DIY · Hair & Beauty · Makeup · Tutorial

DIY Half Moon Manicure

Today I’m bringing something different to the blog: an easy little DIY tutorial. When going for the complete pinup look, nails cannot be overlooked. Most of you might immediately envision the perfect half moon manicure of burlesque queen Dita Von Teese. Making it her signature finishing touch, Dita revived this classic vintage manicure style.

A 1930s magazine advertisement of the nail care brand Cutex and Dita Von Teese with her signature red half moon manicured nails.

The half moon manicure originally dates back to mid 1920s. In the 1930-1940s, women would leave the lunula (the moon-shaped part at the base of the nail) and even their nail tips unvarnished due to the long time it would take for the nail polish back then to dry. This nail trend was also a consequence of the budgeting for resources during the 1940s wartimes. Leaving the lunula bare made nail regrowth less obvious and meant woman could save on their mani for a longer time.

To easily recreate this classic look yourself, I will explain it step by step.

You will need to gather the following things:

  • Nail polish remover
  • Cuticle tool
  • Nail file
  • Paper reinforcements
  • Tweezers
  • Nail polish


Before you start, make sure to remove all traces of polish with nail polish remover. File your nails to the desired length and shape – I usually go for a round or oval shape for this classic manicure style. With a cuticle tool, push the cuticle back from the nail bed.

There is a handy trick to achieve the perfect half moon shapes: paper reinforcements! Stick a paper reinforcement at the base of your nail, at about the height of your natural half moons or slightly above.


Now, you can just paint your nail like you usually would. Leave the polish to dry for about a minute.


Peel off the paper reinforcement. I find it easier to use tweezers for this, especially if you had also just varnished your other hand’s nails as well.


There can sometimes be some slight smudges or staining in the half moon part or some irregularities in the moon shape. These are easy to remove with just a tooth pick – yes, just ‘scratch’ it away – or with a small makeup/painting brush dipped in nail polish remover.

Et voilà, that’s it! Easy-peasy, no?


Give this method a try, you’ll see it is so simple and fast, but the results are so elegant and authentic. People will think you’ve spent hours on it – with a lot of patience and steady handing for the moon shapes – but we know better!


x Miss Lipstick & Pipettes x


4 thoughts on “DIY Half Moon Manicure

    1. Nice to hear you liked this mini tutorial! Definitely give it a try, it’s such an easy way to get the desired result 🙂

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