This review is way overdue. Kjaer Weis was probably the first “clean” brand I tried that I truly fell in love with. I was instantly drawn in by the heavy silver packaging, which basically fits into all of my aesthetic preferences. I’ve been using Kjaer Weis for several years now, but I finally have tried every product in the line so I can share my thoughts on all of them.
The brand was started by makeup artist Kristin Kjaer Weis, who wanted to create a luxury natural makeup line that was also high performing. As someone who has had mixed experiences with clean beauty – as I suspect is the case for many of you – the idea behind this brand speaks to me. Many of the ingredients are organic, and besides the metal compacts, all of the packaging in the line is recyclable. Again, as someone who cares most about the sustainability of the industry, this aspect very much speaks to me.
Honestly, it was the minimal and industrial packaging that won me over to trying the products, even at the very luxury price range. All of the products are heavy, and not exactly on-the-go handbag friendly, but they feel luxurious and like a treat to handle. I love every aspect of how the packaging comes together, from the flat swivel of the compact to the magnetic closure.
Although I don’t own everything from the line, I’ve tried every product on my face thanks to a master class I took with some Kjaer Weis makeup artists back over the summer. I was able to try out their skincare products, which were new at the time.
The Cleanser ($95 for 3.4 oz/$65 for refill) is amazing as an oil cleanser for taking off makeup, and it rinses off flawlessly without leaving a trace of residue. It feels gentle and lightweight, and while it doesn’t take off my most stubborn waterproof mascara, it takes off most everything else. I do remember it took 4 or 5 pumps, which means you would go through this cleanser pretty quickly, which is a downside for a 3.4oz cleanser.
I remember the Toner ($85 for 3.4 oz/$55 for refill) feeling very refreshing on the skin, but nothing life changing for me. And the Beautiful Oil ($135/$150 for 1oz or $190/$225 for 2.1oz) is an ultra pricey but wonderful feeling oil. The artists advised using it as a moisturizer and primer, but for my oily skin, this felt way too greasy on me, especially for the middle of summer. If I owned this oil, I would likely only use this at night, or I would mix one drop into my moisturizer for the day. With a combination of rosehip seed, sweet almond, olive, and jojoba seed oil, it feels ultra moisturizing. If this were the only oil I were to own, I would consider buying this, but it seems like a pricey extra for my routine that I can’t justify at the moment.
CREAM FOUNDATION ($65 for .28 oz/8.2g, $40 for refill)
So starting with their makeup items, the Cream Foundation is a cream foundation in a compact that is buildable from sheer to full coverage with a soft matte finish. Having oily skin, I am always skeptical of how cream foundations will work on my skin, but trying this in store, I was won over by the drier texture. Yes, the key to this is the drier texture that in my experience, works best on combination or oily skin, unless you really properly hydrate your skin. It’s not a dry skippy texture, but it does blend best over some oil.
This foundation is meant to be buildable, and I definitely find that to be my experience as well. I apply it with the Blush-Foundation Brush ($40), which is a synthetic flat brush, and I’ve been really happy with how I can dab and blend out just a sheer layer for an ultra sheer tint. It’s also really easy to build up a couple layers for a full coverage look where you need it without getting cakey or too thick. The effect is a very natural looking that really has a soft matte, but not flat finish. The wear time really surprised me – even on a hot summer day, it would last 8-10 hours before starting to break down or settle into my pores. If I had to choose a natural foundation to wear in the summer, this one is definitely it.
