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.
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.
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!
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.