When it comes to ~dream girls~ Ruby Heery has got to be it. The former fashion & beauty editor of Oyster and current co-founder/creative director of Par Femme is as smart as she is talented, and as genuinely warm as she is cool.
In the unlikely event you’re yet to visit Par Femme, and have thus regrettably been sourcing your lingerie and sex toys elsewhere, the female-oriented site was launched by Ruby and former fashion publisher Monica Nakata earlier this year. The site is a confluence of sex, fashion and humour — they sell everything from TyLynn Nguyen lingerie and Holly Ryan jewellery, to Perlesque toys and erotic literature, and offer up honest reviews of said toys alongside anecdotal sex stories from some of Australia’s best young female writers. At its crux, Par Femme is engineered towards making women feel good about themselves.
We hung out with Ruby in her beautiful Sydney apartment to chat about the importance of female friendships, the link between erotica and fashion, and what her beauty routine is. Get to know her below.
What was the impetus behind starting Par Femme?
I’ve always been very aware of how lucky I have been to always be surrounded by amazing girls and women. There’s something in the air when a group of women come together; there’s a strength that you can feel, and I think I’ve always wanted to find a way to celebrate that.
Do you think female relationships are particularly important, and why?
Definitely. I mean, I think relationships with a broad range of people is important too, but women tend to be naturally really insightful and supportive. I find when you open up to another women there is an instant connection — like you have each others backs right away. Even if you just chatted briefly in front of the mirrors in a restaurant bathroom.
How do you view the relationship between the erotic and fashion?
Fashion and erotica both walk a fine line between fantasy and reality. In a way I think they can overlap and become one in the same at times, both forms of self expression and self exploration. I do believe that what you wear can change how you feel or how you approach a situation, it can remind you of parts of yourself that are easy to forget in the treadmill of modern life – putting something on that makes you feel a certain way has a way of bringing you back into yourself. And sometimes it’s about being someone else completely, or at least a version of yourself you don’t necessarily get to be every day.
What’s your skincare routine?
I’ve gotten pretty good at taking care of my skin morning and night. I was previously a beauty editor and was exposed to so many amazing products, so I’ve had a chance to test and trail things and get to know what my skin likes and doesn’t like. It’s become almost like meditation for me – a time to not think about anything else and just enjoy the 10 minutes of indulgence and self care. My skin needs vary day to day so I find it good to have a few options that do different things for each step. I always start by spraying my face with a thermal spring water. I then cleanse with Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel or Kate Somerville EradiKate Daily Cleanser. I then tone with either something soothing containing Aloe Vera or something with Vitamin C like Kiehl’s Clarity-Activating Toner. Next I use Darphin’s Redness Relief Recovery Balm, which smells like a dream, or a nice moisturising serum followed by an SPF moisturiser like Mario Badescu’s Collagen Moisturiser in the day, or Weleda’s Almond Soothing Facial Cream at night. I then spray my face with rose water to finish it all off. Lately I’ve had some annoying hormonal spots around my chin and cheeks, so I’ve been double (and sometimes triple) cleansing by adding micellar water and a cotton pad to my routine and gently exfoliating in the shower with a Clarisonic.
Do you wear makeup? What’s your go-to product?
I do during the week, but only a little to feel a bit polished. My go-to is Benefit’s Rose Tint and a mascara.
What’s your haircare approach, and what products do you use?
I have fine, straight hair that doesn’t like any products, so I keep it clean and healthy using Shu Uemura cleansing shampoo and hydro-nourishing deep treatment masque, then brushing with my maison pearson brush.
What’s the biggest beauty mistake you’ve made?
For me, I’d have to say dying my hair. I coloured it for the first time a few years ago, a kind of honey-blonde. It wasn’t necessarily a mistake, more of a learning experience. I loved the colour but also just realised that I’ll probably never be 100% happy with my hair and I may as well just make the most of what I’ve got naturally.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
I’m a really early riser who likes laying in bed for as long as possible, so I tend to read first thing, always fiction.
Favourite online shopping spot?
Other than Par Femme 😉 it’s definitely My Chameleon.
What are you listening to right now?
A lot of Rihanna, Erykah Badu and Craig David.
What’s your favourite travel destination and why?
Bali. I know that may not be so original, but the combination of the heat, the landscape, the people, the way they approach life and what’s important to them – it’s just so beautiful.
Who was your first celeb crush?
Chris Isaak, closely followed by Leo.
What’s your most treausred item of clothing/jewellery?
Right now it would have to be my grandmothers wedding band, which she gave to me a few years ago. It’s so simple and elegant for it’s time and I just love that she chose that when the style of the time was more ornate and decorative.
What does ‘beauty’ mean to you?
To me, a person is the most beautiful when they feel good in their own skin. It’s almost like lingerie, you can’t see it (for most of the day) but you know it’s there and it makes you feel good and that comes through in your eyes and the way you move and interact. Beauty can’t always be defined, it can be more of a feeling.
Credits: Photography, Carlie Fowler. Words, Madeleine Woon.