Reveal your bohemian side with a fresh nail art look created by Katie Jane Hughes, butter LONDON‘s Global Color Ambassador.
Creatures of the Wind designers Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters tapped Katie Jane Hughes, butter LONDON Global Color Ambassador, as their lead manicurist for their fall/winter 2014 show. The looks the design duo sent down the runway had a space-like/psychedelic feel, which Katie honed in on by creating an evolution of colors within the nail design, from dark to light.
Katie used a technique called water marbling to create the nail design, with the agate stones that inspired the collection’s design. Each nail (675 in total!) was made by hand—a labor of love for Katie and her team—with no two nails alike.
To achieve the water-marbling look, Katie poured drops of several nail lacquer shades one after another into a bowl of water, which created rings of color, much like agate. Once the color had been placed, Katie swirled the colors together to create a range of patterns.
She then dipped the press-on nail into the water, letting it sit under the water’s edge just below the pattern she wanted to lift onto the nail. Once removed, the pattern below the surface was transferred to the nail. To add playful variation to the nail look, two different base colors were used: butter LONDON ‘Boho Rock’ Nail Lacquer in ‘Trollop’ for half of the models’ nails and butter LONDON Nail Lacquer in ‘Teddy Girl’ on the rest. Additional nail lacquer colors included Yummy Mummy, Diamond Geezer, Posh Bird, Pearly Queen and Billy No Mates.
Join us backstage at the big ticket shows at Fashion Week.
One reason we’re looking forward to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire? The inspirational beauty! Sure, the looks may be a little out of this world, but that’s why we love them. Red lips and French manicures will always be a staple, but beauty trends are leaning more and more toward experimentation with personal expression in unexpected ways.
Take a cue from Effie Trinket. Makeup is a low-commitment way to show off your personality, and from the runways to street style, unique beauty looks are everywhere. Here are some images from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire website and Instagram to get you inspired…along with a few of our picks that will help you unleash your unconventional side.
As the go-to manicurist of fashion editors, top photographers, preeminent designers and A-list stars, Jin Soon Choi is a celebrity in her own right. But in talking to her, you’d never know it. Down to earth, enthusiastic, humble and totally cool in a real girl’s girl kind of way, the Korean-born, Manhattan-dwelling Jin makes you feel like an old friend in a matter of minutes.
We connected with Jin, who recently teamed up with Nordstrom to sell her award-winning eponymous collection of JINsoon nail polishes, each named by one of the models she regularly works with. In honor of the new partnership, Jin created a gorgeous nail-art design exclusively for our Beauty Blog. Here, she reveals her inspiration and how-tos for this unique look—and fesses up about her own nails.
BEAUTY CONNECTIONS: This nail design is so artistic—it looks like a [modern abstract expressionist] Jasper Johns painting.
JIN SOON CHOI: Well, I hadn’t really thought of it that way, but you’re right! I’m a huge fan of modern abstract art—MoMA is my favorite museum and I go there all the time, so maybe I was subconsciously influenced. More than anything, I wanted to create a design that was simple, modern and artistic, one that really shows the raw brushstrokes. I love the idea of irregularity, because it lets you have more creative freedom and it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect. In fact, that imperfection only makes it better: your mistakes become your art!
Well that’s good news for all of us shaky-handed coffee drinkers in Seattle…
(laughs) Or anywhere! Another thing that inspired me: I was at your Seattle store recently and noticed how much modern art there was hanging on the walls. I wanted to make a design connection to that.
Map, 1961 by Jasper Johns (image courtesy of MoMA)
And the blue shades, what inspired those?
My family lives in Olympia, Washington [south of Seattle], so I’m out there often and love it. I was thinking about the rain and all the surrounding water [from Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean]. And the sky out there is so big and open—completely different from my city life—so I wanted to convey the idea of all those colors in an abstract way.
Just curious: How do you do your own nails? Are you into colors or more nude looks?
Actually, I don’t wear any polish…I’m always doing other people’s nails, in the salon or on shoots, and I want to be able to focus completely on my work and not worry about messing up my own manicure.
What about for special events or a fun night out?
