we heart Kevyn Aucoin lipstick

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Kevin Aucoin red lipstick Unless you live in a cave (no offense to cave dwellers intended), you have probably heard of Kevyn Aucoin. He was one of the most talented makeup artists to have ever lived. I know, that sounds like a grandiose statement, but it’s true. The man was truly a legend in the industry. His ability to take a woman’s own beauty and enhance it (sometimes even transform it), rather than mask it, is what made him stand out. To quote the man himself:

I want people to say; she looks beautiful, not her makeup looks beautiful.

Blonde woman wearing red lipstickWith a career spanning twenty years, Kevyn Aucoin was sought after by magazines, celebrities, and even other brands for his input and expertise. He was truly gifted in his craft. If you doubt that statement, I highly suggest you take a gander at one of his best-selling books Making Faces, where he takes today’s celebrities and transforms them into the glamorous women of Hollywood’s Golden Era. Check out this compilation of some of the best. And take a guess who is shown here as Veronica Lake!

In Sept. 2001, less than a year before his untimely death, he debuted his eponymous line, Kevyn Aucoin Beauty. There was quite a bit of buzz about Aucoin’s legacy continuing in his own luxury beauty brand. Today, we’re exploring two of his fabulous lipstick formulas. The Expert Lip Tint was Aucoin’s first lipstick collection; very light in texture, yet richly pigmented and long-lasting, with a faint scent of roses. And The Rouge Hommage line; more sheer and shimmery formulations with a consistency closely resembling a balm, a slight mint-scent and a natural plumping ingredient.

I looked to The Expert Lip Tint in my quest for a sheer, everyday red. I discovered Dantique, a very wearable, sheer red that manages to flatter every skintone and any coloring. It was love at first swipe. This is probably one of the most recommended shades I give my friends, especially those who are afraid of red. It has a great impact, yet somehow remains subtle.

Soon after, I added Bloodroses, a vampy, blood red that can be applied lightly for everyday wear as a stain or with a heavier hand for instant drama. I’ll usually apply this with a lip brush and then blot it down and the color lasts from morning until bedtime. This shade is not for the faint of heart! (And it’s also hard to find these days. So if you see it, I suggest you snatch it up while you can! ~Stef)

Wanting a pinker red, I then fell for Enchantaberry, a deep berry shade that wears like a lovely “just bitten” stain that lasts all day. With a rosy blush (I’d recommend Kevyn Aucoin’s cream blush in Bliss), this creates a really lovely, romantic look. (Again, hard to find…we’re getting nervous here ~wht)

From there, I’ve added Leaharia, a pink beige that is probably the most gorgeous pink nude I’ve ever worn. I’m very pale and most nudes make me look washed out, but this one is so pigmented and rich, I find myself wearing it more than I imagined. It is the perfect neutral.

My all-time favorite Kevyn Aucoin Beauty The Expert Tint lipstick is Sucara, a multi-dimensional, shimmering bronze-pink shade that is so different and lovely, I have yet to find a duplicate or equal in any other brand. It’s one of my top 5, “Can’t do without” lipsticks. In fact, if I was only allowed to keep one of my lipsticks, this would be the winner. This is high praise, folks!

Out of The Rouge Hommage lipsticks, I only have one shade out of the available eight, Heartbreaker, which is a sheer, shimmery copper pink shade. Thanks to the ingredient sodium hyaluronate, this lipstick plumps up my lips and makes them look fuller without giving me the allergic reaction that many plumping ingredients produce on me. The color is very natural, a “my lips but SO much better” shade that I reach for when I want just a hint of color to brighten my face. I’m already clamoring to add more Rouge Hommage shades to my collection.

Is anybody else out there a fan of Kevyn Aucoin? Does anyone share my mild-to-moderate obsession with his lipsticks? And does anyone know why these were on clearance at Sephora and are becoming harder and harder to find? Please tell us their not shutting their beauty doors!

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  • krista

    Lives in the middle of nowhere with her amazing hubby and two codependent dogs that love to hate each other. She enjoys dance parties of one and last minute road trips, prays for Angela Lansbury's immortality and can never own enough blush. She averages one "Silence of the Lambs" quote a week and feels no shame over this. Perhaps she should. skin tone: NW15 skin type: sensitive/oily favorite beauty product: Blush, lots and lots of blush

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  1. This is a such lovely homage to Kevyn Aucoin, Krista! I became entranced with his work after seeing photos of a makeover he did on his sister, a sweet-faced, plump Louisiana housewife who looked like a star—- like herself, only better!– when Kevyn was done with her. His talents seemed magical to me, and I was heartbroken when he died so suddenly, way too young.

