Kjaer Weis Foundation, Highlighter & Lip Tint REVIEW

Kjaer Weis Beauty Idealist
One of the questions I get asked a lot is whether I plan to talk more about make-up. I’ve always been more of a skincare girl but new year, new endeavors, right?

We all know the benefits of green cosmetics, I just have not really embraced green make-up until recently. Kjaer Weis has always been on my radar as the luxury organic make-up brand. Everything from their gorgeous refillable compacts to the crisp, minimal design language just vibes with me. We often see organic brands reach for the luxury customer, but Kristen Kjaer Weis, renowned make-up artist and founder of Kjaer Weis, actually enlisted the product and packaging designer behind Dior and Come Des Garçon’s to design her innovative products which are all made in Italy. This is the real deal.

A beautiful presentation definitely makes a strong first impression but what has really made me fall in love with Kjaer Weis are the products themselves. Most organic cosmetics I’ve used *feel* decidedly unsophisticated, where instead of fantastic technology for strong coverage, longer wear, and vibrant colors, we’re flooded with endless iterations of mineral pigments. Kjaer Weis is the only organic make-up line that really elevates this, with radiant colors, buildable coverage and an attention to performance that is unsurpassed.


FOUNDATION

The Kjaer Weis foundation is genius. The compact form factor makes taking it on the go a breeze (for mid-day touch ups). The foundation blends with skin, evenly dispersing coverage and uniformity. The color just seems to mingle with skin’s natural hue and effortlessly delivers the “your skin but better” appearance. I love the buildable coverage which can go from a very subtle, “no make-up” look to editorial HD coverage.

The wear time is fantastic in part because unlike a lot of foundations, this one seems to work better with the oils that skin naturally produces throughout the day. It goes on matte but develops a dewy finish. If you’re on the drier side, it’s best to go over with a face oil, like Kjaer Weis’s own Beautiful Oil, prior to applying foundation to avoid accentuating any dry areas.

LIP TINT

When I first swatched the lip tint (in Sweetness), I was concerned that it was going to be too faint. But then I applied it to my lips and was surprised by how gorgeous the color came out. I’ll be posting to my Instagram stories the next few days to show how this wears (instagram.com/thebeautyidealist). The best word to describe it is vibrant and more pigmented than the lip tint classification might suggest. As with the foundation, the coverage is buildable and can go from just adding a subtle pop of color to making a bold statement.

Wearability is on par with non-organic lip products which is impressive, and the tints actually provide a light balm-like level of moisture which when coupled with the dynamic tint, really makes the lips look gorgeous.

HIGHLIGHTER

I saved the best for last. Where foundation gives that your-skin-but-better look, the addition of highlighter is responsible for that otherworldly flawless radiant glow. The Kjaer Weis Highlighter in Ravishing is a hands down favorite beauty product that will be repurchased over and over.  I don’t think any photos do it justice. Once you see this in person, you’ll be taken by it’s pearlescent sheen and once you apply this on your skin, you’ll be transformed from a mere mortal to a flawless goddess.

What I love about this is the careful, mastered approach that can only come from an experienced make-up artist: the sheen is just right where you don’t look like a Vegas showgirl but illuminates just the right amount to give the most natural looking glow. If you’re into contouring, I actually think this highlighter is better than any that the Kardashian’s may use as the particles are just so fine and high quality – I always feel like a million bucks when I put this on before going out.

APPLICATION & TECHNIQUE

All of the Kjaer Weis products mentioned have a beautiful creamy texture. I know many people like to use make-up brushes or sponges, my preference is to use my fingers and dab over my skin. This provides even dispersion and also warms up the product so it melts into skin for a very seamless look. Make-up artist Pat McGrath advocates this technique as well and she does *all* my favorite beauty looks at every fashion week.

No matter what your intended effect is, or whether you apply make-up with a heavier hand or a light touch, it’s all achievable with this line of products. Start conservatively and build up to the desired coverage or color intensity.


FINAL THOUGHTS

I love this line. It’s very obvious that an experienced make-up artist is behind all the products. Kristen Kjaer Weis has successfully developed a line of innovative, beautiful organic products that are easy to use, incredibly versatile, high performance and always well thought out. Kjaer Weis makes skin look naturally beautiful, almost as though the products are unlocking something in the skin rather than acting as make-up.

Kjaer Weis can be purchased at the following U.S. locations:

CAP Beauty 
Credo Beauty
The Detox Market
Violet Grey


Have you used anything from Kjaer Weis? Share your thoughts below and as always, leave me any questions. 

