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The Minimalist’s Guide To Good Nail Art

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According to Madeline Poole, nail art was never not in. But that doesn't mean it didn't appear to take a bit of a hiatus a season or two ago. But as of last February, a new, more sophisticated take on graphic nails are back—so you can imagine Madeline is a happy camper. “I’m glad to see that people are into it again—because I was getting really sick of nude,” she said. To celebrate its return, she stopped by the office with friends and bento boxes in tow and did some painting.

Now, before we get ahead of ourselves here, none of this is to say nude nails or minimalist nails are bad “Everything is a color,” Madeline clarifies. “And I like all colors,”), but why limit yourself to one color per manicure—or even one color per nail? Madeline's first look (demonstrated on Kiki Kudo, who brought her delicious Chi-So NYC bento boxes) took advantage of six colors plus some negative space—so your nude is built in there. “I really like a lot of bright colors at once,” Madeline said—proving why she's been a Sally Hansen Global Brand Ambassador for a year with no plans of stopping (COTY is a damn fine matchmaker when it comes to partnerships). “With the skin coming through, it makes it a little less oversaturated,” Madeline said. Also, file this one as nail art particularly well-suited for short nails. It looks better when there isn't grown-out nail showing in the negative space.

With slightly fewer colors at your disposal—and maybe a larger nail canvas thanks to Madeline's friend Suzette Lee—there's still plenty of room to do something graphic. For the second look, Madeline started by painting the light colors first, followed by a curved section of darker color—that way you don't have worry about the light color looking opaque enough over the darker color. The darker color got larger and larger on each nail giving it a movement your standard picto-nail art certainly doesn't have.

And it's always good to end on a note slightly less practical than the rest—this time with some press-ons purchased in Koreatown and stick-on crystals from Sally Hansen. While the nail can be opaque and minimal, the crystal stuck on the backside gives a little unexpected glitz. Plus it means you can ask other people to open your soda cans for you all week long. What's not fun about that?

All nail looks use Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Dry Fast Nail Colors with 01 Clearly Quick as top coat. Look 1: 422 Plummet, 424 Set Sail, 255 Quick Fire, 421 Cherry Fast, 250 Orange Zest, and 432 Re-teal Therapy . Look 2: 505 Clean Slate, 115 Tickled Pink, and 325 Big Teal. Look 3: 114 In Nude-tral . Photographed by Brayden Olson. This post is in collaboration with Sally Hansen.

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