptions (in my experience):
  • SF 02: Alabaster beige for very fair skin with neutral undertones (@N/NC/NW 10-15); potential shade matches in the original Sensual Skin Enhancer include SX 1 and SX 2
  • SF 03: Very light beige for fair skin with yellow undertones (@N/NC 15); potential shade matches in the original Sensual Skin Enhancer include SX 2 and SX 3
  • SF 05: Light beige for light skin with yellow undertones (@N/NC 20-23); potential shade matches in the original Sensual Skin Enhancer include SX 5 and SX 6
  • SF 06: Light beige for light-medium skin with yellow undertones (@NC 25-27); potential shade matches in the original Sensual Skin Enhancer include SX 6 and SX 7
  • SF 07: Light beige for light-medium skin with neutral to yellow undertones (@N/NC 25-27); potential shade matches in the original Sensual Skin Enhancer include SX 7 and SX 8
  • SF 08: Medium-dark beige for medium-dark skin with warm golden undertones (@N/NC 30-35); potential shade matches in the original Sensual Skin Enhancer include SX 8, SX 10 and SX 11
  • SF 09: Medium-dark beige for medium-dark skin with neutral to rosy undertones (@N/NW 30-35); potential shade matches in the original Sensual Skin Enhancer include SX 9
  • SF13: Dark beige for rich, dark skin with neutral to warm undertones (@N/NC 40-45+); potential shade matches in the original Sensual Skin Enhancer include SX 12 and SX 13
**There are no direct equivalents in this formula for SX 14, SX 15 and SX 16
kevyn aucoin sensual skin fluid foundation swatches
Above: Swatches of all eight shades in direct sunlight.
kevyn aucoin sensual skin fluid foundation swatches
Above: Swatches of all eight shades with a flash.
kevyn aucoin sensual skin fluid foundation swatches
Above: Swatches of all eight shades in the shade.
kevyn aucoin sensual skin fluid foundation swatches
Above: Swatches of all eight shades blended to illustrate depth and texture.
kevyn aucoin sensual skin fluid foundation swatches
Above (L-R): Comparison swatches in direct sunlight...Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation in #05 Natural, Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide in Dusk, YSL Fusion Ink in B40 Sand and Kevyn Aucoin Snesual Skin Fluid Foundation in #07.  Despite their visual differences in this image, they are all a reasonable match for my current NC 25-27 skin tone.
Above: Kevyn Aucoin + Surratt Beauty...a quintessential combination.
Since Troy Surratt, creator of Surratt Beauty (swatched HERE and HERE and discussed extensively on my blog) worked closely with Kevyn Aucoin, I thought it would be befitting to create a look that features the Sensual Skin Fluid in conjunction with a host of Troy's beautiful products.  

Products Used:

Above: Without a flash.
Above: With a flash.
Above: Extreme closeup...to illustrate the formula's basic lack of obvious texture.
Above: With a flash.
Above: Natural sunlight, no flash...Surratt Beauty Autographique eye liner in action.
Above: Indoors with a flash.
Above: Indoors with natural sunlight.
--Shop the Post--


Bottom Line: The Sensual Skin Fluid Foundation (available at Neiman MarcusSpace NK,  Barney's NY and Cult Beauty) is a marvelous addition to the Kevyn Aucoin Beauty line.  It fills a void between the ultra-pigmented Sensual Skin Enhancer and the Sensual Skin Balm and is the most reasonable option for those seeking a one-step, medium-coverage foundation with a natural finish from Kevyn Aucoin's current product offerings.  

I would love to hear your questions, thoughts and experience on this formula...please share in the comments box below!

Good things ahead including new products from Jouer, Koh Gen Do, Hourglass as well as a skincare update and September (where did the month go?!) Favorites video...xx,

--The Beauty Professor


**Some PR samples  provided for review (the majority--including this foundation-- bought by me)  however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  
© 2012-14 Beautyprofessor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Bits + Bobs: 9/26/14 Edition

Above: My new iPhone 6 with leather case (similar one here from TUMI) and Tom Ford True Coral Lipstick for embellishment. 
My goodness...this week was a blur!  How about for you?  My work hours were extreme and, coupled with a few blog-related meetings and extra events, seven days transpired in a flash.  This post is devoted beauty bits and pieces...I hope you enjoy!  

Kindly scroll on for news and updates as well as the Bottom Line...

First up, after two years with my trusty iPhone 5, I was able to upgrade to the freshly-released iPhone 6...with a larger screen, thinner body and faster interface, it's a welcome addition to my technology-saturated life!  Anyone else pick up the iPhone 6 or 6+?  Thoughts?

omorovicza blue diamond resurfacing peel
Above: Evening essentials.
Next, I've had three things on my nightstand this week...By Terry Baume de Rose (my lips all but demand it at bedtime), a biography on the life of Lillian Gish (I adore the silent film era) and the luxurious Omorovicza Blue Diamond Resurfacing Peel which dramatically smooths and refines the skin in five minutes; I was stunned by how effective my first application was.  Magnifique!
Official details, courtesy of Neiman Marcus, as follows:

This opalescent peel is simultaneously lightening, brightening and firming. Lactobionic and lactic acids,powerful AHAs, refine complexion and encourage cell renewal. Proteolytic enzymes brighten tone andcopper gluconate purifies the skin and regulates the production of sebum to avoid shine.

