The Danish beauty market has long emphasized the importance of a less-is-more aesthetic, embracing natural ingredients like the complexion-boosting potential of acai years before the berry became de rigueur in breakfast bowls, and elegant if efficient packaging. (No surprise, as this is the same country from which design geniuses such as Arne Jacobsen, Georg Jensen, and Hans Wegner hailed.)
While many of these cosmetic companies have yet to make waves stateside—save one all-day moisturizing lip balm that goes on white but leaves a matte, almost-powdery finish—that’s about to change. Boutique brands are churning out coffee-infused eye oils; display worthy dry brushes; subtle self-tanners meant to blend in, not stand out; and more. As the fashion flock eyes the latest sartorial creations the City of Spires has to offer next week, here’s a look at a few of the great Danes of skin care and makeup.
The minimalist-minded Frama offers terrazzo T-shaped tables and geometric brass lamps, but its apothecary collection, made in Copenhagen from natural ingredients, may be the design studio’s standout (not to mention a current Ssense darling). There are a refillable softening hand wash and sepia-hued lotion scented with sandalwood, cedarwood, and ylang-ylang that are housed in Italian glass bottles, as well as an innovative diffuser set containing nine Korean red soil spheres.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a Dane who doesn’t stock her medicine cabinet with Rudolph Care, a Copenhagen-based skin-, sun-, and hair-care line, which boasts both a Nordic Ecolabel and a COSMOS-certified stamp of approval. Standouts from the 11-year-old label include the award-winning Açai Facial Oil, an antioxidant-packed treatment scented with a hint of the Brazilian rain forest; the Herbal Mint Shampoo, a nourishing wash that strengthens hair while soothing the scalp; and A Hint of Summer, a subtle self-tanner for the face and body designed to mix well with your skin-care products.
Founded in Copenhagen in 1999 by former model Mette Skjaerbaek, Karmameju has long been committed to organic skin care. The line has many heavy hitters (a multipurpose calming balm; a redness-reducing face mist; a three-in-one micellar water that cleanses, tones, and hydrates), but the real star is undoubtedly its collection of dry brushes, which is already a favorite exfoliating tool for the CAP crowd. Crafted in Germany from sustainably sourced beechwood and natural bristles, the brushes look just as good as they feel.
Helmed by four Copenhagen locals (including former Ganni PR exec, Helene Skytte), Woods is the latest Danish beauty brand turning up on the vanities of Scandinavian It girls (and boys!)—and with good reason: the unisex line relies on organic ingredients found in fjords and forests for its vegan fan-favorites, such as a daily lightweight cream and intensive moisturizing mask. Consider the new hand-care trio (a wash, lotion, and scrub infused with volcanic grains) a seasonal must.
“It should be easy and simple to look good—in no time,” believes Tromborg founder and makeup artist Marianne Tromborg. Now, 17 years after its launch, the natural skin-care and cosmetics line has become a Danish It girl staple, thanks to its commitment to simplicity, purity, and science. And while perhaps best known for its Lip Cure, there are plenty of other products to note, namely the Enrichment Leave On Mask, a high-performance anti-aging treatment, and the Baked Mineral Silk, a light and luminous Champagne-hued pigment favored by Saks Potts’s Barbara Potts and Cathrine Saks.
Raaw By Trice
Copenhagen-born Trice Christiansen suffered from eczema her entire life, but when a move to New York set it off worse than ever before, she became determined to cure it once and for all. Diving headfirst into the world of holistic medicine, she launched Raaw By Trice. What began with only one “miracle” oil quickly turned into a successful line—rooted in the principles of Scandinavian simplicity—of 100 percent natural facial oils, creams, and one coffee-seed infused eye serum beloved by the street style superstar Pernille Teisbaek.