The only thing that’s tricky about this foundation is the shade selection. When I first tried these in store (with a very deep tan), I ended up choosing the shade Velvety, which is described as suitable for “medium-dark to dark skin with golden or olive undertones.” Okay. I definitely choose this because of the olive undertones, but even with my tan, I definitely don’t have dark skin. And granted, it becomes too dark for me as soon as my tan lightens up even a tiny bit – so I didn’t buy this at the most ideal time – but even then, my tan skin is maybe a MAC NC37. Not exactly a dark skintone. There are only 4 shades deeper than this one, and it looks like there’s a big jump in shades from Velvety to the very last shade. My regular shade that I’ve since picked up is Illusion, a warm honey beige for “medium to medium dark skin with golden or olive undertones.” Even that description describes my skin as much darker than I would classify as light medium-medium – or a MAC NC30. I do think the shades are mostly forgiving because of how sheerly they can be applied, I still find some issues with this skin range, as I suspect a lot of people will be in between shades. Illusion matches me pretty well because of the olive undertone.
The shade range is a continuing issue that I have with natural and clean brands. Of ,course, many conventional brands also leave a lot to be desired with their shade ranges, but my issue with clean beauty is that many of these brands hold themselves to a higher standard than conventional beauty on a variety of measures – from ingredients to sustainability to performance – and when there are obvious shades missing from foundation ranges, I find that many clean beauty brands undermine their own claims and values. If clean beauty brands are going to hold themselves to a higher standard, I am also going to judge them on a higher standard – and limited foundation ranges is where most clean brands fall short. As much as I love Kjaer Weis for their high performance – which is on par, if not higher than some conventional beauty brands – I really hope they expand their foundation range to be more shade inclusive.
POWDER AND BRONZER ($58, $36 for refill)
Moving on to the powder and bronzer, I don’t own either, but have also been able to try both. These are 2 products in the range that I find work perfectly well, but don’t wow me enough to consider buying them over other powders and bronzers. The powders on both feel nice, but are not as finely milled as other brands I’ve tried. That, and the bronzer has quite a sheer finish, which I know some people really love, but I personally prefer a little more punch to my pigments. Since I don’t own either I can only judge my impression on my one time applying these to my face during the master class.
CREAM BLUSH ($56 for 3.5 ml with compact, $32 for refill)
These were the product that started my whole obsession with the brand. I bought it when the brand was still pretty new, and I kept hearing whispers of how good these blushes were. I was so intrigued I bought them even though I didn’t even like cream blush at the time. My skin was a little more oily a couple years ago, and I had a lot of trouble getting cream blushes to work with my skin. And that’s actually where these blushes shine.
The blushes have an incredibly creamy texture. They’re so creamy it seems as if they would blend away instantly, but somehow they blend and settle into the skin into the most beautiful natural glow. And once they set, they stay on my skin for anywhere from 6 hours on a super hot day or a day when I’m particularly oily to 10 hours when its drier out or my skin is feeling more balanced. If you’re wondering how I could possibly think 6 hours is a good wear time, I would say – and many other oily skinned folks could probably also say – most run of the mill cream blushes usually fade within 1 or 2 hours. Only recently have brands started to make cream blushes that maintain blend ability and lasting power on my skin.
So needless to say, one very expensive blush purchase turned into 2..and now I own 4 (including a mini). I try not to hoard too many shades since these are natural products that will go bad quicker, and I also want to be able to refill the compacts with different shades after I use up the ones I have.
- Above and Beyond – a bright, almost neon coral shade
- Blossoming – a rose pink blush (the first shade I owned that started it all!)
- Desired Glow – a warm peach nude
- Sun Touched – a light pinkish beige nude
I think Blossoming or Desired Glow are the most versatile for me. Blossoming is the ultimate face brightening and still natural glow, while Desired Glow is a go-with-everything glow. Sun Touched and Desired Glow look basically the same on my skin, so I wouldn’t consider both necessary for my collection. I really love Above and Beyond for a brighter look, whether that’s in summer or winter. I’ve also tried the shade Happy, which is a bright cool pink. It’s not a shade I would normally go for but I found it so brightening on my skin!
I don’t own the luminizer or cream bronzer, and haven’t used them enough to give them a full review. I don’t normally gravitate towards cream bronzer, and until very recently, I didn’t love cream highlighters…so the cream highlighter may be a future purchase this year.
