Summary: My mom and I tested RMS Beauty to see how the products fared on skin nearly thirty years apart. We have distinct skin tones, so we were particularly interested in the shades that the brand claims are “universal.” We were both impressed with the overall quality and performance of the makeup, particularly with the natural feel and look we were able to achieve. The colors were versatile and blendable, making it possible to wear shades neither of us would have necessarily chosen on our own. We were particularly impressed with how the products were moisturizing without feeling or appearing greasy. We both enthusiastically recommend RMS Beauty for any age!

Pros:

  • Products are made with raw, food grade, certified organic, wildcrafted and naturally derived ingredients, and the brand is Credo compliant for the highest quality clean beauty.
  • Packaging is made at least in part from recycled or recyclable materials, and the brand is cruelty free.
  • The colors of these products were incredible: Even the Eyelights, which when swatched appear to be so highly pigmented and almost metallic that neither of us thought we would possibly ever use it again. And now we are sharing joint custody of this little tube because we loved it so much!
  • Everything is very blendable and we were both able to create a standout but not over-the-top look according to our preferences.
  • The products have no fragrance and feel comfortable, wearing beautifully throughout the day. Neither of us experienced any irritation or noticed inconsistencies of the makeup against our skin. It looks just as good in hour eight as it did right after application.

Cons:

  • Application of the Uncoverup, Lip2Cheek, and Eyelights require a touch more time and patience than either of us prefers.
  • Lip2Cheek is better for cheeks, and lacked the glide and moisture we both prefer for our lips.
  • The Super Natural Radiance Serum only has three shades that might not work as well for skin tones that are right on the border between them. It was a bit dark for us both, but the lighter shade would be far too light for my mom.

I have always admired my mother’s taste. As I grew up and began to explore more adult looks and styles, I helped myself to her closet, jewelry, and beauty products. My mom was always pretty gracious about my sticky fingers, so I’ve tried to return the favor in my adult years, especially when I’ve lived out of state and she’s come to visit. (Nothing makes packing easier than knowing if you forget anything, you can just shop your host’s closet!) But my mom is definitely more of a trendsetter than I am, and she is usually several steps ahead of me on brands, particularly beauty. So I was over the moon at the chance to do a makeup review together for a brand we’ve both heard about but haven’t tried.

“RMS Beauty is a clean beauty brand launched by master makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift in 2009 –– making her a pioneer of the clean beauty movement.”

RMS Beauty is a clean beauty brand launched by master makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift in 2009 — making her a pioneer of the clean beauty movement. With decades of experience in the beauty industry, Swift felt that traditional makeup could be improved with cleaner, safer ingredients that would not only be better for our bodies, but would actually look better too (no irritants that dry or break out our skin!). Cleaner, quality products made with health at the forefront means that RMS products never contain parabens, gluten, synthetic fragrances, GMOs, sulfate, phthalates, talc, and over 2700 more banned ingredients. The brand is committed to transparent sustainability, and the products are manufactured at GMP-certified facilities to ensure FDA-quality approval. They are never tested on animals, and the packaging is made from glass, post-consumer recycled plastic, and shipped in cartons made of at least 80% FSC-certified recycled paper, manufactured with wind energy, and made with vegetable ink.

While the brand maintains a strong foothold in clean beauty, it stands apart in a few ways that both my mom and I noticed instantly. The colors for their products are bold and vibrant, with signature lip shades designed to stand out, resembling tropical fruit more than what I would call “natural” lip colors. Their eye shadows come in polishes and creams rather than pressed powders, with swatches that look like precious metals.

“The most distinct aspect of the RMS Beauty brand is perhaps Rose-Marie Swift herself.”

But the most distinct aspect of the RMS Beauty brand is perhaps Rose-Marie Swift herself. It was Swift’s charming, vivacious how-to videos on Instagram that first hooked both me and my mom. We loved the down-to-earth way she delivered expert-level advice on how to apply her makeup, but honestly, I could listen this woman talk about her grocery list — she is simply a delight! Though the makeup is not targeting a particular age, many of her videos discuss how to use each product on older skin, addressing common changes like less lip pigmentation, under-eye pouches, and thinner brows. And throughout these videos, Swift never sounds anti-aging or fearful, but rather like a knowledgeable and friendly person who can help you adapt your makeup routine to the natural stages of growing older. Love this! 

We spent a few afternoons playing with several products, and wore our looks out on errands, around the house, and then to a hot, outdoor Memorial Day party. We chose a range of products, including some of their best-sellers like the UnCoverup Concealer, Legendary Serum Lipstick, and a tube of Eyelights Cream Eyeshadow.

We chose hues that were considered either a brand favorite or “universal” for all skin types and tones. My mom’s skin is warmer with yellow undertones and mine is several shades paler, and cool to neutral. We both have drier skin and fine, barely-there eyebrows. Would RMS products be versatile enough for both of our needs? Would the same Lip2Cheek shade “Beloved” be as lovely on both of us? And was it remotely possible for the Eyelights shade “Strobe” to somehow be flattering and not just a great base for a Tin Man costume? The people (my mom and me) had to know!


