Review: RCMA VK 11 Foundation Palette

Foundation: It’s one of the most important aspects to any makeup look. If something is not quite right with the foundation-be it colour or formula-it can throw off the entire look. As a professional makeup artist I have to carry an extensive range of colours, undertones, and formulas that read well on camera as well as in real life.

When it came time to replace my stock of foundation I had two professional brands in mind: RCMA and Graftobian. I began doing some research on both brands and their respective products, and finally settled upon RCMA’s VK 11 Foundation Palette.

About the Brand
RCMA, or The Research Council of Makeup Artists, was founded by renowned make-up artist Vincent JR Kehoe in 1962. RCMA was organized to further the research and development of specialized professional make-up products for the film, television and stage industry. Mr. Kehoe developed and designed a special foundation formula for professional working make-up artists which he called “Color Process Foundation”–which is considered the number one choice foundation by professionals. Today the brand is run by Kehoe’s grandsons who meticulously produce and hand-pour every single product, working in small batches to ensure colour consistency.

The Product
What makes RCMA so special? There’s actually a number of things that set RCMA aside from all the rest;

  • Neutralizes and perfects skin instantly–no colour corrector or concealer needed!
  • It is manufactured under very stringent, small batch conditions where the ingredients are weighed out to the gram to maintain both consistency and color standards exactly.

  • It contains only vegetable oils, pure waxes and FDA approved colors.

  • It does NOT contain any perfume, lanolin, petrolatum or mineral oil.

  • It is VEGAN and SAFE to use on everyone, including pregnant women!
  • Made with at least 50% pigments to waxes and oils so that a VERY little goes a long way on the skin. (Most commercial liquid foundations have a ratio of about 18 to 23% of pigment–hardly any!)

  • Produces as “skin color” rather than a heavy coat of make-up.

  • Lightweight enough for daily wear.
  • RCMA Foundations last better throughout a long shooting day than comparably employed theatrical or commercial foundations, and require less (if any) touch-up.

The VK 11 Palette
Because most of my clients are either fair-skinned or olive toned I decided upon the VK 11, the lighter counter part to the VK 10. The palette contains 18 shades that can be used on their own or mixed together and act as both a concealer and foundation in one step.

VK 11 Swatch

SH-I, SH-II, SH-III, SH-IV, SH-V, SH-VI | SH-VII, SH-VIII, Porcelain, Ivory, Gena Beige, Tantone | Olive-1, Olive-2, Olive-3, Olive-4, S-1, CS-2

I purchased my palette through the Beautylish Boutique and got an amazing deal–they offer $20 off your first purchase and I also qualified for free shipping! (To Canada!) With all of the discounts I ended up getting my RCMA Highlight and Contour palette for FREE! Besides the great deal, I received my package THE NEXT DAY without having paid for speedy shipping, and right inside the box was a sweet hand-written letter from Beautylish. You seriously can’t ask for better customer service, I highly recommend you check them out!


The Application
Im going to be completely honest–if it wasn’t for Kevin James Bennett’s how-to video, I probably wouldn’t have bought this palette. I’ve never worked with a cream foundation before and I had no idea where to start…which seems so silly now, because after watching the video you’ll feel like someone just pointed out the obvious, and application is a breeze!

The cream formula is best suited for those who have normal to dry skin. I prep the skin by applying a moisturizer or suitable primer and let that absorb into the skin for a few minutes while I gather the rest of the tools; a spatula, mixing palette (the back of your hand is fine–actually, preferred), a foundation brush (it can be the flat kind though I prefer my round kabuki, but it must be made of synthetic hairs), and a DRY beauty blender/sponge.

Using the spatula, I scoop a VERY small amount of the shade(s) Im going to use and put it onto the back of my hand, using the spatula to warm up the product by mixing it around. Once it’s workable, I use my clean fingers to dot the foundation onto the skin and buff it in using my beloved Sigma F82 round kabuki brush. (Some people use a dry beauty blender or classic flat foundation brush to work it into the skin, I just prefer the airbrushed finish the kabuki leaves.) I finish off with Model in a Bottle setting spray or RCMA No Color Powder.

