Tutorial: DIY Half-Moon Nails

June 23, 2015


The Half-Moon Manicure has been around since the 1920s.  From the 1920s through the 1930s both the top tip and the bottom moon were bare or left a lighter shade. In the late 1930s it then became popular to leave just the bottom half moon bare.

This manicure was a symbol of glamour, but it was ultimately for practical purposes: when you had your nails done in those days the varnish took a long time to apply and dry, so women tried to keep their manicures going for as long as possible, and leaving the half moons meant that regrowth didn’t appear so obvious as the weeks went by.

The half-moon manicure has become popular yet again thanks to Dita Von Teese. I too am a fan of the traditional ’30s-’40s half-moon manicure so this is my little DIY on that traditional ’40s pinup manicure.

What you’ll need

  • Nail polish
  • Nail polish remover
  • Reinforcement labels (found in the office area, typically used to reinforce punched holes, but make a great half moon shape!)
  • Nail care sticks
  • Nail file
  • Nail clippers
  • Q-tips
  • Top coat nail polish


  1. I Like to clip and file my nails to a round point in a traditional ’40s style.
  2. The reinforcement stickers stick directly on to the nail to create that half moon shape.
  3. Paint your nails right over the sticker.
  4. Remove the sticker.
  5. You may have some boo-boos here or there. Just clean them up by using the nail sticks, Q-tips and some nail polish remover.
  6. Then top off with some top coat.
  7. Repeat on the other side.
  8. Fin!

half moon turtorial-01

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