Sephora VIB Haul 2016: Kevyn Aucoin The Etherealist Skin Illuminating Foundation and Friends.

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I picked up some Kevyn Aucoin during the VIB sale. I’d only really wanted to get one thing, the new foundation, but wanted to try the Neo Bronzer since the summer so I went ahead and got it along with the new-ish Guardian Angel highlighter. I dunno, over the last few years or so, I’ve not really been into KA as much as I once was. The brand just seems to be lacking in innovation as well as quality, but I guess I was nostalgic here. Lemme tell you though? This foundation is quite possibly the worst foundation I’ve tried this year, and I’ve tried a lot if you’ve been keeping track.

First, I’ve been the same KA foundation shade since always, except for the Sensual Skin Liquid where I’m 8.5. Even with that, I still checked the shade descriptions on this new one not only on the Sephora website, but Beauty Bay and Beautylish. The description for 12 (my usual) was a medium-deep which is normal, but it had a neutral undertone. No matter, 13 seemed a hair deeper but had a warm undertone, I can usually compensate for a shade that’s off a bit in one direction or the other.

It comes in a plastic bottle with an airless pump that’s the classic KA gradient burgundy and black, you get less than an ounce for $58, which is kinda balls in my opinion.

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Even though the bottle was frosted, I wasn’t immediately worried cause we’ve been there before. When I swatched it, was when I became worried.

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For as golden as it looks in the swatches, it’s completely neutral, there is no warmth or golden in this shade whatsoever. Additionally, it’s a bit sticky and paste-like, and that texture does transfer to the skin unfortunately. If that weren’t enough? This thing goes on grey. Dude, grey. But wait, there’s more. It has positively no coverage, trying to build it turns into a cakey grey white mess. But wait…there’s more. Every imperfection, dry spot and texture issue that’s hanging out on your face? This thing will magnify and  exacerbate, fun times. Can I fix it? Sure but it is a chore. The first picture below is the first time that I wore it with only finishing powder on top. Excuse the situation that I have going on on my head, it was wet and humid for a few days and I was living in headwraps. I invite you to take a gander at all my texture and hyperpigmentation.

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This second picture is the second time I wore it, and yes I fixed the hell out of it because I wanted to see if it could be done. But it was incredibly uncomfortable, because I promise you, I had three powders and a bronzer happening here. Plus the foundation on it’s own is uncomfortable on the skin, so having to add that much product to fix it makes it even more so, and I immediately washed my face when I finished taking pictures because I couldn’t imagine spending the entire day wearing it.

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Fixing it involved a darker colour corrector than I’d normally use and breaking out my Inglot concealer that’s HG and hides everything. Makeup For Ever Step One primer in Caramel that I only use when I need to add warmth back into my skin because otherwise it’s just too much for my complexion and just turns me kind of orange. And mixing my Inglot Powder with my BlackUp powder and topping my Givenchy powder over all of that. Yeah, way too much work folks.

The really rotten thing about this though is that it shifts when you try and put something over it like a cream blush or highlighter. I worked it out, but when I tried to apply my Burberry Cheek Bloom and highlighter, the foundation mixed in with both and sort of balled up on my face. I had to use micellar water to clean my cheeks, reapply foundation, corrector and concealer, use setting spray, wait about fifteen minutes and then go back in and do my blush and highlighter, even then I had some lifting though not as much as before. After about twenty minutes, my face started to look more golden, but I honestly can’t say if that was because of all the other stuff that I packed onto my face or if the foundation was adapting to my skin. It’s also supposed to be a luminous finish, but I can tell you with complete confidence that it is absolutely not radiant in the least.

Fortunately the other two items that I got sort of make up for the dismal experience that was the foundation and made the whole purchase not suck so bad.

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The packaging for both is the classic KA, but I found the highlighter compact to be unnecessarily bulky and the mechanism used to open it, pushing on the gold bar in the front, hit or miss. Unlike the Neo Bronzer compact, the Angel compact feels light, plasticky and cheap, but the product inside it worth it so I don’t care too much.

The shade that I chose to get was Capri, described as a warm pink. It may seem like I should have gotten Sienna which is the darker and warmer shade but lemme tell you why I didn’t. Because I’m so very warm, warmer toned products can overwhelm my complexion and leave me looking very red or orange. I found out earlier this year that with some exertion my cheeks tend to turn red all on their own which is not a good look when you’re already wearing a red or orange based blush. The Sienna bronzer had a very orange undertone to it from the highlighting portion all the way to the bronzer. Capri was more golden overall and the bronzer more neutral. The bronzer cost $58 which may seem like a lot, but taking into consideration that you’re getting no one, but three products in the same place, it’s not that much.

When I first opened it I was a little bit concerned that the blush looked so light and I was fully prepared to return it, but went ahead and experimented anyway cause I’m a trooper dammit. Swatches below.

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What I found was that the blush is really buildable and I can take it into the bronzer to create a deeper shade if I want to do that. The highlighter is a pale champagne gold that is not as pigmented as I expected it to be, but it still works well. It can be built up or sheered out as well. Below I’m wearing both. And no that’s not the foundation I’m wearing, this foundation is the Sephora 10hr Wear Foundation. I actually really like this product, I’m sort of toying around with the idea of getting Sienna, just so I can see what it looks like on.

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The Guardian Angel Highlighter is a duo chrome that looks white in the pan, but when applied subtly shifts from pink to Lilac.

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It’s a very nice highlighter, but it costs $52 and I don’t think a highlighter is ever worth that much. Jouer has a very similar one in Camellia for $22. The one from Jouer has a more blue lilac shift, though I find it to be less pigmented than this on and a little stiffer making it trickier to work with. This is very creamy and pretty easy to apply and work with. You can also use Pleasure Model from OCC for the same effect, although that one is more pink again, and fair bit more pigmented and pleasure model doesn’t stay well, while the KA wants desperately to be your friend so it sticks with you no matter what. The shift on this is gorgeous, but it’s so specific that it only looks good paired with certain shades like wines, roses and very deep pinks. Swatches below and me wearing it with Burberry Cheek Bloom in Tulip which is a gorgeous purple pink. For reference, I’ve added pictures of the Jouer highlighters, Camellia is the last one on my arm. As you can see it’s a bit thicker and more pink than the KA.

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It is gorgeous, but not really necessary unless you’re a collector or like to experiment with your makeup. I don’t think that this is a product that a lot of people will get a lot of use out of, but even with that being a consideration, the colour or rather the lack of specific colour, makes it very accessible to all skin tones.

 

Final Thoughts.

Yeah, stay the hell away from this foundation is as much as I can say about it without resorting to curse words. The Neo Bronzer is gorgeous and one of the better KA items out there at the moment, I feel like the brand is struggling. The Guardian Angel Highlighter isn’t necessary but it is gorgeous.

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