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This Beauty Editor’s Favourite Ever Space-Saving Hack for Your Makeup

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Main image – @rubyhammerbeauty/Instagram

When it comes to makeup, I’m a sucker for a short cut. Whether it’s an all-in-one lip and cheek tint, an eyeliner on one end and smudger on the other or even a magnetic makeup brush set (makeup brushes housed in one ‘pen’, separated by magnets). 

Trinny London’s magnetic brush pen, called the T-Kit, has a lip brush, a slanted liner brush and a fluffy eyeshadow brush. It is really good, and I use the liner brush daily. 

However unfortunately it has a design fault. The fluffy eyeshadow brush is a little too big to fit in the lid meaning the bristles get splayed out in the wrong direction every time you put the lid on. So it ends up with the bristles in the middle pointing upwards as they should, and the outer bristles drooping over the edge of the brush head.

But luckily, makeup legend and co-founder of that iconic 90s makeup brand Ruby and Millie, Ruby Hammer has created her own Magnetic Brush Set (£25 in the UK and $33 in the US). Created under her namesake brand name, Ruby Hammer, there are even two versions to choose from. Here are three reasons why I’m a big fan.


The packaging

It’s every user’s first impression and this ruby-red packaging is really sexy. Plus, I love that on each section of the ‘pen’, there is an illustration of which brush is where. 


Image – Courtesy of writer


That’s another thing the Trinny London T-Kit lacks (sorry Trinny…) Unless you remember the order you locked them in the last time you used them, it can become an annoying guessing game of taking off each lid to find the one you want to use. And sod’s law, the last one you try is always the one you need.

The magnets click together so satisfyingly – they just feel super slick – and all the brushes fit into each lid perfectly.


The brushes

Hammer has confessed that she purposely hasn’t named any of the brushes as she likes to play around with them and use them for different things. Whilst this could be seen as confusing for beginners, I do actually really like this about them as it gives the user a bit of freedom. There is no wrong or right, use them however you wish!

The set includes a fluffy brush, likely for blending, a slanted brush potentially for eyeliner and a stubby refining brush. The slanted one could be a bit thinner and have a sharper line in my opinion but it’s still easy and comfortable to use.

The fluffy blending brush has just the right amount of fluff – not too much that it makes you cack-handed but thick enough to blend quickly and neatly. The stubby refining brush is notably soft too and I like to create a smokey, smudged finish with this one.


Image – Ruby Hammer


Magnetic Brush Set 02 contains a grooming brush, most likely for brows, a skinny brush, potentially for gel liners and a square brush, presumably for lips. The spoolie is the perfect size for brows and I love the precise and comfortable motion of the square brush. 

The skinny brush is a little fiddlier to use but I confess, I am not skilled in the gel/liquid liner department. I’m more of a kohl crayon kinda girl so, each to their own.


The functionality

I just love how these brushes can be chucked in a handbag or makeup bag without the worry of them getting dirty or squished and out of shape. 

The bristles are perfectly intact every time I use them thanks to the protection of the magnetic lids, and the compact pen packaging means you can take all your brushes on-the-go with you without taking up too much space. What’s more, they work with all formulas too and you can even buy extra brush heads to add onto your existing pen.


What other users are saying

Other users agree with me that these really do save space.

Lucinda on the Ruby Hammer website says, “I bought these for travel. What a brilliant idea. I often do short breaks with hand luggage only so anything that will reduce space is welcome. Love the design, how they all lock together. Well done Ruby Hammer!” And Heather, who has just one of them says, “this is such a great piece of kit, so compact and versatile applying and blending makeup. I’m considering buying the second brush too. Love it!”


Overall value for money

£25 sounds like a lot but for three brushes it really isn’t. Charlotte Tilbury, also a highly respected makeup artist, sells her individual Eye Liner Brush for £22 (a Ruby Hammer extra brush head is £12). Tilbury’s Essential Eye Tools costs £66 – that’s three eye makeup brushes in one set for £41 more than the Ruby Hammer Magnetic Brush Set. OK, the Tilbury ones might be full-sized brushes, but at the end of the day, their overall functions are the same. So I know which one I’d be going for. 


The takeaway

Three brushes for the price of one, that all lock together to save space, and are interchangeable and affordable? Oh, and they are also really good makeup brushes too. I’d say this little kit is a total no-brainer. 


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Beauty Editor

The former Beauty Editor of Glamour UK, Philippa has been a beauty and lifestyle journalist for over 16 years, picking up countless tips and tricks from makeup artists, hair stylists, dermatologists and celebrities. In that time she’s written for names like Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times Style, The Telegraph, Grazia, Refinery 29 and Byrdie. Philippa lives in the UK with her husband, two children and their hyperactive cockapoo, Paddy.

Expertise: Makeup, hair care
Education: Oxford Brookes University

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