This month Kalumi chats with Rose-Marie Swift, the woman behind our favorite organic makeup line, RMS beauty! Rose-Marie is not afraid to share her raw, un-filtered views on the health and beauty industries. Her passion and eagerness to educate her followers on the importance of health has positioned her as a trusted leader in the natural beauty space. In this interview, Rose-Marie shares the inspiration behind starting her company as well as her STRICTLY AVOID list and beauty tips. Oh and did we mention she is the preferred makeup artist of supermodels? Trust us, MUST READ.
Rose-Marie and Bella Hadid
Where are you from? What was your childhood like?
I was born in the '50s in West Vancouver, Canada, the eldest of three girls, into a very green environment close to mountains, forests and fresh, clean air. My first obsession with beauty was my mother's red lipstick tube and her powder with white Marabou feathers overflowing from the jar always sitting on her vanity. She was a fashion designer by trade so I was exposed to fashion and beauty at a very young age. When I was in my late teens, my sister decided to become an esthetician and she decided I should become a makeup artist. Sure, why not? I loved fashion and beauty. I had an eye, I could fake it—and I did. I never went to makeup school, and to this day I still don't recommend it to anyone. In my experience, makeup schools tend to have teachers that aren't familiar with editorial makeup and teach a very dated approach to application. You also tend to lose your creativity and your natural eye learning that way.
Making young, gorgeous models even more beautiful took me from Vancouver to Toronto in my twenties where I did all that I could do career-wise in Canada. From there I went to Europe and lived in Hamburg, Paris, Berlin and London. I am very fortunate to have worked with some of the biggest names in the beauty and fashion industry and have traveled all over the world; but somehow I never really took makeup artistry seriously. It was fun to be creative and it paid nicely, but didn't seem to quite satisfy some mysterious inner discontent.
Rose-Marie and her Mother, 1950's
What inspired your health journey and mission to share the importance of health with everyone?
After many years in the fashion and make-up industry, I’ve learned a lot about the impact of daily exposure to chemicals in beauty care products. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t live up to its promises. I see the results of taking a quick-fix approach to looking good. I know first-hand the price our health can pay in the pursuit of beauty. I realized that what women need are skin care, color cosmetics and toiletries that are as pure as possible, lines that create a solid foundation for anti-aging and long-term beauty. Skin is a living organism, it breathes, interacts, and absorbs information from everything it encounters. It’s in constant communication with the environment. Without healthy skin, we are vulnerable to the effects of everything we encounter. Unfortunately, it is still believed that the skin acts as a barrier to the outside world, blocking out whatever was applied to it. We now know that what we put on the skin can be absorbed in the skin and in some circumstances into the bloodstream. You only need to look to medical patches, anti-smoking patches and hormone replacement patches for proof. My background as an advocate for cleaner cosmetics came when my own health deteriorated years ago and thru my research I realized many of the chemicals that were in my body were also found throughout the beauty industry. I started studying ingredient labels in depth and the extent of the use of unregulated chemical ingredients (sorry to inform you but the FDA does not regulate our beauty industry... It is self-regulated by the actual people that are adding all these ingredients and deeming them safe). In fact, many ingredients are downright harmful. Some ingredients, like phthalates found in synthetic fragrances and nail polishes, are known to disrupt the hormone system, and are a factor in reproductive diseases and breast cancer. Sadly, the list of harmful ingredients in your personal care products is long – and we continue to use them daily. I am honestly trying to educate every woman to be more aware of not just what they put on their skin, but also what they put in their bodies.
RMS beauty essentials
I realized I had to create something that breaks away from traditional cosmetics on the market as well as the pack of so-called natural cosmetics that are already available. RMS Beauty is the first makeup of its kind to really live up to the true word “ORGANIC.” It is becoming both an inspiration and example of a new direction the beauty industry is taking. “Chemicals are redefining what beauty is in today’s cosmetic industry, and that is not acceptable.” I am passionate about creating ‘healthy’ beauty for over 20 years, which led to RMS Beauty, the first truly organic cosmetic line combining healthy ingredients with unparalleled luxury and elevating it far beyond the “green” standard.