UnCoverup Concealer, shades 22 and 11.5 | $39

I was most excited to test out this one, despite the fact that I don’t tend to use concealer much. I always prefer whatever tinted-all-over skincare thing is on offer that doesn’t require any skill or artistry to apply. But living in the South, where Rose-Marie herself also lives, I knew a few local friends and influencers who had come across the makeup IRL in the wild as far back as 2016, and they all uniformly raved about this product.

This multitasking concealer is lightweight but not sheer, very buildable, and with a skin-like finish that I instantly noticed. The website says the “3-in-1 concealer, color corrector and tinted moisturizer covers dark circles, blemishes, and redness,” and both my mom and I can enthusiastically endorse this statement as true!

We aren’t beauty blender people, opting instead to just pat the product onto our skin using our fingers (I’m sure a beauty blender would work for those of you who might not want to finger paint with your makeup!). My mom said it was easy to apply and blend, and she felt pleased with the general effect. She targeted some sunspots and felt that the coverage was seamless and felt moisturizing on her normally dry skin.

I tried two application techniques: blending it with a beauty oil (I used my beloved glow serum from Merit) with a brush to create a tinted moisturizer effect, and the finger dabbing method. The oil and brush method produced a kind of wash that was nice but didn’t cover up my redness, sunspots, or pores. I thought dabbing it with my finger would be tedious, since the concealer has a kind of textural quality that is close to a potted lip balm and just shy of tacky. But I was surprised to find I much preferred the results of this application. The concealer had a shockingly natural finish. I don’t usually use concealers because I’ve never been able to spot-treat certain areas of my face without feeling like the difference between the makeup and my bare skin was too noticeable. But that’s exactly what I was able to do with the UnCoverup concealer.

Using the pad of my ring finger, I dabbed a bit of concealer on my cheeks, around my nose where the pores are largest, and under my eyes. And it truly blended perfectly in both shade and texture to the rest of my skin. I still can’t believe it! I barely used any of the product to achieve this result. I completely understand why all those women were raving about this product. I’m joyfully joining their ranks.


Super Natural Radiance Serum, Medium Aura | $48

This was my mom’s pick, because she’s always on the lookout for an affordable all-in-one skin makeup with SPF to replace the one she loves the most, which is on the *ahem* pricier side of Sephora. It’s been her white whale! The Super Natural Radiance Serum has a broad spectrum SPF 30 from mineral zinc oxide, but has zero white cast. Combined with trademarked GlowPlex, a complex of natural peptides like quinoa seed extract and pea extract, plus niacinamide to smooth the appearance of pores and fine lines while hydrating the skin, this serum looked like the dream!

Let’s start with what we loved: The texture was true perfection. Lightweight but moisturizing, it felt like a nourishing cream. Unfortunately, the serum only comes in three shades, and my mom’s UnCoverup shade was just on the line between the Light and Medium Aura, and the Medium was just a bit too dark. Since the lighter shade was described as “an ultra sheer champagne,” we knew it wouldn’t be a match for her. It was a bummer, but maybe as the summer wears on she’ll be able to use it more as she gets sunkissed.


Lip2Cheek, Beloved | $36

The Lip2Cheek product is a multitasking lip and cheek cream with all the heavy hitters from the natural moisturizing hall of fame: Coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter blended up with castor seed oil and beeswax makes for a rich, slightly waxy balm. Using our fingers, we tried this guy on our cheeks and lips to see if the shade we chose, “Beloved,” would live up to its claim to “suit all skin tones.”

Our verdict? It looked lovely on us both! Interestingly, it actually looked a bit peachier on my cooler-toned skin and a little pinker on my mom’s warmer coloring. We both agreed that we preferred it as a blush, since the texture wasn’t quite what we prefer for our lips. I did like the way the color was more of a casual stain as a lip color, but my mom thought it wasn’t pigmented enough to wear on its own for her lips.


Eyelights Cream Eyeshadow, Strobe | $28

This was hands down the product we were both the most curious about. In her video that you can see on the product page, Rose-Marie says that people often worry that the shade we chose, “Strobe,” is too shimmery. “It’s not shimmery it’s luminous,” she sassily informs us. “There’s a big difference.”

I have to admit, I was skeptical about this one! I almost never wear eyeshadow or color on my lids anymore, and my mom tends toward more neutral powders (which she blends like the glam queen she is!). When you squeeze the cream from its cute little tube, it looks thick and like literal metal, like something you’d use to touch up a ding on your car door. The website says, “It is subtle enough for daytime and buildable for dramatic effects at night,” but the product resembled a blob of mercury on my hand. I was certain we would look ready to audition for the Wizard of Oz once we were finished smearing this stuff on our eyelids.

I’d like to, at this time, take a moment to personally and publicly rescind my doubt in you, Rose-Marie. You were, as always, right.

The cream spreads like magic. With just a few gentle swipes, the opaque metallic shimmer melts into a much softer, and yes, luminous, gray. It’s very mellow and striking at the same time, and it also transformed on each of our skin tones to a shade that we both found complementary to our individual coloring. This shade is Rose-Marie’s favorite, and we both can see why. It’s flattering and subtle but still distinctive, and it worked on both our skin (and on my four-year-old’s, who inherited her dad’s true porcelain complexion). It didn’t crease, and looked a little smoky without much effort. We called this one the equivalent of the jeans in “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” You’ll have your doubts about the look on you, but trust! It just works on everyone.


