Monday, January 14, 2008

Simply the best: RMK Creamy Foundation

When I first tried RMK’s Creamy Foundation. I didn’t hear a heavenly choir, or bells peal when I opened the pot, but after a week of it staying put in Manhattan’s August humidity, I could have happily provided the soundtrack myself.

Let me explain. I had perfect, English rose skin until I was twenty-six, when an onset of painful hot flushes and bumpy, scaly skin was diagnosed as rosacea and seborrheic dematitis, rather than the result of an allergy or environmental damage as I had presumed.

After four years of battling my skin, including a course of micro-dermabrasion facials with the excellent Vaishaly Patel, and the discovery of residue-free cleansing waters such as Lancôme’s Eau de Bienfait and Bioderma’s Créaline H20 (only available in France, or online), Pevonia Rosacea facials, and La Roche Posay SPF moisturiser, my skin is pretty much back to English Rose condition, bar a tendency to go bright red when I drink and the odd allergic reaction – blueberries set me off last week, causing me to spend an afternoon with my burning cheeks pressed to the freezer door.

This redness means I need a foundation that can match my underlying yellow skin tone, whilst masking the pink flush, as well as being moisturising enough to cope with the dryness on my cheeks, but not so oily that it slides off my forehead and chin.

In my past life, I was also a beauty editor, so there’s pretty much nothing out there that I haven’t tried. Compact foundations are too powdery and fluid ones don’t give enough coverage. Trial and error has taught me that creamy foundations in a pot are best. (Bobbi Brown’s Smooth Skin cream foundation is truly the worst base I have tried: it separates into an oily film in the jar, and leaves a powdery mess on my cheeks. Useless.)

Which brings me back to make-up artist Rumiko’s range RMK. It’s no secret that much of the most advanced skin care in the word comes out of Japan. But apart from Shiseido, Kanebo and Shu Uemura, Japanese make up ranges aren’t so widely known in the West. It doesn’t help that RMK, for example, has a tiny stand tucked away by the stationery department in Selfridges, rather than in the main beauty hall. But I beg you to seek it out. Staffed by a charming Slovenian makeup artist, it sells some of the best make up I’ve tried in years.RMK Creamy Foundation, RMK The Creamy Foundation has an extremely good moisture retaining quality, thanks to its water holding formula which means my cheeks became progessively more plump, creamy and smooth after a couple of weeks; and, as I discovered, it stays picture perfect for hours, whether in humidity, or New York’s savage winter. It also has an all-important SPF of 15.

It’s no secret that if you buy products from a makeup artist’s personal range then those products will have been honed and refined through the artist’s years of experience working with women’s faces. This is especially true of Rumiko, whose résumé includes not just the obligatory roster of A list celebrities (Uma Thurman, Demi Moore, Drew Barrymore, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Milla Jovovich ) but the covers of all the major Vogues, and collaborations with some of the pre-eminent photographers of our time: from Mario Testino to Richard Avedon, Steven Meisel to Irving Penn. But in this case, the technical perfection of her products is amongst the best I’ve ever tried.

Although she is repped by Jed Root in New York, Rumiko has no plans as yet to sell RMK in the US. It’s a great shame as her fabulous products seems well suited to the make up mavens of the United States.
RMK is available in Selfridges in London & in Manchester, House of Fraser in Glasgow, and in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia & Japan.

Photographs: Vogue Nippon | Makeup Artist: Rumiko | Photographer: Koichiro Doi