Today marks one of the most important days in Australian history. The results of the very unnecessary same-sex marriage survey were announced this morning, with a landslide victory of 61.6% of Australians voting ‘yes’ to marriage equality. Today will forever be remembered as the day Australia proved that love will always win. It seemed fitting, then, to fast-track posting our interview with the incredible Ruby Rose to today, in celebration of this heart-warming, tear-inducing feat.
ICYMI, the model, actor, face of Urban Decay, and LGBTQI activist was in town recently alongside Urban Decay’s remarkable co-founder, Wende Zomnir. While here, I was #blessed to find myself sandwiched between the two wonderful women and Sydney’s iconic Opera House (read: the exact opposite situation to finding yourself between a rock and a hard place) to talk about everything from the necessity of daily rituals and supportive female friendships to your 30s being the best years of your life.
I came for the beauty advice and stayed for the nuggets of wisdom being hurled at me from two of the most impressive women I’ve met to date. Below, a guide to self-love, Saturn returning into your life, and, most presciently, the importance of community.
Madeleine Woon: We’re big on real, inner beauty here at THE FILE. How do you keep it real on a day-to-day basis in the industry you’re in?
Ruby Rose: It’s interesting—I feel like a lot of it comes with age. I definitely feel like there are things that I know now that I wish I knew when I was younger, but I think that also works in reverse. Maybe you’re exhausted, or you’re tired, or you’re taking one career direction and then it’s going in a different direction. That’s when you need to tap into your younger self, ‘cause that person seemed to know who were at your core. You know what I mean? All the creative ideas I had when I was in school or even younger, and what I thought that I wanted to be when I was older, were all the ideas I had when I was too young to even know these things existed.
RR: So it’s a real mix-match of everything you’ve learned throughout life, and then remembering what you wanted when you were the most innocent, and the most fearless. I think that, on a day-to-day basis, it’s about not getting too caught up in other people’s opinions or other people’s advice. Not even opinions, ‘cause people come in with really well-meant advice, but sometimes you also just have to know when to listen to yourself, and to go, “No, I think it’s like this,” or, “I think there’s a reason why I want to do this a certain way, or tell this story, or so forth.” I think keeping yourself surrounded by really inspiring women and people is important as well. Like, Wende, I know that you have this amazing group of people who you work with, and your friends, and I feel like they keep you grounded when things are going bananas, whether it’s in your personal life or career. It is nice to have those people who just kind of like hold you and ground you.
Wende Zomnir: We went to an event last week in L.A. and I got a call from the school, and something happened with my son and I was having a meltdown, and they were all there for me. You’re right—it was like everyone was there to support me and be there for me, and it felt really good.
RR: I think you and I are very similar in that we’re both self-started, so it’s kinda like, “No, we can do everything on our own. We don’t need anybody. We’ve got this.” And then you need to take that mask off sometimes and be like, “Actually, we’re stronger in numbers and we’re gonna get further with the help of our friends,” or whoever it might be. So, finding your vulnerable place, knowing that there are people who you can trust with that, and also trusting yourself above and beyond anything else, really.
MW: We were actually chatting about that in the office today. The combination of surrounding yourself with a really strong support network, but then also being discerning in what advice you take on board, because other people can’t help but project their own experiences and own methods for coping with situations that might be circumstance or person-specific onto you.
RR: Absolutely, and we were talking about that earlier, too. When Wende created this entire brand, she had full reign and would have been completely fearless, ‘cause there’s nothing to lose and you have all these ideas. But now, to make those same daring and bold gestures, it’s harder.
WZ: Every decision is more monumental now, right? It affects peoples livelihoods, and jobs, and the like.
RR: All eyes are on you.
WZ: Yeah, so it’s a bigger decision, you know? If you screw up the decision, it’s a financial decision now, and it affects not just you, but other people.
RR: But then the fear, or the risk, of taking that safe route is that you might not do something groundbreaking.
WZ: What’s special about the beauty industry is that it’s a consumable good that you use up. You use up a beauty product and then you’ve got to buy a new one, not unlike laundry soap. Yet it is so far away from laundry soap, because this little item sits on your vanity. It’s beauty—it speaks to your soul, and it speaks to your artistic side. So it’s this unique product that both has an emotional component and a very practical component, and so I think that’s what’s really cool about the beauty industry.
