Home > Style Domination Tutorial: The Half-Moon Manicure

Style Domination Tutorial: The Half-Moon Manicure

I always loved the look of the half-moon manicure (a favourite of Dita Von Teese) but was stumped on how to actually create the look.  Thanks to the wonderfulness of Youtube, I’m going to share with you how it’s done…but first, a little history lesson.

Cutex 1930s Ad Advertisement Nail Polish Cosmetics Style Domination

Half moon manicures were first seen in the 1920s, popularized by Hollywood actresses and gained even more popularity in the 1930s and 1940s. Side note: popular colours in the 30s were all types of reds ranging from crimson to light, rosy reds. Pinks were also quite popular including peachy tones and nude browns. According to the now defunct The Painted Woman blog, in 1932, Cutex offered polish colours in Natural, Rose, Coral, Cardinal and Colorless. In 1935, the most popular Cutex colours were Rose, Ruby and Rust and yes, funky colours such as green, blue, black and gold were available.

Now – on to the good part.  Let’s get started!

Half Moon Manicure Tutorial Style Domination Esthetics Dita Von Teese 1930s 1940s Nail Polish Cutex MUA

  1. Get yourself some of those binder reinforcements you used to use in highschool.  Measure out five reinforcements and cut the strip in half.
  2. Paint your nails the moon colour first. Let nails dry completely before moving on to step two.
  3. Place the reinforcements on your nails close to your cuticles to mark the half-moon shape.
  4. Paint your nail with two coats of the second colour making sure to paint right up to the edges of the sticker.
  5. Carefully remove the sticker while the polish is still wet and apply a glossy top coat. You can remove any excess polish around the nail bed with a brush dipped in nail polish remover.  Ta da!  Half-moon nails!

Half Moon Manicure Collage Complete

Now, I’m not going to lie.  This was the first time I did this and it was tricky…like Pinterest Fail tricky.  It is really important that you let the first coat of nail polish (in this instance, the gold polish) dry completely or else the reinforcement will pull off the nail polish.  I used a fine brush to touch up any blue nail polish that bled into the gold (this was very minimal and only happened on one finger for me).  I used that same fine brush to paint blue nail polish on any places that I missed – usually up close to the cuticle.

Please send along any other nail tutorials you would like to see, and if you try this out, let me know how it went!


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Dominique Baker
Dominique Baker

Dominique is a Canadian-based fashion and beauty influencer with a strong voice in Ottawa’s black community. Since launching her blog Style Domination in 2015, she has amassed a global fanbase. Dominique shares her life through beautiful imagery and compelling story-telling that speaks to her fans on a personal level. She’s been featured in The Guardian, Flare, The Kit and Cityline. She also hosts events for Dress for Success, the Gem Conference, and has been named a United Way Person 2 Know for the past three years.

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Leave a comment

  1. June 9, 2015 / 9:03 am

    ooooh me likey xxx i so need a manicure – my nails look TERRIBLE .
    I may just follow your tutorial – RATHER bring it to a salon xxx
    I love your new icon ….
    Gorgeous xoxoxoxxo

    • June 9, 2015 / 9:23 am

      Honey – I’d take care of your nails!!! As a former esthetician, I can give one helluva manicure and hand massage! ?

      • June 9, 2015 / 9:25 am

        omg ur cute ……… well next time in Ottawa ….. i know whom i am Gonna meet xo

    • June 9, 2015 / 9:23 am

      Thank you so much, Cat! Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

    • June 9, 2015 / 10:53 am

      You’re welcome, Asa! Me neither! I should have included the info I found on nail polish before the 1930s! Nail polish back then had to be mixed by the user! A combination of coloured powder and oil-based varnish!

  2. June 9, 2015 / 3:16 pm

    I love your nails!! I have some of these stickers and I need to put them to good use! 🙂 xo

  3. June 9, 2015 / 3:29 pm

    I did these nails for a 1920s great Gatsby party! Looks awesome.

    • June 9, 2015 / 4:34 pm

      What a great idea! Damn! I wish I thought of that! I was a flapper a couple of Halloween’s ago!

      • June 9, 2015 / 7:22 pm

        Me too! That’s why I had that costume ready to be used again!

  4. June 9, 2015 / 10:18 pm

    Love this. I haven’t seen it before either. Really pretty!

  5. June 10, 2015 / 7:02 am

    Fantastic— LOVE LOVE LOVE The colour and manicure!!! Gorgeous.
    Wishing you an awesome day, xx
    Dana | http://booquepress.com

    • June 10, 2015 / 9:44 am

      Thank you, Dana! This mani was a labour of love! Lol! Have a wonderful day! xo

    • June 10, 2015 / 9:59 am

      Btw Dana – I check out all of your posts but seem to continually have trouble trying to comment with Disqus. Please know that I love your blog and your Montpellier pics are stunning – especially the carousel and the pretty one of you on the cutie bike!!! xo

      • June 11, 2015 / 3:36 am

        DAMN that disqus! hahaha no problem, thank you for your comments , yaaaay – today´s goal successfully completed.
        Goal: Someone will make my day – CHECK and DONE. haha
        I am a fan of your blog as well! Too much gorgeousness here!!!!
        Have an awesome day! xx

        • June 11, 2015 / 1:14 pm

          Thanks so much, Dana, for your kind words! Regarding Disqus, maybe it’s just my computer….sigh.

  6. June 15, 2015 / 7:11 pm

    I loooove the Half-Moon Manicure! You did it so beautifully!


    • June 15, 2015 / 11:16 pm

      Thank you so much! I won’t lie – it tested my patience!

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