Updated: Jul 18, 2020

Green Beauty is a topic I'm passionate about and one of the first changes I embraced on my journey towards a more natural and eco-conscious life. After 7 years of trying almost everything on the Green Beauty market, I'm excited to share my extensive personal experiences and reviews on the best green beauty products I've used, as well as exciting new finds. First on my list of favourite brands to review is Kjaer Weis. Read on to discover why I think she is the Queen of Green and Sustainable Beauty.


Please note: These reviews are not sponsored in any way, they are my personal and honest opinions/recommendations. This post does contains affiliate links for which I earn a commission for purchases made. It does not cost you extra but helps me keep the blog running which is much appreciated. Thank you!


Who: Danish-born, New York-based makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis found that her clients were reacting to the heavily synthetic make up products she was using on a regular basis. Looking for natural alternatives that did not compromise performance, Weis spent 7 years crafting and formulating her own brand of make-up products that could compete with the very best of conventional make-up.


What: Not your health food store makeup line, this is eco-luxury made to empower women with tools to express, enhance and highlight their natural beauty with 100% pure and organic ingredients. She focuses on minimalism and creating products that promote a glowing and natural look. The line includes products such as cream foundation (the BEST I've ever used) blush, mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, brushes and facial oil.


In this post I'm going to review her Cream Foundation.

This is something I use sparingly, saving for special occasions or as a concealer.


Kjaer Weis Cream Foundation Review


Official Description: Perfect your skin without a single synthetic ingredient. This award-winning Certified Organic cream foundation delivers versatile coverage solutions thanks to a blendable, buildable formula. Kjaer Weis Cream Foundation is formulated with moisturizing and age-defying ingredients such as Jojoba Seed Oil, Sweet Almond Seed Oil, and Coconut Oil.


This thing of beauty right here.

Was a splurge to say the least. But I don't wear foundation except on special occasions and I really wanted to invest in the best quality I could get my hands on. Major added points for sustainability.

Coming in beautiful minimal packaging, I was initially surprised by how heavy it was in my hands. Seriously, it felt like a paper weight.

I bought this cream foundation at the Detox Market and have used the shades Paper Thin and Weightless depending on how tanned my skin is.


Opening up the box to reveal gorgeous heavy, sleek metal compact. I mean it feels luxurious, like an armour for the precious formula inside.



The shade I have here is Weightless which is a new shade they released:



The other shades in the original line up are:

  • Lightness: The lightest KW foundation color for extremely fair skin tones with pink, olive or neutral undertones.

  • Like Porcelain: For fair skin with pink undertones.

  • Silken: For fair to medium skin tones with a yellow undertone.

  • Ethereal: For medium to fair skin, between Silken and Paper Thin - neutral in tone. 

  • Paper Thin: For fair to medium skin tones with pink undertones.

  • Just Sheer: A natural, warm beige for fair to medium skin tones with olive or golden undertones.

  • Illusion: A warm, honey shade for medium to medium dark skin with golden or olive undertones.

  • Velvety: For medium dark to dark skin tones with golden or olive undertones.

  • Transparent: For medium dark skin with warm undertones, a shade in between Velvety and Delicate

  • Delicate: The darkest KW foundation made for medium dark to dark skin tones, with a rich, golden undertone

I'm glad to see they have since added two more darker shades: flawless and perfection. I hope to see them add more shades for black skinned beauties.


Closer look at the ingredients:


Sweet almond seed oil*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Coconut oil*, Corn starch*, Beeswax*, Carnauba wax*, Jojoba seed oil*, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Non-GMO Vitamin E & may contain: Mica, ci 77891, ci 77491, ci 77492, ci 77499 (for colour).  *Certified Organic


Clean and Green. No major areas of concern there.


Coconut Oil can be comedogenic (pore clogging) but not everyone reacts the same. Some have no problem putting coconut oil on their face, others may find it causes acne. The best way to figure out how your skin may potentially react is to rub a little coconut oil on your chin and see what happens. If you, like me, know that you can wear coconut oil without concerns then this product should not be a problem at all.


HOW TO USE


First things first, before applying this product start with a clean canvas.

I washed my face with Cocoon Apothecary's Petal Perfect face wash, then toned, moisturized and used a facial oil I made. As this is a cream foundation, using a facial oil will help it blend in more smoothly.


To apply you can use a brush or a sponge but I recommend using your fingers. The cream warms up and applies like a dream (just make sure you wash your hands right before application!) During cold weather it's especially important to let the product warm up on your finger tips before applying.


It is highly blendable and you can use it as a light foundation or build it to full coverage. I like to use it as a concealer. It leaves a really smooth, velvety and semi-matte finish.


My skin type is dry, and despite the semi-matte description it leaves it with just a hint of dewiness, but not enough to need any kind of finishing powder. Seriously, this product is works as a foundation and concealer in one without any need to set with powder . If you have very oily skin, it's probably best to use a powder based foundation as opposed to cream. So the convenience of not having to use multiple products when I use this, is a big bonus.