RR: And, it’s still the same thing with me in film. When I left Australia to go to the States, and I really couldn’t get a foot in the door, I was like a tumbleweed. I was like, “I’ve arrived!” And everyone was like, “We don’t care!” I’d kind of thought about the idea of doing Break Free as a short film for 10 years, but I’d sat there, written it, filmed it in a day, edited in a day, and put a French piece of music to it. I set it up in four days, and I didn’t need to ask anyone for advice. I had no one to ask, ‘cause I wrote, directed, and produced the entire thing. But now, for me to do a follow-up would be a lot more challenging, ‘cause I would have to kind of go, “Well, what do you guys think about that?” Or, “I’m a bit conflicted about whether this is right.” And now there’s however many million people that might watch it, when, back then, the risk was that 50,000 people would watch it. Now it’s got 30 million views and 100 million on Facebook, but when you don’t think that’s the outcome, you’re so much more daring. When you feel that could be the outcome, you’re like, “Why don’t I just do a stick figure that walks down the street? And then we do the credits?” You know? [Laughs] I think it’s just important, like you said, that when something like this is creative but is also a business, you have to have two minds about it. You have to remember that there’s the business aspect, and, for me, I have to remember that it’s my career and I am the commodity. And you’re just as much the commodity, because, you know, this is you and this is what you risk. It’s a fine line, but I think that’s the fun of it. You become a thrill-seeker.
WZ: I love it!
MW: On that, what lessons have you learned, both in general and about yourself, heading into your 30s?
RR: I love my 30s! I love them, I love them, I love them. I just think that you learn that life is short, that life is a blessing, and that every single day you should just be grateful to be here. I have had amazing experiences. I’ve had loss. I’ve had, you know, obviously fantastic stuff in regards to my career, but my entire life is not just my career—there’s so much more to it. You just start to realise that you don’t care about the things that really picked at you in your 20s or your teen years. They seem to become really minuscule, and you start to open up your mind to the greater world, and then it comes to understanding how small you are in this world, and what impact you can have. And it becomes more about, “What can I leave on this planet that’s gonna outlive me?” Or, “What can I do to make a bigger impact that’s for a greater cause?” As opposed to, “What can I do for me today?”
WZ: I actually feel very similar. But the more I go through life, the more I feel I’m a little more picky. Not about the minutia, but about the bigger picture things. We were talking about this earlier, actually. I love Ruby, and I love hanging out with her and collaborating with her, and so for me, that makes it all worth while, to work together on this brand. But if I didn’t like her, honestly, I wouldn’t do it. Life’s too short to spend time with people that don’t fuel you, that don’t make you better, that don’t add to your life. It’s just too short, and you’ve gotta laser focus on those important things. So, in a way, you get more picky, but in more important areas.
MW: Awesome, I look forward to it!
RR: If it’s not too rude to ask, how old are you?
RR: 26, you’re a baby! So you’re gonna have a great year, and then 27, 28, 29, you’re set for Saturn returning.
MW: Oh, a yogi in Byron Bay told me that Saturn returned prematurely for me.
RR: Well, if they’re from Byron, they would know. I trust everyone in Byron. Even if they’re just in the grocery store, I’m like, “Yep, I trust you.” Anyway, entering your 30s is really fun, but you seem like you’re doing a pretty good job of life already.
MW: Thanks! For a more beauty-focused question, what’s your morning routine like?
RR: In the morning, it really depends on whether it’s a 4am start on set and I have 15 minutes ‘til I have to walk out the door, or whether it’s a morning where I get some luxurious time for self-care. But generally, I’ll jump in the shower and I’ll wash my hair. Breaking news! Ruby Rose showers, hurray! I love coconut oil. I’ll use it as a body moisturiser, I’ll use it as a hand mask, and if I’m travelling and don’t have long to pack, I’ll aways throw in coconut oil. I also meditate. I’m not the best at it yet, I’m still learning, but I’ll try to meditate for 3-5 minutes each day. There are Chakra cleanses that you can find on Spotify, and I tend to do that ‘cause it grounds me and gets me present for the day. I make sure I take time daily for myself, ‘cause you can just rush through life feeling like you’re in a hurry all the time to get where you need to get, or be where you need to be in life. And it’s like, you have been missing all these amazing moments. Like right now, just taking a moment to look at the Opera House, and going, “Wow!” And I live in Sydney, and I’ve lived here for two years. But to appreciate those small things is the most important thing in life. All my little rituals change as well—I do whatever it is that makes me feel good each day.
