Youthful 100-year-old Scots gran hails life without make-up

Ruby celebrates her 100th birthday. Picture: Deadline News
Ruby celebrates her 100th birthday. Picture: Deadline News
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A 100-year-old grandmother has put her youthful appearance down to never wearing make-up.

Ruby Mathieson, who recently celebrated her milestone birthday, has maintained a basic beauty routine throughout her life: splashing her face with cold water, a tip she learned from her mother. Her daughter, Rona, says she doesn’t even use moisturiser. The result is a clear complexion that belies her age – it has never been covered with make-up, which she regards as “evil stuff”.

Mrs Mathieson was born in 1916 in Dalmarnock, Glasgow, and has seen fashion and style change dramatically over the years. She lived through the pale skin and dark lips trend of the 1920s, the full-face popularity of the 1950s, and the bold and bright 1980s styles. But the grandmother-of-two has kept her skin clear every day – including her wedding day.

Her daughter Rona, 59, said: “She used to think it [make-up] was evil stuff, and the only thing she would do in the morning was wash her face with cold water.

“She just didn’t believe her skin would be as clear if she wore make-up all the time – I think she got it from my grandmother, who also never wore it. On her wedding day she was given a little powder compact, but even then refused to put any of it on.”

She says her mother’s habits influenced her, and she wears only small amounts of makeup, adding: “Growing up, there was never any lipsticks or blush around the house to experiment with.”

She added: “One of my daughters likes to get her ­eyebrows and nails done, and when my mum sees her she says, ‘You’ve got your war paint on’. I think it absolutely has made a difference to my mum’s skin – she looks amazing for 100 years old.”

Mrs Mathieson – who also says she has never touched a drop of alcohol – attributes her health to long walks in the Scottish countryside and regular holidays in the Highlands.

She is also a huge fan of good food, especially quality shortbread and expensive chocolate. Rona joked: “I very rarely get phone calls but if her biscuit drawer is running low, she will be sure to let me know.”

After leaving school at 14, Ruby worked as a tailor into her 20s. At the outbreak of the Second World War, she went to work in a munitions factory in Clydebank.

She met her husband, John, when she was a member of the Girls’ Brigade Scotland and he was a member of the Boys’ Brigade. The pair married at Wellington Church in Glasgow on 10 August, 1946.

Mrs Mathieson now lives at Bupa’s Wyndford Locks Care Home in Glasgow.