Even then, I don’t wear polish—it takes too much time and I’m just too impatient. I always try to keep my nails cut short, to look neat and professional. To be honest, as I’ve gotten older I’ve also become a bit self-conscious about my hands. When I have more time, I want to develop some good skincare products for hands and feet!
Backstage at the Vera Wang spring ’14 show (photo collage courtesy of Jin Soon Choi)
Lots of the magazine covers and fashion shows you’ve done recently have featured nude nails, which deviates from some of the trends for this season.
I really do appreciate colors for nails, but truly high fashion is all about simple, classic, elegant beauty, especially in Europe, where I do a lot of my shoots [with fashion photographer Steven Meisel, who uses Jin for nail styling on all of his editorials]. The clean-looking nail is so much more my personal style. It’s funny: I did create some glitter polishes for my holiday collection, and some of my friends were like, ‘Glitter? You?!’ I told them, ‘Don’t worry, it’s subtle—and still very me!’
Speaking of being ‘you,’ you seem remarkably unaffected considering all the attention you’ve gotten and the star circles you work in.
I just want to hold on to my identity, to be real—I’m still just a manicurist, after all! I feel so blessed by the amount of support I’ve gotten as I’ve launched my company. All the models I’ve worked with were so excited to help me name my products, even though I couldn’t afford to pay them. They just wanted to be there for me as friends.
I also want to stay true to my longtime clients and try to get into the salons at least once every other week. I have an emotional connection there: when you do someone’s nails every week, you hear about her life, her work, her kids, and you get personally invested in her. It’s important to me to keep in touch with my customers—they’re like family!
How to Create Jin’s Exclusive Nail Art:
Step 1: Start with a clean background, painting one coat of JINsoon ‘Tulle’ Nail Lacquer (a neutral, milky nude polish that doubles as a base coat) on all nails.
Step 2: Begin applying your ‘brushstrokes.’ The key to this effect is to make sure you wipe your brush on the lid edge really well so you don’t have too much polish. Jin begins her brushstrokes at the top but says you can go any direction you like: top to bottom, side to side—remember, it’s YOUR art! Use JINsoon ‘Rhapsody’ Nail Lacquer, a deep navy named by model Coco Rochas.
Step 3: Add more brushstrokes with JINsoon ‘Blue Iris’ Nail Lacquer, a brilliant marine color named by model Saskia de Brauw.
Step 4: Layer on some final brushstrokes with JINsoon ‘Poppy Blue’ Nail Lacquer, an electric, minty blue named by model Tati Cotliar.
Step 5: Finish with JINsoon Top Gloss & Coat to seal in the colors and protect your masterpiece.
Want to check out more amazing nail polishes? Shop our full JINsoon collection.
Many friends have asked me why I haven’t tried gel manicures. My answer: There are just way too many cool new nail colors, textures and trends to try that I can’t wait a whole week (or longer!) before trying something new. That’s right, I typically change my polish several times a month, and I truly enjoy doing my own nails. (If nothing else, it’s a great diversion from mindless snacking, since it’s really hard to reach into a bag of chips with wet nails!)
Nail guru Deborah Lippmann and me backstage at NYFW | My nail art arsenal
The best part about nail trends this season is that basically, anything goes! Whether you want to try a little something new (a matte top coat can change your fave color into a whole new look) or go all out (contrast colors, studs, glitter), we have some great new trends to try that are amazingly do-able, even for a nail novice.
Check out our favorite nail trends right now.
And don’t forget that Nordstrom has several great nail brands, from well-known manicure professionals to designer favorites (see below for the short list). So take this opportunity to try something a little (or a lot) out of your comfort zone, because it’s the perfect excuse to get out of hand!
· Essie: trendy colors and trusted favorites
· Tom Ford: beautiful, rich colors that live up to the designer’s name
· butter LONDON: the epitome of the coolness that is Katie Jane Hughes (the global color ambassador for the brand)
· Estée Lauder: some of the best shimmer metallics I’ve seen
· Deborah Lippmann: worn alone or layered, these have serious staying power
· Clinique: created for sensitive skin (and with super-cute color names)
· Ciaté: the pioneer in innovative textures and finishes (I dare you not to instagram the results)
· JINsoon: manicurist extraordinaire, this lady knows nails
· M•A•C: bright color pops that are great for nail art
And many more in stores and online! Shop all of our polishes.
