In the beginning of every new year, the noise about health and detox is enough to make you want to put on noise-canceling headphones (or maybe eat a large fudge brownie out of rebellion). But when I meet someone who understands the science behind natural beauty and starts sentences with “You want to know something Gisele [Bündchen] taught me?,” I listen. Makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift, a favored makeup artist of Mario Sorrenti and Mert and Marcus, and who shares joint-dog-custody with Miranda Kerr, is the founder of the raw-coconut-oil-based, all-natural brand called RMS Beauty. Because she can actually explain the scientific benefits of coconut oil and has created one of the best face highlighters of all time, I spoke to Swift over a morning green juice to learn more about her take on wellness, green sprouts, and the importance of a “life force” in cosmetics.
When did your fascination with wellness start?
Ever since I was 15, when I started fasting intuitively. I didn’t know what I was doing. I would start my fasts with Camembert cheese and French bread, so that would really screw me up. I would just fast because I intuitively thought I had to get all of this stuff out of my body.
I did notice when I fasted, my skin would appear brighter. My whole face would lift. Unfortunately, with fasting, when you get older you have to be really careful. Like if I were to do it now, my face would fall because I’m too old. Fasting when you get to be my age is not good, just because the skin doesn’t have as much elasticity.
Whatever is going on in your gut shows on your face. You want to know how to cure acne? Probiotics by the megadose! I met a girl at ABC Kitchen and she had acne all over her face. Somehow it came up that I was a makeup artist and I told her these probiotics to get. She wrote me the other day, saying, Oh my God, you’ve saved my life. My skin is a million times better. There’s hardly anything left. But I told her that you’ve got to take megadoses; you’ve got to fix that whole intestinal tract. We’re all eating crap food!
What’s a “non-crap” breakfast that’s good for you?
I used to do a lot of green juicing. I would mix it all together and think, I need to deviate from this; I’m not getting fiber. My morning green drink contains coconut kefir, organic sprouts, pea sprouts, buckwheat, an organic apple, organic grapes, Pure Synergy green powder, and a banana. Usually, I wouldn’t have any fruit in it, but then you guys would go, Blegh. With the grapes in here, you get, obviously, your [resveratrol], the antioxidants and stuff, but you also get all this fiber.
One of the big issues we have is with fiber because nobody poops properly. And even if they do, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s proper; there’s still impacted fecal matter, it’s called (sorry, guys). But just wait to see what happens to you tomorrow! There’s more nutrients in sprouts than any other thing.
Where do you get the sprouts?
Greenmarket, from the farmers! The dog even loves this stuff. She knows what’s good for her. She’s a raw-food dog. In New York, there are big farmers’ markets everywhere and [the food] tastes so different. Their food is so much better. So you see a few little bug holes in your stuff, so what?
How did you get started in the makeup industry?
I actually never wanted to be a makeup artist. I completely faked it. I still don’t want to be a makeup artist. I like doing my line. I’d rather do my line than go around and do makeup. I find it too stressful. But I was the lead singer of a punk band called Insects. We were backing up the Ramones and I wanted to buy a microphone — a really cool one. I thought, How am I going to make money? My sister, at the time, was learning to be an aesthetician and she knew a guy who owned hotels. In these hotels, they had strippers! And he asked my sister, “Would you teach my girls to take care of their skin?” My sister said, “Why don’t you do their makeup?” We did a little strippers’ convention! All the strippers came cruising in, really to ridicule us, like, Who do these two chickies think they are? But my sister and I were pretty cool and groovy, so they loved us right away. I had all this makeup I bought from a label-free company called Bourjois (not the Bourjois that’s out now). I had no business license, but I sold it to the strippers. The company liked me, and [they] were shooting a magazine with a famous model from Sweden. I painted makeup on her and just kept getting jobs from there.
How did you start RMS Beauty?
I didn’t want to create a line; I’m lazy. I started writing for the BeautyTruth site, talking about all the chemicals in the cosmetics industry. And doing that, I actually got more work. It lifted me up to somebody who had something to say. When I started writing for the site, everybody said, Well, what should we use? I started looking at the pseudo-green lines that were out at the time, and was just like, This isn’t a green brand! I wanted to do something that was raw food, and this is where this came up. And before I knew it I had a makeup line.
When you eat pure, living, life-force food, it does energize your body. And when you’re eating dead food, it doesn’t. If you’re using dead cosmetics on your skin, you’re not getting any nutrients. You need those live enzymes and antioxidants that are living and giving a charge and life force to you. It’s like eating a French fry as opposed to an organic green salad. Cosmetics work the same way; the skin wants to have that vibration.