It has always been my go-to nail art. It’s so quick & easy, yet the end result always oozes high maintenance chic! The half-moon manicure has been around since the 1920’s, along with a blood red lipstick the ladies of fashion back in those days also loved some foxy red nails. The style has varied throughout the years; the first half moon manicure was painted with only one nail polish, leaving the half-moon blank with no polish at all. This style eventually evolved in the 1940’s & it then became fashionable to also leave a French tip blank at the free edge of the nail as well as the half moon. As seen below in an amazingly retro Cutex advert.
As with all fashion and style nail art has not been left behind, our techniques and products are continually progressing along with the style of nail art we are choosing to apply. However, this manicure has held its position as one of the top dogs and most popular styles to date.
Nowadays we are spoilt for choice and we can now mix things up a bit; using more than one colour of polish for the body of the nail and also the half-moon/French tip detailing and we also have the luxury of thousands of different shades of nail polish, picking a colour according to our mood or what the weather is like outside. This is why this manicure is so versatile, once you have ‘nailed’ painting the half-moon shape (pardon the pun) you can go crazy and mix ’ n ’ match lots of different colours and polishes to create nails for all different occasions!
This is where I let you all in on a little shortcut to the perfect half-moon shape. This technique doesn’t need a steady hand or even a talent for painting nails. Just slap the polish on and away you go! I even found this amazing tutorial online that walks you through the manicure step by step.
So begin by choosing your two colours of polish. You can opt for a metallic and coral combo… or a red and fuchsia colour blocking combo… or a monochrome black and white combo… the possibilities are literally endless!
- Once the difficult task of picking your colour scheme is complete, start by preparing your nails as I explained in my previous post & apply your base coat.
- On top of your base coat apply the colour you want your half-moon to be – only apply one layer of this polish. Allow it to dry for 5 minutes…
…This is where things get interesting!
- You know those little annoying white circular sticker things you always had kicking about at the bottom of your school bag but never really had a use for? (I think their technical term is actually ‘hole reinforcements’… naughty!) Well these are the key to the perfect half-moon! Stick one of these little stickers on each of your nails, just below your cuticle at whatever depth you want your half-moon to be & make sure the edges are all stuck down tight to your nail plate.
- Now apply your second colour of polish. Getting right up to the edge of the sticker on your nail, making sure the whole nail plate is evenly covered – don’t be afraid to paint over the edge of the sticker! Depending on the consistency of your nail polish this may require two coats. Leave your nails for 10 to 15 minutes… relax, maybe watch a bit of E! Fashion Police or have a cuppa… just be careful not to smudge!
- Once you are sure the polish is adequately dried you can now begin the delicate procedure of ever so slowly peeling off the little stickers from each of your nails.
- Et Voila! The perfect half-moon manicure is now complete & you did it all by yourself!! All you need to do now is apply a super shiny topcoat & treat your cuticles to a slathering of oil.
It really couldn’t be any easier and it looks fabulous. One of my all-time favourites! I hope you all enjoy recreating your own 1920’s inspired half-moon manicures at home, be sure to let me know how it goes.
Article by Louise Henry
Louise joined The Beauty Cloud team in May 2014 as our Nail expert. She is a fully trained & qualified Nail Technician running her own little nail bar in Bangor, The Nail Room at Salon75.
Any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Facebook