Kjaer Weis: The Best Natural Makeup Brand for Sensitive Skin?
Main Image – Live That Glow
As a huge fan of any makeup gentle and natural enough that I can use it without worrying about flaring up sensitivity or dryness, I’d been keen to try the cruelty-free, natural (and seriously chic) line by Danish makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis for some time.
Because, although I really enjoy the dewy glow and lack of skin irritation from natural formulas, the downside is that the results are often not quite as pigmented or long-lasting as traditional brands. But Kjaer Weis’s line promised to change all that- instead promising long-lasting results in a high-quality formula.
Housed in some of the most exquisite metal and enamel packaging I’ve ever come across (but which definitely does show up fingerprints/scratches…you have been warned), this line is both cruelty-free and places an emphasis on skincare grade ingredients for all its makeup formulas.
Launched in 2010 with Scandinavian principles of quality-quality, natural ingredients in mind, Kjaer Weis is the result of Kirsten’s decades in the makeup industry (working with the likes of Vogue and Marie Claire).
After noticing that synthetic makeup formulas had the potential to irritate her clients’ skin, Kjaer Weis decided there was a gap in the market for natural (yet luxury) products.
The result is a line that is both cruelty-free and certified organic, while the entire range is free from parabens, silicones, petrochemical emulsifiers and synthetic fragrance; making it ideal for most sensitive skin types.
Instead, Kjaer Weis’s products go heavy on skin-nourishing ingredients like shea butter, sweet almond oil, and Brazilian nut oil. Meanwhile, every batch made is inspected by hand before it ever reaches a store.
Those same Scandinavian principles and eye for detail can also be seen in the brand’s attitude towards sustainability; with the focus firmly on long-lasting, non-plastic packaging coupled with eco-friendly refills… This is a brand that wants you using its gorgeous palettes for life, not just for Christmas.
And even if I wasn’t a fan of their formulas (which I very much am), this forward-thinking approach to sustainability would be enough to want to support the brand anyway- since I think it’s unashamedly expensive, yet long-term attitude possibly puts its own ethics behind wide appeal.
Kjaer Weis Cream Blush
First up I’ve been testing out my current favourite from Kjaer Weis, the Cream Blush in Reverence. This cream-to-powder formula provides a soft petal pink flush of colour that seems to stay in place all day on my skin. Its high concentration of pigment also means I need very little product for a natural effect, so each blush lasts for ages.
The addition of sweet almond, castor, jojoba seed, rose hip oil, carnauba and beeswax also provide moisture as well as a gentle sheen, making this less of a matte look product and more one for dewy skin lovers. Again, this blusher lasts the course (at least on my skin), meaning unlike with some natural brands I’ve tried I don’t look washed out by the end of the day.
Available in 11 shades, like the rest of the brand this blusher is synthetic fragrance-free and feels nourishing on the sensitivity-prone skin on my cheeks.
Great for: Anyone who likes their blush shades on the subtle side.
Not-so-great for: Dewy colour lovers as this has a slightly matte look.
Kjaer Weis’ Cream Blush is from £28 for a 3.5 g refill, Naturisimo and $56 for 0.123 OZ/ 3. g, or £32 for a refill, Kjaer Weis US
Kjaer Weis Lip Tint
Next on my list to try was the summery, coral-shaded Lip Tint in Sweetness.
Containing beeswax, jojoba seed and rosa rubiginosa oils for moisture, this is a balm and colour product in one, and so hydrating that I definitely don’t find I need any extra lip products alongside it.
This tint also offers a subtle shine, as well as a highly pigmented, glossy colour which can be built up further for a bolder look.
Since it contains natural, skin-healthy ingredients this lip colour can also be used elsewhere on the face, and looks great on cheeks- adding a tiny sheen without being greasy or blocking pores (the same is true for the cheek colours, which can also be used elsewhere). The downside, however, is that because this is a balm/tint hybrid formula I find it does need reapplying every few hours.
Available in 10 shades, Kjaer Weis describes this as a “lipstick-lip balm hybrid with skincare-quality ingredients,” and I think that sums it up pretty well with ingredients like beeswax nourishing the skin.
The National Library of Medicine backs up the use of beeswax in skincare and beauty, saying “Beeswax is a naturally occurring product secreted from worker bees that has varied uses in modern day.
“In skincare, its function ranges from its role as an occlusive, helping to create a semi-occlusive skin barrier that minimizes transepidermal water loss; as a humectant, locking in hydration; and an emollient to soften and soothe the skin,” it adds.
One word of warning though: these formulas do contain some lemon peel oil and limonene. Since both are potential irritants, the most sensitive of skin types may want to avoid. Similarly, several of the shades (Romance, Sweetness, Sensuous Plum, Passionate, Bliss Full, Lover’s Choice, Amazed, and Rapture) contain a small amount of artificial pigment and therefore are not certified organic.
Great for: Getting some moisture at the same time as colour.
Not-so-great for: Long-wearing lip colour as this is more of a balm finish and needs reapplying. Also, very sensitive or dry lips, which may not appreciate the essential oil here.
Kjaer Weis’ Lip Tint is from £22 for a 2.4 g refill, Cult Beauty UK and $49 for 0.085 oz/ 2.4 g or $25 for a refill, Kjaer Weis US
Kjaer Weis Foundation
I’ve also been trying out the brand’s Foundation in shade Lightness.
While foundation definitely has a place in my routine, I have to admit that I often use it simply for concealing under the eyes and on any other more obvious spots, rather than all over.
So while normally worn as a foundation, Kjaer Weis’s PR team suggested I also try this as a concealer, using the warmth of my fingers to apply.
And actually, this really suits me and my dark under-eye circles, which benefit from the medium-high coverage as well as the formula’s subtle, powder-like finish (although I normally prefer a dewy effect, under the eyes this look actually helps to detract attention from my circles).
Available in 18 shades, while I think they could still add a greater selection, the overall range is inclusive. Meanwhile, a shade finder tool helps select the right product based on skin tone and undertones, making the process of foundation shopping online slightly less of a hassle.
Suitable even for sensitive skin types, the ingredients here include sweet almond and coconut oils, as well as carnauba wax, jojoba seed oil and mineral pigments, with no synthetic fragrance.
Great for: The matte look, and doubling up as a concealer.
Not-so-great for: Dewy finish fans
Kjaer Weis’ Cream Foundation is from £30 for a 7.5 g refill, Cult Beauty UK and $68 for 0.28 oz/ 8.2 g or $45 for a refill, Kjaer Weis US
Overall, despite the pretty expensive prices my initial look into the world of Kjaer Weis means I’ll absolutely be trying more from their range, and I will certainly be repurchasing both the lip and cheek products. The foundation, however, while lovely, probably isn’t something I would use enough to justify buying again.
Because of the prices, those who like their makeup looks varied and vibrant may not be such fans (since the colour range is pretty limited and the prices would probably stop you buying multiple shades anyway). But sensitive skin types may well find this is one of the rare
Either way though, I do feel I should take a minute just to praise the brand’s refillable packaging. While the initial prices are expensive, you sort of have to admire a company which puts quality and longevity over fast fashion and high turnover.
In each of the cases of the products reviewed, the refill price was nearly half that of the initial price, which will actively encourage me to keep using the same packaging, a definite plus in my effort to cut down on my beauty waste.