I also suggest the readers have a look at my www.beautytruth.com site I wrote back in 2004 exposing some of the myths and truths about the cosmetic industry. The beauty truth website paved my way to creating my line RMS Beauty.
Photo cred: Montecristo Magazine
We are huge fans of your organic makeup line, RMS beauty. Why do you believe it has been such a success?
The whole so-called green industry is a success because women are waking up and realizing that the chemical soup they are bathing their bodies in isn’t cutting it anymore.
Olivia Wilde with her RMS Luminizer
What does the beauty routine of a world renowned / celebrity makeup artist involve? Could you share some of your famous beauty/makeup tips with us?
The skin is a mirror to the gut so whatever is going on internally usually will show on the face. First of all to achieve beautiful skin you have to eat organic food, daily probiotics, digestive enzymes and chlorella tablets (chlorella helps to detox the body of heavy metals and is loaded with protein). I clean my skin with only coconut oil (please note: not just any coconut oil…there are so many qualities out there that education on that is a must). I have never used a cleansing cosmetic product on my skin. I just clean it with coconut oil and filtered water. Less is more. OH…and lots of pure water, fresh air, exercise and being happy. Most important of all is eating healthy which is always on top of my list. Organic vegetables and fruit as well as plenty of pure water are a recipe for good health and skin. Today’s Standard American Diet (SAD) is made up of over-processed food, synthetic sweeteners and food additives. Nothing beats straight simple clean food (think farm to table).
RMS beauty raw coconut cream here
Always clean your makeup off properly. Never go to bed with your makeup on. Those nasty synthetic chemicals and alcohols will ruin your skin, dry out the eye lashes and delicate skin around the eyes and cause premature aging. Do not get into that habit.
Do not drink diet soda or even sodas for that matter. I warn all of the models I work with to stay away from it. Nothing makes my stomach churn more than when I see any young person drinking soda pop. I have definitely seen a correlation between skin and sodas: the models addicted to diet sodas all have bad skin – and if they don’t yet, then they will as they get older as well as major health problems
Do not eat processed fast food… EVER.
Do not smoke if you want good skin. It robs the skin of everything including vitamins and gives you wrinkles (mostly around the mouth). You know, when you’re young it doesn’t show as much, but it really catches up to you when you get older so prevention definitely pays off. You will regret the damage you have done to yourself when you are older, believe me! The solution, to pollution, is dilution – so drink lots of water to flush toxins out of the body. Our environment is full of them in this day and age. Remember, you wear your skin for the rest of your life.
Rose-Marie and Giselle Bunchen
What does beauty mean to you?
Trick question, I will go the simple route on this one… My beauty philosophy will always be "less is more." In the era of YouTube and Instagram, being overly made-up is alive and well, but in reality (and natural light) that amount of makeup is not a desirable look by any means. Skin needs to breathe with products that work synergistically with the skin rather than covered in synthetic chemicals. Nothing is more unflattering than a mature woman piling on tons of makeup trying to recapture her youth.
We know you are a firm believer that ‘beauty starts from within’. Can you share any dietary tips you may have? What foods you love or strictly avoid?
I am a huge advocate of probiotics. I believe the skin is a mirror to your “gut” so in order to keep ones intestinal flora in check from over growth of bad bacteria these good bacteria’s are a must for good skin. I am launching a probiotic as well as a digestive enzyme nearly next year that are geared to skin and women’s diet.
We know you are incredibly picky when it comes to what you put in and on your body (as we all should be!). Tell us why you love Kalumi BEAUTYfood?
I’ve always believed that your skin glows from within. I love Kalumi BEAUTYfood because they make me feel great and they taste amazing!
This month, Kalumi has teamed up with RMS beauty to offer an amazing gift with purchase bundle which includes a Kalumi BEAUTYfood variety bag, a mini translucent “un” power, and a deluxe beauty oil sample with your purchase. Head to RMS beauty to get your natural beauty on!
Click here to shop Rose-Marie's favorite Kalumi BEAUTYfood flavor, Cocoa kiss for a healthy treat that will keep you nourished and glowing naturally!