MW: I feel like you must have been a fly on the wall to the conversation myself and Carlie, the founder of THE FILE, were having this morning. There are so many parallels!
MW: Yeah! We were talking about the increasing push towards incorporating rituals into your daily routine and where that shift stemmed from.
WZ: I think I really see a trend towards placing importance on rituals because people have become so invested in their phones, which is not really a fulfilling way to live. It’s really kind of soulless. I think to be able to use your phone to FaceTime with someone you love, to use your phone as a tool to improve, we’re getting better at that. We’re starting to understand. I think we got taken over by it, and now we’re starting to filter it out a little bit.
RR: Yeah, and unplugging from that and kind of realising that you can either see the Opera House on Instagram, or you could look at it with your own eyes. I don’t like to go out anymore, but I like to see what people are up to on Instagram. That’s one of the shifts that happen when you get to 30, you’ll see.
MW: Oh, no, I think I’m going through social menopause early. I’m getting FOMO less and less these days.
RR: Yeah, I’m not about that life. I like to see my friends out [on Instagram] because I feel like I’m basically out, but I still don’t want to go out. But then there are things that I see that make me go, “Okay, yeah I wanna go see that, I don’t want to look at somebody else doing it.” Like you when you were heli-skiing, Wende! You’re crazy busy, so it’s like, “Why don’t I make time to go do that? What’s my excuse?” When I see someone’s gone to Joshua Tree or that they’ve gone to Byron, I’m like, “I need to make time to do those things.” And it’s great to get inspiration on Instagram—makeup inspiration, fashion inspiration, music inspiration—but then you have to go off with that and go back into your own self. Everything is inside of us. I think all of the importance people are placing on self-care and rituals is also to do with the climate of the world right now. There’s the plebiscite in Australia—the yes/no campaign—and all this stuff going on all around the world, and I think it’s made people kind of prioritise what matters to them.
WZ: People in the U.S. are really seeing the dark side of things on the Internet, like Twitter. For someone who’s an American, you know, you’re really seeing how social media can be used negatively every single day. Sometimes you need to just step away. Don’t turn on CNN. As much as I love to watch it, it’s really important that you can say, “I’m not giving that my attention or my energy right now.” If I’m constantly exposed to negative things, then I don’t give positive energy out to the people in my life I care about.
RR: Yeah, I would wake up in the morning and the first thing I would do was see what was happening around the world right now. At first I’m enraged, then I’m empowered, and then I’m like ready to do something, and then I’m defeated, and then I’m exhausted, and then I’m like, “Can we watch something fun on television?” It’s too much for anyone to take on board, but especially creative, sensitive people. You want to create things that make people feel. To take action, to take a stance, to send a message, to be powerful, you kind of have to not let other things take your energy for a minute. You have to get yourself charged up and do your own thing. And obviously you’ve got to keep tabs on what is happening in the world, because that is very important, but you don’t want to be consumed by it.
MW: You definitely need to be mindful of how you engage with the Internet. Okay, so what are the three products you can’t live without?
MW: And with your super busy schedule, I’m intrigued to know how you stay motivated to always wash your face of a night. Be real, do you ever just skip washing off your makeup?
RR: Oh, there’s no chance. Even if I’ve had a 15-hour day, and I’m finishing at 7pm, and have a full face of makeup, I will be removing it before bed. That is one thing I will definitely do. I need my skin to breathe so that I can look good the next day.
WZ: Do you double cleanse? Because I double cleanse.
RR: I double, triple, quadruple cleanse.
MW: You’re doing better than most!
Words, Madeleine Woon.