The first time I tried RMS Beauty products (“living luminizer,” “lip2cheek” and “smile,” to be specific), a coworker immediately noticed a difference: She said I looked fresh that morning, yet she saw no traces of makeup.
That invisible yet healthy effect is a signature of RMS Beauty and has made it a “cult” brand for women who prefer organic beauty products, says vice president for operations Elaine Sack. With rave reviews online and on social media, this “green” brand encourages women to reveal their healthy skin, not cover it. “It’s about reviving your youthful glow and letting that shine through, rather than concealing with layers of chemicals,” says Sack.
Organic and nontoxic, RMS Beauty cosmetics are made of raw, food-grade ingredients that are actually good for you. The chief component in most of them is pure coconut oil. Add to that beeswax, jojoba oil and many other organic ingredients, and you’ve got what RMS founder and creator Rose Marie Swift calls “skin care with healing nutrients and mineral color, ingredients that nourish the skin.”
Swift says her cosmetics line is formulated to be as pure as possible. An accomplished and sought-after makeup artist with 35 years of experience, Swift works with celebrities including Gisele Bündchen, Zoe Saldana, Miranda Kerr, Tilda Swinton and Demi Moore. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and most major fashion magazines, and in countless designer ads. But after major health issues led to tests that revealed toxic levels of metals and chemicals in her body—the same toxins present in makeup—Swift changed course and followed a personal path to create a clean beauty brand in 2009. “My goal was to elevate the green standards of the time and offer healthy, clean, fashion-forward, high-quality makeup that is good for your body,” she says.
I owe much of my clean makeup glow these days to the company’s addictive and bestselling living luminizer, an easy-to-apply, silky highlighter with a pearl finish that seems to sink right in. With 100 other products in the line, including six lip-to-cheek products and 10 new lipsticks, Sack says the goal is to avoid exhaustive choices by offering only the best. All have Swift’s stamp of approval.
Swift prefers to use fingers to tap cosmetics onto the skin, and she encourages women to mix colors together. Her products are known for being easy on and off, without sticky, greasy or glittery residue. The line seems particularly suited to older skin, since instead of sitting on and accentuating wrinkles, the products melt into the skin for a dewy look.
The raw ingredient factor allows the products’ living ingredients to penetrate and rejuvenate the skin. “The enzymes, vitamins, antioxidants and their healing properties remain fully intact, with potential for antiaging effects,” says Swift. Products are free of harmful chemicals, synthetic preservatives, synthetic vitamins and genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).
Swift first created the RMS Beauty brand at a cosmetics lab in Summerville, South Carolina, where she met and partnered with Sack. The company now sources from labs across the United States, but the brand’s operations, marketing, product development and distribution is based in Charleston.
RMS products suddenly seem everywhere, popping up on favorite shopping sites due to collaborations with Madewell, Anthropologie and J. Crew. They are available in 400 stores globally, and locally at Out of Hand and Stox & Co. in Mount Pleasant, at Colur Studios and Pink Dot Beauty Bar downtown, and at Blue Mercury on Kiawah Island.
It’s a big brand from a small company right here in South Carolina. For more information visit rmsbeauty.com.
M.S. Lawrence, a writer and journalist, lives in Charleston.