Wish list beauty: RMS Beauty

Rose-Marie Swift founder of RMS beauty
Rose-Marie Swift founder of RMS beauty

I had the pleasure of meeting founder of RMS Beauty, Rose-Marie Swift a few weeks ago who was an absolute delight and inspiration – one of the most enjoyable interviews I’ve done for a long time. A vibrant and striking ex-make-up artist, Rose-Marie seemed to have an infectious spirit that was alive and kicking with a passion for beauty and natural skincare that’s good for us as well as good on us.

RMS Beauty was born after Rose-Marie experienced a few health scares – toxicity tests revealed worrying levels of pesticides and heavy metals in her body. Horrified, it prompted her to change her life and seek ways to promote greater healthy beauty.

She’d spent years working as a world-renowned make-up artist and felt the link between her career and ill health was too strong. Rose-Marie has since become a passionate speaker about toxic chemicals found in beauty products.

She formulated RMS products using food grade, natural oils such as coconut oil Brazilian Buriti oil, that are cold-pressed to retain their high antioxidant levels and goodness. Buriti oil is very high in vitamin A and beta-carotene, This is skincare good enough to eat.

RMS products for your wish-list:

RMS Packaging is quiet and understated but the contents speak volumes. You really need to touch and apply these products to believe how amazing the textures are.

The foundation/concealer (in one) is so light but still miraculously evens skin tone. That’s why it’s called Un-Cover. It slips on like the thinnest of veils and imparts the softest glow.

The new Eye Polish Cream Eyeshadow colours are a medley of shimmering shades. My favourite from the new collection (out in September) is Imagine which Rose-Marie enthusiastically applied on me – a copper-tinted mauve that’s very sheer and looks awesome on my olivey-skin.

RMS beauty brightershadeofgreen

Raw Coconut Cream was another favourite, obviously as I’m a devout believer in the miracles of coconut oil, so thank goodness there’s a brand owner championing it too. This stuff is amazing – it’s raw, no heat applied so all the skin-healing properties and antioxidants are still there. It removes mascara effortlessly, even waterproof, and nourishes skin while it’s there.

There’s a wealth of knowledge on her educational site, Beauty Truth, with an insightful section on preservatives as she name-checks some particularly pesky ones to watch.

All RMS Beauty is available at Being Content www.beingcontent.com and some autumn-winter shades (hopefully) coming soon to BeautyMART.

I love toast

Tiana Fairtrade and Organic Coconut Oil

I’m on a mission to stop bread, from being bad-mouthed and rejected. It’s time to stop the bread-hating and the guilt. This wonderful food that’s been a staple in our diet for hundreds of years seems to be the bane of so many eaters and experts, not to mention dieters who can’t even say the word without shuddering (or salivating). The columnist Eva Wiseman once wrote a love letter to bread which was very endearing (apart from the ending where she grew apart from it).

Many nutritional therapists and naturopathic experts have tried to convince me to banish bread from my diet, scaring me with stories of gut irritation, intolerance and inflammation, but of all the health and food concerns I’m passionate about, bread is the one thing I’m the least interested in giving up or scaring people away from.

Why? Because I love it, and I think it’s modern day processes that have caused bread to irritate guts – the additives, fillers, bulking agents, preservatives and other ingredients that manufacturers use to produce bread as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible. That’s what’s hurting people’s tummies.

If you select your bread carefully, from traditionally-made sources, using natural and organic ingredients with no added nasties then I don’t see a problem with it. It’s a delicious food! Granted, some people may have a specific intolerance to gluten which I can’t argue with but for the rest of us, we should be able to enjoy good food in moderation.

I also don’t have any of the tell-tell signs of a gluten intolerance (severe bloating, IBS, chronic pain) there’s no reason for me to say bye-bye to bread. It’s also not a problem for my weight – I eat it only a few times a week, I don’t have sandwiches for lunch and I always buy fresh bread that’s made well, probably once every ten days or more.

My favourites are a sourdough or dark, dense fresh rye. The darker and richer, with more interesting ingredients such as seeds, nuts and different grains, the better. I recently discovered Able & Cole deliver bread too – a Rye and Spelt loaf is coming in my next box to try. Can’t wait!

As a vegan however, people wonder what I spread on toast – obviously I don’t smother it with butter so if you’re stuck on what non-diary options to have on toast my recommendations are here.

Coconut oil – this is my bread’s daily ‘butter’ – I use it almost every time I have bread or toast, whatever ingredients I add on top. I have a tub in my cupboard on the go at all times! Currently I’m loving Tiana Fairtrade and Organic Coconut Oil (they have a plethora of interesting coconut oil products so click the link and check them out).