    That said, I have never tried these lipsticks and you’ve stirred up a frenzy in me! I must find them. Now!

  2. Kevyn was amazing! He will remain an icon forever. He was just a master. I can look at his books for hours. They are mesmerizing! He could just transform people. I have always wanted to try his line. I have just never had the opportunity. I know that they must be great. Thanks for that confirmation Krista and for writing such a wonderful piece. I too have been wondering what the heck is the status of the line. I hope that it continues on.

  3. Oh Kevyn… His books were our bible when doing makeup in class and for shows when I was studying theatre in college. He had tricks and tips for everything you could think of, all laid out in an easy to follow manner. LOVE HIM.

    I have not used any of his makeup, but I’ve heard really great things about it, not just from this review! I’ll definitely be checking them out at Sephora!

  4. Great great post Krista!
    Agreed, with an enormous explanation point! Kevyn sure had a rare gift of bringing out a woman’s own beauty.. Something many artists try to master, but wind up short all too often. I’m guilty myself of over doing my own makeup, winding up looking more like a clown at a freak show, instead of what Kevyn excelled in.. Simple beauty! These look wonderful!

  5. Thanks, everybody! I am kinda worried that it’s harder and harder to find this line. Two places to check are http://www.beauty.com and http://www.kevynaucoin.com. Also, because I love all of you and I’m a serial enabler, I shall share with you a link to Primping Parleur, a great website that still has a huge offering of Kevyn Aucoin goodies. Here’s the link to the lipstick, of which Bloodroses and Enchantaberry are still available:
    I’ve ordered from this site before and my purchase came gift wrapped in a white box with a bow and huge samples, so they’re legit and awesome. I will say, their swatches are somewhat off on their lipsticks because Sucara looks nothing like that boring beige they’re showing. Happy Hunting, ladies!

  6. I wore my Bloodroses today in honor of Krista’s great post! (and thanks for the link K, I’ve been scared that the tube I have right now would be my last.)

    His formulas really are amazing. I have only tried the Expert Lip Tint (but I would imagine that the Rouge is fab too). They just kind of glide on like silk. And they’re so versatile. I’m wearing Bloodroses just like Krista described; applied lightly and blotted. It takes this intense, dark red down to a berry stain that looks amazing with some gloss on top (with shimmer, or not). And how’s that name for dramatic?

    But really, why is his website sold out of almost all items and it’s no longer at Sephora? I’m hoping it’s a revamp instead of a discontinue…
    .-= stef´s last blog ..HerCut – Catalyst styling product review =-.

  7. Love Kevyn Aucoin! Making Faces was the 1st makeup book I owned and it’s awesome! He was so talented… I have yet to try many of these products, so I may have to hit some of those websites. The Sucora color sounds great!

  8. He makes the most fantastic makeup brushes. :)

    And he’s the makeup artist that makes Carrie look fabulous in that episode where she is in th fashion show of “regular people”

  9. I know who that Veronica Lake person is!!! Tracy Lord!!! Such ashame he’s gone. I always loved watching him in action on TV! I also remember that Sex & The City episode. Sounds like his makeup line is as wonderful as he was!

  10. Absolutely amazing on the Martha pic! My husband’s already emailed it to his whole address book of guys with the title “Would ya?” because he said yes when I showed him the pic with the same question!! I want those books for my coffee table and now I really want to try ANY shade of his lip tint.

  11. Thanks to your post Krista, I will be feverishly looking for Kevin’s lipsticks on line!
    I have such a profound respect for his talent and jumped at the chnace to sample his line.
    Since I am always in the market for a great concealer (hello dark circles!), I tried the Kevin Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer. It is a bit pricey for a small pot ($45), but oh so worth it!
    You only need the tiniest spec (really! a spec!) and the coverage is phenomenal with out being cakey.
    You can also mix it with moisturizer to make your own tinted moisturizer or foundation, or simply brush it over areas where you need more coverage.
    It is like nothing out there.
    I’m off to search for KA lipsticks!!

  12. Whoa! Martha Stewart? Only Kevyn Aucoin. I’ll bet that’s the only time in her life that Martha has been confused with Tracy Lords. It sure makes me believe in the transformative powers of his line.

  13. Joan Roseman says:

    Krista, I bless Kevyn’s memory every morning when I make eyebrows appear as if by magic with a couple of swipes of his amazing pencil. Love his philosophy, love his vision and above all, I love the conviction in that vision that allows the company that carries on in his name to resist putting out tons of “new” product when his signature line remains perfect for every new season. Whatever is new is integrated so subtly into the basic catalog that I really cannot tell where his legacy leaves off and his inheritors begin. Nice.

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