How butter LONDON’s Top Artist Keeps Her Cool All Fashion Week Long

Rachel Krause
makeup artist katie jane hughes

Photo: Courtesy of HL Group

If you’re a fan of the Brit brand butter LONDON—and if you’re into nails, then you definitely are, because they’re among the very best in the biz—then you’re familiar with Katie Jane Hughes, the talented makeup artist and manicurist who also happens to be the cult favorite brand’s Global Colour Ambassador (yes, she’s English).

It’s a rare breed that actively embraces the insanity of the backstage rather than struggling to keep their cool, but Katie welcomes it with open arms—in fact, it’s the craziness that inspires her to do her job. And what an excellent job she does: she’s collaborated with famous faces like Kerry Washington and Naomi Campbell, and you can spot her work at Nicole Miller, Creatures of the Wind, and many more this season.

Of course, a woman who’s not afraid of coping with a little chaos is a woman we want to know about. We quizzed Katie on each and every one of her Fashion Week secrets, from her favorite coffee in New York and comfortable sneaker choice to her favorite pub in London. We’re going bicoastal here.

The snack I pack is:
“I’m all about eating as healthy as I can, especially during Fashion Week. I always eat almonds or a banana.”

My go-to drink during the day is:
“Coffee all day, every day. The New Orleans at Blue Bottle Coffee by Milk Studios is my go-to.”

The workout I try to fit in is:
Bar Method near my apartment in Brooklyn.”

The shoes I wear all week are:
“My Comme des Garçons Converse.”

The beauty product I keep in my bag to help “refresh” during the day is:
“A hydrating mist. I love First Aid Beauty Vitamin Hydrating Mist. It’s light and smells like grapefruit—the citrus scent wakes me up a bit during the long days.”

To start my day, I eat:
“I recently started making my own chia seed pudding. I’m obsessed and eat it for breakfast every morning.”

The one thing I’ll never eat during Fashion Week is:
“Anything that takes over 20 minutes to prepare.”

My favorite NYFW restaurant spot is:
ABC Kitchen. Two words: Crab. Toast.”

crab toast with lemon aioli

The crab toast served at ABC Kitchen.
Photo: Courtesy of Bon Appetit

The best people to follow on Instagram during Fashion Week are:
“I do enjoy Margaret Zhang, and of course butter LONDON.”

My best tip for traveling light is:
“Keep it simple. For makeup, palettes are everything. Butter LONDON’s new ShadowClutch palette is customizable, which makes bringing your favorite shades even easier and travel-friendly. If it’s fashion, bring items that are small and can be layered. Leave the chunky heels at home.”

The music I listen to backstage on repeat is:
“I don’t need music. I thrive off the mayhem and energy backstage. It gives me a boost of energy that music just can’t.”

My trick to actually getting sleep on all of those long flights is:
“My Bose Noise Canceling Headphones and a glass of red wine.”

My favorite models to work on or see are:
“Fellow Brit Charlotte Wiggins, Cody Young, and anyone I know from Instagram. I love bumping into people that I connect with on Instagram backstage.”

The product I can’t wait to work with this season is:
butter LONDON Smoke Sticks—it’s a genius dual-ended wand that gives you the perfect smoky eye in 10 seconds. The highlighter softens your eye look, and is great to highlight the brow arch and Cupid’s bow in record time.”

My favorite Fashion Week city is:
“I love New York because everyone has so much energy and is excited for the kickoff of Fashion Month. I’m from London though, and love to go back to my old stomping grounds.”

My favorite spot to visit when I have downtime—in any of the Fashion Week cities—is:
“In London, the Mitre Pub, where my husband and I met and lived near for 7 years before moving to New York. If I can escape the city at a decent hour during New York Fashion Week, I love to wind down at Hunter’s Restaurant in Brooklyn.”

The best part of Fashion Week is:
“When you see your work go down the runway.”

The worst part of Fashion Week is:
“There really isn’t a worst part, but I will admit that because I’m a makeup artist and a manicurist, I always have multiple heavy kits with me and trying to catch a cab during Fashion Week is next to impossible… but I’ve got it down to a science now!”

MORE: What a Top Makeup Artist Eats, Drinks, and Uses During Fashion Week