Tiana Fairtrade and Organic Coconut Oil

Avocado – another staple in my diet – without avocados I think I’d be a very hungry (and sad) person. If I have time, usually at the weekends, I add complimentary ingredients such as chilli flakes, fresh chilli, lime juice, red onion or salad onion. All other times I just smash and spread. A grilled or fresh tomato on top really does the trick too.

Sesame Seed Oil / Tahini – I discovered how amazing this is as a spread when I did my Vipassana 10-day silent meditation. I watched people eat it with honey drizzled on top and I instantly fell in love.  The dense, rich nutty taste of the sesame seed and the sweetness of honey to lift it is an utterly divine combo. I don’t have this all the time, but it’s great when you fancy something sweet.

Olive oil – cold-pressed and organic, for dipping at the dinner table. Looks nicer and neater than a big tub of coconut oil!

So there you have it, a health-geek who loves bread. I’m off to have my breakfast now – avocado on toast, of course, what else? x

On the bookshelf

My two latest Amazon book buys include: The Coconut Oil Miracle and The Juice Lady’s Guide to Juicing for Health. Neither are new releases but as coconut oil is having its moment of fame in the world of health I thought I’d swot up on it. The book was published  in 2004, long before it was fashionable to debate the food’s health benefits but begins by describing the Ayurvedic, Polynesian and Central American cultures who have used coconut oil in cooking, health and beauty for thousands of years. It’s only recently western cultures have given this ancient health food any attention.

It hasn’t come without controversy though – being a saturated fat, coconut oil has gathered quite a strong opposition but the book details decades of published medical journals examining its nutritional benefits and unique chemical make-up that sets it apart from other saturated fats.

The juicing book presents an A-Z of common health conditions with a detailed examination of what juices could prevent and treat, which appeared to be more in-depth than your average juice-diet-recipe book.

I spotted both books in an amazing health food store called Rainbow in California while I was there a few months ago and picked them up from Amazon when I got back. Can’t wait to get stuck in…

Friday facial

On Friday I had one of the best facials I’ve ever had.  It was by Notting Hill facialist Una Brennan, who has had every beauty journalist and West London celebrity praising her unique style. She uses SkinCeuticals products on the face but for those who read my coconut oil post the other day, you’ll be pleased to hear this wonder woman facialist slathered almost half a pot of the stuff on my upper body too for a shoulder and back massage. The whole treatment was an epic, two-hour extravaganza.

She dove deep into the pot of coconut oil for an extraordinary back, shoulders and neck massage, while I was laying firmly fixed on my back. Somehow, Una managed to weasel her way through the minuscule space between my back and the bed and manoeuvre her hands and fingers in stunning, snake-like motions, up and down, up and down, up and down, releasing every bit of tension. This was meant to prepare the face for lymphatic drainage.

I loved hearing Una say everyone should have a pot of coconut oil in the kitchen and a pot in the bathroom; sometimes she said, she even sleeps in the stuff  (as long as you don’t mind the smell). That was music to my ears. :) . Look out for my review of Una’s facial in West London Living online mag in a few weeks time.

x

Why coconut oil is good for you

Pukka Herbs coconut_oil

Pukka Herbs coconut_oil

Coconut oil is my hot-product of the moment – as a spread for toast and oil for cooking – but a friend recently said it’s not good for us as it’s saturated fat, i.e. a heart health and weight-loss no-no. Yes, it’s a saturated fat but no, it isn’t bad for us, it’s actually very very good. So off I went to consult the powers of Google and I came back with some very very confusing answers. Luckily, health journalist Anna Magee, in her brand new book The De-stress Diet, explains why this is a wonder oil for our health and wellbeing, inside and out…

“Not all saturated fats behave the same. Plant versions like medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut cannot be stored as fat and so act thermogenically, raising fat-burning and metabolism. These are the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory fats like lauric acid caprylic acid, also found in human breast milk, pumpkin seeds and butter.” 

Even more interesting, she says: “High dietary coconut is associated with low obesity and heart disease in culture that eat it a part of their traditional diet, showing abilities to regulate insulin, prevent metabolic syndrome, reduce heart disease risk factors and as a healthy addition to a weight-loss diet.”

So there you have it, a secret powerhouse. It comes as a solid in a jar or tub but turns liquid in warmer temperatures so it’s very versatile. I’ve also heard it’s great for applying straight to skin – I met a woman once who lives in Thailand (think of all the wrinkle-causing sun rays) but honestly she looked about ten years younger which she said was down to using only coconut oil on her face. I’m sold.

So, thank you Anna for the fab explanation that’s helped sort out the bad from the good. Now go forth and get coconut oil into your life! And please check out the exceedingly good health, diet and wellbeing book for an insightful (and seriously easy) way to live a healthier and happier life without stress and weight-gain: The De-Stress Diet by Anna Magee and Charlotte Watts (£12.99, HayHouse). Buy it. Now. You won’t be disappointed.