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.
“I almost forget that there’s real weather In other parts of the country. LA’s climate is so ridiculous that the years and years I spent on the east coast seems like a far away dream. But those winters are real and your skin needs some extra love. I truly believe in an occlusive barrier in the winter to combat the effects of the wind chill. Using a products like the HollyBeth Rose Geranium moisturizer will help keep the moisture in even while the wind whips about your face. Water based moisturizers will evaporate in the cold, so you want to create a barrier to keep the moisture in. Radiator heat is no joke either, so when you get back into your cozy house slather on that balm or oil and let your face soak it in. Skin looks different in the winter, makeup can just sort of look like it’s sitting on top of the skin. Find blushes that have a very soft mica in then so that there’s a pretty glow on the cheeks (without looking sparkly) and find blush shades that are closest to your skin tone; soft peaches, rose tones and blush shades are best. Leave the bronzer for warmer months. Anything too bright or too “poppy” will not feel integrated and will sort of “stand off” the face.” Fiona Stiles
How to get the most bang out of your beauty bounty: what products can’t you live without, Fiona?
There are too many favorites to list here, truly your eyes would glaze over because I have a deep and special love for ALL of the products in my kit, but there are for sure ones that I would be crushed if I couldn’t use on the daily and here they are in no particular order……
– Tata Harper Illuminating Moisturizer:I love this for the face of course, but at work I am constantly using it on the body for a gorgeous, soft radiant glow on the clavicles, shoulder caps, legs etc.. Plus the smell is out of this world….
– Kejiwa Venus Love Spray: One spritz of this “psychic mist” will transport you into another world. It’s meant to clear the energy around you, and I certainly use it that way on set, but I also like to use it as a face mist during skin prep. It lets the model or client take a deep breath, re-center and relax, which just makes for a better day all around. And it works beautifully to set the makeup. After setting the face with loose powder, I like to mist this onto the face so that the powder melts into the skin, allowing the makeup to look more seamless.
– French Girl Lip Scrub: A lot of what I do as a makeup artist is dependent on a well primed canvas. The first thing I do when someone sits in my chair is asses their skin to see if there’s something that needs special attention… is their skin oily or dry, do they need to exfoliate their skin, or their lips? If I’m going to do a bold lip, those lips need to be in perfect condition to receive the pigment. I love to use the lip scrub from French Girl. It’s like eating a french pastille and the sugar and oil combo really do a knock out job of getting the lips silky smooth.
– Orgaid Vitamin C sheet masks: These are great for pluming the skin and prepping the face for makeup. It’s also just a wonderful, quick, luxurious treatment that isn’t expensive, doesn’t take an hour and has immediate, noticeable results. Nothing beats a good sheet mask (and this one has an incredible ingredient deck so you can feel good about all of those ingredients soaking into your skin).
– Anastasia Brow Wiz Brow Pencils: They’re just the best on the market. The colors are spot on and the formula is the perfect consistency for creating the loveliest brow. There’s a shade match for everyone in her line so all brows are spoken to.
– NARS cream blushes: The range of shades in this line is just so delicious and the consistency of the cream blushes is incredible; they blend perfectly onto bare skin or onto foundation. I’m not actually even sure how many of their cream blushes I have, maybe all of them? They’re like Pokemon cards for me, I want to collect them all!
– Fiona Stiles Beauty mascara: Sooooo many mascara run on me and make me look like a feral raccoon at the end of the day, but this mascara gives me insanely long, full lashes with zero smudging. It makes even the shortest lashes look fluffy.
– Maybelline Lash Discovery mascara: The teeny, tiny brush on this is what makes it so special (and a staple in my kit for over 10 years). I can find all of the invisible tiny lashes at the inner corners with this brush and magnify them, making the eyes seems wider and bigger. I’m not sure how many tubes of this that I’ve gone thought over the years, but it’s a LOT.
– Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Illuminator: Here’s another product that’s been in my kit for ages. I love that it’s a transparent liquid illuminator. It doesn’t make the skin lighter or darker, like some highlighters can, and it melts into the skin seamlessly, just making you look like you are surrounded by candlelight 24/7. I always know this will make the skin look drop dead gorgeous on the red carpet….I pop a bit on the tops of the cheekbones and a little along the top 1/3 of the bridge of the nose. I’ll even mix it into under eye concealer to bounce light back and reduce the appearance of dark circles and underage bags. It’s a miracle product.
– Charlotte Tilbury’s lipsticks: Which ones? ALL OF THEM. Her colors are incredible, as are the formulas. There isn’t a shade that I don’t like (or that I don’t own).
