how to get perfect pinup nails:step by step

Sometimes we want to embrace the glamour that is the 1950s from head to toe, or fingertip.  The iconic manicure of the 40s and 50s is the “half moon” nails, it is like the opposite of a french manicure.  It can be a little intimidating to do the first time, or when contemplating “how do I get make the little half moon to look nice, especially on the non-dominant hand!”  Well, I have the answer for you!  You know those little hole reinforcers that are found next to the notebooks, they make the perfect little guide for both the half moon and the french tip (if that’s your thing)

First do your filing and shaping to get the nail whatever shape you like, I shape mine into ovals so that the shape of the tip of my nail is the same as the shape of the half moon.  Put on a base coat, let dry.


Start with whatever you want your base color to be, I prefer to use a neutral color for this because its more traditional.  Often, women didn’t paint the part of the nail closest to the cuticle to obtain this look prior to the production of skin colored nail polish.  I used Sally Henson “hard as nails” in number 03 Bamboo Shoot.  It is really close to my skin color, but different enough that you can tell I have polish on.


After the base color is COMPLETELY dry, take your hole reinforcers and cut them in half.  Then stick them onto your nail, the sticker will cover the part that you don’t want to paint.  I didn’t want to have too much of the beige color showing, so  I placed the stickers to cover a tiny bit less than 1/3 of my nail.


Pick out whatever top color you want, this week I used a pink.  It is Rimmel “60 seconds vinyl shine” in number 808 Shocker.  Put on two coats of nail polish, allowing to dry in between.  You can overlap the paint on top of the sticker, I wish I had taken a picture of that.  The sticker will prevent the color from running together.  After you nails are completely dry, remove the sticker carefully to avoid peeling of the base coat.  Then finish with the top coat of choice.

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As you can see, it didn’t come out quite perfect, I have a little bit of rough edges on a couple fingers but you can hardly tell and nobody is going to scrutinizing your fingernails too carefully 🙂  I really like this style, it is super glamourous and makes my fingers look crazy long! Plus, if you use a base color that is similar to your skin color, nobody can see the new fingernail growth that always seems to be visible the day after painting your nails.

I am not very good at doing nail art, it always ends up like I let my three year old paint my nails!  So I am all too happy to embrace this simple, yet lovely look.  It looks like its hard but it really isn’t, so I look like I’m more capable and artistic than I really am 🙂 It also adds that extra touch of authenticity to my vintage wardrobe.  Have fun painting your nails!


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