Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Half-Moon Mani

This week's featured tutorial is the half-moon mani.
The half-moon manicure actually was very popular from the 1920's to the 1940's and has recently made a comeback.  Who doesn't love a modern twist on a vintage style!?
This was my first attempt, and even though these colors are so not something I'd typically choose, I'm happy with the outcome.  Very fall-like. 
The half-moon mani is done in a very similar fashion as last week's tape mani, except instead of scotch tape, we will be using the small circle paper-reinforcement stickers.  They can be found at any office supply store.

How To Choose Colors For This Design:
You have a lot of artistic freedom with a half-moon mani, since nothing really has to coordinate.  
You can do similar colors, you can do completely different colors, use the same color but matte and glossy, neons, neutrals, glitters.  In the 1930s & 40s it was very popular to leave the half moon of the nail natural, and only paint the tip. There's lots of options!

Suggested Materials:
ANY brand is fine, listed below are the ones used for this particular mani
- Base coat - Seche Clear
- Top coat - Seche Vite
- Top color - Essie "Sew Psyched"
- Half-moon Base color - Essie "Love and Acceptance"
- Circle paper-reinforcement stickers
- A clean, small paintbrush or cotton swabs, for cleaning the cuticles afterwards (optional)
- Nail polish remover (optional)

Before you begin painting your design:
These steps are optional, but definitely recommended!
• Put down some paper towels on your work area, in case of any spills. 
• Be sure to remove any old nail polish.
• Gently file nails into desired shape and remove any deep ridges with a buffer
• Push back cuticles with a cuticle pusher or orange wood stick and trim if desired.
• To make things easier to find (and because I'm super neurotic) I always set up my polishes in the order that they will be used.
• Apply a base coat to protect from potential staining from color polish; wait for it to dry completely.

Step 1:
Take a circle sticker and stick it to the palm of your hand.  Remove it, and re-stick it 4 or 5 times.  
This is to reduce the stickiness of the tape and makes it much easier to peel off of your nails later on.  

Step 2:
Apply 2 coats of the base color and allow to dry.
If you are using a light and dark color for this mani, try to use the lighter color as the base.  Most light colors tend to be less opaque and will not cover a dark color very well!
Don't worry too much about being super neat, you can remove excess polish from your cuticles later.
**It is VERY important to allow all polish to dry before applying the tape over it, otherwise the polish will get stuck to the tape and come off**

Step 3:
Gently  apply the circle stickers.  
Place the top half of the circle over the bottom of your nail and cuticle, and the bottom half of the circle should be over your finger. (You can click the photo to enlarge & see it better.)
I aimed to cover approximately 1/4th of my nail length. 
You can do more or less, depending on how big you want your half-moons to be!
The nail naturally curves, so the sticker might need to be adjusted a bit near the cuticle.
*Try to avoid any bubbles near the edges of the tape and cuticle, because the top color could get into the bubble and you'll have to start all over!*

Step 4:
Beginning at the outermost edge of the circle sticker, paint 1 or 2 coats of the top color over the base color.
It's better to paint a tiny bit over the sticker this way your edge will be clean.  You can click the photo to enlarge & see a little better.

Step 5:
Gently  peel the tape off once the top color is mostly dry.
Be very careful not to rip it off too quickly, or the polish could come right off.
Also, be careful if the polish is still very wet on the top of the sticker, it could get onto your base color.

Step 6:
This final step is completely optional, but it will really help to achieve a neat & clean looking mani.

You can use either a small paintbrush or cotton swab, dip it in nail polish remover, and use it to remove any excess polish on your cuticles and skin.
Be careful not to use too much remover, otherwise you will risk ruining your design.
If you opt for the brush, be sure to use brushstrokes in the same direction; don't "swish" the brush around because it tends to spread excess polish around rather than remove it.

Finish off with a top coat, and here's the final product!
I feel like a classy lady.
I will definitely be trying other color combinations with this, since it was so easy.

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