A native Brit of Bangladeshi parents, Ruby Hammer MBE, continues to enjoy a high-profile career as an internationally acclaimed make-up artists and branding creator and consultant. Home is in West London and shared with her husband and Soho House COO Martin Kuczmarski.
Even though beauty trends come and go, you continue to be admired, respected and in-demand. What is the secret to making it in this and indeed any industry?
Be true to yourself. I have a strong sense of self which comes through being grateful, meditation, appreciating my uniqueness and accepting it's okay to have faults.
What makes you feel beautiful?
My husband makes me feel beautiful. Knowing I am not perfect but clean up good and going on holiday; a bit of time in the sun does the trick.
What was the best bit of advice your mother gave you and what advice have you passed onto your daughter?
My mother’s legacy lives on in me…try your best, have integrity and be kind. As for my daughter; I don’t really give advice but I am sure she sees the best and the worst of me and is proud of what I stand for and how I live my life and treat others. That should be a guide for her, just as my mother was to me.
As a highly successful couple in careers that demand a lot of travel, how do you and Martin stay emotionally connected when apart?
By making deliberate efforts to do so. By talking, texting or face time most days and then catching up properly when we are back. We also make an effort not to be apart for more than two weeks at a time. Above all, we try not to take each other for granted.
What are your tips for looking good?
A regular beauty regime with good products, plenty of sleep, water, protection from the elements and pay attention to the mind and body, without becoming obsessed. Balance in all things. Easier said than done.
What have been your biggest highs and lows and how have you stayed grounded in the highs and what has helped when you were low?
Having my daughter, creating a successful brand in Ruby and Millie, getting an MBE, getting married have all been amazing highs. The lows are my divorce some years ago, losing both my parents; my mum more recently and that is something I am still reeling from. My close relationship with my late mother helped me stay grounded…hence the colossal loss. I have faith in Divine power, God, Energy, Karma…call it what you will. Now I am able to share the highs and lows with my husband, daughter, brother, loved ones and trusted colleagues. They provide the balance and I hope they know I am there for them. What matters is being grateful as things are much, much worse for many others.
What advice would you give someone on creating routine and structure when their career demands a more fluid approach?
My work is quite 3-dimensional. So it’s not just the shoots or brand work. The website involves a different skill set and there are follow up meetings, launches to attend and yes, one has to be flexible. That said, I am disciplined and if I happen to be free, I just chill and recharge without any guilt. I read, watch movies, meditate, sleep and spend time catching up with chores. So in a sense, I think the structure is to let go and relax.
A quote that resonates…
I read this quote from the Dalai Lama recently and it struck a cord. When asked what surprised him most about humanity, he answered, "Man…Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived."