Monday, April 11, 2011

Half-Moon Manicure and Tutorial

A few days ago a friend of mine (Hi Dana!!) asked if I had any tips for doing a half-moon manicure.  A half-moon manicure is created with two polishes so that the little "half moons" of your nails are a different color from the rest of your nails.  To be honest, I'd never done one before, but as I was feeling a bit uninspired for my weekend mani and always willing to help a friend out...CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

I decided this post may work best as kind of a photo tutorial, so I took as many pictures as I could throughout the process.  :-)

I've seen lots of different color combinations for half-moon manis.  I think, in general, these look best with two very contrasting colors, so I went with black and silver.  I decided I wanted to do the ring finger in reverse colors for added funk and to see how that combination would look as well.

This is two coats of Wet 'n Wild Black Creme and two coats of Color Club What a Drag!   I also wanted to play with different texture combinations, so I decided to make the black matte with a coat of Essie Matte About You.  I applied a coat of Seche Vite over What a Drag to speed up the drying process.

Now to create those half-moons!  You could always free-hand them, if you're skilled and blessed with a steady hand.  As I am neither skilled nor steady-handed I need to "cheat."  I learned on MUA the best way to achieve that look, and it comes from a rather unexpected place....

OFFICE SUPPLIES.  Yup, those are just standard paper hole reinforcements.  This is one of those fancy boxes where you pull the tab and then the stickers just magically pop out of the top.  Kind of helpful when working with wet nails, actually!

These stickers are actually stickier than you think.  You'll want to stick these against the palm of your hand a couple of times before you apply them to sort of de-sticky them a bit - a FAB tip I learned from Erika over at Chloe's Nails.  Put half of the sticker on the top of your nail near the cuticle.  Where exactly you put it will depend on how big of a half-moon you want.

Next apply one to two coats of your contrasting color and remove the sticker immediately.  If you wait until the polish is dry to remove the sticker, you could end up pulling off a big chunk out of the polish off, which we obviously don't want.  Annoyingly, the stickers wouldn't stick down completely on the nail, so I did have to free hand at the very edges, but I promise it wasn't too hard.  :-)

Here's the look after I added the second color to all my nails:

First:  I wasn't too happy with that ring finger.  I didn't put the sticker low enough on my nail, so the half-moon wasn't quite as big as I would have liked.  I didn't get the line as clean as I would have liked, ether.  The other ones turned out pretty well though, I think!  Then of course I still needed to mattify the black, so I free-handed another coat of Essie Matte About You over the top.  Since the silver doesn't have a glossy look to it anyway, I didn't have to be too precise with the matte top coat.  If you're using creme colors, you may want to put another sticker on as a guide if you add any special "effect" coats on top.

Second:  I realized the hard way that this manicure is probably best done in two parts, on two separate days.  Wear your bottom color as a manicure one night, and then add the second color the next day so you know everything is DRY.  I almost lifted up the silver at least four different times when removing the sticker.  I blame that entirely on my impatience.  That won't happen when your bottom color is completely dry.  :-)

So here's the finished look!

Ooh la-la!!  I love the matte black in contrast to the blingy silver!  This is one fierce look, and it would be perfect for a night out!  (So where did I wear this?  Totally on my couch watching a Netflix movie - d'oh!)

Here's a few more posed pictures, just for funsies:

Bottom line?  I definitely think there's a learning curve here.  It took a few nails to get the hang of it, but I think it got easier and looked better with each nail.  Here's my right hand, just so you can see:

See?  Much more even!  I'm sure my next half-moon mani will look even better.  :-)  The hole-reinforcement stickers aren't a fool-proof trick, but they're certainly easier than free-handing those lines!  I think if I can do this, anyone can!

Dana, I hope you found this helpful!  Let me know what colors you choose and how it turns out next time you give it a try!

If you guys have any other requests, feel free to shoot them my way, and I'll do what I can!  :-D

1 comment:

  1. love it!! thanks for the tips!! i like your color combinations...i think i might try black over pale pink.


Please be polite! No spam or links to other websites in the comments. Thanks!!!