Diary / Justbobbi / Sep 26, 2022
Talking Wellness, Beauty, and Business with Ruby Hammer
Written by: Julia McVeigh
Ruby Hammer MBE is one of the world’s most respected and accomplished makeup artists, known for her technical mastery and timeless, fresh-faced style. Unsurprisingly, we count ourselves some of her biggest fans—which is why Bobbi is thrilled to celebrate her launch of EVOLUTION_18 at Boots UKwith Ruby’s help this month.
To coincide with EVOLUTION_18’s presence across the pond, we caught up with the London-based Ruby to discuss her own new product range — which includes a highly covetable, sophisticated edit of makeup brushes — as well as her beauty philosophy, her thoughts on wellness and the advice she would give her younger self. Read on!
It’s so exciting that you’ve launched a new range of beauty products! What inspired this venture?
It is exciting! I have always been involved in beauty brands, whether it was bringing Aveda to the UK in the 90s and then selling our exclusive distributor business to Estée Lauder, or creating a brand in partnership with Millie Kendall MBE and Boots, "Ruby & Millie,” to Ruby Hammer Recommends at Debenhams in the UK. This my latest, but very personally-inspired, venture—my eponymous collection of what inspires me. Looking at a heavily saturated market, and based upon my long working experience and travels, I have chosen to dig deep into myself to bring out products that bring me satisfaction and joy.
Can you discuss the brushes in the range? Why these three tools; how are they essential elements for a modern makeup regimen?
I have chosen the three brush heads after researching all the different ones that would be needed for a full face of makeup; these three heads are the most useful and versatile. When I saw them, I instantly loved them for their beauty and practicality. The brushes can be used for liquid, powder and cream textures, and help address the main features of the face: brows, eyes and lips. For cheeks or larger areas of the face, there are loads of great products already out there that I use and love; from lots of brands including Hourglass, Shu Uemura, Beauty Blender, and Real Techniques. As a working makeup artist, there is a lot of choice out there for women, but I see my Magnetic Brush Set as a true staple.
What’s next in terms of product development? Anything you can share?
My whole brand concept is very tightly edited — life doesn’t stand still, and there has to be product development, but I don’t want to bring out extra products to just bring more noise in a saturated marketplace. I want products that make sense and I want to launch products that do manifest my experience as a jobbing makeup artist and experience as a beauty expert. I am always looking to evolve, and if the time merits it, I will be bringing out new products that achieve these goals.
Shifting gears—we would love to hear about your overall beauty philosophy. What does ‘beauty’ mean to Ruby Hammer?
I have a very simple beauty philosophy and it is not defined simply by the use of cosmetics superficially. True beauty is not defined by age, colour, size or sex, it is reflected by the spirit within. Someone who has a ready smile, who shows kindness and warmth—they are always beautiful.
How does wellness factor into your beauty philosophy, if at all?
It is paramount. Beauty without inner wellness is very hollow. Wellness manifests through shiny hair, clear eyes, nice nails, smooth skin. You can see when someone is not looking after themselves, they have no energy, no power. When you feel good, you look better. But it is also okay to be vulnerable and not be perfect.
How do you prioritize your wellbeing as a busy entrepreneur, mother, etc.?
To be honest, I juggle like the rest of the planet. I am lucky as a mother that my daughter is an adult, as opposed to the rest of my team who have school-aged children so are often rushing around... I have gained those hours back.
I have been married, divorced and remarried, so I value the time that I have to share with my husband and partner in life. As I get older, I have increased the time for myself and my own wellbeing — be that exercising, meditating, reading books, going to the movies or researching — without feeling guilty about trying to be everything to everybody. My work is super important to me and always has been, but so are my family and friends. Today, we have to factor in the time eaten away by social media obligations too. I have no set plans, but I give attention and priority to what appears most urgent at the time, without compromising my loved ones. I try to make it work out but I also accept compromises where needed.
Lastly, you are a pioneer in the beauty industry with an impressively enduring career. Surely, you’ve learned some lessons along the way! What advice would you give your younger self—personally, professionally or otherwise? We’re taking notes!
Thank you for the kind words of praise. I have had to learn many lessons along my long working career: the most important being not to give up, be as honest as possible, hard work bears fruit and as I have seen from the tremendous love and support from my family, friends and colleagues. Doing good brings good—always help if you can!
To my younger self: don’t try to be Wonder Woman. There is no need to try to be anyone but yourself.