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 • Makeup  • Makeup Reviews  • I Tried 5 Ruby Hammer Makeup Products: Here’s My Honest Review

I Tried 5 Ruby Hammer Makeup Products: Here’s My Honest Review

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Main image – Ruby Hammer

World-famous makeup artist Ruby Hammer (and proud mum of Indu co-founder, Reena Hammer no less) has launched her very own makeup range. This time with just her name in the title.

Remember Ruby and Millie? Iconic makeup brand of the 90s and noughties, created by Hammer along with her friend and beauty publicist Millie Kendall. The brand used innovative packaging (they did the click pen lip gloss thing first) and it was one of the first makeup brands to contain such diverse and inclusive shades. 

Not to be eternally compared to Ruby and Millie, I can’t help but point out on first impressions that the Ruby Hammer makeup range looks just as iconic, if a little more grown up. And it includes the same sort of clever packaging and easy-to-use applicators. Now that’s the last time I mention Ruby and Millie because Ruby Hammer is a success story in its own right. 


Image – Courtesy of writer


Here is my review of 5 Ruby Hammer products. Do they live up to Hammer’s flawless reputation? And will any of them be given the accolade of remaining in my ‘can’t live without’ makeup stash? Keep scrolling to find out…


Cheek Colour, £24 

Score: 4/5

Image – Courtesy of writer


At first glance, this product looks a little bit like my son’s nifty all-in-one pencil sharpener and rubber that I bought for his pencil case at the start of the school year. But this product is most definitely not one for a nine-year-old boy to get his hands on by accident. Because it’s pure genius and must not be wasted!

Whilst I prefer a round shaped cream blusher (the shape of this one instantly screams ‘streaky blusher’ to me, but I can work with it) I was instantly reeled in by the clever packaging. Lift off the see-through lid, twist the bottom a full 180 degrees, feel the click and the cream formula is pushed up a notch. Twist it back again and the cream goes back down. Clever. And oh-so slick.

I chose to gather the formula with my finger, rather than apply the stick directly onto my skin which I’ve since discovered is how Hammer herself applies it. The colour pay-off is excellent and creates an instantly pretty flush on application. It’s easy to blend and move into position as needed and I love the creamy finish. 


Image – Courtesy of writer


It manages to stay in place for the day, just like a stain only much more hydrating. And I really like how it can be doubled up as a lip colour too – just dab whatever is left on your finger onto your lips, et voila! Matchy matchy!


What other users are saying

Other users also seem to love these cheek colours. “Love mine! Perfect pop” (@justbobbidotcom) says makeup icon Bobbi Brown. And, “I have just bought this and absolutely love it. Gives a gorgeous flush to the cheeks” says Instagram user @lisasmith292020.


Overall value for money

At £24 this is a little bit over what I would expect to pay for this. I’d probably spend something like £15-£17 for it. Having said that, it isn’t going to run out quickly thanks to the strong pigment – you only need to use a little at a time – so depending on how often I use it, £24 might be doable. 


Precision Liquid Eyeliner, £19

Score: 4/5

Image – Ruby Hammer

Being more of a crayon liner gal myself (because, frankly, I suck at applying liquid liner), I was worried I wouldn’t be able to give this one a fair go. But it may have actually converted me. 

It’s not a liquid liner that comes out of what I call ‘a pot of ink.’ You know the ones that look like they should be used to write an old-fashion letter with (and consequently make it impossible not to apply in a wiggly line)? However, this one is a felt tip pen. Which means much more precision and much less wiggle. 

The colour is strong and the line is confident (no fading) meaning a steady hand is needed but not so much that you need to be nervous about applying it. I draw the shape I need in dots with the pen first and then join them up to create a straighter line. Yes like a dot to dot, but it really works.

So far so good – no smudging and the pen itself isn’t too chunky either – there’s nothing worse than when the body of a liner gets in the way of what’s already a tricky application process. And, call me materialistic, but I love the look of the metallic red writing against the black shiny packaging. What can I say? It just looks classy.


What other users are saying

This seems to be another customer favourite with reviewer Jojo Pepper saying on the Ruby Hammer website, “This eyeliner is the best I have ever used. I have slightly hooded lids and struggled with eyeliner looking good and not smudging. This has staying power and glides on so easy. Couldn’t live without it now.” (Jojo Pepper,


Overall value for money

Considering this won’t run out quickly, and judging by most reviews it doesn’t dry out. So I think £19 is a fair price for a makeup artist-approved liquid liner. The Charlotte Tilbury one is £25 so this is a bargain in comparison. It’s so important to get a smooth, easy to apply liquid eyeliner that doesn’t transfer every time you blink and this one ticks all the right boxes. 


Nail File, £18

Score: 3/5

Image – Courtesy of writer

This is a sturdy, weighty glass nail file, which comes boxed and further contained in a handy plastic pouch. First of all, it looks great. Hammer’s signature ruby red packaging allows this nail file to stand out from the rest and you really feel like you’re treating your nails to the best when using it.

Glass nail files aren’t as quick to file as the emery board style ones. But because nail experts always say using a glass file is safer and healthier for your nails, I’ll take filing for a little bit longer if it’s better for my nails. This does the job well and definitely feels like a luxury item.


