We sat down with Rose-Marie Swift, the founder of organic make-up and skincare range rms Beauty who's at the forefront of natural innovations, to learn a thing or two about her down-to-earth approach to beauty. Spoiler alert: less is more.
When did you start the rms beauty range?
I started working on it about 12 years ago, but the range has been out now for eight years.
I actually never planned to have a make-up brand; I was just fooling around with different products and then doing so much work with Victoria’s Secret.
I was getting so annoyed about how things were photographing on their skin, and it made me want to create something that didn’t look so fake and cheap. I started with putting jojoba oil on the girls, and then kept building on that and it just took off.
How did you get to where you are now? Have you always wanted to be a make-up artist and launch your own line?
No! I never wanted to be a make-up artist. It was a complete fluke.
When I was a kid I was obsessed with the old movie stars and copied their looks on my sisters.
One day my sister introduced me to a guy that owned hotels with professional dancers and he wanted the girls to look better and for me to teach them make-up.
With me being an Aquarius I naturally agreed (even though I had no training) and it snowballed from there.
I then started buying in a label free cosmetic line in Vancouver at the time, buying cheaper colored cosmetics and selling them to the dancers to use.
The guy that owned that cosmetics company one day had a photo shoot that he couldn’t do it so he asked me.
Again, I said yes – not knowing then that it was for a very famous Scandinavian model that had got the exclusive Vancouver Magazine cover.
It did so well, and all the photographers started asking who I was, then work kept coming from there.
I’ve had a lot of lucky breaks, believe me!
What’s your beauty philosophy?
Less is more! To me, the most gorgeous creature in the world was Audrey Hepburn, and she didn’t have all that make-up all over her face – she had a good lip and brow and worked with what she had.
Instagram make-up is a fantasy! It’s a place for girls to escape and be who they want through an app and a dozen filters unfortunately.
Although there’s a lot of creativity there, it’s just a mask that’s actually just being copied from what drag queens do – making gorgeous girls look very masculine.
Eyebrows are also being extremely overdone and are making girls look hard and mean with such heavy-handed application.
I definitely think women should work with what they have. The skin moves, and it breathes and we’re just clogging it up and blocking the whole life energy of the skin.
In my opinion skin is sensual and to cover it up is completely going in the wrong direction.
What defines your brand?
It’s defined by the fact that it’s not loaded with chemicals – and the chemical industry, especially in cosmetics, is getting exposed big time.
I’m known for my mouth and speaking the truth about what’s in our make-up and skincare, and people like me for that and know they’re getting the real deal with rms.
I don’t even let our labs buy the ingredients, I source it all myself because I don’t trust them.
Of course they have to approve it, but I know where everything comes from and I know exactly what’s been done to it.
I also buy all my own minerals so I know I’m getting the best, as well as the coconut oil I use.
A lot of people don’t know, but highest level of lauric acid is in coconut oil, which is highly antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and antimicrobial which is what’s really healing.
Another thing you don’t hear is that cold centrifuged coconut oil is the best for us, not cold pressed like you may have heard more about.
In a nutshell, cold-pressed coconut oil has still been heated, and when heat is used it lessens the benefits of the lauric acid. The reason you don’t hear so much about cold centrifuged coconut oil is that it’s expensive and time consuming, hence why larger companies don’t use it.
For someone who hasn’t tried your products before, what three products would you recommend they start with?
Well, the skin is the biggest organ so I’d recommend something very simple like our coconut oil to cleanse their skin, followed by our amazing luminiser for that instant light reflective glow.
The luminiser is definitely my cult product and works for everyone, and also our beauty oil was just picked as one of the 10 best beauty oils in the industry in Japan - so that one too!
Words: Elise Wilson