“I’m all about the skin. Beautiful, refined, elegant-looking skin—not heavy-duty stuff all over the face,” says Rose-Marie Swift in her usual buoyant, no-nonsense tone. The silver-haired, red-lipped makeup artist has earned the right to tell it like it is. In her early days on set, supermodels like Gisele and Miranda Kerr trusted their singular faces in her hands. Swift brought her naturalistic touch to Vogue editorials and, less expected, the theatrical tableaux of aughts-era Victoria’s Secret campaigns. When she launched her makeup line, RMS Beauty, in 2009, her scrutinized ingredient decks and versatile textures (notably the melt-into-skin UnCoverup concealer and sheer Lip2Cheek tints) set a new benchmark for “clean cosmetics”—even if the category was years away from being known as such.
“She’s truly the pioneer. Before it was a big, loud thing”—every beauty brand touting its “no” lists and shifting to more sustainable packaging—“it was Rose-Marie,” says Margaret Kleveland, one half of the sister duo behind the California-based clothing label Dôen. Kleveland, with sun-streaked hair and tattoos along each arm, is soaking in New York’s spring awakening on a recent morning. She and Swift (with Katherine, Kleveland’s cofounder, there in spirit) have decamped to Inness, a bucolic property in Accord, to celebrate their limited-edition makeup collaboration—fruits of an interdisciplinary mind meld. “We want to make products that make women feel good, in all aspects of their life: in career, in motherhood, in going out and being casual,” says Kleveland, who can relate with two kids of her own. The goal is for things to be a “little more effortless.”
You would be forgiven if color cosmetics don’t immediately come to mind when you think of Dôen’s handsomely made yet unfussy clothing: cotton-print day dresses that belong in an overgrown field, block-print scarves that channel Italian screen stars, breezy two-piece sets that go from beach to dinner. If the beauty cues have been subtle, that’s the point. “We really developed our own style for makeup on shoots, and it was super bare and minimal—that just-kissed, fresh makeup,” says Kleveland. It seemed logical for Dôen to put its own stamp on beauty, with help from the right partner—“and RMS was the only option.”
The hero of the resulting three-piece set, debuting April 19, is a new custom Lip2Cheek, a flushed raspberry shade that turns dab-dab ease into an unabashedly feminine gesture. “There’s a sophistication about that color,” Swift says—an effect that carries to the label, featuring Dôen’s delicate script. “It’s not pink, it’s not bright red, it’s not orange-y.” The makeup artist gestures to a small child across the dining room, pinpointing a color reference: the flush of youth. The second glass pot in the lineup is a classic: Buriti bronzer, a shortcut to sun-kissed glow that Kleveland has used for years. (The cream formula can also act as a highlighter on deeper skin tones and plays well on the eyes, adds Swift.) The last product is Liplights, a neutral gloss that self-adjusts to the wearer’s pH and doubles as a nourishing overnight treatment.