Our latest Nails of New York spotlights Katie Jane Hughes, an incredibly-talented makeup artist and Paintbox client. Katie is a beauty-industry veteran, working with major brands like Glossier and cool celebrities, such as Anna Kendrick, Kerry Washington, Robyn, and Emmy Rossum to name a few. Known for unexpected color combinations, color-saturated glossy eyelids, and unique shapes and textures in makeup, Katie is paving the way as a modern artist that celebrates the skin you're in. We're huge fans of her graphic designs, her winsome personality, and her inspiring career path. Read more to learn about what fuels her creativity, how she transitioned from a nail artist to a makeup artist, and how a mani makes her feel polished.
How did you first get into beauty?
Well, my mom always had beautifully-manicured nails, and when I got to an age where I could also go to the nail shop, I became obsessed with nails, too. I did nails as my first career, and because I'm creative then makeup captivated me while working on set for shoots and shows. I was in the right place to network with makeup artists, and I began assisting some people. It kind of just went from there!
In one word, how does a mani make you feel?
Polished. (No pun intended...or was it?!).
What's your earliest nail memory?
My mom always had beautifully-done nails. They were red, long, and elegant.
What's your most embarrassing nail memory?
Hmm...that's easy! Wearing big thick acrylic nails with white French tips in a SQUARE shape.
How do you pick your nail designs?
I choose them based on color combinations and what I'm in the mood for really.
Do you remember your prom nails?
I didn't go to prom. I'm British!
When do you notice your hands and nails the most? When my nails have a pretty glitter thing going on and if my rings are polished and clean.
What are your latest favorite products?
Glossier Haloscope Highlighter is my fave thing. I also love MAC Cosmetics Upward Lash Mascara and a good red lip.
What beauty looks are you most exited about right now?
Fun color combinations always get me excited to create. Whether I see them on the street or in the Paintbox lookbook for example. When two colors are together on a face and work–that's one of my favorite things about being a makeup artist.
When do you get your best ideas?
From just playing sitting down at my vanity. I start doing my own makeup, and that's how I come up with ideas for technique, color combinations, shape, etc.