How it compares

This is more luxurious than other glass nail files I’ve used, particularly with how it looks and the heavier weight of it too. 


Overall value for money

£18 for a nail file is a luxury price tag, that’s for sure. Especially as Tweezerman sell their Glass Nail File for £8. However, this is much larger than the Tweezerman nail file, it looks nicer and there’s something about a prestigious makeup artist like Hammer being behind the creation of it that gives me and my nails an extra sense of security.


Mascara and Brow Duo, £28

Score: 3/5

Image – Courtesy of writer


Who doesn’t love a duo?! But I’ll be honest, when I first opened the mascara end my initial thought was ‘erm, no thanks.” Why? Because the mascara wand is the slimmest I have ever seen and, being a fan of big, bold lashes, I’m used to a chunky brush that grabs and lengthens them in one quick hit.

But then I read the description online and realised that this teeny wand is the size it is so that it can coat every lash from root to tip and actually treat lashes as it goes too (the brush is apparently infused with nourishing ingredients). So, it’s not one to go in all guns blazing and create huge lashes with.

You’re meant to see this product as both a mascara and a lash conditioner and literally comb your lashes through slowly with the brush as if you were combing a conditioning mask through your hair. 

Let’s face it, it doesn’t create bold, long, false-lash effect lashes but, to be fair, it doesn’t claim to. What it does is coat lashes evenly without any hint of clogging and lifts them as it goes. 

The other end is for taming and setting your brows, with yet another teeny tiny wand. Its size makes it super easy to use – I mean, why would you need a brush any bigger for your brows? The gel is clear, so this shouldn’t be confused with a brow tint and ingredients like caffeine and panthenol help to condition and strengthen the hairs every time you use it.  

I haven’t noticed a difference in the thickness of my brows since using it – yet – but I like the way it sets my shape and expertly gets my brow hairs in place.


What other users are saying

Despite this not being my favourite of the range, other users seem to really enjoy it. “Best mascara EVER” says @onnisevelina on Instagram. While one reviewer on Ruby Hammer’s website, K.G. says, “This is a brilliant mascara. It has a minute brush which works so well. No clumping, coats eyelashes very well and makes them look dark and thick. The other brush really keeps eyebrows in shape too. An excellent mascara all round.” 


Overall value for money

Honestly? Being a duo, the volume of each product has already been cut in half so I don’t expect it to last very long and £28 is a lot to spend. Only commit to the price if you’re a brow and mascara girl, not one or the other. Even if you love the mascara but don’t really need the brow gel (or vice versa), £28 probably isn’t the best value for money if you’re only going to be using half of what you’re paying for.


Lip Serum Balm, £18

Score: 5/5

Image – Courtesy of writer

Now here’s a product I can get on board with and yes, you’ve guessed it, this one has made it into my forever makeup bag. It had me at hello. Well, ‘lip serum balm’ actually. I mean what could be more hydrating for my lips than something called a lip serum balm?! Especially after enduring a long winter of them being dry and cracked.

As soon as it touched my lips, they felt smooth and well looked after. It melted into my lips like honey and left a gorgeous pigment too. I’m more of a paler pink lip girl myself and the one I tried was a bold Berry. But the great thing about these lip serum balms is that they can be as sheer as you want them to be. And I like a sheer take of this berry shade so much, it has actually inspired me to try more berry shades!

You can dab some of this on your cheeks too to use as a blusher. Initially I thought it would be too ‘balmy’ in texture for this but having watched Hammer herself do it on Instagram, it really works and just feels nicely hydrating. You don’t need much, just a dab, and it’s easily blendable. 


What other users are saying

Others agree with me on this balm. “Really great lip serum for colder weather. Colour packs a punch and it stays on well. I love it,” says Mary on the Ruby Hammer website. 

“Just WOW.” adds Claire in her website review.


How it compares

This product reminds me of the Beauty Pie Lip Colour Balm Stick. It has the same chunky crayon exterior, although the Beauty Pie one is slightly chunkier. I think Hammer’s version is definitely more hydrating, and the colour stays on for longer.

If you’re looking for a similar product that costs less, the Beauty Pie Balm Stick is the one to go for. However, it definitely helps that Hammer is behind the creation of every single one of her products. And who am I to argue with a makeup artist legend?


Overall value for money

£18 is what I would expect to pay for a makeup artist-approved lip colour, especially one that has so many hydrating and staying-power benefits. I like a sheer finish so I make sure I don’t press too hard when I apply it and this definitely makes it last longer. I’m already planning on buying another one when it’s finished. £18 for a product that gives me so much joy? I’d probably pay £20.


The takeaway

Before you’ve even used a Ruby Hammer product, it’s easy to be drawn in by the gorgeous ruby red boxes each one is contained in. Everything feels so luxe and chic. It’s almost as if the person who created the range really knows makeup and what the consumer wants, and, since makeup icon Ruby Hammer is personally behind every product in the range, that makes sense.

My two favourite products from the five reviewed above are the nifty Cheek Colour and the super hydrating Lip Serum Balm (still love that name). Overall, it is a brand that I will be purchasing more of and keeping a close eye on. Because this beauty editor wants to see more!


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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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