The result


Gorgeous, smooth finish that still looks natural and allows skin to breathe. Longevity? from personal experience I found it lasts about 6-8 hours before it wears off (or rather, has been absorbed into the skin - another reminder that our skin literally eats everything you put on it)


What puts her a cut above:


Apart from the natural and organic ingredients that are safe enough to eat (but please don't) Kjaer Weis' products are 100% refillable. The beautiful sleek and luxurious silver metal cases are made in Italy, and meant to be re-used endlessly. You do pay a premium for the initial packaging, but the refills are more affordable and come in minimal biodegradable packaging. Plastic does not come near Kjaer Weis' products.


Where to purchase: Detox Market Canada, Detox Market USA.


In conclusion


When it comes to ultra-luxury green beauty, Kjaer Weis is at the very top of the line. And with her focus on sustainability, she is leading the Refill Revolution.

Now that's Beauty with purpose.


Serenely,


Paula

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  • Paula Gray

Updated: Jul 17, 2020



Have you been wanting to move away from plastic, noisy toys and create a more natural playroom that will nourish your children's senses, imagination and encourage higher engagement and creativity? Read more on the philosophy of why here


If you're new to these ideas, you've probably always known in the back of your head that plastic toys are no good. They are not only detrimental for the environment (likely ending up in a landfill somewhere) but also to your child's health - studies have also shown that they contain BPA, BPA, phthalates, and lead (especially if made in China). Even if plastic is BPA free, it still leaches harmful chemicals. Second hand plastic toys leach even higher levels of these chemicals and for young children who put everything in their mouths - this is very problematic.


Now before you run to your local toy store and buy up all the wooden toys you find, I want you to read the following very carefully: just because they are wooden does not mean they are developmentally nourishing, safe or ethical (ie: Melissa and Doug have been found to contain toxic metals and Janod uses plywood containing formaldehyde)

In fact, most of the wooden toys you'll find at your local box mall retailer are mass produced in factories by underpaid workers and have been found to contain all sorts of chemicals, dyes, leads and glues that you do NOT want in your home, and especially anywhere near your children. Furthermore, consider quality over quantity, keeping it simple and thoughtful, with creativity over consumerism in mind when building your collection.


Waldorf toys check many of these boxes, they are often ethically made in Europe using non-toxic paints, following Waldorf philosophy that emphasizes a holistic approach of engaging a child's senses, stimulating their minds and nurturing their imagination.

Some wonderful Waldorf toy shops that have been my go-tos over the years are nest.ca

avasappletree.ca (in Canada) sarahssilks.com and modernrascals.ca

Now you may be overwhelmed and awed with a new plethora of beautiful choices.

Well, here is my personal guide to where to start for ages 2-7, and remember - not all toys need to be bought :)


Top 5 must-haves for your Natural Playroom


1. Wooden Play Kitchen.

Young children learn through imitation and they love to imitate. A wooden play kitchen provides them with the opportunity to engage in imaginative pretend play. You can build your own or buy one. Camden Rose makes a gorgeous hardwood play kitchen, as does Drewart. We opted to have ours built by a local woodworker.

Tip: Add some pots, pans, wooden bowls and wooden utensils. These can be bought (we love the grimm's natural stacking bowls) or easily thrifted. As for food, you can make or buy some felted wool or crocheted fruits/veggies or simply let them use whatever they can find to keep it truly open-ended.


2. Building Blocks and Stacking Toys

The ultimate open-ended toy, blocks will provide your children with endless possibilities for creation and encourage both imagination and motor skills. Invest in a good set of blocks, something handmade using natural or non-toxic paints. You'll feel the difference in quality in the weight, feel and smell of quality made blocks. I highly recommend Grimm's Large Stepped Pyramid and add a complimentary set such as the 1001 Nights to add further play possibilities.

I know Wooden Stackers should have its own place on the list, but I just had to sneak them in here :) Grimm's Element Stackers (Water, Earth, Fire) and of course, the Giant Rainbow. These are all perfect for building, stacking and creating beautiful playscapes.


3. Wooden Figures

Provide a few good quality ,hand-carved wooden figures for small world play. Start with 4-5 and focus on a theme (ie, start with woodland animals, farm animals or storybook figures) You can slowly and thoughtfully add to your collection. Ostheimer is our favourite maker, but you can also find independent wooden toy makers on Etsy (just be sure to ask what kind of paints/polish they use). My children make up stories, move them around to create scenes and get lost for hours in their small world play. A definite essential that is played with everyday.


