Ep 66 - Meet Makeup Artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis, Luxury Organic Cosmetics Pioneer

Founder Kirsten Kjaer Weis

Founder Kirsten Kjaer Weis

Who doesn’t love a sleeper hit? Among the cacophony of beauty launches, meet the indie brand that’s managed to quietly cut through the clutter to amass a niche group of devoted beauty fans. We sit down with makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis, who tells us all about the vision for her eponymous cosmetics range that’s both ultra-luxury and certified organic—not to mention entirely re-fillable.

Kjaer Weis earns its shelfie status

Kjaer Weis earns its shelfie status

Seven years in the making, Kjaer Weiss launched in 2010 to mad magazine write-ups, thanks in part to its beyond-beautiful packaging (designed by the mastermind behind Comme des Garcons’ chic AF fragrances, Marc Atlan.) It quickly became a cult favourite amongst the models who were often in Kirsten’s makeup chair, celebrities like Emma Watson and makeup artists like Katey Denno. The reason? High performance makeup that could compete with conventional makeup brands—without any irritating toxins.

Current campaign model Michelle Stevens Childs

Current campaign model Michelle Stevens Childs

kjaer weis mascara

Kjaer Weis has been often called upon by the likes of Marie Claire and Self magazines, for her ability to make skin look flawless and utterly natural all at once. In this episode, you’ll get an earful on the best-selling mascara and foundation, plus, Kirsten’s pro tips for nailing that woke-up-like-this-but-better base. Stay tuned until the very end and you’ll also get the scoop on Kirsten’s growing foray into the world of skincare, with two top shelf-worthy products in stores this month.

Products mentioned in the episode: Kjaer Weis Mascara, Kjaer Weis Foundation, Kjaer Weis Facial Oil; Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick; Kjaer Weis The Cleanser; Kjaer Weis Toner

Sister Pact: The Aussie Twins Taking Green Beauty Brand Dr. Roebuck's From All-Purpose to Ultra Bespoke

Dr. Roebucks sisters

There are lots of words you expect to read on a "green" beauty product label like: natural, ethically-sourced, paraben-free, etc. But "custom," "anti-aging" and "clinically-tested" usually aren't among them. That's what makes Dr. Roebuck's, a family brand cooked up in Sydney, Australia so special.  

Dr. Roebuck wanted a salve to soothe the eczema that afflicted his identical twin infants, Zoe and Kim. It was compounded by a local pharmacist and kept in the fridge for the whole family to use.

Fast forward nearly four decades later, and those very same daughters are upgrading the range from simple, skin-soothing, hand-crafted salves to potent anti-aging serums, eye creams and custom treatments slick enough for the ultra chic counters of Holt Renfrew.

Sitting down with Kim and Zoe who finish each other's sentences (not surprisingly!), the first question is obviously what it's like to work one's sister. "We keep each other going - it's a lot work right? So much respect to those ladies who did it on their own - like Bobbi Brown and Jo Malone and women like that. Kim is Marketing Director and I am the Creative Director so we don't step on each others toes. But we do have to go to dinner and say - ok, no work talk!" 

In honour of Earth Month, the twins launched a luxe pop-up shop at Holt Renfrew in Toronto where you can custom-blend your serum tailored to your skin type (it's expected later this year in Vancouver - stay tuned). Fill out a digital survey and on the spot you get a customized serum, hand-crafted by one of their skin therapists. "You'll also get recipes that can help heal any skin ailments like inflammation or redness," says Kim, drawing from their own hyper healthy upbringing–like only being able to eat carob instead of chocolate. 

Staying true to their real simple roots, the brand's R&D has an equally homegrown feel. "All the formulations are created five minutes from my house," says Zoe, who notes there's a minimum of nine active ingredients in each serum. "We know the supply chain, where it's being refined and what's in it. For instance, Rosehip oil can be bought synthetically and cheaply but not in this case – our father's name is on the box so we would never do that." 

Dr Roebuck Custom Serum Holt Renfrew Jill Dunn
Dr Roebuck Custom Serum Holt Renfrew