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February 7, 2012
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It can be a little tricky finding paper reinforcers if you’re shopping local drugstores, but it’s worth the hunt since they’re pretty much the perfect shape for half moon manicures.  First, get your base coat down — I went for a single swipe of nubar Faded Putty, making sure it was well covered near the cuticle (doesn’t matter that the rest is streaky or uneven, that’s getting covered up).  If, however, you’ve got a base color with a weird finish or just want some extra wiggle room for mistakes, you can top with a clear coat so you’ve got a buffer between the next step and your color.  Then you’ll take your paper reinforcement sticker *on a dry and clean nail* and drop it over the top part of your nail, sealing it over the base coat.

How To Do Half Moon Nails

Sometimes the placement can get tricky (a circle leaning too far down on one side etc.) so I try to eyeball it by using the hole in the sticker as the marking point and finding the natural line of my finger to put that right in the middle (ever notice how your nail direction looks different when you’re holding it in front of you in different gestures?) — but do it however you’re comfortable; go high, go low, cut pieces out, whatever.  If you’re like me you’ll probably overthink this to death but really, nobody but you is going to stare this down super hard so don’t sweat it too much.

half-moon manicure

Next you go in with your dominant color — I chose nubar Stylish Peacock — and cover the rest of the nail.  Remove the sticker before the nail polish sets (but not while it’s super wet if it’s a runnier polish), seal it down and you’re finished!

nubar Faded Putty

nubar Stylish Peacock

For some extra fun, you can take this a step further and make it into a ladybug by adding a stripe down the center with your base color while the sticker is still on, and some dots on the side with your dotting tool.

Categories: how to
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15 Responses

  1. Ashley says:

    I really need to try a half moon mani.

  2. Nail Stories says:

    Great Tutorial. Sometimes what gets me with these is the placement!

  3. i need to try this. and i love the lady bug idea!

  4. Misch says:

    This is such a great idea! I always have a hard time freehanding half moons, so this is perfect :)

  5. mousiemomma says:

    i’m gonna try this next time i do my nails! they’re kinda short right now cause of a week without polish that led to some issues with chipping, so i’m lokking for some things that won’t look weird on super short nails till they grow out…i think this’ll work out great for me!

  6. mousiemomma says:


  7. the nerd says:

    Thanks ladies, I hope it works out! You can use a rubber band too if you can’t find the stickers (I’ll document this one of these days too).

  8. nail crazy says:

    … and the result is pure perfection :-D

  9. aithne says:

    I absolutely love half moons, but when i try them myself with the aforementioned plan I ALWAYS get bleeding. Any tips?

  10. Amanda says:

    Do the label reinforcers work for french tips? I am really good at half moons but cannot get a good non bleeding french tip. By th way, you’re my new favorite nail site, I left behind one that was my go to due to lack of tutorials and new designs! Love this site! Thank you!

  11. Liesje says:

    Awesome and very on trend especially with the Grammys! Would love it if you would take a look at my blog and let me know what you think. http://www.wonderlustnais.blogspot.com

  12. onedirection12345 says:

    i love this idea! can u post a tutorial on how to do giraffe print nails please?! thanks “nerd

  13. Kayla says:

    Nifty! Never thought it can be that easy!!! Wow… I really hae to get in the moodfor the holidays now… :)

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