When it comes to finding great nail polish brands that are always on trend yet still care about the well-being of our fingernails, we don’t mess around. We can rattle off, for example, the length of wear for our latest must-have polishes (Color Club’s Wild Cactus lasted on our fingers for three days, whereas Jin Soon’s Audacity lasted an easy six), plus we can tell you the best top coat to extend that aforementioned wear. Butter LONDON, as it happens, is consistently one of our go-to polish labels, so we jumped at the chance to get a peek at Global Colour Ambassador Katie Hughes‘ beauty essentials.
Hughes is known for her trendy nail designs, making news on both sides of the nail spectrum this New York Fashion Week with bedazzled gold nails at Libertine, for example, and matte black nails with shiny tips at Kaelen. Her appreciation for all types of textures and colors is what helps Hughes to stand out in a constantly changing industry. Hughes credits her training as a makeup artist (assisting Alexsandra Byrne) for her artistic eye, and we could tell upon meeting her at her hotel room during Fashion Week that she clearly has a flair for shopping as well.
While Hughes may lead a hectic lifestyle constantly producing new nail art trends, collaborating with butter LONDON on colors and traveling the world for shoots and projects, she certainly doesn’t let her beauty look suffer from being busy. Here, the busy ambassador shows us exactly what products she relies on and how often she reapplies her nail polish each day. Trust us, some of the answers will surprise you!
Photography by Ally Lindsay
Global Colour Ambassador Katie Hughes told us that when it comes to getting dressed each day, she always thinks: What would Victoria Beckham do? "I once read something by Victoria Beckham that she always chooses her shoes first," says Hughes, "so I tend to do that too because I'm a Brit, and she's my sister from another mister. I wear blazers pretty much every day, so my selection of blazers is crazy. I'm obsessed with jackets, skinny jeans, and killer shoes."
When it comes to creating nail art, Hughes tests out looks on her own nails first—generally giving herself at least two different manicures a day.
It's not unusual for Hughes to "vamp" up her nails for a night out, often painting over her favorite nude shade (Yummy Mummy) with a darker shade for a nighttime event.
Hughes worked with countless designers this New York Fashion Week—including Rachel Roy, Altuzarra, Libertine and Kaelen—and brainstormed nail designs by using a variety of sketches of the designers' looks.
To add a bit of flair to her look, Hughes is a huge fan of chunky jewelry, packed of beads and bright colors.
Hughes swears by butter LONDON's Lippy's. She loves the Tea with the Queen shade, in particular, if you're doing a great neutral face or a deep, smokey eye.
Hughes is known for using metallics as often as she uses neutrals, thinking more along the lines of subtle nail art that's good for long-term wear, instead of wild and crazy nails.
She also can't live without an eyebrow pencil (Laura Mercier in Brunette) and Real Techniques brushes, as well as Ellis Faas' cream eyeshadows. "I love the way that you can blend them in and they're done. You can't get it off for the whole day," says Hughes.
Hughes also loves a good skin care product, crediting Kiehl's face masks and Algenist products as her go-to's when she's traveling.
Hughes shows off more of her accessories, having no fear in layering when it comes to nail polish, makeup or jewelry.
Hughes' advice for a quick day-to-night makeup change: "Either pump it up a little bit with the eye, or take the eye down and put a lip on. I think the easiest way is just to work what what I've got on."
She also loves to be classic when it comes to her beauty look, and favors the matchy-matchy trend only if you're keeping it simple. She doesn't advise people to match their green jacket with green eyeshadow, for example, but loves a clean red lip and a red nail.
Since Hughes is constantly painting other people's nails (and her own), she's learned a few tricks along the way. One stand-out: Cuticle oil layered over a top coat is actually a great way to help your nails dry quickly—it protects the nail as it grazes over fabric—and is what the butter LONDON team uses backstage at shows.
Hughes clearly has a defined sense of style in which color plays a key role, and has fun when it comes to beauty. We're excited to see that flair come out in butter LONDON's new shades (and nail trends)!