Abigail Gurney-Read sits down with Rose-Marie Swift of RMS Beauty.

"When’s your birthday?"

I sip my tea. I thought I was meant to be asking the questions...

"May," I reply.

"You don’t look at all like a Taurus!" exclaims Rose-Marie. "Your Mercury is in Aries. That’s where you get your energy – the talking fast, the getting stuff done and noticing things quickly. In fact, you probably get impatient with people that are slower than you... You’re a perfectionist; you can’t get out of your own mind. There’ll be one little thing that you analyse over and over again, and it will drive you nuts."

I take another sip...

It’s not often that I’ll sit down to interview somebody, only to find myself becoming the subject under the microscope – and yet, I might have known that Rose-Marie Swift would be the one to buck convention. After all, the tell-it-like-it-is voice of the beauty world isn’t known for abiding by the rules.

An astute, practicing astrologer since she was a teenager ("I started, because I couldn’t figure out why my stepfather was such a jerk"), Rose-Marie was a mainstay of the luxury makeup industry for years before ill health compelled her to take a step back and consider her lifestyle.

"I was forced to do it," she tells me of her line, RMS Beauty. "I never wanted to do a makeup brand; it fell into my lap."

It was a series of rigorous blood tests and targeted medical examinations that revealed to Rose-Marie the extent of the myriad cosmetic-derived chemicals that had been absorbed by her system, totally unbeknownst to her.

"Back in the day, the big companies didn’t want it to be known that cosmetics could go into the skin, so together they took a stance to say that cosmetics don’t absorb into the bloodstream. This is basically because they didn’t want their products to fall under pharmaceutical jurisdiction; if it goes into the body, it’s a pharmaceutical drug."

I can’t help but admire Rose-Marie’s forthright attitude. She articulates each point with such deliberateness; her conversation is erudite and unpretentiously frank in equal measure.

"I’m not saying that you’re going to die from using conventional cosmetics," Rose-Marie continues. "But they’ve got a whole bunch of sh*t in them that really shouldn’t be there."

Rebuilding health and building a brand happened simultaneously for Rose-Marie. Keen to dispense with the harsh, mainstream chemicals that had so affected her own physical wellbeing, she turned her focus to organic, food-grade ingredients that were not only safe for the skin, but that also nurtured it.

"These aren’t dead synthetics that do nothing," she tells me. "I’m trying to use ingredients that have a vibration. A life force."

Buriti Oil is a prime example. Prevalent across the RMS Beauty range, from the potent Beauty Oil to the warming Buriti Bronzer, this Amazonian essential oil (born from the Buriti Palm) is the strongest natural supply of Vitamin A and Beta-carotene around – its source, known to the region’s native populace as the "tree of life".

In the context of our ingredient-conscious present, RMS Beauty’s philosophy for clean cosmetics may sound like a no-brainer, however, as Rose-Marie tells me, others weren’t always quick to cotton on.

"In the beginning, I was crying! I would get put on a little ‘green’ section of a magazine with some natural Lip Balm brand – and that wasn’t where I wanted to be," she elaborates, gesticulating theatrically as she goes. "I don’t want to be mean, but I’ve come from doing big brands... I didn’t want to be put in the tiny green group!"

At this point, Swift pauses. She doesn’t namecheck... She doesn’t need to. Anyone who knows anything about luxury beauty will recognise her work from global editions of the glossiest glossies; they’ll recall her numerous looks from luxury advertising campaigns that include Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton and Thierry Mugler. Tilda Swinton and Gisele Bundchen have appeared among her star-studded client list.

"It’s basically about people becoming educated," Rose-Marie begins again, musing on her collection's rise to recognition. "Cosmetic chemicals have been found in the umbilical cords of babies... If they're not absorbing through the skin, then how the hell did they get in there? Look it up!"

In what is now the eighth consecutive year of growth for the sector, the Soil Association Certification’s latest wellbeing report revealed a 14% annual increase of organic beauty products. The upshot is that, rather than a pariah of an industry that doesn’t want to listen, RMS Beauty is rapidly growing its reputation as the pioneer of a movement that is on-course to infiltrating the mainstream.

"I’m an Aquarius," concludes Rose-Marie, coming full circle to return to her beloved astrology. "We’re the ones with the mouths who are going to wake people up."

Shop organic beauty by RMS Beauty here:

Also on Because Magazine:

+ Sunshine-bright shoes get our stamp of approval.

Josephine Platt speaks to the women behind London's fashion rentals to note.

+ Get more out of your Breton with our styling guide.