EYESHADOW ($45 for .043 oz/1.2 g, $27 for a refill)
I haven’t been impressed with many powder eyeshadows from natural beauty brands. They’re usually too chalky or too sheer. But as I’m starting to learn, I shouldn’t doubt Kjaer Weis. I was hesitant to shell out for these shadows, but I am so glad I did. These eyeshadows completely surpassed my expectations and perform just as well – and even better – than many conventional shadows. They’re pigmented, but not too pigmented, and they’re super blendable. They have just the right amount of impact for my personal look and there is just something about the consistency that is the right balance of creamy and powdery.
I have the shade Charmed, a satin warm beige, and Magnetic, a mid toned brown with a slight gold flecks. I find them both incredibly wearable and I will often wear each of them as all one and done shades all over my lids.
They also have cream shadows that feel really nice, but I don’t feel like any of the shades are unique enough for me to justify them. I haven’t really tried the eyeliner and mascara enough to really judge them, and I generally stick with what I know for eyeliner and mascara.
LIPSTICK ($56 for the 4.5 ml tube and compact, $34 for refill)
Although I had heard mixed things about Kjaer Weis lipsticks, it was actually the shade that finally enticed me to try one. I have the shade Believe, which is a matte taupish pink. It has a very slight brown tone to it but on me, it turns into the perfect polished deep neutral. It’s a matte formula that has a drier texture to them. While they don’t skip or drag on my lips, they’re not a soft creamy formula like the Kosas lipsticks. This makes them slightly more drying, but I don’t find it unbearable on my lips. It makes the lasting power a little longer for me – about 3 or 4 hours before they completely fade. I wouldn’t say these are my favorite lipstick formula, but the shade is about as perfect as it gets when I want a neutral that will instantly make me look put together.
LIPGLOSS ($38 for .14 oz/4ml, $30 for a refill)
I honestly wasn’t planning on trying the lipglosses. I thought they couldn’t possibly be that special. But curiosity got the best of me, and when I tried them on in person, I was hooked. These are not your normal lip glosses. They walk the fine line of being thick but in a nourishing way, while not being sticky in any way. And once they set on your lips, they settle into the most comfortable gloss. They are truly nourishing while being subtly glossy and pigmented.
I have the shades Cherish, a pink nude, and Fascination, a berry shade. Cheris was sent to me and is a little too nude on its own unless I wear it over a deeper lipstick, but I bought Fascination and I love it on its own as a subtle wash of color. These are definitely a sleeper hit from the brand!
LIP TINT ($49 for .08 oz/2.4 g, $29 for a refill)
The lip tints are a tinted lip balm that comes in a small compact. They have a slightly waxy feel but still feel hydrating at the same time without immediately slipping off my lips. I have the shade Captivate, a lightly shimmery brown toned nude. Maybe its the shimmer in the shade, but I feel like the balm can feel just a little gritty – not like there are huge glitter particles, but just like the texture of shimmer. It’s not so noticeable that I always feel it, but it makes me wonder if it’s just the shimmer or the formula. Either way, I love the shade, but don’t feel like the formula is that mind blowing to shell out $29+ on another one.
And here are swatches of all the lip products:
My highlights of the brand are certainly the Cream Blushes, Cream Foundation for combo or oily skin, eyeshadows, and lip glosses. If you really want to splurge, I really like the cleanser. I think the lipsticks and lip tints are nice to have, but not the stand out products. And products I would skip are the powder bronzers, eye liners, and mascaras, because I feel like there are better ones from other clean brands. However, I am surprised by how well all the products to work, and really impressed with how well they perform. It’s definitely a brand I look to when I want a polished but easy look, while knowing everything can last through a day. Although every product is really a splurge, I commend the line for its goal of sustainability while remaining utterly elegant, edgy, and luxurious.
If you’ve tried Kjaer Weis, I’d love to know your experiences as well.
As always, thanks for reading.