Katie Hughes’ hand-painted cheetah print nails backstage at Erin Fetherston. (Photo: Birchbox)
While running from show to show at New York Fashion Week, one familiar face that we kept seeing was Butter London’s lovely new global color ambassador, Katie Hughes. As lead manicurist for the Butter London team, Katie was the brilliant mind behind nail designs at shows like The Row, Altuzarra, Band of Outsiders and Kaelen. Which is why we were so excited when she gave us her top tips for scoring a gorgeous, long-lasting manicure—they’ve completely changed our polish world.
1. Enough Polish On the Front of the Brush and Nothing On the Back: The Butter London bottle was designed to fit right between your thumb and forefinger. Holding it right there enables you to really work the brush so there’s enough polish on the front, and nothing on the back. That way you’ll get the perfect consistency and the polish will go on evenly. If you can control the consistency, you’ll get a smooth application.
2. Never use a Q-Tip to clean up polish—only an old makeup brush. Take an old concealer, lip or eyeliner brush, dip it in some nail polish remover, and clean up around the edges. Don’t ever use a Q-Tip, they’re the enemies of nails because of the lint.
Katie giving a distressed manicure to a model at Kaelen. (Photo: Birchbox)
3. Cover the edge of your nail in polish to prevent chipping. If you want any manicure to last longer, skim every layer of lacquer (base coat, the actual color and top coat) onto the edge of the nail so it goes slightly under the nail. It’ll help protect the polish from chipping when you’re typing or doing housework.
4. Never use hot air to dry your manicure. Don’t ever put heat on your nails, cold is the only thing that should dry a manicure. Blast them under a cold tap if you want to, or drive home from the salon with the windows open, just don’t put them near any of those hot dryers or hair dryers.
5. Shape your nails by matching your cuticles. Last but not least, to find the best natural shape for your nail, follow the line of your cuticles while you’re filing.
For even more mani tips, check out Anna Norman’s weekly column, Mani Monday.