A few more (finger) tips and favorites for nailing all the details (sorry, I couldn’t resist that one):
Kiehl’s Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion: Sure, it’s technically for your face, but if you’ve never treated your digits to a good exfoliating, why not use something that’s gentle enough for your face?
Deborah Lippmann’s The Stripper: Give your smelly stand-by remover the boot—this one has a nice lavender scent and a very user-friendly pump, so you’ll never use too much at once. (Also available in uber-convenient, travel-friendly packets!)
Shiseido Facial Cotton: I started using this several years ago to take off makeup, but I soon discovered that it’s awesome for removing nail polish! I literally only use ONE cotton square for all 10 fingers or toes (okay, maybe two if it’s Topshop’s “Brazil” or Ciaté’s “Twilight”—but totally worth it, of course). Plus, these don’t leave stray bits of cotton stuck to your cuticles (or eyelashes, if you’re removing stubborn mascara). Say goodbye to dozens of wadded-up cotton balls filling up your wastebasket.
L’Occitane Brightening Hand Care: Because who doesn’t love a hand cream that brightens AND has SPF 15?! So easy.
Essie Nail Corrector Pen: No explanation needed—a total cannot-nail-art-without-it item.
Who’s ready for fall? Let’s see a show of hands!
“The starting point of the inspiration was Frida Kahlo, but we didn’t want the makeup to be a literal interpretation. Instead, eyes are softly defined yet translucent; the lips are the focal point with the faded and diffused berry shade complementing the collection.”-Lead Artist James Boehmer, NARS Director of Global Artistry
Get the look with these NARS products:
Brow: To keep the brows from looking too literal to the Frida inspiration, only Brow Gel in ‘Oural’ was applied.
Lip: A mix of two Satin Lip Pencils were used: ‘Hyde Park’ and ‘Yu’; starting at the center of the lip, the color was pressed into the lips, creating a wine stain effect.
Eyes: ‘The ‘Multiple’ Stick in ‘South Beach’ was applied first on the lids, followed by Single Eyeshadow in ‘Lola Lola’, used in place of liner; James used an Eye Shader Brush to apply, smudging the shadow with his fingertips.
Nails: Two colors by Essie Nail Polish: ‘A List’ for the fingers (‘Really Red’ is a comparable shade) and ‘Sugar Daddy’ for the toes.
“Super simple. Achievable. Makeup that looks like every girl could do it herself.” This is the face Romero Jennings, new Director of Makeup Artistry for M•A•C Cosmetics, created for Azede Jean-Pierre.
The fashion was colorful, graphic and geometric, with rounded shapes and hemlines, so Romero balanced this with a toned-down, effortless makeup look.
A mixture of all cream products were used: Studio Finish Concealer was stippled and blended over moisturized skin only where needed. Red was applied on the lids, with gray wrapping around the eyes (spring 2014). Lashes were curled and mascara applied for a wide, bright-eyed look. Nude eye pencil on the inner rim of the eyes completed the effect.
Our favorite tip Romero shared was about the brows: he used Studio Concealer to lighten the hair, and brushed through a Brow Set in a shade lighter than the model’s natural hair color, to achieve a natural, organic look.
We were ecstatic to chat with Romero, a 21-year veteran with M•A•C Cosmetics. We can only imagine the contents of his makeup kit after amassing a collection over the years, so we asked him:
What are the top three items in your kit you can’t live without?
* #33 lashes, for an approachable, doe-like eye look that can be used as a whole strip, cut in half, or even used as individuals
* #190 Foundation Brush, the perfect flat paddle brush, great for stippling and blending
* Prep + Primed Skin Refined Zone, because it doesn’t feel heavy and is essential for controlling shine and prepping skin in this hot weather
So what keeps Romero going throughout his international Fashion Week travels? Vitamins and music. He’s currently listening to Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke and Daft Punk. Picturing the videos in his head and keeping the music in his ears is what keeps him charged!
