WHERE? The RMK counter based in the beauty hall of Manchester's Selfridges Exchange Square.

WHO? RMK, the chic Japanese beauty brand best known for producing the country's bestselling foundation and for its cult cleansing balm.  Sister company to luxe favourite SUQQU, RMK targets a slightly younger audience; fun-loving and creative, these women frequently experiment, believe in expressing their individuality, and are not afraid of a pop of colour. The brand designs its products to be a feast for the senses - encapsulating edible ingredients, vivid colours, fresh scents, and the best technological advancements in skincare and makeup; and after launching its Selfridge's based counters in the UK in 2003, has fast gained recognition amongst British beauty lovers for its innovative seasonal collections...

WHAT? I was introduced to RMK's latest such collection, Vintage Sweets; a spring-perfect range of pastel and candy colours inspired by the ritual of afternoon tea. If you're not usually a fan of pastel colours then this is the range guaranteed to convert you; the colour is subtle and refined with an ideal of contemporary elegance, and is anything but gaudy.

THE PRODUCTS : Super Basic Liquid Concealer : The gift of light in pen-form. It's yet another take on touche éclat, but with a shade range I can more than get behind. Contouring starts here. Creamy Foundation : Japan's No1 foundation is well-deserving of its critical acclaim. Boasting a weightless creamy formula which embellishes the skin with a naturally radiant finish whilst providing A+++ coverage, and lasting impeccably throughout the day. Vintage Sweets Face Colour : In much the same way as MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish and Bourjois' Java Rice Powder, this blend of four cool-toned hues combines for a delicate softening effect which brightens a dull complexion and blurs imperfections whilst simultaneously preventing that 3pm shine. Sweet Sugar Eyes : The starkly contrasting colours appear daunting in the pan, but aesthetics aside serve a dual purpose. The alternating stripes of product satisfyingly allow for a soft blend of colour across the lid, with the addition of brightening or darkening in detail where necessary. Vintage Drop Gloss : I opted for the shade which RMK rather bemusingly class as 'nude', 04 Butterscotch. At first glance, the packaging will cause you nothing short of bewilderment, yet somehow the bright stripes of colour combine to create one of the prettiest shades I've ever tried [+++ hooray for a lip product which isn't mint or vanilla scented!].Double-Headed Mascara : Coloured mascara is slowly but surely infiltrating the UK's mainstream beauty scene but is already a firm favourite in Asia, where women are reaching for such vivid hues in order to emphasise their eye colour. Colour-aside [because I'm not 100% sold yet - big black lashes are my thing, okay?], RMK's uniquely angled mascara wand is one of the best I've used and allows for exemplary coverage, reaching even the tiniest of those pesky corner lashes. Vintage Candy Cheeks : A 2-in-1 blush/highlighter hybrid available in a selection of typically spring hues with a modern twist. Expect a subtle injection of colour, without compromising on the glow-factor. Limited Edition Nail Colour : Again, predictable pastels with a contemporary edge [a phrase which basically sums up the entire collection]. These muted, smokey interpretations of spring florals are the hues which every chic, modern woman should be sporting this season.

THE VERDICT : I avoid pastel and floral shades at the best of times [and most especially in spring], so I have to admit that I was sceptical as to just how RMK would pull off such a collection without going down the predictable route. Yet, for a S/S collection, I'm more than impressed. The modern, contemporary edge which we've come to expect from Japanese beauty brands is what makes this collection stand out, setting it apart from the typically insipid and washed out hues evident in the latest high-street launches. What I love most about the range is that it teaches the nude and neutral loving gal [of which I am the epitome] to experiment and to conquer that omnipresent fear of colour. Coloured mascara may require a few more goes, but rest assured, I'm getting there.

To try out the collection yourself head to your nearest RMK counter. Locations here.

Have you explored the RMK Vintage Sweets collection yet?


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*Complimentary experience kindly provided by RMK