The Half-Moon Nail Trend Is the Spring Update Your Classic Mani Deserves
Try as we might, it’s hard to stray from our old habits, and that goes as much for the nail salon as the drive-thru window at Chick-fil-A. We’re a sucker for a sweet pastel in spring, a coral red in the summertime, a cool olive green come autumn, and a vampy burgundy red in the cold months. So what does a gal do when she wants to stick with her go-to nail colors but feel like she’s still got her finger on the pulse? Venture into the world of subtle nail art, which is most easily done by starting with a half-moon manicure.
It’s known by other names like a keyhole mani or negative space nails, but a half-moon manicure is basically when you skip over the semi-circle nail space right at the base of the cuticle. The rest of the nail is polished, business as usual, but you’re left with a cool-girl approach on the classic manicure. For this look, try a pale dandelion yellow like Essie’s Avant-Garment. (For the pink polish featured above, try Sally Hansen's Boss Gloss.)
If you’re a signature at-home manicure type of lady, you can copy the look at home with the nail color of your choice. To make it less smudge-prone, grab a pack of self-adhesive hole reinforcements (or hole punch stickers) to use as a stencil and apply at the base of your nail. This ensures smooth lines and an easier application. (Tip: You can cut the sticker in half to help fit your nail.) You’re basically five minutes from feeling like Molly Ringwald, Pretty In Pink era: classic with an edge and sharp tongue to boot.
Some make it even more fun by going with a reverse half-moon manicure, instead filling the half-moon with a color or glitter and leaving the rest of the nail bare or painted a low-key nude like OPI’s classic Bubble Bath, here accented with Essie’s crisp-blue Mint Candy Apple.
Or take the term a little more literally by using an above and below nail color to make half-moon shapes and leaving the center colorless (always with a base coat and top coat!) for ultimate keyhole vibes.
You can take things up a notch by leaving a larger amount of space bare and mixing up your colors. In this case, a super shiny topcoat—our all-time fave is Revlon’s Ultimate Shine Top Coat—will be your new bestie.
Even make it a French manicure, Fancy Nance.
Basically there is a half-moon manicure for everyone, and your same-old nail color deserves an upgrade.
From keyhole manicures to the updated French mani, this year a classic manicure is only the beginning.