About Madeline. “I’m from Baltimore, MD. I started experimenting with nails about two and a half years ago and went to beauty school in LA. I started working about a year after that, full time, and I just recently moved to New York.
“When I was little my dad asked me what I wanted to be. I said, ‘I just want to be an expert.’ At the time, I didn’t know what kind. But now I am! I usually just say, ‘I’m a manicurist.’ Yes, I am a nail artist, but I’m also a manicurist. I take care of the hands, and clean manicures are beautiful to me. I don’t want to be pigeonholed as a nail artist.”
Beauty Stylist experience. “Stephanie, my stylist, was great! She brought me classic lip colors and a tinted moisturizer—because I’m scared of too much makeup. I like to even out my skin tone because it’s a little blotchy.
“Stephanie introduced me to this Giorgio Armani ‘Flash’ Lip Lacquer (Pink 522). I never wear lip gloss, but it’s almost like you’re wearing a clear gloss and have naturally pink lips. It’s a good lip option for the daytime.
“I love the way mascara looks, but when I’m out all day, I always come home with the raccoon look. Stephanie recommended Trish McEvoy High-Volume Mascara. The comb is really thin. It doesn’t collect a lot of mascara on it.”
Check out Madeline’s step-by-step instructions for three amazing custom-curated nail art looks.
Tips for a professional-quality manicure. “Create a clean canvas. Really prep your nails before you start. Scrub your nails with soap water and really clean them—it really helps and gets rid of cuticle. But don’t cut your cuticles!
“If you want your nail polish to stay longer, swipe with Deborah Lippmann ‘The Stripper’ Nail Lacquer Remover. It removes oil from the nail plate. Oil is the enemy of nail polish. This helps polish adhere longer.
“Also, if you’re looking for long-lasting polish, I’ve found that colors with a bit of shimmer tend to stay better.
“To clean up nail polish spills on skin, use an angled makeup brush (like M•A•C’s #266).”
You already know we carry Topshop apparel, but we’ve gone one step further to bring you Topshop Beauty, and we’ve stocked up on loads of new products and tools. Here’s what fellow customers had to say in their 5-star reviews about our top-rated Topshop Beauty items.
“I did my nails in 5 mins at the store with two coats and it dried so fast it didn’t smudge when I went shopping after. I love it!” —Polish
“This applicator allows me to make thin lines or thick lines. The color is rich. I’ve found my new favorite liquid eyeliner.” —Cdawn
“This lip product is so amazing! it lasts long and is supeeeeeerrr pigmented! and the packaging is adorable! (:” —sofiamichellee
“This is great ‘Crackle’ polish. Fun to have this Summer!” —Matson55
“This is an amazing red lipstick. I bought it because Liv Tyler mentioned it in an article, saying it was the perfect red for any skin tone—and she was right! It’s bright but has more of an orange undertone, I absolutely love it.” —MRCW
“Got in Afternoon Tea and it’s such a pretty color. It looks super vibrant and somewhat scary, but once you put it on and blend it in…AMAZING!!! It just looks so beautiful!! The color is perfect, it blends super easily and I find it to be long lasting. I’m seriously in love with it and will definitely be purchasing other shades.” —Mnunez
“I saw the eclipse nail polish in store and HAD to purchase it. The color is beautiful and the polish dries fast. The color reminds me of a green beetle shell (:”—KMolina
Butter LONDON Global Color Ambassador, Katie Hughes, shows us how to create easy, 3D polka dot nail art with the ‘Pop Art Collection’ by butter LONDON.
Step-by-step instructions from the video below:
1. Begin with one coat of Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat.
2. Apply two coats of ‘Cheeky Chops’ Nail Lacquer.
3. Use a dotting tool (or ball point pen) to create large dots at random with ‘Keks’ Nail Lacquer.
4. Layer on smaller dots in ‘Primrose Hill Picnic’ Nail Lacquer with the other end of your dotting tool (or something with a finer point, like a toothpick).
5. Let dry 5 to 10 minutes, and apply Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat to finish.
Told you it was easy. Now, go get your artsy on with the ‘Pop Art Collection’ by butter LONDON. Lichtenstein would be proud.