With a career in the beauty industry spanning over 30 years, Ruby Hammer, MBE (no less!) has become one of the best-known, loved, and respected makeup artists in the business. She has worked on many celebrity faces, global advertising campaigns and launched several successful beauty businesses. Whatever Ruby doesn’t know about beauty, is not worth knowing. Here, Ruby reveals everything from her beauty secrets to her must-have buys. Notepad at the ready!

The Beauty Staples No Woman Should Be Without 

Gosh, where do I start? A good cleanser, a skin moisturiser, sun protection, a great set of brushes so any make-up can be applied well, and a mascara.  Concealer is also an absolute must. It’s a girl’s best friend: it hides spots, dark circles, blemishes, lack of sleep. Simply use your fingers or a mini beauty blender to apply.

I also love serums. Serum formulations pack a heavy age-defying punch, while still being lightweight. They sink straight into skin and allow for more powerful concentrations of age-defying ingredients than creams do.  

I think cleansing and nourishing the whole body is equally important as looking after your skin. Scrub your body: I use a friction mitt and shower gel (anything that smells nice, like the Aromatherapy Associates range or REN Skincare). It wakes up your body, and the smell’s uplifting to the senses. And body brush. Elemis has a great dry body brush that get to hard-to-reach areas. 

I also believe hands and nails should always be groomed and polished.


My Signature Makeup Look for Summer 

Skin: Hydrated, natural, and glowing with a pop of colour always looks beautiful in the summer. I prep the skin with one of my go-to serums which always contains hyaluronic acid and an SPF. I go for lightweight coverage that looks natural on the skin. Chanel Les Beiges have some great textures, colour shades and a medium weight coverage option too. Other favourites are Rose Inc for watery and lightweight coverage and Armani NU Skin.  

Eyes: I’m really enjoying the monochromatic trend at the moment – think eyes lips and cheeks all in the same tones. Finish your look by using your blush or bronzer of choice to do a wash of colour on the eyes to pull it all together. It’s super easy to achieve so great when I’m on the go as I can do a full face with minimal products.

Lips: I’m using hybrid products that care for your lips as well as colour pay off. Typology and Victoria Beckham have great options that offer a long-lasting sheen, not forgetting my own Lip Serum Balms which use a blend of Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Cocoa Butter, and Liquorice Leaf Extract to keep lips hydrated with a dewy wash of colour. 

 Brows: I use my magnetic brush spoolie and angled brush heads to elevate my eyebrows. I apply one shade of colour for definition and apply sparingly. It’s all about lovely tidied up, groomed brows – think the ‘no make-up makeup’ effect for your brows.


My Repeat Beauty Buys 

You’ll always find these products in my bathroom, some of which I’ve been using and recommending for over two decades! They never ever let me down.  

  • Weleda Skin Food 
  • Sisley Black Rose Face Mask
  • SkinCeuticals HA Intensifier 
  • Tweezerman Tweezers 
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow-Powder Duo 
  • Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage 
  • Jones Road Face Pencils 
  • NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer 
  • Khiels Ultra Facial Moisturiser 
  • Symprove supplements 
  • Eyedrops
  • Surrat Revelee Eyelash Curlers


My Favourite Destination To Stock Up On Beauty Products 

Cult Beauty is my go-to online store, but Liberty is particularly amazing for discovering new brands. Also, I never come out empty-handed when I’m in SpaceNK or Harvey Nicholls. If I’m in America, I can’t resist a visit to the Bergdorf beauty hall or Target for great beauty bargains.

My First Beauty Memory 

I’ve always loved makeup from a child, I used to be mesmerised watching my mum apply her makeup. My mum was 17 when she had me, so I’ve always seen her getting ready with eyelashes and short wigs, big hairpieces all through the ‘60s. I was fascinated by her transformations and loved seeing how she changed her looks. 

 My Favourite Scent 

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino is my current fave, but I have always loved Aromatherapy Associates perfume, that has now been discontinued, unfortunately I am down to my last few bottles. And when that’s gone, it will be a sad day.


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A post shared by RUBY HAMMER MBE (@rubyhammer)

My Beauty Travel Essentials (no matter what the weather!)

I always travel with make-up, but I take a much-edited version of my make-up bag with me on holiday. My essentials are a light and dark concealer, a good mascara, an eyeliner and a cream blush product for cheeks eyes and lips. My two Ruby Hammer brushes offer everything I need (6 heads in two brushes) for applying, but I’ll always pack some lash curlers too. My Ruby Hammer FX & Red Lip Serum Balm, and my mini nail kit is also a must. Obviously, SPF is high on my packing list. I use SuperGoop Unseen Sunscreen as it’s great for darker skins as no white cast is left on the skin. 

When it comes to haircare, I pack my specialist shampoo and conditioner, and always a Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer mask – I swear by it, it makes my thin hair bouncy and shiny!

And a mask or treatment is always a good idea as I usually have much more time on my hand on holiday. My go-to is Meder’s Beauty Hydra-Fill Sheet Mask. 

My Beauty Inspiration 

My mum of course. Celebrity-wise, I love Kate Moss; she always looks effortless and paired down and Bianca Jagger, she’s slick, sexy, and ageless.

My 5 Beauty Rules To Live By 

  • Genes matter. Lifestyle choices matter– good skin is more than just having a great skin regime. A healthy diet, lifestyle and positive mindset can have much more impact on your skin and health than any product can.
  • Having a beauty routine matters– sadly one ‘miracle’ product isn’t going to solve your problems and give you great skin. Finding products that work for you and being consistent with your routine is key. 
  • Sleep matters– when you’re tired it shows on your skin – bags under your eyes, dullness etc. Your skin will thank you for a good night’s sleep!
  • Remember that no one is without a wonderful feature or asset they can make the most of. Beauty is in everybody. 

And embrace ageing – drop the filters and learn your own face: the best way to do this is by looking at it in a mirror rather than a selfie.

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