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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Flea Market Finds

Ahhh…the flea market. I find that there are a series of steps one makes upon entering one of these bastions of pure Americana past and present. Before you can fall down the rabbit hole into 1957, you have to adjust to the fact that this is in fact 2012, and the assault of banners advertising “one-dollar socks!” are all you see upon your disappointing first scan. But wait, my friends…dig. You must dig. It’s all part of the experience. Roam. By the end of your trip to the flea market, you will have found those lost treasures, listened to the banter of the sellers (my favorite part) and on your way out…hey, dollar socks? Not a bad deal!

I hope you enjoy looking at a few of the things I found this weekend, and get inspired to go on a hunt of your own!

Wellfleet Drive-In Theater (and Flea Market) Wellfleet, Cape Cod. Since 1957

Old But New

Aside

Vintage gold-plated turtles with red enameled shells paired with Czech glass

You had me at “a pair of pliers and a pile of castaway treasures.”

The things in this shop remind me of the best things found at a rummage sale, just when you’re about to give up and start questioning your decision to paw through jewelry-box rejects from the velour tracksuit-wearing mavens sitting behind the folding tables.

I love the way this designer makes everything seem modern and fresh, while keeping it all authentically old lady.

Old But New on Etsy

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