Madeline Poole on Style Bistro
Nailing Hollywood: Talking Trends with Celebrity Nail Artist Madeline Poole
(Photos: Madeline Pool Nails)
Madeline Poole is the crystal ball of the nail art world—and the future looks empty (as in negative space, but more on that later). As the newest manicurist of Nailing Hollywood, a two-year-old Los Angeles-based agency with a serious celebrity clientele (think Miley Cyrus, Michelle Williams, Rosie Huntington-Whitley, and Lea Michele, among others), Madeline’s done everything from decoupaging dollar bills to inventing galaxies on nails in the name of beauty. She’s also perfected ombré, likely invented the outline trend, and won acclaim for painting graphic patterns with such precision she seems like she was born with a brush in her hand. Turns out that’s not too far from the truth.
StyleBistro: What have you been doing a lot of lately? What are your latest styles?
Madeline Poole: As far as nail trends, one of my classic things is doing the outlined nails—it’s always popular with people who come to me. And even though ombré nails have been in style for a while, they continue to be big. Lately I’m using pastel neons, vibrating colors, and a lot of neon green, which is all over the place right now. There’s sort of a sportswear trend in fashion, and electric colors go with that.
Any trends you can forecast?
Leaving negative space on the nail, any way that you can look at the nail and do something unexpected or strange, those seem to be the things that catch on, at least in the blog world.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I might see a jacket on someone and see a pattern in it that I like. And I’m always infiltrated by pop culture: I’ve done Scream mask nails, and the Misfits skull face.
You’re a trained artist?
I guess so. I went to art school and studied painting and I worked at a poster restoration shop for a while, using a really tiny brush to restore lithographs. And I worked with my mom, who’s a muralist, my whole life.
That’s how you learned to be meticulous? Amazing.
It’s funny, right? That experience was really influential. I learned how to mix colors, how to apply color, how to use a really small brush in a way that was precise—because it’s not necessarily, if you don’t use it right. Also, recreating really small images is kind of what I was doing. I was always really good at copying stuff. When I was a kid, I could copy cartoons really well. Whenever I made paintings, they were always really small. And I made egg dioramas. So I’ve been doing small painting for a long time.
It is your calling! Who are your dream clients?
They’re all really obvious: Lady Gaga, Beyonce, the list goes on. All people who have outrageous style and long nails that they take care of and are part of their look.
Why do you think people have become so obsessed with nails?
Maybe it’s because of blog culture. It’s now just an expected part of a look. If you’re going out, having your nails done is part of that. I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s this “semi-affordable luxury,” versus buying expensive clothes, but it’s not that cheap! I’m unsure why it wasn’t big already, because it’s a really expressive way of using cosmetics. You can really show your wacky side, or your classy side, or whatever. When you have your nails done, you feel complete.
(All photos: Madeline Poole Nails)
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