The half-moon manicure is one of our favorite nail looks. Today, we enjoy various incarnations of this classic look. It can be updated by painting the moon in cream or white, or even by using a different color on the moon than on the rest of the nail. While today it is considered a fun gateway to nail art, the half-moon manicure was a staple style in the glamorous 1940s. Get your hands on some retro digits with this simple half-moon mani how to!

Step 1. To recreate a 1940s-inspired half-moon manicure, file the nails into a rounded shape; this can be done on any nail length, but is more authentic on a longer nail.

Step 2. Paint a clear base coat on the entire nail.

Step 3. Time for the main color! One way to get a precise curve is by sticking a paper hole protector on each nail base as a stencil. But we find it relatively easy to draw a moon shape with a thin, nail art brush dipped in polish.

Step 4. Fill in the rest of your nail with another color of your choice. Follow with a clear topcoat after the color has dried.

For a classic red, we like Lancôme Paris Vernis in Love in Very in Love; you can layer red over a lighter pink, like L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Nail in Red Tote over Crazy for Chic, to modernize. For a fun twist, try layering contrasting colors, like essie Blanc under essie Licorice.

What’s your favorite half-moon mani combination? Tell us in the comments below.

Photo: Shutterstock


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