Does your dentist do checkups while wearing Proenza Schouler and Tibi? And, does she highlight her own pearly whites with a fuchsia matte lipstick ? If she's Dr. Laura Ruof, DDS, she most definitely does — and this may be why she's developing a reputation as one of the most fashionable "floss bosses" in NYC.
When she's not seeing clients at Park 56 Dental Group, this gal trades her white dental jacket for city-girl staples such as maxi skirts, metallic heels, and crop tops. She's no slouch in the makeup department, either (we're totally stealing her clever lipstick trick that makes teeth look whiter). Read on to meet this sweet, stylish, and so-hot woman — and don't be surprised if you pick up a few pointers on the beauty front!
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Photographed by Atisha Paulson
Whose style do you admire and why?
"I really identify with Taylor Tomasi Hill's style, and Jenna Lyons is just an all-around woman I admire. A lot of women like the way she dresses, but for me it's more about her fearlessness. One day I saw a picture of Jenna at an event, and all the women were in fussy ball gowns — and she was in a sequin pencil skirt and a cashmere sweater looking so fresh. It was like a light went on in my head; everything changed for me after that. She totally altered the way I dress, the way I view fashion, and very few people can do that. I respect her as a business woman and a style icon...and she is just IT for me."
Asos crop top; Unique skirt; Prabal Gurung for Target heels; J.Crew bracelets.
How would you describe your style?
"I'm a big color person — color is such a huge part of my life, from work to home, it just affects me and inspires me. My style is thoughtful, yet effortless. I'm not a big fan of buying lots of cheap clothing that you aren't really in love with, and a month later you don't even like it. That just leaves you with the 'I have nothing to wear' feeling. My wardrobe is well thought-out and cultivated, but the actual dressing part is not. If you have a closet full of well-made things that you love, putting it together is effortless."
What beauty and style trends are you most excited about this summer?
"I try not to get too into trends and just follow what I'm drawn to the most each season. I'm really into tribal prints this summer — fellow Buffalo gal Mara Hoffman is a favorite. I've been skipping earrings altogether and wearing only big chunky necklaces from J.Crew, and lots and lots of bangles. As my friend Kerry says, 'No one loves a bangle more than you, Lou.' She's right!"
NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Carthage, $26, available at Barneys New York.
What's your dressed-up look, and how do you go casual?
"I like to let one piece of clothing or an accessory get all the attention and let everything else just be well-made and tailored in the background. I'm never over-accessorized. For a wedding, my go-to is a Tibi dress and Tibi heels. Amy Smilovic makes the BEST heels — you just feel like such a sex bomb. I feel good and I'm more productive when I'm wearing real clothes, so I'm never home working in sweatpants. My father was always chasing me around saying, 'Let me just run an iron over that,' so my view of casual is still looking put together. For me that's usually white jeans (year-round), a J.Crew sweater or tee, killer heels, and a statement necklace."
Do you have any at-home beauty rituals?
"A bath, a face mask, and a candle and I'm a new woman. Ahava bath salts in Juniper
make me feel like I'm in a spa. I love the Fresh Black Tea mask
— my skin feels unbelievably soft after I use it. I also believe meditation is crucial for your well-being, and I meditate every day. Being stressed out is not cute."
Painting by Mary Fowler.
How do you take care of your skin?
"The most important things in terms of skin health, to me, are what you put in your body — and washing your makeup brushes! Once a month, I wash my kabuki bronzer brush in a glass with warm water and a bit of dish soap; that really cleans the oils off the brush. I also take an antioxidant supplement called alpha lipoic acid that makes my skin radiant. I only wash my face at night, and change my pillowcases often."
Topshop beaded top; J.Crew necklace and bracelets; Girls From Savoy skirt.
How often do you get manicures? Are you a DIY girl or a salon client?
"I haven't been in a nail salon in years. I've always been able to see what I want in my head and execute it with my hands, especially when it comes to color, so beauty stuff just always came naturally to me — as did dentistry. For a great DIY manicure, you need the following: a buffer with several sides, a ridge-filling base coat, a high-quality nail polish like Essie or Deborah Lippmann, and a top coat. Essie makes a top coat called "good to go
!" that dries the polish fast. I don't have time to mess around with wet nails. Also, nothing compares to a short red nail."
J.Crew necklace; NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl, $25, available at NARS; Guerlain Cils d'Enfer mascara, $30, available at Nordstrom; Essie nail polish in Fifth Avenue, $7.79, available at Target; Sephora True Cream Lip Color in Sunset Rhythm.
What's your makeup routine like?
