Can you please share with the AILLEA audience a little background about yourself, both personally and professionally?
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. We were brought up with a focus on health, learning how to both grow our food and to cook it. Those good eating habits were ingrained in me at a young age.
I was also exposed to fashion and beauty at a very young age, because my mother was a fashion designer. She specialized in custom wedding and evening gowns, and she was very well-known among the wealthy ladies in Vancouver. As a little girl, I was obsessed with my mother’s red lipstick tube and her powder with the white marabou feathers overflowing from the jar, always sitting on her vanity. When I was in my late teens, my sister became an esthetician and she decided that I should become a makeup artist. I thought, “sure, why not?” I loved fashion and beauty. I had an eye, I figured I could fake it– and I did. I never went to makeup school, and I think that enhanced my career. In my experience, makeup school teachers aren’t familiar with editorial makeup, so they teach a very dated approach to application. This tends to curb an artist’s creativity and personal vision.
In my twenties, my makeup journey took me from Vancouver to Toronto 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 industries, and to 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 it didn’t quite satisfy a mysterious inner drive that I was feeling.
What was your inspiration when initially launching the RMS Beauty brand?
When I created RMS Beauty, I wasn’t focused on being the most successful brand out there, but wanted to create a brand that had integrity and was healthy. After all those years working with fashion and make-up, 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. And believe me, I know first-hand the price our health can pay in the pursuit of beauty.
I realized the need for skin care and color cosmetics that are as pure as possible, and that create a solid foundation for anti-aging and long-term beauty. At the time, I had no real choice but to create a brand myself, with the highest standard for clean beauty. Now the whole world is embracing the movement and I am so happy that my brand is one of the pioneers.
Why was creating a conscious beauty brand important to you?
In my late thirties, I was in NYC and got very sick. I suffered from a multitude of symptoms that baffled traditional medical practitioners. So I took things into my own hands and did some intensive blood, urine and hair analysis. The lab handed me back my results and the technician said, “Do you work in the cosmetic industry?” That was my big wake-up call. When I thought back, it became clear that the chemicals in cosmetics were contributing to my health issues.
In 2004, I created a website called Beauty Truth which exposed some of the myths and questionable ingredients used in the beauty industry.
I continued to educate myself on this issue and I began researching how to develop cleaner cosmetics for the models I worked with. RMS Beauty evolved out of all of this, and as it did, my mysterious inner drive to do something beyond makeup artistry was satisfied.
What is your personal favorite RMS Beauty product?
Living Luminizer: Nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to the elegant sophistication of this dewy, light-reflecting glow–without that cheap glitter look. I like to add this instant youthful highlight wherever the face is elevated...cheek bones, brow bone, center of the eyelid just above the lashes, bow of the lips, and down the bridge of the nose to lengthen and slim it. For evening, it’s beautiful on the shoulders, along collar bones and even on the knuckles.
UnCoverup Concealer: Blends beautifully into a silky second skin, going on so smoothly and covering imperfections and redness, without caking or drying. It can be used as a concealer, a tinted moisturizer ( when used with the RMS Beauty Oil ), or as a heavier foundation by layering it with UnCoverup Cream Foundation. It’s won so many awards, beauty editors call it “the Meryl Streep of concealers.”
Beauty Oil: Works wonders on every part of the skin and helps heal and ease most skin problems quickly. It’s loaded with some of the best antioxidant, enzyme and vitamin-rich properties, as well as adaptogenic herbs that balance the skin. This product contains no water, and no heat was used in production–when it comes to oils, this is one of the purest souls out there.
Can you share any pro tips for how to use your favorite product? Or for any of the products within the RMS Beauty line?
Here’s one of my favorite little tips: apply Living Luminzer directly on any dark, under-eye circle (just on the darker area, not the whole under eye area) then add UnCoverUp on top. This minimizes darkness and gives a similar result to the YSL Touche Eclat, without the drying effect.
For blush application, never apply below the nostril line. Adding it too low on the cheeks pulls the face down -- Gisele called it a “puppy dog face.” Applying the blush higher lifts the face (especially for mature women). This technique works wonders and really gives a more youthful appearance to the face–mark my words.
And for lashes, I like to apply a heavier application to the root of the lashes. This makes the lashes look much thicker and then you can work the wand up to the tips. This way you don’t have a heaviness on the ends of the lashes, which can look dry. It can also make the lashes fall due to excess weight on the ends.
What are some of the hero ingredients featured in the RMS Beauty line?
I’m a stickler for super-high quality ingredients. I research and choose every single one myself, to make sure it’s the highest quality. Some of my unique and signature skin-loving ingredients include wildcrafted buriti oil, Vitamin E that is not synthetic, vegetable squalane, my blend of 9 adaptogenic herbs that balance, soothe and hydrate the skin. Our latest product launches include some really cool, cutting-edge ingredients like Tightenyl(TM), which is a safe, natural alternative to retinol that firms and tones the skin. It’s in the ReEvolve Primer and our new ReEvolve Natural Finish Foundation.
Are you launching any new products soon? Can you share any details with the AILLEA audience?
We just launched our highly anticipated ReEvolve Natural Finish Liquid Foundation. And OMG let me tell you this is an incredible product. It has skin-care infused, anti-aging ingredients and just gives the skin a beautiful, natural-looking satin finish that still looks like skin. You’ll wear it every day. And I am super excited for what's to come in 2023...you’ll just have to wait to find out!
As a makeup artist, you have worked with so many incredible artists - are there any fun on-the-job stories that you can share?
I have to say, most of my jobs were fantastic and I loved pretty well all of them. I was in excellent company with like minded people such as Gisele and Miranda Kerr, so that alone made each job an awesome experience.
What are your favorite non-RMS Beauty products or brands at AILLEA?
I love both Josh Rosebrook and One Love Organics as well as ILIA for color.