RMS Beauty has been on my list of “clean” beauty brands to try for, well, pretty much forever. The beauty community has been undergoing a huge change. People care now more than ever about how their beauty products impact their health – and for good reason. I’m not exactly the biggest believer in clean beauty (there’s little to no regulation of the use of the term). But I am definitely a person (and a former makeup artist) who appreciates simplified products made with care.
RMS beauty was on the forefront of “clean” before it became a buzzword. I hesitated for a long time purchasing anything from the brand because their products aren’t exactly affordable. I finally bucked up for a few items during the latest Sephora sale and wanted to share my thoughts in this brutally honest RMS Beauty review.
RMS was founded in 2009 by Rose-Marie Swift, a well known makeup artist with well over 30 years of industry experience. The RMS philosophy is that of many “clean” beauty brands – except RMS was doing it before anyone else. From simplified ingredient lists to multitasking products, RMS very much leans into the “less is more” philosophy.
I feel incredibly passionate about the topic of clean beauty, mostly because I think this “clean” industry is a bit of a sham. There really isn’t much proof that beauty brands who don’t label themselves as “clean” use toxic ingredients in toxic quantities. Even when beauty brands utilize ingredients like formaldehyde, the reality is that the quantities in your products are so low they don’t result in toxicity. “Clean” is a rarely regulated buzzword brands love to use on packaging – but it unfortunately doesn’t hold a lot of stock because there’s no standard for its use.
This doesn’t mean you can’t love and want simpler, “cleaner” products. It just means we as consumers need to know that brands are utilizing buzzwords to try to enrage, inspire, and influence us to purchase from them. If you’re wanting to learn more information about the BS that is the “clean” beauty industry, I’ll leave a link to my podcast episode on the topic here for you. I’d definitely love to discuss this topic more in the comments below, so feel free to share any current articles in the news that include clear-cut data showing the medical impact of toxicity levels in beauty products.
The Living Luminizer was I believe (maybe?) the first ever launch by RMS – and it’s still a winner today. Highlighters are incredibly commonplace in the average beauty routine now a days, but the RMS Luminizer is different. Sure, you can absolutely tap your finger into the pot and onto the high points of your face for a natural glow, akin to a standard highlighter. But you can also use the RMS Luminizer on the lips, on your body, and underneath makeup (or on its own!) for glow that goes beyond your average highlighter.
The other thing that makes the Luminizer special is that it contains no glitter. Although this product is formulated with coconut and castor seed oils – it isn’t greasy. I personally love both the finish and hand-feel of the Luminizer – it’s quickly become one of my everyday products in my own beauty routine.
Believe me – I know so many other brands make multitasking products. But the RMS Lip2Cheek is different. I’m not sure if it’s the perfectly formulated edit of shades or if it’s the undeniably beautiful finish on the skin, but these multitaskers are top tier. I use the Lip2cheek products on my lips as a lip tint, across my cheeks as a blush, and even sometimes on my eyes as a sheer wash of color. I always reach for the Lip2Cheek products when I’m traveling and want to save space because you don’t need any tools to apply them – fingers only! I used to be very against using my hands to apply makeup (something felt unsanitary about it), but I’ve learned to love the finish my products get from the warmth of my skin.
The Lip2cheek products ring in at a fairly steep price point of $36 for 0.17oz of product (only slightly less expensive than the Luminizer at $38 for the same amount of product). It’s for this reason that the Lip2cheek Glow Quad and Glow Quad Mini are my actual favorite RMS products of all time. Glow Quads essentially give you four different Lip2cheek and/or Luminizers in one compact palette. Considering a mini Glow Quad typically rings in at $25 – it’s the perfect way to try out a whole host of Lip2cheek and Luminizers to see which shades you love before committing to the full size jars.
I’m actually not a huge fan of concealer overall, but I like to think the “Un” Cover-Up is more of a multitasker than a true concealer. Yes, you can absolutely pack this product on top of blemishes or under the eyes to conceal, but you can also sheer this product out and use all over the face like a foundation as well. “Un” Cover-Up makes for a great makeup bag addition because of this versatility, from its ability to be used multiple different ways to its ability to be built up or sheered out (perfect for everyday wear to more formal events).
I do wish “Un” Cover-Up came in more shades, as it’s currently only offered in 16 shades as of June 2021. The price also comes in rather steep at $36 for 0.2 oz of product – but it’s RMS. We knew it wouldn’t be affordable.
The RMS “Un” Cover-Up Cream Foundation doesn’t offend me, but it also doesn’t impress me. If you’re looking for a foundation with minimal ingredients, this one isn’t it. While the ingredient list isn’t horrifyingly long nor is it packed with anything scary – it’s just not that impressive and I’ve seen amazing foundations with fewer, “cleaner” ingredients at a lower price point (like the BareMinerals loose powder foundations, for example). The “Un” Cover-Up Cream Foundation is also expensive at $50 for only 1 fluid oz. Pile on top of all this that the shade range isn’t anything to write home about with just 16 shades (compared to brands like Rare Beauty with 30+ at launch) – color me unimpressed.
The Straight Up Volumizing Peptide Mascara is RMS’ latest big product push. Boasting a smudge-free formula with peptides that help strengthen the lash, this mascara is marketed as a “good for you” kind of product. Good mascaras that don’t flake or smudge are honestly pretty tricky to find – even trickier if you’re hoping for something well made and with minimal ingredients. I’m super curious to give the new RMS mascara a try.
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with RMS Beauty as a brand. All of the products I’ve added to my own collection have performed beautifully. I do hate the RMS price tag, but also don’t regret the money I’ve spent as the products are super high quality. I also don’t personally love how much RMS leans into the “clean” beauty movement, but also have a respect for the fact that they were trying to be “clean” long before it became a buzzword. Something about RMS’ clean beauty hype doesn’t seem to be a cash grab to me, but rather just seems to be a brand mission.
And I’m into it.
What are your favorite RMS products? Let’s chat in the comments below!
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