Kirsten Kjær Weis has a certain magnetism about her. You can tell she’s a woman who has thought a lot about what she’s going to say — that words are important to her. Soft-spoken and eloquent, her manner makes you want to lean in, be quiet, and listen. When she dropped by green beauty spot Fig & Flower last week my friend Caroline and I pulled up a couple of chairs and did just that.
As the Danish-born New York denizen behind Kjær Weis (pronounced Kē-yar Wīs), Kirsten helms her namesake natural beauty company with a simple guiding principle that beauty and health should rest hand in hand; that organic, non-harmful formulas should matter just as much as beautiful color, performance, and design. She’s a pioneer in crafting certified organic, luxurious makeup that works with the skin. Her packaging is refillable. Her products are divine.
And her history reminds me a lot of mine. Kirsten grew up on a small farm, moved to the big city to study architecture, and quickly fell in love with exploring design and well-being. We share a certain affinity for pragmatic formulas, effortless routines, and simple solutions. When we find something that works, we like to share it. Here are a few of Kirsten’s everyday tips for a healthy, natural glow.
1. Before makeup: wash, moisturize, make a cuppa
“Before foundation, you must have skin prepped,” Kirsten said. “It’s like painting a canvas. What I would do is, in the morning, wash the face, put on moisturizer, put on a cup of tea, then come back.”
Prepping the skin with a moisturizer gives a smooth, hydrated base that will last longer and require less makeup. Taking a break between products also ensures your makeup won’t pill or bleed, and that your skin has enough time to absorb the goodness of your moisturizer.
2. Stop testing foundations on the back of your hand at the back of a department store
“Check your foundation in natural light, on your face and neck — not on your hands.” For a natural look, Kirsten recommends building foundation in layers, gently pulling and blending along with your fingers or a brush, then checking the match near a sunny window.
“Natural light will always tell you the truth.” Can’t find the perfect shade of a certain foundation? Try blending a tiny drop of moisturizer with a dollop of foundation, or “go 1 shade darker, a little darker than the neck if you can’t find an exact match.”
3. For problem spots, lighten up and pick up the brush
If you notice an odd bump or a bit of redness, just grab a small brush and “fill in problem spots with a brush and foundation,” Kirsten recommended. For dark circles, “start with a concealer and go a little lighter” in shade than your natural skin tone. “Use your fingers as much as you can,” and blend, blend, blend.
4. “A groomed brow makes a huge difference. Keep the brows nice.”
No need to fret over thin brows. “Everybody has tiny bits of holes between the hairs — it just takes a little bit to fill them.” Kirsten sets to work on eyebrows with an angled brush and powder eye shadow in a shade or two lighter than the brows themselves. “Never pick the actual color of the hairs — too dark” else your brows will end up looking “just like two sticks! Go for lighter.”
She mentioned Kjaer Weiss eyeshadows in “Grace” and “Wisdom” as two double duty favorites for lids and brows (the latter also makes for a gorgeous smoky eyeliner). And she added that she’s always sure to have an eyelash curler on hand to prep lashes for mascara — Shu Uemura’s is her go-to.
5. Perfect eyeliner? Sleep on it
If you’re looking for “no-makeup eyeliner,” Kirsten recommends waiting until bedtime to heavily line your lids, wipe it all off, then hit the pillow for the night. “Really get into the base of the lash. Over-do it.”
Once you’re done, gently wipe away, leaving product between the lashes. You’ll wake up the next day with depth that looks effortlessly natural. You can also add a bit of extra pop by carefully lining the wet outer corners of each eye, then blending the new product into last night’s liner before heading out the door.
6. Don’t be shy of a good blush
One of Kirsten’s favorite products is also mine. “Blush can make the biggest difference in the shortest amount of time. If you’re tired, if you’re jet-lagged, it just gives you a little glow. I like to apply it to the apples of the cheeks.” For cream blushes, you’ll want to tap dots along the high points of cheeks, then dab it all out.
“Little dots. Don’t pull it. Keep dabbing it with your center finger.” If your complexion is naturally on the redder side, Kirsten recommends working a little foundation over blush work for a healthy glow. And by all means, feel free to skip out on the contour craze: “I like to apply to the high points of your cheeks, where, if you went out for a walk at lunch, the light would naturally hit — where you would have natural color.”
7. Stay true to your roots and be yourself
Above all, Kirsten says, “There’s no right or wrong. Use what you’ve got. You only need a few products. Use small sample sizes.” She added, “When you look closely, it looks like you’re not wearing makeup — I think that’s anyone’s dream — to have their skin look like it it when you were a little girl, 11 or 12 years old. I’m all about natural that has the finished look — it looks like it’s yours.”
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More healthy beauty rituals
- My everyday makeup routine: 5 minute dewy face
- My natural skincare routine: 5 steps to beautiful, glowing skin
- Why I made the switch to natural beauty products