Beauty · Makeup · Perfect Your Pinup · Styling · Tips & tricks

6 ways to style your pinup nails | PERFECT YOUR PINUP

“It’s all in the details”. You’re hands are always visible and an accompanying manicure tops off any look. When it comes to a mani to match your pinup wardrobe, there are actually more options than you might think.


Half moon

The half moon manicure is a widely used nail art style among many modern pinup gals. Reason of that is that this iconic nail style is the trademark of the queen of burlesque, Dita Von Teese. The half moon at the lower end of the nail is left clear or painted white, while the rest is filled in with color. This keeps outgrowth less noticeable.


If you are interested in recreating this mani by yourself, this blog post I’ve posted back in 2016 describes the tips and tricks on how to easily achieve this look.

Authentic half moon with white tips

Ads from the 1930s-1940s portray the original half moon nails with the tips left white as well.


During wartime, women’s manicure needed to last longer and both half moons and tips kept outgrowth and chipping to a minimum and postponed a visit to the nail salon. This nail style was spotted on many actresses from those eras, including Gene Harlow and Carole Lombard.


Heart nails

A cute variation of the half moon nails is to draw them into a heat shape. Miss Victory Violet is one of the role models sporting this style.


Triangle half moon

Another variation to the classic half moon nails is to leave the half moons triangular shaped instead of circular. I think this adds a little bit of edginess to this otherwise classic nail design. My fellow Miss Viva Las Vegas 2019 finalists Dafna Bar-el and Marion Dollykitten are rocking this nail style every now and then, it was even Dafna’s stage mani!

Dafna Bar-el with her Viva Las Vegas manicure and Dollykitten Marion


Accentuated edges

In the spirit of making outgrowth less noticeable, just like the original purpose of the half moon nails, another option is to leave the whole nail natural or painted nude and only accentuate the nail tips, kinda like an exaggerated French manicure. Retro icon Lana Del Rey has been spotted with this nail art.


Classic red

Of course, you can never go wrong with an elegant, classic red nail. It was the go-to of many Old Hollywood starlets, like Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball.


Although this post covers some pinup-style nail ideas, I do want to mention not to get too caught up in thinking you need ‘pinup worthy’ nails that would be ‘appropriate’ for the pinup and vintage (life)style. I love kitschy nail art and have been wearing different designs whenever I felt like it. Don’t stress too much about your nails matching your pinup wardrobe and just have fun with it!


All nail designs covered in this post were created by my trusted nail girl, Nathalie from Lilou Beautybar. If you’re in Belgium, I highly recommend her. But regardless of where you are, you can take this nail guide as inspiration to your local nail salon.

Which style is your favorite? Do you have a go-to nail design or colour?




3 thoughts on “6 ways to style your pinup nails | PERFECT YOUR PINUP

  1. I’m a really girlie guy, and find myself facinatec by this part.
    I wish I have the courage to have the almond nails with the red hearts design.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and leave a comment , I really appreciate that!
      The heart design is my personal favorite as well ❤️
      Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from wearing what you like! Maybe you could start with doing a heart design on just one finger (see it as your “accent finger”) to build up the courage to rock a full heart mani.

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