Easy DIY Half-Moon Manicures

Up until recently, I went through a complete nail polish dry spell. Clean, perfectly rounded and filed nails was my manicure manifesto. This of course was completely different from my attitude in high school, where I could only wish for more tips to decorate. Glitter (and lots of it), stripes, press-on stickers, even CK One scented nail polish (don’t tell me you don’t remember that!) – I embraced it all. I remember one particularly patriotic week I had painted my nails a festive neopolitan of red, white and blue, leaving my 7th grade English teacher to take one look at my hands and exclaim, “What is that!?”

I’m not sure what triggered it but I’ve fallen in love with painting my nails again, now almost never letting my bare nails see the light of day.  A few weeks ago I stumbled upon The Cherry Blossom Girl’s Half-Moon Manicure guide and figured it looked simple enough for me to try. With two fun colors and a sheet of reinforcement stickers, I was on my way:

I started with a coat of Wet ‘N Wild’s Metallica silver polish.* (Actually, you should start with a good base coat– I like Essie’s Fill the Gap! base coat– but for the time-pressed or truly lazy such as myself, you can skip this step.)

Wait for the polish to completely and thoroughly dry.

Apply the reinforcement stickers to the base of the nail bed – I actually didn’t apply the stickers low enough, so my nails almost look more two-toned rather than moon-y, but of course the look is up to you.

Make sure the sticker adheres around as much of the nail as it can, then start painting on the second color.  Ensure a clean contrasting line of color by painting on top of the sticker and around the edges. Don’t be afraid to get polish on your fingers, that’s easily removable.  Here, I’m using Essie’s Peach Daquiri.

Admire your alien-esque hands for a few seconds.

Wait for the second color to completely dry before peeling off the stickers.

Finish with a top coat and voila, easy-to-do half-moon manicures!

A few tips:

1. I think this look works best with round nails but square nails could also offer an interesting contrast to the moon shape.
2. Be absolutely and completely sure that the first color is dry before applying the reinforcement holes. Otherwise you’ll risk peeling off the color when removing the stickers.
3. You can also reduce the risk of color peel-age by removing some of the stickiness from the reinforcement holes. Stick them onto the back of your hand a few times to lose the stickiness, then apply to nails.
4. For a true “Moon” look, apply the stickers so that the inside hole just touches the bottom of your cuticles. This will give a better rounded shape (not like how I did it, oops.)

So there you go! An incredibly easy way to jazz up your normal nail polish routine. I’d love to hear– what do you think of the moon manicure look? Are there any other easy DIY nail designs you’ve been meaning to try or have already tried out? Let me know in the comments!

*For the record, I really don’t normally paint my nails on a leather seat, as pictured. I’m blaming the limited lighting options in the office for this one!
debiekimEasy DIY Half-Moon Manicures

Comments 22

  1. DWJ

    LOVE! I’ve been wanting to do a half moon manicure but couldn’t figure out an easy way to do it. I’m definitely going to be trying this one out. I’ve been mildly obsessed with crackle/shatter polish later so this will change my nail polish routine up a bit.

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  2. Liz

    love the moons- I’ve been meaning to try them but I’m kinda lazy too. I’ve been using the Essie Matte top coat a lot recently, which was something I wanted to try- and it’s awesome- it not only makes the color more subtle, it dries very quickly.

    Oh! I bet matte moons and glossy tops would look really good too

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  3. lisa

    I think I bought bad reinforcers because mine leave sticky white glue residue all over the bottom half of my half moon manis. After a disappointing first try, I haven’t attempted a half moon mani since.

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      Oh no! They might be too sticky then…try tip 3 and see if that helps. It’s worth another try :)

  4. Closet Cravings

    I saw the Half-Moon Manicure guide on The Cherry Blossom Girl’s blog too. I’ve been wanting to try it, but I tend to be lazy when it comes to my nails. I love having a manicure, but I often lack the motivation to make them pretty. I did paint my nails earlier today though – beauty points for me. =)

  5. Jill Magee-Fosdick

    I saw this on The Cherry Blossom Girl as well and thought it looked great. While painting my nails one day, I attempted to do this free-hand…not a great idea. There are so many great colour combinations that you can do with this. I will definitely have to try this. First…a trip to the stationary store!

    P.S. Your moons are higher but still look really cute!

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  6. Kristen

    LOVE IT! Can’t wait to try it. I’ve always been a spazz when it comes to nail painting, so lets hope those stickers are easy to use!

  7. Frantic About Frances

    Ooh, lovely! I saw this manicure on Dita Von Teese, and really liked it. I rarely wear nail polish, it always gets chipped when I am sewing, but may give this a little go.
    Great Stuff! xxx

  8. Chelsea

    What a cute idea! You could also try putting the sticker on the top of your nail to get an inverse shape. Or, I bet that you could easily try stickers in different shapes to get other interesting effects. I’m envisioning stars or something along those lines! Thanks for sharing!

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