As the creator of digital beauty concierge service Ruuby , it’s fair to say that Venetia Archer is rather well connected in beauty land, but that doesn’t stop her putting things in her Boots basket that she doesn’t need or struggling to execute the perfect eyeliner flick . From a time efficiency epiphany when she started getting her highlights done at home to frittering away money on tooth whitening kits, here’s where her beauty budget goes, plus what she’d hypothetically spend half a grand on in one fell swoop, given the chance.
Ruuby CEO and founder Venetia Archer on the hairbrush that changed her life and the skin serum that resulted in her being ID’d in a bar…
GTG: Do you shop for beauty products online or offline?
VA: I shop offline for beauty- I’m quite old fashioned like that. I rely so much on personal recommendations, whether from a friend or a makeup artist, and then I often get hooked on a product once I’ve tried it. The more I get into an item, the more open I am to experimenting- I’ve recently forayed into lipliners for example. They’re now one of my favourite products, and I love trying out different shades at makeup counters.
GTG: Which shops or sites do you buy your beauty products from?
VA: I head to Space NK once a month for a beauty blowout. The shops stock such a brilliant edit of products, and every member of staff is unfailingly knowledgeable about the brands. I love their passion and enthusiasm, as well as the fact that they are constantly introducing new brands and products. I am now a cult user of Erborian BB Crème au Ginseng , £36, which was introduced to me by an aficionado of the brand in store.
GTG: What’s the last makeup item you bought and why do you like it?
VA: Eyeko Liquid Eyeliner , £16. I never used to use a liquid liner as it seemed all too complicated, but this applicator is so easy to use and allows for the most professional looking cat flicks. I love all Eyeko products- the company has a fiendish attention to detail and I really admire what they have done with the business.
GTG: And your most recent skincare purchase?
VA: It was the IS Clinical Active Serum , £68. It’s honestly incredible. My favourite facialist gave me some samples- I’m normally very wary before shelling out for skincare. I used it, subsequently got ID’d at a bar and haven't looked back. The products contain pharmaceutical grade botanicals and have high concentrations of active ingredients, which are so effective.
GTG: You have £500 to spend at a makeup counter. Which one do you choose and why?
VA: The by TERRY counter by a mile. I think that you could get quite the haul with £500. Every single product is of such high quality, and somehow manages to feel completely different to everything else around. I use the Glow Expert Duo Stick , £38, all the time, and the light reflective Touche Veloutee , £38.50, is magic.
GTG: Have you ever had your makeup done at a makeup counter? If so, which counter and why?
VA: Not since I started Ruuby- I am lucky to be able to be even lazier and have it done in my living room! That said, I used to go to Shu Uemura all the time for eye makeup and lashes, which always did the trick before a party.
GTG: What would be in your Boots shopping basket?
VA: I really like Olay creams - they are great value and suitably hydrating. Otherwise normally when I go into Boots I waste all of my money on novelty products like teeth whitening kits, hair accessories and hair tools which I absolutely do not need.
GTG: What’s your favourite budget beauty buy?
VA: Tangle Teezer has changed my life. I will never forget the day all those years ago when my hairdresser passed me his as a gift.
GTG: And the most expensive?
VA: SK II masks . They are the best in the game, and are absolutely worth looking like a monster for an hour or so. I try to fall asleep in them so that the product has time to settle. I really noticed how amazing they were when I used one after being sunburnt. I woke up the next day and my skin had somehow experienced a turbocharged repair. I wouldn’t go on holiday without at least one now.
GTG: What beauty products do you stock up on during your supermarket shop?
VA: Magnesium bath salts . I am a real bath person, and magnesium salts help me relax into the evening. I have also just discovered magnesium oil , which has done wonders for my sleep. It's a bit itchy on application, but it helps to induce calm and stops you waking during the night.
GTG: Where do you get your hair done?
VA: I get it done at home, including highlights! I never understood people who did it, but I am such a convert. I can get on with my emails quietly for a few hours while the colour develops.
GTG: Any other beauty services you regularly book in for?
VA: I am so lucky- thanks to my job it's very legitimate to have MANY beauty service. I love a massage to destress, and I am now getting into regular laser genesis and Fire and Ice facials with the amazing Dr Preema.
GTG: What’s next on your beauty shopping list?
VA: I am keen to start being healthier, and so want to stock up on all of the amazing WelleCo products. Whenever I take them, I feel so much better, and the morning routine sets me up well for good habits during the day.