The Half Moon Manicure has kept its new-found popularity over the years, becoming a favorite nail design at fashion shows and on the red carpet. We all love its retro appeal when worn in classic shades, as the ’40s fashion dictates, yet we can still be surprised of how lovely modern polish combinations re-brand this manicure as a cool, fun nail design.
For women in the ’30s and ’40s, it became fashionable to leave the half moon and sometimes the tip of the nails bare, as it was considered indecent to paint the entire nail bed. What we now call the Half Moon Manicure became a fashion statement and was worn by anybody who was somebody at the time, the biggest screen stars and the models of the era.
Rita Hayworth, Betty Grable, Veronica Lake or Joan Crawford were just some of the big screen celebrities of that time who popularized the classic long oval shape, with a rounded top and red, glamorous polish. This ladylike nail shape made the fingers appear longer and delicate, catching the eyes and granting them that sensual appeal common for the female characters of the time.
Half Moon Manicure
Nowadays, celebrities like Dita von Teese, Lauren Conrad, Rihanna and Jessica Biel to name a few, give in to the glamorous nail design known as the Half Moon Manicure or the Reversed French, adapting the look to different styles and outfits and proving that both classic and modern shades and techniques work with this universally flattering shape.
You too can try this awesome nail design either professionally in a salon or, if you are a DIY kind of girl, by following the step-by-step Half Moon nails tutorial I’ve prepared for you. This nail art design looks tougher to accomplish then it actually is so I have no doubt that you’ll be sporting a lovely mani by the end of this day.
Half Moon Manicure
As opposed to the traditional French Manicure, which highlights the tips of your nails, the Half Moon Manicure is created when the circular moon shape of your nail bed is painted in a contrasting shade to the rest of the nail.
Half Moon Mani
This nail design looks best if you have long, oval shaped nails, that mimics the shape of the half moon placed naturally on the base of your nails. If you are not a fan of this nail shape, you might also love the Triangle Moon Nails design, a modern version of the Half Moon, that is suited for all ladies, regardless of nail length or shape.
Half Moon Manicure FW13
The Half Moon Mani looks stunning when you use classical nail polish shades like reds or the reverse French color scheme – white at the base and pink at the tip. These options are suitable if your style is similar to the lovely Dita von Teese.
If you have a strong personality, by all means go bolder with your Half Moon nail design and choose vibrant hues that color clash or a combination between pastels and nude nail polish.
Fashion Half Moon Nails
This nail design also looks spectacular if you mix glittery nail polish with regular one or metallics with blacks or grays. The possibilities are endless, so it’s up to you to choose the color scheme for your Half Moon Nails. Just strive for a nice contrast between the shades that matches your outfit and personal style!
Half Moon Nail design – step-by-step tutorial
To get the look, start by prepping your nails. Clean, bare nails, that have been filed in the desired oval shape are detrimental to the look, so make sure you follow the curve of your natural half moon or the base of your nail bed when filling the tip of the nail.
Next, apply 1 or 2 coats of nail polish, depending on its coverage, to the entire nail bed. It’s best to choose the lighter color for this, as the original half moon design was created, because the technique we’re about to use would alter the lighter color applied on top of the darken one.
Half Moon Nail Art
Allow this coat to try for at least 20 or 30 minutes so the stickers won’t chip the first layer when you remove it. I advise against using a quick dry nail spray at this stage, as most tend to leave an oily film on top of the nails, that might prevent the reinforcement tape to stick properly.
After your base coat polish has dried, apply the stickers to coat the half moon part of your nail bed. You can use hole-punched reinforcement stickers, available at any office supply store, professional manicure stickers from brands like Sally Hansen, Essie or OPI or make your own out of tape. If you have a steady hand and experience with nail design, you might even be able to do it without any help. I couldn’t…but I’m sure it’s not me, it’s the nail polish brush that sabotaged my design.
If you do however use stickers, it’s up to you how wide you want your half moon to be. Place the tape on each nail and paint the top half of your nail with two coats of the darker color you chose.
Metallic Half Moon Manicure
Allow to dry completely and gently pull off the stickers, careful not to peel off the polish, and finish with a clear top coat. After this, you may use a quick drying spray or drops to save some time. However, the longer you wait the less probable it is to ruin your nails. Voila!
Hope your Half Moon Manicure turns out great and you’ve found my website helpful. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the width of the half moon and the color combinations, the salt and pepper of this lovely nail art design.
As a professional make-up artist and beauty enthusiast, Luiza's expertise has become highly prized over the years. As owner of this site, she set her mind to create a publication for those who are focused not just on beauty trends and popular brands, but also on the industry's most well-kept secrets.