How to Style a 1930’s Half-Moon Manicure

Did you know that Depression-era glamour girls didn’t paint their nails the entire way? They left a half-moon at the top, and often left the tips bare too. Learn how to get a bit of pretty vintage glamour by learning the secret to this 1930’s trend.

How To Do A 30s-Style Moon ManicureArt Deco blog The Painted Woman points out that “In the early-mid ’30s, women usually only painted the center of the nail, leaving the half-moon cuticle and tips bare with the underside tinted with a nail-white pencil or cream.” It’s kind of like a French manicure in reverse, in a bold color like red.

How To Do A 30s-Style Moon Manicure

So, what polish colors were popular in the ’30s? According to the Painted Woman, “All reds — from rosy to deep crimson — were popular, of course. But it isn’t true that ‘they’ didn’t wear pink in the 30s. Pinks were very much seen, as were nice peachy-browns and tawny colors that looked nice with suntans (the concept of changing one’s make-up according to the season was not unknown to 30s women). Cutex color choices in 1932 were Natural, Rose, Coral, Cardinal, and Colorless. Revlon colors introduced for the summer of 1935 included ‘Sun Rose’ and ‘Chestnut.’ Cutex named the ‘smartest colors’ for 1936 as Rose, Ruby, and Rust…wild colors such as green, blue, black, and gold were indeed available.”

So how can you pull this off?

You’re going to need: hole reinforcers, a base coat of your choice; two colors of polish, a top coat of your choice, and nail polish remover.

How To Do A 30s-Style Moon Manicure

How To Do A 30s-Style Moon ManicureFirst, apply the base coat, then apply the color you want your “moons” to be, over the bottoms of your nails.

How To Do A 30s-Style Moon ManicureWhile the polish is drying, trim the hole reinforcers into narrower curves to fit the width of your individual nails. When your polish is dry, apply the hole reinforcers to each nail.Try to have the edge of the center hole be right at your cuticle.

How To Do A 30s-Style Moon Manicure

How To Do A 30s-Style Moon ManicureNext, apply your main polish color (usually a dark, dramatic shade).
Then, when you’re all done with the rest of your manicure, finish with your thumbs!
 Apply a top coat, let it dry, rub some oil or moisturizer into your cuticles, and revel in your instant vintage glamour.
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