Key Blue Diamond Ingredients:
  • Lactobionic Acid: provides a mild exfoliation to brighten complexion and stimulate cellular turnover without irritation.

  • Tropical Fruit Acids: plump the skin while reinforcing the skin barrier to improve firmness and tone.

  • Keratolytic Enzymes: promote a gentle exfoliation to increase cellular turnover and loosen dead skin cells.
To Use: Twice weekly; apply a generous amount to face and neck, massage gently for 2-3 minutes in circular motions, avoiding contact with eye and lips. Rinse thoroughly. Always apply an SPF after using a facial peel.

steve jan, sk-ii
Above: SK-II National Skincare Ambassador Steve Jan + BP. 
Early in the week, BP Assistant Laura and I had the distinct privilege of having coffee with SK-II National Skincare Ambassador Steve Jan.  He has a delightful personality and possesses a wealth of knowledge about the SK-II line and skincare in general.  He also has a personal blog and YouTube channel, so do take a peek! I will be updating on my current SK-II routine in the next few days...
jouer long-wear creme mousse eyeshadow

Good news!  The Jouer Long-Wear Creme Mousse Eyeshadows have arrived and they are utterly incredible.  Super smooth, gorgeously pigmented and completely crease-free, once applied, these shadows do. not. budge. Dusk, a creamy satin taupe, has been on my eyelids nonstop!  Full review with swatches of every shade in the very imminent future. 
Above: Black glasses with thick lenses for this girl who cannot see the "big E" at the Optometrist.   Wearing Rozge Healing Lip Gloss in Prague and Oslo on the lips (review soon!).
Speaking of topics concerning the eyes, due to immense amount of pollen in the air and my seasonal allergies, this past week has been one marked by excessive glasses wearing (my eyes are extremely itchy when my allergies act up).  One thing is for certain, eye makeup (one shadow shade + two coats of mascara) takes all of 30 seconds on "glasses" days...every cloud has a silver lining ;  ) 

byredo
Above: Staples for rushed days.
This week has been one of minimal sleep and quick exits in the morning...four invaluable staples in my routine have been: 
  • Byredo Gypsy Water:  I am severly deficient at adequately describing fragrance (consequently, the base notes are listed below) but to me this smells soft, fresh and very clean...an unconventional skin scent that lifts my mood in a single spritz.

Top: Bergamot, lemon, pepper, juniper berries
Heart: Incense, pine needles, orris
Base: Amber, vanilla, sandalwood 


finally placed my online order (through Neiman Marcus) for the Gucci Beauty products on my wish list (initially discussed HERE).  I was shocked by how many shades were already sold out but was glad that most of what I had my eye on was still available.  One quick check on the Gucci website confirmed that their stock must be more substantial as every shade of each product appeared available.  I suggest ordering sooner, rather than later, if you have your heart set on anything in particular...the buzz on the quality of the products has been very favorable and I suspect that availability is going to get even more limited over the next few weeks.  

Here is a rundown of my preliminary order...

(1) Gucci Face Lustrous Glow Foundation in shade #50 and #60: Color matching foundation sight-unseen is a beastly task (hence, why Beauty Professor is so swatch-intensive) but I have deduced that I must be somewhere in between these two shades.  Will share images as soon as humanly possible!


(2) Audacious Lipstick in Whisper: This pigment-rich formula appears to be a lovely mauve-tinged nude and I also ordered the Luxurious Lipstick in Cipria (in stock at Gucci only as of publish date) is a peachy pink nude...what else?


(3) Magnetic Color Shadow Mono in Oxydus and Iconic Gold: I ordered both shades from Gucci (linked above) because this rich coppery brown and khaki gold (seemingly two of the most effortlessly wearable tones) were back ordered at Neiman Marcus.  I am excited that they should arrive next week and will update with my Gucci ordering experience then.  Currently (through 11/16), shipping and returns are free! 


(4) Vibrant Demi-Glaze Lip Lacquer in Breathless: Available at Gucci and backordered at Neiman Marcus (until 10/22), this pinky nude must be mine.

tom ford traceless perfecting foundation
Above: Ready for a SoCal September weekend of rest (and a bit of blogging, of course!)...wearing Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation and Charlotte Tilbury B*tch Perfect lipstick in this recent iPhone 6 image.
--Shop the Post--


Bottom Line: And so concludes this Bits + Bobs post...I would love to hear what is new with you!  

Good things ahead including my review of the new Kevyn Aucoin foundation, Jouer Creme Mousse Eyeshadows and a host of new beauty discoveries.

xx,

--The Beauty Professor



**Some PR samples  provided for review (the majority bought by me)  however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  
© 2012-14 Beautyprofessor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Urban Decay Is Now at Nordstrom...My Curated List!


