In 1987, Kevyn Aucoin warned the New York Times, “If you don’t want to spend time to look good, fine. [But] nothing great is easy.” Well, it's now 2013 (in case you'd forgotten), and Aucoin’s own posthumous line has done the seemingly impossible, creating exacting, simple, and time-saving tools like The Curling Mascara, our beloved Sensual Skin Enhancer, and, most recently, Sensual Skin Tinted Balm, which takes about sixty seconds to give a glow on par with Liv Tyler in Lord of the Rings.
But let's be clear: Sensual Skin Tinted balm is not you-can’t-see-my-blemish-but-you- can-see-my-makeup makeup. This is for skin so even and hydrated that bartenders will card you. It's that kind of coverage (anecdote based on a actual events; California licenses are a little funky, what can we do). In addition to providing a pore-smoothing, ever-so-slightly dewy (not shiny or sparkly) finish usually reserved for $700 facials, SSTB's peptide-filled and paraben-free formula works to protect your face , too , preserving cells, soothing skin, and adding an additional UV barrier, with what the company calls “theoretic SPF 20.” Hmm...
Anyway! We say take Aucoin’s advice and start by matching any one of the six tones—two shades were added this month, which is great, because color is everything when it comes to good face makeup—to your neck, not your cheek (helps you avoid the 'makeup mask' look). Then, after moisturizing and priming, squeeze a dollop out of the tube and blend a thin layer over your entire face. Use your fingers or a brush/blender of your choice. Depending on your technique and how much you use, coverage can range from tone-evening tinted moisturizer to medium-weight foundation. Either way, your makeup will be basically imperceptible and you will still look like yourself—just a little more... sensual.
Photos by Elizabeth Brockway.