Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Inspirational Women: International make-up artist & beauty expert Ruby Hammer

Wednesday morning and I'm thrilled to have an exclusive interview today on the blog just for you. 

There's a certain confidence and spirit in making the best of what you have every day. Whether it's for a meeting at work, lunch with an old friend, or even [occasionally!] that extra special night out. Your clothes [a favourite pair of jeans that flatter your curves], make-up [the perfect shade of cream blush that gives your cheeks a healthy flush], and even diet and lifestyle [yes, that yoga class you make it to every week is worth it!], should all be a vehicle for being your best self. It's a simple philosophy that is at the heart of this blog, and is epitomised by the make-up artist and beauty expert Ruby Hammer

"Whatever I create, it has to be something that I love and believe in," says Ruby about all her projects,  a heartfelt philosophy that has put her in good stead over 25 years working in a fiercely competitive business. 

Working in the fashion industry in the 90s and 00s Ruby was one of the industry insiders that became a celebrity in her own right. Working with famous faces and supermodels she carved an enviable career, even making regular appearances on TV as a beauty expert with her easy, relaxed manner. It was a natural step when she created her own make-up line in 1998 with marketing expert Millie Kendall, Ruby & Millie. More recently she's worked with big brands developing product lines, and continues to work full time as a make-up artist travelling extensively for work.

With the launch of Ruby's new website[] and blog [], I wanted to get a peak inside her life, wardrobe, and more importantly, her make-up bag!

Tell us about your new website. Where did the idea come from?

We’re in the year 2014, so it was time that I had my own site and a presence on the internet. I’ve always had a site for my other business ventures when I’ve been in a partnership with a brand or colleague but this is the first time that I’ve focused on myself. I’ve got lots of strings to my bow – make-up artistry, brand development and creation, education and television presenting - and having a dedicated site in the ideal way to showcase my talents.

Do you have a particular customer or client in mind when you're designing your products?

When we launched Ruby & Millie, it was aimed at 17 to 25 year olds, although it appealed to a much wider audience as the products were incredibly sophisticated technologically. More recently, I created a brand in collaboration with Debenhams which was aimed at all ages. It really depends on the brief and the project. Whatever I create, it has to be something that I love and believe in.

Who inspires you?

I’d have to say that my ultimate source of inspiration is my late mother. She was young when she had me and always up to the minute! She had umpteen pairs of false lashes, amazing wigs and a stack of make-up. I loved watching her get ready to go out. I’ve always devoured books and magazines for inspiration too – but really, anything visual gives me creative inspiration; films, my travels around the world, people I meet, my friends and exhibitions. It all goes in and then I retrieve things later when I’m working.

You've travelled the world as a make-up artist and business woman, where are your favourite places to visit and why?

My profession has allowed me to travel far and wide, from hot exotic locations, to extreme cold-weather climates like Greenland.  Shooting there for Marie Claire fashion was a challenge! I prefer warmer climes and love going to the Maldives, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree in California and Montauk just outside New York.  I really love travelling. I was born in Africa, raised in England and my parents were from Bangladesh, so I suppose I’m a bit of a global nomad. Wherever I travel, I learn something new, good or bad.

How would you define your personal style, and how important is it to you every day? Do you have a favourite clothes store or designer?

I’d describe my personal style is classic with a twist. I like well-made clothes with interesting details and I love mixing labels with good quality basics. I know what suits me but I’m willing to experiment to a degree.

For work, it’s important that I’m comfortable so I’m usually in jeans. I love cashmere sweaters layered over a t-shirt or cotton vest and comfy shoes. I adapt the look depending on the season and obviously in winter, pile on more layers! If there’s an opportunity to dress up, I’ll take it! I do have a really well organised wardrobe so that I can find things easily.

I love, J.Crew, Christoper Kane, Diane Von Furstenberg, Proenza Schouler, Isabel Marant, and J Brand jeans.  I do like good quality underwear, and buy my basics from Calvin Klein, then indulge in a few luxurious pieces from La Perla a couple of times a year.”

Could you please give us your three essential beauty products for day time and for evening?

Ruby's Night-Time Favourites

Clinique Even Better [1], £40.00.  This is brilliant for evening-out skin tone and reducing any dark spots and uneven pigmentation.

Sarah Chapman Hand & Nail Treatment [2], £35.00. I keep this by my bed to massage into my hands and cuticles every night to moisturise and condition.

Sisley Supreyma Night [3], £170.00. This is a really indulgent treat that firms, tones and increases radiance-in-one. It also smells incredible.

Ruby's Day-Time Must-Haves

Elemis Nourishing Body Scrub [1], £28.50. This is a great detoxifier which contains milk proteins, macadamia nut and wheatgerm oils leaving skin feeling soft and smooth post-shower.

Clarins Double Serum [2], £55. I’ve used this for years and love it! It’s got a great texture that’s like an oil but not greasy.

La Roche Posay Cicaplast Lip Balm [3], £5. This is my latest budget beauty must-have!  It doesn’t feel greasy, contains 10% soothing Shea Butter and makes lips totally weather-proof.

Ruby’s Multi-Purpose Must-Haves

As someone who is incredibly busy, I love multi-tasking products.

Nars Multiple [1], £29.  This is a brilliant versatile push-up stick that you can use on eyes, lips and cheeks and on décolleté or any nude skin in the summer. And it comes in stacks of shades for every skin tone.

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder SPF 15 [2], £38. It’s the most versatile powder product you’ll ever own. Not only does it work as an all-over powder to give you a glow, you can build it up to contour your cheeks and jawline, or use it as a light bronzer or blush.

Christian Dior Capture Totale Dream Skin [3], £79. This is a great multi-purpose product that you can use under make-up, on it’s own for a radiant glow or as a daily skin care treat. It has immediate benefits like brightening and radiance boosting, and over time, it helps combat dark spots, loss of elasticity and other signs of aging.

And finally what is one simple piece of beauty advice you could offer?

My Beauty Mantra, “Little and often”!  Take 5 minutes every day to check your eyebrows, cleanse your skin and address any issues on a regular basis. You can book-in with the experts in-between for colour and haircuts.  Book regular facials, brow threading and waxing, whilst maintaining the results by yourself.

Keep and eye on the Style Notebook for an exciting giveaway with Ruby in the next few weeks!!

You can find out more about Ruby's work at her new website, you can also find her on Facebook [here], and on Twitter [here].

Thanks to Ruby for taking the time to talk to Simple Style Notebook.


  1. Went straight to the bathroom with my tweezers in hand!

  2. It's so true, a little bit all the time and you're maintained. I remember working with a girl who always looked immaculate and she always dedicated Thursday evenings to plucking, waxing, doing nails, facials whatever. Such a great interview with loads of great advice. That Nars Multiple is now on my to buy list. M xx

  3. Manoj Lekhi is a philosopher, founder of Samskriti Vidya Kendra and key disciple of Guruji Rishi Prabhakar, SSY Programme, Vision, Organizing & Time



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...