One of the most fascinating and impressive worlds inside of Instagram is the world of nail art. Here, we see artists of all stripes (and flowers) show off decadent colors and designs meticulously detailed on fingers in ways most of us couldn’t dream of pulling off. The nail artist and Sally Hansen Global Color Ambassador Madeline Poole is not only familiar with the world of nail art, she lives inside of its colorful walls.
Some followers primarily know Madeline Poole as a celebrity nail artist, but she also works as an editorial manicurist, the provider of countless helpful nail tutorials, and now, the Sally Hansen Global Color Ambassador. Needless to say, her hands are abundantly full.
HelloGiggles was lucky enough to interview Poole about her favorite nail art techniques, what she’s most excited to work on, and how she got into the nail business in the first place.
HelloGiggles: Did you paint your nails as a child?
Madeline Poole: I did occasionally, but I would always paint on the color and immediately peel or wipe it off. I was a tomboy and at the time there weren’t as many interesting colors available in nail polish — not like there are now. It was hard to find grays or high opacity blues and greens. There also wasn’t much in the way of nail art supplies. Maybe if that were more popular at the time I would have gotten into nails at an earlier age.
HG: What first inspired you to get into nail art?
MP: I had moved to LA and gotten a little more into doing my nails. I would either get them done or do them myself and I noticed I was quite good at it. I had always been into painting and always very crafty and detail-oriented so it seemed to come naturally to me. I began working as an assistant to a prop stylist on photoshoots. This was the first time I had been exposed to the “glam team” and I was so shocked to see that it’s really possible to be a makeup artist for a living and even more shocked that you could become an on-set manicurist. It seemed like the perfect blend of categories art, beauty, fashion, wellness, and I got into it very quickly from then on.
HG: Do you have any special artists — nail or otherwise — that inform your work?
MP: I think my art education and background has very much helped me stand out as a unique designer. Because I often find my inspiration outside of beauty in things like architecture, nature, art and fashion. I also developed skills in photography along the way, as well as learning how to use many computer programs to develop content like Photoshop, Illustrator, and movie editing software.
HG: Do you have a favorite color or pattern that you return to for your own nails?
MP: I have always loved doing the eyeball nails on myself. They’re my all-time favorite. I find them just subtle enough but also very quirky and strange. I also love that you can wear this look easily over a care or strengthening product like Sally Hansen Moisture Rehab. For me, beautiful nail looks start with healthy nails and a great foundation to work on.
In terms of color, I have favorite combinations. I love red and pink together. My favorite combo is a bubblegum pink like Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Pink Cadillaquer and Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Red Eye. I love beige and white. Navy and orange. The list goes on!
HG: What does being a Global Color Ambassador for Sally Hansen involve?
MP: It’s a wide spectrum. I answer interviews and give advice on trends and products, key fashion shows, help conceptualize nail looks for ad campaigns and digital media. I do a bit of color advising and product development. I recently helped with the color palette for the new Sally Hansen Color Therapy line. I also create tutorials and travel around the world in part representing the brand and introducing new products, new colors or new trends.
HG: What do you look for in a nail color?
MP: Since I am a nail artist, I am constantly searching for high opacity colors. I love a strong vibrant shade or a high shine metallic. In a sheer color I look for a formula that doesn’t streak. I like something opaque, but not thick and goopy. And I find that Sally Hansen Miracle Gel lasts the longest by far of any brand I’ve tried.
HG: Do you have any new techniques you’re working on?
MP: I’m always trying to develop ways of making nail art easier and less complicated. I also love to experiment with texture and color, layering colors or applying polish with unexpected tools like a fan brush, a sponge or a toothbrush. You can stumble upon really interesting effects if you’re resourceful with supplies and tools.
Be sure to follow Poole on Instagram in order to keep up with her latest work, as well as what Sally Hansen is cooking up.