The Merlin of Makeup


Gwyneth “loved him dearly”. Janet “absolutely adored him”. Cher called him a “magician”. If you’ve ever picked up one of Kevyn Aucoin’s books or seen one of his magazine or CD covers you know that the level of artistry he exhibited was above and beyond the norm. Before his untimely passing in 2002, Kevyn created Kevyn Aucoin Beauty to help the women of the world feel as beautiful as he saw them to be.

I got to have a talk with President and Creative Director, Eric Sakas, who was Kevyn’s romantic partner for seven years and business partner for ten. They co-founded and developed the line together – Kevyn wanted to be deeply involved in the creation of the products beating his name. “It was the culmination of 20 years in the industry,” Eric said, “he wanted something with integrity that was beautiful to look at and work with as well as being unique to how he worked as an artist.”

I asked Eric, off the record, if it was difficult for him to be faced daily with the memory of someone he loved so much. But he wanted to answer on the record, “it’s cathartic for me and it’s helping me to emphasize my significant relationship with him and show his love of people.”

One of the amazing things about the line is the fact that even though its namesake is gone in body, he has 250 items that he developed that haven’t even been released yet. While skincare, fragrance, candles, and bath and body products are still in the wings, it all started with the Brush Collection and Eyelash Curler. The White Liquid Shimmer was the first color item to grace our lives and it just gained two new sisters this spring in Pink and Gold. They’re perfect for blending a dewy sheen to highlight the cheekbone, browbone – anywhere you want!

Another newbie to the line is the Pure Powder Glow which is, in layman’s terms, blush. Shadore (soft pink), Dolline (apricot), and Myracle (hot pink) are the rich shades that give those “I’ve been out in the cold” cheeks. The key is blending and not going crazy with your application. Try blotting your brush on a tissue before you go to your face. And, in the words of Kevyn himself, “Don’t just apply it to the cheeks. A light application to the temples, forehead, and chin brings the face together.”

The centerpiece of the line remains the Sensual Skin Enhancers. Created for his celebrity clientele, it was one of his best kept secrets for years. Available in 16 shades in its waterproof formula – this “foundation/concealor” is serious business. Moisturized skin is a MUST due to the level of pigment in the product. Eric said that Kevyn would often start heaviest in the center of the face since there were lots of capillaries and redness there and get more sheer as he went out. For highlighter, he would use a shade lighter of the Skin Enhancer, thereby creating definition. I would start with a damp sponge to smooth the product out until you get comfortable working with it. It sets on its own in 5 minutes without powder and gives an immaculate finish to the skin since it can be as sheer or as heavy as you make it.

For a little bit of pizzazz, pick up the Liquid Cyber Lip in its newest, and my favorite, color, Tenda. Inspired by Kevyn’s unique vision of the galaxy, these glosses were designed to create the look of glitter under glass. I find Tenda to be the tamest, with more of a shimmer than a glitter – very wearable alone or over something that needs some jazzing up.

Radiance” and “Glow” were two of Kevyn’s favorite words in referring to enhancing someone’s natural beauty. Eric said of Kevyn, “He wanted to create something different from the other lines developed by makeup artists. He wanted to empower women. He wanted women to take over the world!” It’s nice to know you can take home a little piece of someone like that.

Kevyn Aucoin Beauty is available at Henri Bendel (talk to Craig Jessup – he’s lovely!), Barney’s and at

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