Being a beauty writer is rough. Sometimes in the quest for the perfect makeup, skincare, and wellness products, I have to sacrifice myself to the savage whims of the capitalist marketplace for the betterment of mankind. I did just that last week on a cold, windy New York afternoon. In the basement of luxury mecca Bergdorf Goodman, I suffered through a custom foundation blending and makeup application session by Kevyn Aucoin Beauty Head Makeup artist Drita Paljevic. The two-hour pampering session left me looking snatched and photoshoot ready – and I did it all for you, dear readers and fellow beauty warriors, so we all can keep fighting the good fight. Drita, who launched the brand’s perfect new Velvet Lip Paint collection, is also a makeup artist to the stars known for a few of the most viral beauty hacks of 2023, so, you know the struggle is real.
The Kevyn Aucoin Custom Blended Sensual Skin Enhancer harkens back to the brand’s explosion into the beautysphere. Founder Kevyn Aucoin simplified achieving a stunning, flawless facial canvas with just a few shades of a versatile, ultra-pigmented complexion formula for a modern contour. Like that original product, the Sensual Skin Enhancer can be used as a tinted moisturizer, concealer or full-coverage foundation depending on the blending and application techniques.
The 90’s supermodel glam that has made a comeback lately is due to Aucoin’s genius as a makeup artist. Given the au courant recognition that diversity in media campaigns is just as important as diversity in shade ranges, the custom blend Surreal Skin Enhancer can perfectly match any complexion, from the fairest to the deepest, from any combination of undertones, from the cool pinks and blues to the warmth of olive, yellow and peachy skin tones.
After a thorough assessment of my skin (tone and imperfections), like a Renaissance painter, Drita masterfully blended several pots of creamy, ultra-pigmented pudding-like tans and beiges to create a two-shade, multi-use complexion perfector system to match me perfectly. One shade, the darker and more orange one, works like a color corrector that instantly brightens under eye bags and a new melasma splotch. The brighter shade is perfect as an all over foundation and concealer. Both formulas are so rich that a Q-tip-sized dollop is enough for a full, flawless beat. Only available at Bergdorf Goodman, the $110 service is the perfect gift for the beauty warrior who has it all, via a Bergdorf Goodman gift card.
For the contour, Drita used the Shape Shifter Trio contour sticks applied the way she brainstormed in her viral IG video. For this genius hack you only need 3 fingers. Apply the highlight to the index finger, the blush shade to the middle finger, and the darkest contour shade on the ring finger. Position the fingers under the eye area to the hollow of the check at an 45 degree angle, swipe up, and then blend. In two steps, cheeks are done. For the nose contour, apply the darkest shade to the index and ring finger, position along the bridge of the nose, and swipe down. The creaminess and pigment of the contour sticks guarantee easy blending and flawless color payoff without tackiness or greasiness, even for the sebum-afflicted like me.
Time for eyes. After an application of eye-opening neutral browns along the inner corner, Drita showed me her next hack for one of the most technically daunting eye looks – the cut crease. Instead of trying to find the crease, you create one with the tried and true eyelash curler. With a Q-Tip, apply a thin layer of the Sensual Skin Enhancer to the curved pad of the Professional Lash Curler. After positioning under the brow bone, press the lash curler along the natural curve of the lid. Voila, a perfectly demarcated cut crease for sparkly and bold holiday party looks. With lifted, defined cheeks and snatched monolids, the beat was almost complete. For most looks, to avoid cakiness and chalkiness, Drita doesn’t bake, and instead opts for a “set to forget and refinish to diminish” application of powder.
The Kevyn Aucoin Smooth & Set Loose Powder is so light, finely milled, and talc-free, it absorbed into my skin for a mattifying, imperfection-blurring, and sheer soft-focus finish that was almost airbrushed. It’s a miracle beauty product if I’ve ever encountered one. The powder feels like buttered air on the skin.
To pay off the full glam of the look, I next expected falsies. Not quite. With a few passes of a clean lash curler and a few expert coats of Indecent Mascara , my eyes were so big and bright, I didn’t need to go through adhesive hell.
As the final touch, we played with the six matte shades in the Velvet Paint Collection and customized a subtle holiday glam ombre. With the dark red Striking on the outer corners, Drita added the bright, blue red Stunning to the center for a bright, dimensional pout.
It was a wrap. I was snatched and ready for the next phase in my life of beauty-themed sacrifice. You can thank me for my service later. In the meantime, when you visit the Kevyn Aucoin Beauty counter at Bergdorf Goodman, feel free to mention that I sent you.