Ruby’s passion for colour started at a young age. Born in Jos, Nigeria to Bangladeshi parents, she moved to London in at the age of twelve, where she discovered the world of beauty – covering her bedroom wall with torn out iconic looks from her favourite makeup artists instead of pop stars.
Before obtaining her BA (Hons), her career began on the shop
floor in Harrods, where the store discount was used to buy makeup and international fashion magazines. A chance encounter led to being invited to work as assistant to a leading makeup artist, gaining experience working on the top fashion magazines of the time and building key contacts. A few short years later, Ruby was a leading makeup artist in her own right – creating her own iconic looks for editorial and red carpets, and breaking boundaries as one of the first makeup artists of colour to feature regularly on British TV.
Beyond her talent for makeup, Ruby’s sound business brain gave the ability to recognise a gap in the market. In partnership with ex-husband, George Hammer, her knack for spotting a winning beauty formula led her to introduce some of the world’s most recognisable global beauty brands to the UK - Aveda, Tweezerman, Mr Mascara and L’Occitane to name a few. From there, Ruby went on to launch makeup brand Ruby & Millie with friend and partner Millie Kendall OBE in Boots stores nationwide. It was the first makeup line to embrace diversity and cater for a range of skin-tones at an affordable price point in cool, cutting-edge packaging. The rest is history - the collection was an international success, winning awards and celebrity fans across the globe and In 2007 Ruby received an MBE from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to the cosmetics industry.
Ahead of the curve Ruby & Millie continued to break new ground in a saturated market, bringing futuristic, playful and professional products to the masses whilst winning coveted industry awards.
In 2000 Ruby and Millie partnered with Tamara Sturtz to launch Face Up 'The Essential Make-Up Handbook' taking a unique approach to beauty. Rather than a strict guide, Face Up addresses the 'why' of make-up before the 'how'.
A decade which brought joy and pain. Marrying her best friend, her rock, her Amo... life in the 2010s started with happiness and love. This was quickly whisked away with the passing of her beloved Mum in 2021. Kickstarting a period of grieving which brought with it the menopause.
Battling through, it gave the time to weigh up life, questioning existence and learning to focus on what was and wasn't important. It became a time to focus on family. Ruby watched her daughter flourish in both her career and her personal life and prioritised her time and energy in a way she hadn't before.
Never one to rest on her laurels, Ruby’s most recent success is her signature capsule collection of beauty essentials, Ruby Hammer Beauty. Created to give everyone the high-performance quality cosmetics and tools that make every look accessible, the award-winning range includes the innovative, interchangeable, and hygienic magnetic brushes, precision eyeliners and the new first-to-market hybrid lip serum balms that harness the power of potent skincare ingredients combined with wearable yet impactful shades.
This considered, vegan, sustainable and performance-driven range is fast becoming a cult product in its own right and is spotted in every MUA and editor’s essential kit along with prestigious retailers around the world both in store and online.