Personal faves from Fiona S medicine cabinet
– Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub: I use this at least 3-4 times a week. I have never used a scrub that is better than this; the micro-fine particles make it so that you can really massage it into every nook and cranny of your face and they really get the job done. My pet peeve is a scrub that feels thin and sparse and leaves me feeling unsatisfied. This one leaves me 100% satisfied.
– Goldfaden MD Sun Visor SPF: I’ve been known to say that I won’t switch on a lightbulb without putting sunscreen on first. I think it’s your best line of defense when it comes to aging. I’m not sure how many bottles of this I’ve gone through, but it’s a substantial amount. I have a real issue with product textures, especially sunscreens, and if it doesn’t feel good, I just won’t use it. This feels like nothing on the skin and it doesn’t mess with your makeup, or make your skin a funny color like so many natural sunscreens do. It’s my holy grail product.
– SkinCeuticals Retinol: In my personal life I lean towards non-toxic beauty products, but I still get down with this because the efficacy is just so good.
– Heir Atelier Eye Primer: I have oily skin, and oily eyelids, so an eye primer is a must for me. This one doesn’t make my shadow look dull, or change the color of it, and it keep say eye makeup crease-free from dawn to dusk.
– In Fiore Veloutee Balm: In real life I’m a total lip balm girl. When I’m running around town or working I just need moisture on my lips and I don’t want to have to worry about reapplying a lip color. I love how chic this balm is, and it makes my lips feel velvety soft. Plus I use it on my cuticles and around my eyes when I’m not wearing any makeup.
As a makeup artist, what is the one piece of advice you’d like to share? Are there any makeup application tips you can share? What are the best tips for achieving a “natural” look and flawless complexion (tools, product, application, treatments, lifestyle tips, etc.)?
Even when I do a strong editorial look, it still has a “natural” feel to it. I never want the skin to feel dead or flat, that makes an image feel static. I love the life and tangibility that comes from “feeling” the skin in an image. You can add all of the highlighter in the world, but if you put it on heavily covered skin, it looks two dimensional. I remember staring at my daughter’s skin when she was a few months old and marveling at how it looks the side of a lit candle; the texture was perfect but there was an inner glow that beamed out from it. That’s what I am for when I do makeup.
So that said, how do you create that. It all depends on the person so there isn’t one tip or trick that will cover all of the bases, but there are a few universal tools and suggestions that work across the board. Prep the skin in a way that’s best suited for your skin type. If you have dry skin (no visible pores, fine wrinkles) you can really go for it on the moisture front. Oils, balms, rich creams, the richer the better. That will help bring life and luminosity to the skin (favorite products for this category: * Kahina Argan Oil //one of the purest Organ Oils on the market//, * HollyBeth Organics Rose Geranium Moisturizer, Leahlani Skincare Bless Beauty Balm). Use cream blushes (again I love NARS, and also Kjier Weiss as well as Kosas) and only powder where you need it.
If you have oily skin, use a more lightweight moisturizer (I love the one from * Schaf and the matte moisturizer from *Earnest Supplies) and find a foundation that won’t sink into your pores. I go back and forth between a cream blush and a powder blush, it really depends on the look, but with oily skin, sometimes a powder or stain lasts longer than a cream (the Glossier Cloud Paint is pretty great).
You just can’t go wrong with a * beautyblender, it truly makes a difference in how your makeup goes on and blends. It that feels like too much for you, then I swear by dense synthetic foundation brushes, they melt the product right into your skin. And the great thing is that the inexpensive ones are just as good as the expensive ones. It’s one of those few times that there’s real democracy in makeup tools!
Here are the steps to a beautiful, natural look that any one can wear:
– Fill in your brows if needed and brush them up and set them with a clear brow gel. I don’t feel put together if I don’t set my brows. Plus the gel makes them look a bit shiny, which is sexy.
– Apply cream bronzer on your cheeks and then add a pop of a fresh, bright cream blush. It adds dimension to the face and depth to your blush.
– Curl your lashes. I love the one from * Surratt. Curling your lashes really, truly makes a difference in how you look. No one escapes my chair without a proper curl.
– I love the Lid Tints form Jillian Dempsey on the eyes for a cool, unfussy look.
– Lots of mascara, because well, I just love mascara. You can use brown if you want, but I love a rich inky black. Brown is lovely on the lower lashes if you want something a bit softer.
https://thedailyscrub.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Screen-Shot-2017-12-05-at-10.12.33-AM.png490619laurenhttps://thedailyscrub.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/the-dailyscrub-logo.pnglauren2017-12-15 14:58:552017-12-17 20:49:59Apply your skincare + Makeup like a pro: Fiona Stiles dishes her top skin + makeup tips
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