Half moon nail polish is a super cute, unique trend that we’ve been crushing on lately. Half moon manicures are inspired by nail trends from the 1930s, when people would often skip over the “half moon” at the base of their nails. Easy to wear and adapt to different color combinations, this look can be tweaked a bit to suit any occasion or style! Keep reading to discover our favorite half moon manicure styles, and how to get the half moon nail look without making a trip to the salon.

Our 4 favorite half moon nail looks

This cozy and casual neutral pink + mauve look: These two neutral tones complement each other perfectly, and can easily be matched to your outfit. Together, they make the perfect everyday nail look that’s sure to be admired.

This bold and glamorous deep red + clear look: Eye-catching and fierce, this retro manicure is the perfect look for a big night out, date night, or even a big event. Nail length and shape makes a big difference in this look: It’ll pop the most on longer, rounded nails.

This edgy and sophisticated back + clear look: In this nail style, the half moon portion of the fingernail is emphasized–making the colored outline look spikier and more dramatic. While it might look complicated, it’s really no more difficult than any of the other half moon looks we’re featuring. Just make sure to be extra careful when painting down to the base of your nails!

This fun and colorful sparkly blue + black look: The contrast between this sparkly polish and the black base make this look extra attention-grabbing. While we love the blue color used in this style, a different sparkling polish could work just as well. And best of all, there’s no need to grow your nails out to supernatural lengths in order to make this style work for your nails.

How to give yourself a half moon manicure

The trick to giving yourself a perfect half-moon manicure lies in finding the right stencil to create that moon shape. MostΒ beauty blogs suggest using improvised supplies like paper hole reinforcements (which you can find at most office supply stores), although any sticker with a round shape could work in a jam. Using a stencil will help to give you the perfect half moon shape, and to keep that shape consistent on each fingernail. The sticky backing will also ensure that your stencil doesn’t slip around as you paint.

Another good tool to have on hand for half moon manicures is a slender paintbrush, which you can find at any art supply store. Using a more precise paintbrush in the place of the standard one that comes with your bottle of polish will help you to apply the polish neatly and precisely.

  1. Before applying the stencil to your nail, pick out the one or two polish colors you’ll be using. Prep your nails with a clear, base coat and allow it to dry. If you’re not using a color for the “moon” portion of the nail, allow the clear coat to dry completely, and then proceed to the next step. If you’d like to fill the “moon” in with a color, paint your entire nail with that color, allow it to dry completely, and then proceed to the next step.
  2. Position the stencil on your nail, making sure that the adhesive is sticking to its surface.
  3. Paint the outer portion of your nail, while keeping the stencil secured with your free hand.
  4. Peel away the stencil, and touch up the “moon” portion of the nail with your base color (or dab away any smudges with polish remover, if using a clear coat for the “moon”).
  5. Allow the outer color to dry completely, and then follow up with a clear top coat to preserve your manicure.

Camille Bond is a freelance writer based in New York City. She has interned in the film industry and the publishing industry, as well as for a political campaign. When it comes to the world of beauty and wellness, she loves researching natural skincare brands, concocting DIY recipes, and discovering new mediation techniques!