Hitting the beauty spot with the make-up artist of legend.

Ruby Hammer is one of the most legendary make-up artists in the business. In her 25-year career, she has inspired and pioneered looks which have found expression in the haute couture fashion houses of Paris, on major runways, and through the pages of the fashion bibles. She has worked with a role call of the world’s most stellar designers (think John Galliano and Jasper Conran), photographers, art directors and models, and worked on campaigns for international brands, such as Pantene and Oil of Olay. Estée Lauder, Clarins, Clinique and Aveda are among just some of the high-end beauty brands that have called on her advisory expertise to launch their products, and her unerring eye has ensured that her work regularly appears in the pages of Vogue, Harpers and Queen and Elle.

Who better placed, then, to invent and create her own beauty brand? In 1998, she co-founded Ruby & Millie, which launched in Harvey Nichols and went on to huge acclaim. Fast-forward twenty-two years and she has her own streamlined capsule collection whose praises have been sung to the skies in Vogue online.



Here she tells us why she’s not tempted to while away hours on the internet; how shopping online for herself for the first time was a big personal triumph; and why you must always, always be yourself.

My favourite website...

Net-A-Porter for fashion and beauty fixes.

My favourite app...

My banking ones. I love that I can have instant access and keep tabs on everything. With so many hats on, it makes my life easier.

My favourite blog...

British Beauty Blogger. Jane is great. Hers was the first beauty blog that I read and she continues to give honest information.

My Internet hero...

Lisa Eldridge. Whether you’re an artist, a consumer or a beauty lover, she is an Internet hero. She was one of the first people to see the power of the Internet for beauty and she ran with it.

My favourite podcast...

Ted Talks. I love how varied the talks are.

My favourite YouTuber...

Lisa Eldridge, as above.



My most recent buy online...

A Tory Burch dress.

Last book you downloaded or read...

The African Trilogy: Things Fall Apart / No Longer At Ease / Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe.

Favourite tweeter...

Ateh Jewel. She is always either at the forefront of beauty or she is making me laugh.

Favourite Instagrammer...

There are so many, it is really difficult to choose between people that you know and people that inspire you and brands that you love.

Favourite tech gadget...

My iPad. It has taught me how to do emails, shop online, it’s made me self-sufficient in technology.

The most useful gadget on your desk...

My Magnetic Brush Set. Joking aside, I love playing with each head, clicking it all together. My desk is usually a make-up bench on set as a make-up artist rather than the usual style.



First thing/app you look at on your mobile when you wake up/in the morning...

Instagram.

The last thing you binge-watched...

Succession.

Brands you have discovered online...

They’re usually cleaning gadgets. I tend to discover beauty from my job, but I love to keep a clean house.

Social media allowed me to meet...

Rather than allowing me to meet someone, I like that it allows others to meet me in a more inclusive manner.

The best digital advice I've been given...

Be yourself and find ways to convey that honestly. Too many people try to be someone else.

My screensaver...

My husband and I on our honeymoon.

My standout online memory...

The first time that I could do an order online by myself, go through the website myself, pick it and pay for it. It may seem silly, but I used to ask friends to do it so I didn’t botch it up.

My pet online hate...

When websites let you get all the way through an order and then you can’t pay because the website won’t do worldwide delivery, and then they send you an email to say you left something in your basket. Since GDPR, I get this with American sites in particular.

Do you have any online rules or resolutions (such as a time your religiously switch off devices, for example?)

I am pretty good. I only really do what I need to do, as I’m quite busy. I would never sit with my phone or a tablet at dinner.

As someone who runs a business at least in part online, what are your best bits of advice/ most interesting things you’ve learned?

It is extremely hard to keep things simple. I want things to be easy for those that are unsure. Don’t rely on social media.

By Lydia Mansi
April 2020

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.

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