Kjær Weis is an innovative cosmetics line created by Danish-born, New York-based makeup artist Kirsten Kjær Weis.
It Began With A Realization.
A veteran of countless magazine covers and fashion shoots, Kirsten observed that many of the women that sat in her makeup chair used at least a few “conventional” makeup products they found irritating to the skin. “It made me think, if these products are causing short term effects like breakouts and rashes, what would the long term effects be? There had to be another choice.”
Kirsten’s curiosity led her to begin researching the reason existing organic makeup products were unable to achieve the same results as their traditional, chemical-ridden counterparts. From her determination to bridge this historical gap in the market was born Kjær Weis, her namesake company with an ambitious and strategic mission to produce high-performance color cosmetics made with the finest natural and organic ingredients, all without compromising luxury or contemporary design.
Kirsten soon learned why conventional products outperformed existing organic alternatives and why the perfect balance between nature and performance had eluded many companies: one of the characteristics of using natural-origin raw materials as opposed to man-made chemicals was variations in color and consistency from batch to batch, much the way wines from the same vineyard can differ depending on the vintage. However, unlike wine, cosmetics have to be uniform in color, consistency and texture every time. Consequently each new batch of product had to be—and still is—personally inspected by Kirsten to maintain the highest level of quality control. “This is as close to a hand-made product as you can get,” she says.
When creating the cosmetic colors for Kjær Weis, Kirsten’s years of experience resulted in a highly curated collection of products and color options, beginning with the basic elements of what looked good on women, and what they used the most. A lip tint, creme blush, and eye color were the first items developed; a mascara shortly followed. Kirsten believes the best use of makeup is simply to enhance a woman’s natural beauty. “You want people to notice how great you look, not how great your makeup looks.”
Can Luxury also be Sustainable?
The last step in the brand’s early development was creating a presentation for the product that was both elegant and sustainable. Kirsten was very clear with her intention, “I wanted something unique and modern, but also socially responsible.” She collaborated with award-winning creative director Marc Atlan to produce the existing design: Red lacquer, grain-textured cases that look like little jewelry boxes were chosen to house bold metal compacts with white enamel “KW” logos. To reduce waste, all of the compacts were designed to be refillable.
Each compact comes with your chosen color, and refill pans are available in simple paper cartons that are fully recyclable. Even the refills were designed to be beautiful. The goal was to maintain both sustainability principles and a high standard of design. “The visual and aesthetic parts of daily life are vitally important to me. Consciously or unconsciously, design affects us all,” says Kirsten.
“Ultimately what I wanted to achieve was an alternative that fused beautiful color, texture and design with organic non-harmful formulas. I think it’s the way forward.”