Pretty P.O.V.: The New Black The Digital Underground Thursday 15 November, 2012


Looking for some ready-made creative color combinations for nail polish? Look no further than The New Black’s The Digital Underground sets by nail artist Madeline Poole. My picks: Shibuya and Nile.

I’m a super-fan of Instagram and, in turn, a super-fan of Madeline Poole. Who is Madeline Poole? She’s a fearless nail artist with a keen eye for color; she’s not afraid of utilizing unusual color combinations. She’s also mastered the art of the fashion-forward nail art design—not an easy feat. She often posts images of her work on Instagram, and it was through that medium that I learned she had teamed with polish brand The New Black to form lacquer-and-nail-art sets showcasing her special brand of color-wheel cool. The sets, known as The Digital Underground, come with four polishes and one nail art striper. (And, just so you know, Madeline isn’t the only one to create The Digital Underground sets; nail artist Christina Rinaldi has three as well.) I immediately tripped over myself to get my hands on the Shibuya set, which features chalky pastels, a chunky gold glitter top coat and a black striper. And I was also intrigued by Nile, an interesting mishmash of colors: bold blue, blood red, tomato, black gold and a striper of burnished micro glitter.


Let me just say: Shibuya, I dig ya. I’m pretty much always going through a blue streak with my nail polishes, so trying out some pastel pink and faded peachy beige was a welcome change. The polish tones are chalky; they have this “thick” quality about them (the color, not the formula)—and that’s not a bad thing. I figured I’d just throw the whole kitchen sink on my nails—try all the colors in one sitting. And though each set comes with six nail art designs by the artist (and a QR code so you can watch the how-to online), I opted to wing it. Cuz that’s how I do.


(My self-did Shibuya nail art, which people complimented, but I felt needed some major work.)

So, when it came time to use the black striper, I was elated to find it easy to maneuver. However, if you’re not careful, the polish brush loads too much color at the top (the wand area), and as you work, that polish will start to percolate down the shaft to the brush and cause a “bloop” in your design. I had to get the hang of removing the lacquer from the wand area as I slid the striper out of it’s bottle. Not a big problem, but something you need to be aware of.


The other collection, Nile, hasn’t made its way onto my nails…yet. But, I just love how Madeline fearlessly combined hues that most wouldn’t dream of marrying. I actually did a story about this, “Hue Fusion,” in July; the idea is to look to fashion to see what unusual color combos crop up and incorporate them into your nail styles. I mean, who doesn’t want to try out a purple and mustard design? I mean, if Miuccia Prada can do it, then so can you!

You can learn more about The New Black The Digital Underground at; sets are available for purchase at

Which of these sets gets your heart racing?

Karie L. Frost Signature


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