"A little self-tanner mixed with SPF moisturizer, concealer under the eyes, NARS blush and bronzer, and a coat or two of mascara. Five minutes, tops. If I need a little something, I'll put on some charcoal eyeliner. The best day of my life was the day I stuck the eyeliner pencil in my eye and swiped it back and forth. That inner-eye lining is so sexy. Just, uh...be careful."
Where do you like to shop for your beauty products?
"Living in New York, you have these great pharmacy/apothecary type places that have the brands that I love. I live in Soho, so I'll often go to Thompson Chemists for Klorane or Avène products, or Bigelow Chemists in the Village for Deborah Lippmann and Ahava."
Colorful sunglasses Laura picked up while road-tripping.
As a dentist, you see smiles all day long — but what do you do to keep your teeth healthy and gleaming?
"A person's smile is so incredibly important to who they are. So many of our interactions with people are based on this feature alone. My approach to dentistry is a whole-body approach — I want to know what you're eating and how you're living. For a gorgeous smile, the foundation must be healthy, so I eat healthy, get a professional cleaning every few months, and I use a Sonicare toothbrush, which removes more plaque and is very gentle. I always educate my patients on the best products for them, because everyone is different, so I tailor recommendations to what their goals are. When I want my teeth to look super-white, I put on a blue-red matte lip like NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
in Dragon Girl."
Did you ever have a beauty mishap?
"If you count trying to pierce your belly button with an ice cube and a safety pin, or attempting to dye your hair pink with JELL-O a mishap, then yes, I've had a few. A very long time ago with the same friend — we had some interesting ideas about beauty at the time, and our moms did not agree with our ideas."
What's your signature hair or makeup look?
"My signature hair look is my messy bun. Hair that is too perfect looks fussy, and I can't have my hair in my face when I'm working. I use Oscar Blandi Dry Teasing Dust
to mess it up a little bit. I often keep my eyes simple: just a few coats of a great mascara and a bright bold matte lip. Matte lips always look modern. Sometimes, instead of doing the whole lip, I'll put some color just in the middle where my lips meet, and blend out."
What are three products you can't live without?
"Amazing Cosmetics concealer, Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion, and Avène Cleanance Gel cleanser."
Kate Spade pouch; Agatha Ruiz de la Prada for Tweezerman tweezers; Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion, $42, available at Peter Thomas Roth; Sephora eyelash curler, $17, available at Sephora; Boscia BB Cream, $27, available at Sephora; Colgate PreviDent 5000 Booster Plus, available from dentists only.
What’s your biggest beauty challenge, and how do you work on conquering it?
"Getting my hair to do anything fun has eluded me my entire life. It is pin-straight, and getting it to hold a curl or a wave is not something I've been able to accomplish, as much as I've tried! Olivia at Dream Dry is my girl — she uses Oribe products on my hair, and she is the one who can tame my mane and get it to do what I want it to."
Club Monaco top and shorts; J.Crew bracelets; Michael Kors watch.
Tell us more about this lipstick trick you mentioned.
"The lipstick thing I do is with matte lipstick, on dry but not chapped lips. If you have ChapStick or gloss or anything on them, it doesn't work. If I'm going out and I want it to last longer, I'll use a little Amazing Cosmetics concealer on the lip first to make it really stick. I dab the lipstick in the middle part where the lips meet, so it's a rough half-circle on top and a rough half-circle on the bottom lip. Then I just blend it out a little. So, you get a graduated amount of color from the inside out. I do it when a full lip would be too much, but I want a little color. The effect is cool and different."
How does fragrance factor into your style?
"I can't stand strong perfume, so the scents I prefer are light and fresh. My signature scent is Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
. I also cycle in fragrance by Fresh
, like Strawberry Flowers and Lemon Sugar. Scent is an experience for me, from what I wear to what candles I light in our apartment. The best candles are by LAFCO; my favorite is Lake House/Water Hyacinth
. When I'm feeling stressed, I light that candle and everything is okay with the world."
Hermes dish, Faherty Brand turquoise and white bangle; J.Crew black, white, and beige bangles; J.Crew turquoise earrings and yellow bracelets; gifted gold round earrings and ring; Buddha figurine from Sacred Space in Santa Barbara, CA.
What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?
"Less is more when it comes to beauty. It's just something I've learned as I got older. Women always think we need more, men wish we'd wear less — the sweet spot is somewhere in between. Young and fresh is wearing makeup that makes you look like you're wearing none. A great moisturizer, some concealer, mascara, and you'll look like you just rolled out of bed looking flawless."
Tibi sandals. Painting by Mary Fowler.