As a female founded brand, BELLA's mission is to celebrate our female trailblazers to empower and inspire you along your journey. That’s why we’ve started our Monday Muse series. Each Monday, to start your week on a high, we will highlight one woman who’s paving the way in their own field and in life. Here, they’ll answer questions on everything, from how they started out to challenges and highlights, plus beauty advice they think everyone should know, along with their favourite top trick. What's better is that you can ask them anything via the comment section below! This week: Ruby Hammer MBE, international MUA, founder of Ruby & Millie and so much more!
Tell us about yourself
I’m Ruby Hammer MBE. I’m an international makeup artist, brand founder, author and beauty expert as well as being a wife, mother and Nani.
Show us your best beauty hack.
Clean tools and clean products. Whatever look you are trying to achieve if your tools are clean, and the products are the right ones for you everything becomes easier.
What does beauty mean to you?
I have a very simple philosophy when it comes to beauty, 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.
What is your favourite makeup look to do and why?
When working on myself I like a monochromatic look with lips and cheeks in the same colour family so that you look pulled together.
How do you love yourself?
By not giving myself a hard time, and not feeling guilty by indulging myself. Self-care isn’t selfish.
What motto do you live by?
Live and let live!
What has been the most challenging part of your career?
There are ups and downs in everyone’s careers but the most challenging times have been during the time of Covid-19 and the repercussions of it on every aspect of life, including working life.
What has been the highlight of your journey?
Because I’ve had a long career there are lots of highlights, getting an MBE, Ruby & Millie, having a brand that bears your name, the first shoot for Vogue and to still be standing after 40 years in the industry.
What is something that people would be surprised to know about you?
I have a bad potty mouth!
What insecurities have you overcome and how?
When you are a freelance and creative you will always have lulls, you must listen to your loved ones to bring perspective back. Take a step back, discuss it and then move forward again.
How did you find the beauty industry, being an ethnic minority?
No matter your colour, the industry is hard to crack as it is so competitive. It can be difficult being from a minority, but it wasn’t my guiding principle. Whenever I saw opportunities I seized them.
What advice would you give yourself if you were starting all over again?
I am very grateful and blessed to have achieved all the things that I have done. One of the things to be aware of is that you are not Superwoman.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
The biggest personal inspiration is my late Mother. Our industry is filled with many other inspiring women including creative artists like Pat McGrath and Lisa Eldridge to brand founders (and multiple brand founders) like Marcia Kilgore, Bobbi Brown, Trinny Woodhall and Jo Malone.
You can invite any 3 people to dinner, who has made the guestlist and why?
It doesn’t matter who they are, I love people that are comfortable, open, and kind. A good sense of humour and willing to share without hogging the whole dinner table.
What is on the horizon for 2023?
New product development particularly in the colour area, playing with my grandson and taking more time for me. We all must learn to be attentive to our own needs, especially after Covid-19.