4. Play silks

One of the best and most portable natural toy you will have for your playroom are play silks. If you're not familiar with play silks, you will be amazed at their versatility and how much children love to play with them. They are used for everything from dress up making forts, flags, dancing, carrying dolls, making capes, creating scenes. They are so simple, innocent and truly magical. You purchase them (Sarah's Silks is a favourite) or easily make your own organically dyed play silks.


5. Wooden Table & Chairs

It doesn't get any simpler than this, but invest in a solid wooden table and chairs. This will be a focal point in their playroom. They will be able to draw, have pretend tea parties and meals etc. We found ours second hand, sanded it all down and applied a natural oil rub.


And there you have your basics for a wonderful natural playroom!


Want another 5 recommendations? I will be posting another guide soon to more ideas for how to create the perfect Waldorf-inspired playroom.


Serenely,


Paula





31 views0 comments
  • Paula Gray

Updated: Sep 21, 2020



Who am I? Who have I become? Why do I think or feel the way I do. The person I am today is not the person I was 10 years ago. And yet I am the same person. Did I change or merely evolve into who I am? Am I everything I want to be? These are all questions we wonder and readily seek answers to.


And in a lighthearted turn, perhaps you've tried a personality test.

Personality tests are fun, silly, oftentimes addictive. You know what I'm talking about: answer a few questions and your "type" is revealed, like some kind of oracle that shines insight into who you are, your traits and characteristics, strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes they are so ambiguous the results can be universally applicable, other times they can shock and surprise us with how accurately they describe our personalities.


One of the best personality tests I had taken to date was the well known and widely used Meyers-Briggs. Though not without its faults, I was astounded by the accuracy of my results. ENFP: Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Perceiving. People with this type of personality are often described as "enthusiastic, charismatic, and creative, charming, energetic, and independent. They are creative and do best in situations where they have the freedom to be creative and innovative". While this description definitely gave me warm and fuzzy feelings, it was really the weaknesses it described that really resonated with me and reminded me of my areas of potential growth. Armed with the knowledge of all that being an ENFP entailed, it gave me a greater sense of identity and self-awareness pertaining to the reasoning behind some of my own behaviours.


But, I'm not going to talk about the Meyers-Briggs test today, but a different personality test that's based on a far deeper and more holistic understanding of human nature and humanity.


The Enneagram


This is the mysterious and intriguing Enneagram, an ancient symbol found in art, geometry and alchemy.





Within the context of the Enneagram personality test: it is a system of nine-interconnected personality types mapped out on a nine-pointed diagram that illustrates how the types relate to each other. Each type is categorized into one of three intelligence centres that shape our way of being and is our primary method of perception, through head, heart or body.

We obviously have all three, but one is our dominant way of moving through the world (you know, feelers, thinkers and doers and the like)

The results are extraordinarily precise, and help you not only understand yourself but how your personality relates to others. The arrows indicate the direction we move during times of stress and growth.


For example: I am an Enneagram Type 4. Creative, romantic, self-aware and expressive.

4s are emotionally honest, creative, and personal, but can also be moody and self-conscious. At their Best: inspired and highly creative, they are able to renew themselves and transform their experiences.

  • Basic Fear: That they have no identity or personal significance

  • Basic Desire: To find themselves and their significance (to create an    identity)

To strive for growth, I should aspire to move in the direction of a healthy Type 1 and in times of stress, I tend to act like an unhealthy Type 2.


From enneagram worldwide:

Determining our personality type through the Enneagram does not put us in a box, but helps us see the box from which we experience the world. With this awareness, we can step outside of our limited perspective. Ideally, personality is an effective way to express ourselves, but challenges arise when our point of view becomes rigid and we get stuck in automatic habits. By discovering these unconscious patterns, we can lead more fulfilling lives, enjoy healthier relationships, and connect to our true essence.


The diagram itself indicates the pathways that each personality type tends to follow during shifts of awareness and behaviour in our daily lives. As we move around the circumference of the circle, our relationship to the Enneagram types on either side, known as wing points, further affects our type structure. The lines connecting the points show where energy flows in times of stress and security.


Intrigued yet? You can use the knowledge and wisdom of the Enneagram for spiritual and mental growth. Because it's far more than a personality test, it's a roadmap for an inward journey of self-growth, discovery and healing. Understanding, connecting and ultimately healing the innermost parts of your psyche and strengthening your ability to understand and relate to others.


Whether you take this test this out of curiosity or are craving deeper insight into who you are - the Enneagram can be used as a tool for self-growth and understanding, and a poignant reminder that although we are each individual - one of a kind beings with our own unique narratives and histories - we are all connected and we need to celebrate our uniqueness while understanding it within the broader context of how we relate and connect with others.


So what's your number? Take the Enneagram Test


And to dive deeper:


For further inspiration, "Sleeping at last" wrote a song for each of the Enneagram types and listening to the song dedicated to YOU is guaranteed to hit you right in the feels.


Listen to them here.


(from the song "Four")










Serenely,


Paula

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