The Half Moon Manicure

Popular in the 1920’s -40’s and increasingly popular in the vintage community today, the half moon manicure graced the nails of  Marlene Dietrich , Joan Crawford to popular modern day pinup icon Dita Von Teese.


The half moon manicure was worn in a variety of ways with the “half moon” left bare at the base as well as the tip left bare and the most favoured ” Half Moon” Left bare with Red and the less common “Half Moon”, bare tip with the centre only painted.. This effect was created for practical reasons as the manicure would last longer, the bare tip would not show the wear on the fingers from the working women and regrowth was less obvious. Very economical and practical when war time rationing came into effect.

Sweet Painted Lady Vinatge Nail Polish

The”Half moon” with full painted nails, moving to a full painted  nail were also a sign of class and status as in the 20’s/30’s as it denoted the wear had time to spend having her nails done and was a lady of leisure – remembering nail polish took a long time to dry in the heyday.


Today you can recreate the look yourself at home with nail polish and handy circular binder hole reinforces purchased at your local stationary store or half moon kits at Farmers. Place the sticker as a half at the bottom of your nail, add your coat of polish, allow to dry and peel off!

You can do modern day interpretations of this style using different colour combinations, some popular colour combos are Gold and Red, Silver and Black, Red and Black and I have even seen some striking Turquoise and Hot Pink combos! Let your imagination run wild!



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