Ultimate Brow Kit, Medium | $76

You may have noticed that my mom and I were not blessed with eyebrows. Which is perhaps why, after catching me plucking out 80% of mine with her tweezers in the early aughts, my mom audibly gasped and cried, “Stephanie, no!” She knew what it would cost me: Decades of hunting for the right tools and techniques to draw the slow-growing patches that were once my eyebrows back onto my face.

The kit comes with a powder, tool with dual brush and spoolie, an eyebrow pencil (which also has a spoolie on its end), and a small sharpener. (Can we take a moment to appreciate the inclusion of helpful little tools like the sharpener here, or the reusable metal tube key that comes with the Eyelights? Hat’s off, and deep thanks from someone who will often just stop using a product if I have to buy a separate tool to make it work after a point.)

The brush is G-E-N-I-U-S. Rose-Marie designed the shape intentionally so that the shorter, stockier, thin, round-edged brush would be perfect for enhancing a natural brow. Starting with the brush and the Back2Brow powder, you simply follow the natural arch of your brow line and articulate an eyebrow. You can then use the pencil to either fill in fine areas or add a few lines to mimic individual hairs, using the spoolies throughout the process to brush the hairs and blend the products.

I have no idea how this kit would work for people with actual eyebrows. If you have the kind of textured brows that require pomade, this might be white noise for you. But the name “Back2Brow” is the hint here: As we age, our brows naturally fade. This is who the kit is made for (and also probably those of us who never had much to begin with…). It’s not a brow-tamer, it’s a brow-creator. We both loved it, though Mom said she could do without the pencil.


Legendary Serum Lipstick, Audrey | $35

This one was a pick for me, as my mom doesn’t typically go for a red lip (although she should right?? She looks gorgeous!). I was an instant fan of this lipstick, which feels so natural and wears so beautifully I still can’t believe how much pigment is in the color. It looks almost like suede in the tube, and I was a little worried that it would feel as matte and saturated as it appeared. But it has a slick, easy glide and the color lasts for hours (though I would push back a bit on the 8-hour claim the brand has on their website).

The combination lipstick and stain serum provides a bold, rich lip that feels luscious and hydrating. The one thing I’ll note is that the packaging is not a typical lipstick design: Once clicked, it doesn’t appear to be able to retract back into the tube. The product page says that you’re meant to “Use the tube’s edge as a guide for flawless application.” So rather than clicking the product until you have a thumb-sized portion of lipstick sticking up above the tube, you’re meant to keep the product as airtight as possible, and flush to the opening of the tube. It took a little getting used to, but if you’re looking for a red lip that feels like a nourishing lip oil and wears like a stylish, Parisian-like stain, this is the lip product for you.


Bonus: Deluxe Mini Kakadu Luxe Cream | $15

We received this free mini version of the brand’s Kakadu Luxe Cream as part of a promotion at the time of our order. This stuff is incredible! Rich but not heavy, it feels like it sinks into your skin weightlessly and almost instantly so your face feels refreshed but not sticky. Made with the same GlowPlex powerhouse blend they use in the Super Natural Radiance Serum combined with Kakadu plum, which is known for its high concentrations of Vitamin C, this cream is basically like putting a blended vitamin butter all over your face. It has no fragrance at all, and is KIND TO BIOME certified, so that it is gentle and safe for even the most sensitive skin. We both wanted to keep this one, but I sent it with my mom because I love her and well, I definitely owe her for some of the many items I’ve um, liberated from her own makeup bag over the years.


Final verdict: Does RMS look good on skin of any age?

The TL;DR is YES.

I got it from my mama! It was a joy to try these products with my beautiful mom.

RMS Beauty is a brand helmed by an expert who not only understands how to make a product that is high-performing, clean, and comfortable, but also by someone who isn’t afraid of aging. Rose-Marie has undyed hair and a bold red lip, and she speaks frankly about the changes that occur in our skin without pity, fear, or disgust. She is joyful and matter-of-fact, and her spirit is present in these products.

Everything we tried (apart from the wrong shade of Radiance Serum) was an easy-to-use, high-quality product that felt great and made us look great, even when it pushed us a little bit outside of our comfort zones (hello Eyelights!). These are products designed for people who aren’t trying to cover themselves up or fight their natural features; RMS Beauty products help us to retain a sense of play and fun, while making it possible to gracefully adapt to changes in our aging skin without fear.

We both enthusiastically recommend this brand for any age, and suggest you start with a pop of color to remind you that no matter how your skin changes, you deserve to have fun and make a statement with any look you want.


Stephanie H. Fallon is a Contributing Editor at The Good Trade. She is a writer originally from Houston, Texas. She has an MFA from the Jackson Center of Creative Writing at Hollins University. She lives with her family in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she writes about motherhood, artmaking, and work culture. You can find her on Instagram or learn more on her website.