Before & After using RCMA VK 11palette. No colour correcting or concealer.

Before & After using RCMA VK 11palette. No colour correcting or concealer.

Why I love it
The colour payoff is absolutely amazing, especially for such a lightweight formula! You can sheer it out to show off those freckles or build it up for fuller coverage. Its the first foundation that truly looks like skin, you literally cannot tell where the makeup ends & begins. It’s photo-friendly, looks great in person AND on-camera, its vegan, compact to carry, has global skin tones…there is not ONE THING I don’t love about this! If you’re a pro looking to re-stock your foundation, take your kit to the next level, or are looking for something to use in the medias, look no further! RCMA is the one for all of the above!


Bride-to-be Beauty Guide


We all want to be the best possible version of ourselves on our wedding day, but to achieve that takes much more than a Pinterest-worthy dress and pretty makeup. Below is my bride-to-be guide that I send to each of my Brides to look and feel great on your big day.

6 Months before the Wedding
Start a Skincare Regimen—Flawless, glowing skin is easily achievable with a proper skin care routine suitable to your skin type. Start by going for a skin care analysis to determine your skin type and issues. The aesthetician will recommend a routine and products that are best suited for your skin to get you picture perfect for your big day.

Drink a lot of Water—Getting plenty of hydration is more important now than ever. Drinking the recommended daily amount of water will keep your skin clear and radiant, help maintain your diet and weight, keep your sleep cycle in check and so much more. Add some lemon for some detoxifying benefits too!

3 Months before the Wedding
Plan & Book your Service Appointments—Begin to plan out the services you’ll need just before the wedding, such as a mani/pedi, and begin to book your appointments to ensure your desired time slot.

Book a Facial…or Two—Booking a facial is often over-looked in the bridal beauty process but the benefits speak for themselves. A facial will balance out your skin’s pH levels, deep clean, and remove excess skin leaving you fresh-faced and ready for makeup. This is especially recommended if you have oily/acne prone or problematic skin.

Book a Makeup Preview—Booking a professional makeup artist is just as important to how your photos will turn out as your photographer is. Only a professional artist knows which products are camera-friendly, which will suit your skin type & tone best, and the techniques to long-lasting makeup. Most artists offer a Bridal Preview which is the perfect opportunity to meet the artist, share your visions for your big day, and design a look you’ll love.

2 Months before the Wedding
Try out your Tan—Every bride wants a healthy glow on her big day. A few months before your wedding, book an organic spray tan (not too dark!) to see how it turns out. If it’s the right shade and not streaky, book with the same artist for two days prior to the wedding. Always wear SPF and avoid excessive sun exposure, burnt skin and bikini strap marks are hard to cover up!

Just Before the Wedding
Get your Hair Done (2 weeks prior)—Touch up your colour and trim those dead ends. Stay with a natural colour or very similar to what your current shade is, this isn’t the time to try something new!

Hair Removal (1 week prior) —Brows, arm pits, lip, legs, bikini. Whether you’re waxing, plucking or Nair-ing, give yourself at least 5 days before the event to alleviate any irritation that might occur.

Drink a lot of Water—Yes, it’s important enough to be on the list twice. Drink up!

Get a lot of Sleep/Avoid Caffeine—With stress, excitement, and to-do lists piling up, it’s easy to have a few short nights in the final weeks before the big day. Getting enough rest is crucial to how you look and feel on your special day, so say no to that 3pm coffee (grab some lemon water instead!) and don’t be shy to take an afternoon siesta to get you through the day.

Enjoy the Pampering—This is by far the most important piece of advice, and the one that’s most easily forgotten; Enjoy yourself. Enjoy people catering to your every whim, having luxurious services we don’t always treat ourselves to. This is your special moment, soak it up!