Monday, November 5, 2012

Tutorial: Fly Me to the Moon... the half-moon manicure that is!

Manicures and me do not go hand in hand. I never have the time to do a complete manicure; you know the whole soak the hands, push back cuticles, double coat etc. I'm a procrastinating poodle remember?! By the time I get around to actually painting my nails, that's all I have time for, the paint.

So in general, I go and GET a manicure using Shellac or Gelish. It takes ONE hour every two weeks and it is soooo worth it. My nails don't chip, smudge, or lose their shine. I love it. 

But every once in awhile, sigh, I do actually do my own manicure. And since I completely managed to mess up my last one, (never polish stainless steel appliances, dust, do dishes, and give yourself a facial with fruit acids all in one day), I thought Hey! Time for a tutorial on vintage nails.

The half-moon manicure has been pretty popular lately, but it was in its heyday in the 30's and 40's. I used to think only red shades were used, but I have seen several 40's nail ads for all different colors including black, green, blue, and yellow. Crazy!

Look at that rainbow of colors!

Women would leave the half-moon of their nails unpainted, as well as a sliver at the tip of the nail, only painting the middle. With little time to attend to nails, and lots of housework or factory war work, this would extend the life of the manicure without noticeable outgrowth or shrinkage.

Half-moon nails shaped in a traditional oval or pointed almond, are my favorite. They look pure vintage, and since I have shorter fingers, give an elongated look to the nail and finger. There is a hilarious 1940's video posted on youtube by, that says, "Sue avoids red nail polish because it would call attention to her stubby hands..." Wow. Who knew? I've been doing it wrong all these years. 

If you decide to still paint your nails and risk drawing attention to them, hehe, here's how:

Step 1: File nails into an oval or almond shape.

Step 2: If you've got the time, go ahead and push those cuticles back with an orangewood stick.

Step 3: Clean nail with isopropyl alcohol or nail polish remover.

Step 4: Apply base coat or ridge filler to nail. Allow to dry.

Step 5: Stick a nifty little binder ring onto half-moon of nail, making sure it is fully adhered to nail.

Step 6: Paint thin coat of desired polish color (I decided to give one of those "new" vintage colors a try, and went with OPI Jade is the New Black). Let dry a few minutes, and while still tacky, remove binder ring sticker. Peel off from one side to the other.

 Step 7: Using the first coat as a guide, paint second coat. Let dry 5 minutes and follow with third coat if necessary, or a top coat.  Allow nail to dry to the touch.

Step 8: Apply a drop of cuticle oil to the base of the nail. This will help the polish to finish curing and drying.

And voila! A gorgeous 1940's half-moon manicure. Your stubby fingers have never looked better!

Toodles Poodles!


  1. Need bigger pictures. Interesting use of binder rings.

  2. I really appreciate the step by step tutorial. Looks easy enough for me to do.

  3. I totally want to try this now. Thanks!