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From growing up on a farm in Denmark to attending the prestigious Christian Chauveau School of Artistic Makeup, Kirsten Kjaer Weis worked around the world for some of the most renowned fashion magazines like Vogue, Elle, and Marie Claire. As an in-demand makeup artist, Kirsten found that people were sacrificing the health of their skin by using irritating, synthetic makeup. The natural products, however, were not up to par in performance, and the luxury of the beauty experience was lost. Kirsten used her experience growing up in a natural environment and her knowledge of beauty to pursue uncharted territory in the industry, creating Kjaer Weis – a pioneer in organic, luxury beauty.

What lead you to start Kjaer Weis?

I had worked for many years as a make-up artist in Europe and the US and saw firsthand the issues the models I was working on had with their skin from the conventional brands I had in my kit and applied on them daily. Breakouts, dry skin, red eyes. I tried to find natural counterparts to replace the conventional products but they didn’t really exist at that point (early 2000), which became my aha moment, seeing the gap in the market. Combining the performance of conventional with the ingredients profile of all-natural and tie it in with luxury packaging.

If you could explain Kjaer Weis…

Enlightened Beauty. Certified Organic, High Performing. Sustainable Luxury.

Do you strive to inspire others through Kjaer Weis?

I hope to inspire other female entrepreneurs to go for their passion.

What is your favorite part of working in the beauty industry? What is your least favorite?

I love to create, having an idea for a beauty product and seeing it come to life is very satisfying and a lot of fun. I also love assisting women in feeling beautiful and good about themselves without the potential of compromising their health. My least favorite? I don’t really have anything specific, yet I am happy to be part of a new area that steps away from the narrow perception of beauty that has been the norm for so many years. It’s changing and I love seeing it becoming a lot more inclusive.

What is the best piece of advice that anyone has ever given you?

Joseph Campbell is one of my favorite writers. He has a well known and wise quote from one of his books; Follow your bliss. That had an impact on me.

What is your goal through Kjaer Weis?

My goal is to grow KW to a Global Brand, allowing women around the world to have access to high performing, non-toxic make-up. Growing it in size while staying true to the DNA. My goal is also to change the norm of what’s acceptable to put in beauty products, having non-toxic make-up be a natural expectation for the next generations. Similar to how we take it for granted and fully accept that smoking is not allowed inside anymore.

What is your favorite indulgence?

Time. Finding time to have a massage, facial, read, be with my family, spend time in nature.

When it comes to your beauty routine, what is one item you can not live without?

Our Beautiful Oil. I love it, my skin loves it, it truly is beautiful.

Beyond Kjaer Weis, are there any mantras or rituals that help ground you when things get overwhelming?

Yes absolutely. Stay calm. Meditate and find that place where our wisdom sit’s, our authentic power where knee jerk reactions can’t exist. It’s essential to make (big) decisions from that place.

How do you like to wind down and make sure you’re taking care of yourself?

I live between NY and CT in the woods. Spending time in nature and be quiet does that for me.

Jamie Greenberg is a Los Angeles-based makeup artist. Her expertise ranges from iconic red carpet looks, to natural makeup and real beauty. Jamie always has an incredible list of celebrities on rotation and we love her videos (make sure to check out her YouTube channel ) as she is beyond talented, so real and offers so much insight into the beauty world – beyond just products – that she is literally our go-to for learning about the best tips and tricks out there. We had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with her to learn more about her career, inspiration and her self care routine.

What lead you to start a career as a MUA? 

I always loved art, makeup and creative people. I would watch my mom do her makeup when I was little and it looked like so much fun, but it ended up just being something I did for friends on the side as I got older. I studied film and photography in college, then did some improv and stand-up comedy, but it just felt like something was missing! I wanted to be around people more, so one of my many odd jobs was working at Ulta. Even though I made no money, I realized that I loved being surrounded by makeup and, most importantly, helping people with their makeup and skin. I honed my skills there and through working at department stores, and finally I became a freelance makeup artist! 

Do you strive to inspire others through your craft?

Absolutely. What I’ve learned as a makeup artist is that beauty is an amazing and interesting gateway to wellness and happiness. I try to inspire people to use this form of expression to find what makes them feel their best. Makeup and beauty isn’t about being something else, it’s all about being exactly who you are, whatever that means to you. I try to share my process on social media so that everyone can see how much fun my clients and I have while expressing ourselves. That’s how I hope people look at makeup and skincare – do what makes you feel great, confident, and unabashedly yourself. 

Why does skincare play such an important role in your work as a makeup artist?

Great skincare isn’t even an option…it’s like drinking water. EVERYONE NEEDS IT! Half of a good makeup look comes from prepping the skin beforehand. Cleansing, hydrating, using SPF…all of that contributes so much to the looks you see on red carpets or Instagram. On top of that, the better your skincare routine, the less makeup you need to achieve that gorgeous glow we all strive for. It’s a no brainer…take care of your skin! 

What does your daily beauty ritual look like?

This may be unexpected, but the most important step in my beauty ritual is water!! I start my day with water and keep a water bottle with me at all times. 