The Nordstrom beauty floor is wonderland of sorts...brimming with a cornucopia of options for beauty purveyors, the latest line to join this venerable collection is Urban Decay.  Renown for its eclectic and edgy vibe, Urban Decay features beautiful vegan and cruelty-free formulas with stalwart lasting power.  In light of its debut at Nordstrom, I've taken the liberty of compiling a list of some of my favorite Urban Decay products as well as those I currently have my eye on...

My Curated List: 
  • NAKED Skin Body Beauty Balm: As the remnants of my summer tan continue to diminish, I am in need of a bit of luminescence on my limbs...this glowing cream could be just the answer.
  • NAKED Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup: I am intrigued by the light texture and medium coverage of this formula and suspect that I am Shade #3.0 (.0 shades have yellow undertones while .5 shades possess a rosier leaning).  Off to procure a sample so I can weigh in on my experience in the very near future! 
  • Revolution Lipstick in Native (reviewed HERE): A quintessential nude pink with lovely opacity and wondrous hydration.
  • Grindhouse Double Barrel Sharpener: This dual sided sharpener gives the sharpest point (without waste) to traditional pencils and chubbier versions as well; I use mine weekly!
  • 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil: The rich formula traverses the skin with ease, leaving an indelible line that can be smudged for a smoky effect; once set, however, the liner does not budge.
  • Naked Flushed Bronzer, Highlighter and Blush Palette in Native: The promise of glowing cheeks is enticing and I am always drawn in by the allure of a multi-tasking palette; I can't wait to give this gem a try. 



--Shop the Post--


Bottom Line:  I have loved the Urban Decay line for years and am so glad that it is finally available at Nordstrom; 'tis a perfect marriage of two long-standing and well respected brands!  The eyeliner, lip color and pencil sharpener are tried, tested and true items for me and I am eager to get my mitts on the Body Beauty Balm and NAKED Skin Makeup (once a foundation addict, always a foundation addict).  Please share your experience with the products discussed and the line in general...can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Good things ahead on Beauty Professor including a image-heavy  "Bits + Bobs" post featuring news and recent product discoveries currently in trial as well as a wealth of fresh reviews...there may even be an early (!) September Favorites video tossed in for good measure ; )

Happy Friday...xx,

--The Beauty Professor 



**Post sponsored by Nordstrom,  however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  
© 2012-14 Beautyprofessor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hourglass Cosmetics Abbot Kinney Flagship Store Launch...Recap of the Brilliance

Above: Hourglass Flagship Store + Venice Beach Night Sky.
Last Thursday 9/18/14, we were invited to attend the launch of the Hourglass flagship store, perfectly positioned on iconic Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice Beach, CA.  I have long praised the exquisite Hourglass line...from the Ambient Lighting Powder Palette and Immaculate Liquid Powder Founadtion to the 1.5MM Mechanical Gel Eyeliner and Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss (for the  quintessential nude lip), Hourglass is the marriage of form and function with some of the most advanced ingredients on the market!  The flagship store is all one would expect from Hourglass...clean, classic and aesthetically stunning, the fluid lines and timeless design perfectly resonate with the beauty of the Hourglass products themselves.

Kindly scroll on for images from the evening, a rundown of my Hourglass favorites as well as the Bottom Line...

Above: Clean lines and a classic aesthetic.
Above: Entering the crowded main floor.
Above: Beauty lovers unite!
Above: Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick.
Above: A host of Hourglass products, set off by the black background + white marble.
Above: Extreme Sheen High Shine Lipgloss...do you spy a favorite shade?
Some of my favorite Hourglass products include:

Above: The gorgeous Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette.
Above: BP Assistant Laura, glowing in the ambience.
Above: A view of the main floor from the vantage point of the loft.
Above: The lighting in the loft is impeccable...perfect for the makeup consultations that take place.
Above: Hourglass in action.
Above: Mingling and mirror shot.
Above: Hourglass Director of Public Relations + Consumer Engagement Mary Friberg Wilson (isn't she lovely?) + BP.
Above: Heading down the staircase from the loft.
Above: DJ Rashida.
Above: Another integral member of the Hourglass family + BP.
Above: The debut of the Equilibrium Biometric Skin Active Serum.
Above: The first ever skincare from Hourglass...brimming with rare and potent ingredients.
Above: BP + Charlene Valledor following our conversation regarding the creation of Equilibrium.  Charlene was a wealth of knowledge as she spent three years developing this revolutionary formula.
Above: Hourglass Director of Product Development Charlene Valledor...how radiant is her skin?
Above: My most common posture at events.
Above: The energy of the evening.
Above: Hourglass CEO Carisa Janes (stunning, no?) + BP.
Above: The giftbag for attendees included two modern classics...the Ambient Lighting Palette (reviewed HERE) and Lip Oil (reviewed HERE)

--Shop the Post--


Bottom Line: The Hourglass flagship store on Abbot Kinney (1351 Abbot Kinney Blvd 90291)
is pure brilliance...visually breathtaking and equally substantive, I implore you to swing by the next time you're in the area. 

What are some of YOUR favorite Hourglass products?

I hope your week is going well...xx and much more soon,

--The Beauty Professor

*Some PR samples  provided for review (the majority bought by me)  however, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  
© 2012-14 Beautyprofessor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author's written permission.