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S.W. Basics Cocoa Lip Balm – Vegan

sw basics

S.W. Basics is a line that originated out of Brooklyn, created by Adina Grigore, a self described “jill of all trades” in the wellness industry. The line is known for their simple formulas that often times use just 1-5 ingredients. This is because the products were originally created by Adina for her own sensitive skin.

S.W. Basics is essentially what I consider to be a hip Brooklyn take on DIY natural beauty using simple ingredients and a funky brand message. The price range is generally affordable so they’re a great introduction for those looking for clean products without giving their wallets a work out.

A quick note: although skin sensitivity is different from person to person, it is true that products with less ingredients are considered safer for sensitive skin because there are less potential ingredients to trigger the sensitivities. However, this does not mean all products that use few ingredients are right for you, for instance if you happen to be sensitive to Jojoba Oil, then a 1-3 ingredient product that uses Jojoba Oil will likely not work well with your skin so the takeaway dear readers: be aware of your personal sensitivities and check the ingredients list (however long or short) for known sensitivities before purchasing.

The other note is that because these products only use 1-5 ingredients, the concentration of each ingredient is likely to be pretty high. For me, this meant caution in purchasing certain products such as their toner which is comprised of Apple Cider Vinegar, Witch Hazel, and Essential Oils since Apple Cider Vigegar/Witch Hazel should usually be diluted before being used otherwise it is just too much for every day use. [Edit: As many of you have pointed out, SW Basics Toner is indeed diluted with water as the main ingredient – my mistake as I could have sworn I read something about how water isn’t used in the line! Thank you all for the correction!]

Thus my first foray into this line came from one of their four lip balms, the S.W. Basics Cocoa Lip Balm. And since I felt particularly green the day I ordered, I opted to go all out and purchase the Vegan variety although I’m not a practicing Vegan. Essentially this just means the beeswax is switched out for Candelilla Wax.

SW Basics

I chose Cocoa because of the four flavors (Cocoa, Peppermint, Cinammon, Citrus), it is the only one without any essential oils (I don’t have anything against essential oils, but I understand they’re used in this for fragrance which I didn’t need in a lip product). This also meant my option was the most minimal with just 3 Ingredients: organic Cocoa Butter, organic Coconut Oil, Canelilla Wax. Now you DIYer’s are probably thinking “just make this yourself!” But two things:

1. Like a LOT of people out there, I’m not really a DIYer. And there is value in something ready made with a cool, well designed label, no?
2. Relax, this stuff is only $4 regular price and even less when you get it on sale (which happens pretty often!)

The Verdict

So after a good 2 months of using this on-and-off, how do I feel? Conflicted.

Here’s why:

When it came to moisturizing and making my lips not look mistreated, this lip balm did the trick. It really did make my lips feel and look better, in fact I had noticed I was able to extend time in between reapplication despite the fact that the texture did not feel heavy – bonus! So performance-wise, I was happy and impressed.

However this product also frustrated me more than any other lip balm I’ve used. Unlike other lip balms (including other natural ones like Burts Bees and Badger Balm), this just LOVED to melt. Do NOT keep it in your pocket or anywhere that comes close to your body because that will start melting this within 5 minutes, especially if you’re walking outside in the summer weather. This is why I had to use the lip balm on and off, because I couldn’t bring this with me when I left the apartment for fear it would just be leak and get messy. So it was relegated to being an “at-home” product, which to me is not ideal when it comes to lip balms.

swbasics2

The other area is application. Besides loving to melt, this lip balms texture is on the rough side (see the above picture) and prone to breaking off. I learned over the course of using this to be especially careful to not press it to my lips as a huge chunk will just break off, leaving me with the messy task of removing and putting the excess back in the tube or just applying on the back of my hands – wasteful and not clean, not to mention my boyfriend would jokingly feign concern that I was suffering from some form of selective motor challenge since it was so difficult for me to apply this!

SW Basics

Overall, I’m happy that I was able to try this line out and I do think they’re onto something with the entire less is more approach. SW Basics isn’t a line that embellishes their promises, instead it’s just an honest message of things that your skin would like. In this case, my lips liked the 3 ingredients, I just had a challenging time with it. The usability and durability issues perhaps highlight a key shortcoming with the mantra of opting for few ingredients as I’m sure in this case incorporating more ingredients to control the texture and such would greatly improve the overall experience. I know if those issues could be addressed while maintaining the actual performance of the lip balm (which leaves nothing to complain about), I would unreservedly recommend this product but as it is the shortcomings in my opinion are too great to overcome as the product currently is for this to be a viable repurchase. With that said, this doesn’t dissuade me from trying their other products, particularly giving their non-vegan version of the lip balm a chance.

So I know S.W. Basics is quite a popular line, do you think there are other products that I’ll love from this line? Have you tried this line? Do you love their less is more mantra? Leave your thoughts in the comments.