New to CONTENT this month is the Kjaer Weis certified organic make-up line which we love for its colours, ingredients and of course the beautiful and clever packaging. We asked our own UK based 'Green' Make-Up Artist, Louise Dartford, to chat to brand founder Kirsten Kjaer Weis about the inspiration behind the brand and tips of the trade for using the range.......
No I didn’t, I knew that I always wanted to do something creative and artistic, I thought that I would be an architect. I travelled a lot and when I came home I came across a make-up course in Paris, which sounded good so I enrolled and it all went from there.
What inspired you to take it one step further and start your own range?
Throughout my make-up career I found that I was meeting so many clients who had allergies to products. It seemed so absurd to me that this was considered normal and OK. I was seeing the short-term effect of using these products, it made me think about and question the long-term effects. I grew up on a farm where we harvested our own produce and led a holistic lifestyle. I know the benefits of this first hand, the positive impact on life – mind, body and spirit.
I knew I always wanted to have my own business so a make-up range made sense. I wanted to create a range that had green ingredients that would be amazing for the skin but also with a high performance. From my experience, there was nothing on the market like this at that time.Where did your inspiration come from for your colour palette?
I created the colours from my experience as a make-up artist. You could say I curated it over the years, picking the best brown and the best blue for example. I have over the years learned what are the most flattering colours for people. I didn’t want my range to have 6 shades of the same colour, I don’t believe you need that many. I have picked my colours to really enhance and beautify the complexion without taking it over. Anyone can wear the colours and look great during the day and at night. I know that I am missing colours for darker skin tones but I am working on it!
Which colours would you recommend for the spring/summer trends?
The range isn’t really trend driven as it is more about enhancing individual beauty. I do however have some new products due out in the summer that will be great for the season so watch this space!You have a lot of creamy textures in your range, do you like to apply them with your fingers or a brush?
I love to apply them with my fingers as the warmth makes the products blend beautifully into the skin. I do have a foundation brush which is small so great for minimal application and covering blemishes. I have a new bigger brush coming out soon that will be for foundation and blusher so you can have the choice. Lips I apply with my fingers and eye shadows I always use a brush as you can create a liner and be more precise in your application.What product could you not live without personally and what product could you not do without in your kit?
Your products contain lots of amazingly good ingredients for skin, what comes first the colour or the skin benefits?
The performance is the most important thing, there is no point putting something on the market that doesn’t work. When I started the range I decided that there would be no compromise on anything. In natural products there is what is called an acceptable margin – due to the natural ingredients products can vary slightly. When I got my first batch of products back, they were slightly different to what they had been before; this wasn’t acceptable for me. I needed my products to be constant in their quality so had to reduce this acceptable margin. The skin benefits are of course massively important to me too. I love the fact the range is like an extension of your skincare.
How important is it to you that your range respects the environment too?
It is very important. As I said when I started the range, I decided there would be no compromise on anything and that includes its impact on the environment. The three things most important to me are the performance, its green credentials/sustainability and the design and packaging.
All of the range is ‘certified organic’ by the Italian certification body Controllo e Certificazione Prodotti Biologici, except for the eyeshadows which are certified natural. 70% of their ingredients are organic, the rest is bamboo which the certification body will not certify as organic because it is found in the wild. The certification is really important to me and something I am very proud of.
I wanted the range to look cool and modern, the packaging needed to be sustainable without looking ‘brown bag’. I wanted the range to sit in boutique and department stores, not health stores. I worked with Creative Director Marc Atlan who helped me design the refillable packaging. It still looks beautiful and luxurious but minimises waste. All the compacts come in simple recyclable paper cartons.
How do you find the time to run the business and still work as a make-up artist?
Running the business does take up the majority of my time. There is a lot of planning that has to go on. To keep up with demand and keep products in stock, we have to plan the planting, growing and harvesting of all of the raw ingredients. I am gradually reducing my make-up artistry so I will eventually be full-time on the business, working on product development.
Finally, what is your top professional make-up tip?
Cream blusher. Apply it in a circular motion to the apples of your cheeks, I have found this works on every age and every skin type. Everyone wants to look like they have that post-vacation glow, relaxed and fresh faced. If you do one thing, apply some cream blusher.
Also I love the new foundation, it is so feather light, I want to get rid of people’s bad perceptions of foundation. In the morning apply your moisturiser and let it sink in for 3-4 minutes, then use your fingers and the foundation to gently even out your complexion, you can build it where you need more coverage. I’ve read that a few people have said it feels quite dry. It is made with coconut oil which can harden in the cold, warm it up on the back of your hand and it will glide on. If we put more coconut oil in it would be too greasy and wouldn’t last all day, use your moisturiser beforehand to really prep your skin.
Watch this space for a visit from Kirsten this year! In the meantime you can try her organic make-up range instore or book a Saturday makeover on 020 3075 1006.