As far as my skincare goes, I always do a deep face cleanse before some sort of hydrating or exfoliating mask, depending on the day. I’ve been using NuFACE micro current skincare for 10-20 minutes lately because it totally wakes up my skin. Next I apply a serum or oils (I love trying different products, so these tend to change). Finally it’s time for moisturizing, and I apply an eye cream (oh my GOODNESS, I can’t get enough Goldfaden Bright Eyes) and a hydrating cream, usually with SPF. Then I use a primer before going in on my makeup! 

Throughout the day I freshen up with facial mists like the Goldfaden Mist RX.

Who are some of your beauty idols/icons?

Kevyn Aucoin was a huge influence for me. His book ‘Making Faces’ was one of my entry points into makeup! I also started working for Jillian Dempsey early on, and she’s a mega-artist who totally inspired me. 

What is one makeup step you don’t leave home without (i.e. lipstick, mascara, blush, etc.)?

Hard to pick just one!! I love any multi-task product…is that cheating? Lip/cheek tints or a tinted moisturizer with SPF is amazing. I also love to take a moisturizing facial mist with me to wake up my skin if it needs it. 

Can you reveal your favorite artist tip to reveal glowing skin?

Prepping your skin with a hydrating face mask makes a huge difference. I also find that people don’t take enough time with eye creams or moisturizers – it helps so much to use your ring finger (the lightest touch of all your fingers) or a jade roller to rub the cream around your eyes. This decreases puffiness and promotes blood flow to your skin. Give yourself that little face massage! You deserve it!

How does clean beauty impact your career?

I love that we’re moving toward more clean beauty all throughout the industry. I have a monthly Swag Bag subscription where I send out my favorite products once a month (check it out on jamiemakeup.com!). So many of those subscribers care deeply about clean beauty, so we always try to include those products. In my own life, I love brands I can trust. I may be developing some makeup of my own soon 🙂 and keeping my products clean will definitely be a priority. 

How do you like to wind down and make sure you’re taking care of yourself?

Meditation is a big part of my routine. Especially since my schedule as both a makeup artist and a mom can be incredibly sporadic, mindfulness helps me stabilize and hold on to a grounded perspective. Skincare also plays a big part in my wind down routine, of course!! I love face masks (big love for the Goldfaden Facial Detox!!!) and I use LED light therapy at night – it’s great for your skin and helps you fall asleep. 

Dr. G is a pioneer in the beauty and wellness community, who practices what he preaches. We sat down to ask him about the most crucial vitamin for the body and the skin. The answer may surprise you as its been around forever.

We talk about this time and time again – the importance of both internal and external health is what leads to optimal skin health because our skin is our largest organ (60% of our body). That being said, Dr. Goldfaden recommends ingesting Vitamin C through foods or supplements and also applying Vitamin C  for optimal health and exterior glow – arguably the most important Vitamin for glowing + radiant skin.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights free radicals, supports the immune system and helps make collagen in the body. Vitamin C has also been shown to lower LDL (the bad cholesterol), ward off heart disease and absorb iron in the body. However, tricky humanslack the ability to produce their own vitamin C. Oral supplementation is important for optimum health, 65-90mg per day should do the trick. Don’t take too much as it can interfere with the absorption of other crucial vitamins and upset the digestive system. Eating foods rich in Vitamin C is also beneficial, like red peppers, bell peppers, strawberries, kiwi, oranges, kale and fermented foods (like kimchi or sauerkraut) all rank super high in Vitamin C.

Why is ingesting Vitamin C not enough?

Just eating foods high in Vitamin C is not necessarily going to deliver all the incredible benefits to the skin. Due to the fact that the absorption of vitamin C is drastically limited by active transport mechanisms in your intestines, very little of what you eat or take orally ever makes it to your skin cells. Essentially, the only effective method for replenishing the vitamin C in your skin is to go straight to the source and apply it topically. In fact, it’s been shown that applying vitamin C to the skin is 20 times more effective than oral ingestion. Another advantage to applying vitamin C topically is the fact that once it s absorbed into your skin, it can’t be washed or rubbed off. Significant amounts of it continue to remain active in your skin for up to three days.

What role does Vitamin C play in our body?

The ability of Vitamin C to revitalize aging skin is largely due to its beneficial effects on collagen. Collagen is a tough, fibrous protein that is relatively inelastic and very strong. It supplies the basic framework that gives your skin its form, firmness, and strength, while elastin provides flexibility. Overall, the amount of new collagen that your skin produces declines with age, while the rate of its destruction increases. Fortunately, topical vitamin C has been scientifically proven to help stimulate collagen synthesis. It also helps block the production of enzymes that break down collagen, making it one of nature’s most effective anti-aging nutrients. Vitamin C is not only essential for collagen production and maintenance, it’s also a very powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in your the skin.

His challenge to us this fall, is to up our diets with foods high in Vitamin C as well as apply a daily serum containing Vitamin C. Our Brightening Elixir serum was created for this purposes. Loaded with 10% Vitamin C (gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin), Vitamin B3 + B5, Ferulic acid and Vitamin E, this serum will keep you even, glowing and healthy all year long.